Planning a trip with age-appropriate activities can be tricky if you’ve never been to the destination before. What’s fun for teenagers might not be suitable for younger kids. And what keeps toddlers entertained for hours might put your older kids to sleep. Here are some great things to to in Uluru for every age.

Sunset over Uluru National Park, Northern Territory
Sunset over Uluru. Picture: Michael Nelson, Parks Australia

0-4 year olds

An essential part of any visit to Uluru by children is for them to learn about its significance to its traditional owners, the Unungu people. One of the best places for young children to do this is at the Yulara Town Centre. Here Indigenous storytellers share stories and legends about Aboriginal history, culture and traditional techniques used on the land.

Family-friendly Ayers Rock Resort also offers a series of engaging and fun tours designed for families where kids can try their hand at dot painting or learn how to throw a boomerang.

There’s also a chance to get up close with some of the creatures that call the area home at the Red Desert Reptiles Show, and an afternoon workshop with Wakagetti Cultural Dancers where little ones can learn the meaning behind Indigenous dances as they hone their dance skills.

5-8 year olds

At the Uluru Cultural Centre the local Anangu people share the stories of their ancestors in a way that is accessible and fun for kids. The Anangu are guided by Tjukurpa (law) to hold culture sacred. Many of the sites around Uluru and Kata Tjuta are so hallowed that it forbidden for the people to speak of them, but there are still many fascinating stories to be told.

A favourite with kids is the story of the creation of Uluru by a group of ten ancestral spirits including Kuniya the woma python woman and Liru the venomous snake man who emerged from the void during the Dreamtime.

After dark, there are even more stories to hear as billions of stars paint the dessert sky. Ayers Rock Resort offers a Family Astro Tour where a resident astronomer explains how ancient cultures used the night sky for both orientation and the basis of their legends.

9-12 year olds

Alice Springs Desert Park is a fantastic spot for families to experience first-hand the Red Centre’s amazing diversity with Aboriginal guides leading visitors on walking trails through three desert botanical habitats, free-flying bird shows and a collection of rare and endangered nocturnal animals.

Getting close up with the dingoes at Alice Springs Desert Park. Photo: Shaana McNaught

For an animal encounter of a different kind, Frontier Camel Farm offers family camel safaris through their date gardens.

Another eye-opening experience for kids is a stop at The Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre, where kids can see how, through radio and the internet, the children of the remote areas of Central Australia are able to access education.

At the Earth Sanctuary, enjoy a day or night tour of the outback, the most popular being the Earth’s Cool Tour. Designed for kids, this fabulous tour focuses on sustainability and how to reduce our impact on the planet.

Teenagers

One of the most fun ways to explore Uluru is as the early pioneers did – on the back of a camel. If you prefer your transport with wheels, and less inclined to spit and stink, why not take a Harley Davidson tour of Uluru and Uluru’s stunning sister range, Kata Tjuta. If you’re feeling energetic, rent a bicycle and ride the 9.4-kilometre circumference of the rock at your own pace.

If you’re after an extreme view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, why not see them from above on a scenic helicopter tour or on an exhilarating dawn hot air balloon flight which will take in the desert’s best sights as the sun rises. And if you dare, why not check out The Rock as you fall screaming from the sky on an awesome adrenalin pumping tandem sky dive!

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