#5 Bucket List: an awesome Helicopter flight over Uluru
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From the moment that I was planning my trip to Australia, I knew I had to see Uluru from a different perspective and a scenic flight is always a cool experience to get the best views from every angle.
In 2020, I finally visited Australia’s Red Center for 5 days and decided to join the sunrise helicopter tour over Uluru, however, I was lucky as I was traveling in the high season, and only on the last day was a spot available for the sunrise tour.
A year later, in 2021, I went back to Uluru as I fell in love with the landscape and the nature of the Australian Outback. This time I decided to hop on the extended sunset tour.
After doing both tours I can share my experiences and hopefully help or inspire you in planning your trip to Uluru.
Where can you do a Helicopter flight over Uluru?
The only way to join this once in a lifetime experience in Australia, is from Yulara, the town at the entrance of Uluru-Kata Tutja National Park.
The scenic helicopter flight will take you from the Ayers rock airport over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Soaring over Uluru, it allows you to appreciate the world’s largest monolith in its grandeur.
How to book a helicopter flight over Uluru
Helicopter flights over Uluru can be booked online through various sites like viator.com and GetYourGuide.com. So, just lookout for the best deal and book your tickets online to get the ultimate Uluru experience.
At Yulara is an office where you can book the helicopter flight over Uluru but I recommend booking in advance as, during the high season, flights are booked out fast. Especially with sunset and sunrise.
Below you find some great deals from GetYourGuide or read the reviews on TripAdvisor
Best Time To join a helicopter tour over Uluru
You can do a helicopter flight any time of the year, however, the best time to visit Uluru is in wintertime (May-September) when the sky is clear and the temperatures are more pleasant.
There are a number of helicopter flights in a day depending on the availability of pilots, the weather, and the number of people that will join the flight but the best times to join a helicopter flight over Uluru are sunset and sunrise.
Although these are the most expensive flights, they are definitely worth it.
How long does a helicopter flight over Uluru takes?
The total duration of the trip from pick up to drop off is 1 hour and 30 minutes including a helicopter flight of around 20-30 minutes. An extended flight can also be booked which lasts 36 minutes and takes you around the back to capture the ultimate picture of Uluru and Kata Tjuta together.
During the day you can join a 15-min flight over Uluru for only AU$ 150, which is perfect if you are on a budget.
Accommodation in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
If you are willing to slow down and savor the serene environment of Uluru, there are various accommodation options to welcome you with open arms.
Although accommodation is not available inside the national park, there are various options within the Ayers Rock Resort owned by the aboriginals. The resort is an ideal place to stay due to its close vicinity to the airport as well as the park. It also features a supermarket, a day spa, various restaurants, a hairdresser, and literally everything under the sun to make your stay comfortable.
So whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly room or a deluxe suite or even a tent, the Ayers rock resort offers all the options. Some of the best places to stay include:
The campground is another option offering sites for caravans, campervans, motor homes, and camper trailers. It provides a wide range of services including barbecues, self-service laundry, a swimming pool, and a playground.
If you’re looking for a perfect place to camp for the night, head to the Ayers rock campground to get the ultimate Uluru experience.
Prices are AU$ 40 per night
This luxurious 4.5-star hotel has 218 rooms featuring the amazing flora which is unique to the Central Australian desert. It offers a wide range of accommodation options from poolside rooms to lavish rock-view rooms and a restaurant where you can enjoy some delicious Australian cuisine.
Prices are AU$ 380 per night
How much does a helicopter flight over Uluru cost?
The average cost of the flight ranges from $ 200-300. The extended flight will cost you more for just 6 more minutes of flight. Don’t forget to check all the available options to get the best deal at affordable rates.
A normal flight during the day takes about 15 min. and cost A$ 130-160, while the extended sunset tour (which I did) cost about A$ 330 for a 36-min flight.
A$330 seems a lot of money but for this lifetime experience, it is definitely worth it!
What can you expect from a Helicopter flight over Uluru?
The trip includes pick-up from your hotel to the Ayers Rock airport where you will meet with the pilot and board the aircraft for the flight. The flight follows along with the Northern and Western faces of Uluru, then takes a path in which the Ayers Rock aligns with Kata Tutja in the distance.
You can get amazing aerial views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), the township of Yulara, and the amazing outback of Australia on your way back to the Ayers Rock airport.
During the whole flight, the pilot will provide you with informative commentary and you can even ask them relevant questions. The tour then ends with a drop-off at your hotel from the airport.
My helicopter flight over Uluru experience
So in September 2021, I drove with my 4×4 from Darwin to Uluru to explore the most incredible place in Australia, Uluru-Kata Tutja National Park, and flying over Uluru with a sunrise helicopter flight was on my bucket list for Australia.
I did some research on which companies are the best, what are the best prices and when is the best time to fly over Uluru but I quickly found out that there are not many options to choose from, all the prices are the same and the best time is with sunrise or sunset.
I had 5 days to plan the flight and only on the last day was a spot available with the sunrise tour, so make sure you book your tours in advance if you really want to experience the sunrise over Uluru in a unique way.
Sunrise helicopter flight over Uluru
Pick-up hotel: 5h30
Drop-off hotel: 7h00
Flight Duration: 30min.
Cost of helicopter flight: AU$ 300/person
I stayed at the Ayers Rock Campground and booked the sunrise helicopter tour over Uluru with Professional Helicopter Services, which was a great company to join this tour with.
The night before my flight there was a thunderstorm, so I was already assuming that the flight would be canceled the next morning. Around 5.30 AM, they picked me and 2 other guests up in a minivan at the reception of the campground and it was still raining and cloudy.
Before we headed to the airport, the driver, who was also the pilot, gave us some instructions about the day and arrival at the airport.
The drive to the airport of Ayers Rock is about 10 minutes and once we arrived there, the pilot gave us a seat in the helicopter as the seats are managed due to the weight of the passengers to keep the helicopter in balance, and then we waited for the green light from the tower as the weather was still not great.
You cannot predict the weather and somehow I was hoping that the tour would be canceled, so I could join another tour but as this was my last day in Uluru, I just ignored the weather and enjoyed the views with the dramatic background.
Although the weather wasn’t great, I had the privilege to fly with an open helicopter, so the doors were open during the whole flight, which was perfect to take some photos of the rear of the helicopter.
The pilot got permission to take off and we flew towards Uluru for about 5 min. The moment the sun came up, the pilot circled around Uluru and turned around halfway so the other side of the helicopter has a good view of Uluru with sunrise in the background.
The clouds were disappearing slowly, the sun came through at some moments and that created a dramatic scene, which turned out great in the photos I took.
After the sunrise, we flew to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), to see these amazing rock formations from above, and what an incredible sight! These boulders are so majestic and huge.
The pilot flew around Kata Tutja for the remaining time of our flight and then headed back to the airport of Ayers Rock, while we enjoyed the beautiful landscape around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Back on the ground at the airport, I felt kind of a relief to finally witness these fantastic views of Uluru.
Although this experience seems a bit pricey before you book, I bet you don’t even think about that after the helicopter flight over Uluru.
TIP: I had a pretty cloudy day but still enjoyed the flight and the views, however, take some warm clothes and check the weather forecast before you book (also a good reason to book in advance)
PHOTOGRAPHERS TIP: Use a wide-angle lens as the helicopter flies close to Uluru and with a zoom lens you won’t be able to get the full rock on your photo
Sunset helicopter flight over Uluru
Pick-up hotel: 17h00
Drop-off hotel: 18h20
Flight Duration: 36min.
Cost of helicopter flight: AU$ 330/person
In 2021, I drove from Adelaide to Darwin and crossed the Stuart Highway through Alice Springs, Uluru is only 350 km from Alice Springs, so I decided to visit this magical place again.
It was my second time in the Red Center of Australia but now I discovered some other amazing places such as the East MacDonnell Ranges and the ‘Field of Light’ Exhibition in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
When I came here in 2020, I joined the Sunrise Helicopter Tour, which was just stunning, however, the weather wasn’t the best. So this time I booked the Extended Sunset Helicopter Tour over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
I stayed again at the Ayers Rock Campground, where the pilot from Professional Helicopter Services picked me up around 17h together with Nao and another guest. ( a second pilot joined us as well after his shift)
We drove to the airport, filled in a covid-19 form ( this time it was more serious with the covid situation), and then we got our seats in the helicopter. Nao got the seat next to the pilot to have the best views over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from the front as this was her first flight ever.
The helicopter took off and flew first to Kata Tjuta to see these amazing boulders from above, which is different than the sunrise tour. With the sunrise tour, the helicopter flies first to Uluru to see the sunrise coming up over there and flies then to Kata Tjuta.
Just before sunset, the pilot flew to Uluru so we could see the rock changing its color with the sun behind us. What an amazing sight! Of course, my camera was non-stop shooting to get some stunning photos.
An amazing thing about Professional Helicopter Service is that they fly around Uluru with each side of the helicopter, so first clockwise and then anti-clockwise, so every passenger has a great view of the rock.
After the sunset, we flew back to the airport, fulfilled with excitement and happiness of this beautiful moment, where the minivan waited to bring us back to the campground.
To celebrate Nao’s bucket list experience, we went to the restaurant of Sails in the Desert Hotel in Yulara.
Whether it is your first helicopter flight or not, a helicopter flight over Uluru is definitely a lifetime experience and it should be on your bucket list for Australia.
TIP: During the high season, they do not fly with open helicopters
PHOTOGRAPHERS TIP: Ask the pilot for the best spot to take photos of Uluru, they are very understanding and helpful as they even asked if I had the shots I wanted.
A helicopter flight over Uluru is perfect if you are looking for the ultimate bucket list for Australia or a lifetime experience as you will enjoy some breathtaking views over the largest monolith of our planet.
I hope you enjoyed this bucket list article and that you are inspired to thick this once-in-a-lifetime experience from your list.
Have you done the flight over Uluru or do you have any questions, share them in the comments below?
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Explore a helicopter flight over Uluru with my favorite travel apps
To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly.
- Skyscanner – Flight deals
- Booking.com – Hotels and accommodation
- TourRadar – Group trips
- TripAdvisor – Reviews and activities
- HostelWorld – Hostels
- GetYourGuide – Activities and excursions
- RentalCars – Car rental
- Omio – Transport
- iVisa – Travel documents
- Wise – Money transfer
- InsuredNomads – Travel Insurance
PICTURES AND EDITING
All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.
Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!
The camera gear I used for this trip
I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.
Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.