Ayers Rock looks ok from the plane (no need for tourist flights), awesome from a distance, and interesting up close.
I had 24 hours in Ayers Rock, just enough. As one guy said “I spent a week there one day,” meaning that the place has nothing else to do but the rock.
Rental cars are mostly hobbled by kilometer limits of as little as 100 km/day. I was able to get the agent to bump me up to 200 with a little chitchat. I have Hertz #1 Club Gold which probably helped. Good thing I checked the odometer because they had mixed up cars and it was 4,000 km over what I was starting with, at $0.25/km that would have been a sticky situation if they actually thought I could drive that much in a day!
Hotels I covered in this post, if you have Accor points to burn, this is the time.
The park is officially called Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The fee is $25/vehicle for 3 days. Beware if timing sunrise/sunset close that there is one line both for payment and existing permit holders so it can get backed up. Payment is very slow and the rangers are chatty.
The rock itself is stunning on the approach. Up close the various details and irregularities are revealed, in a way disappointing. The Aboriginal community requests that people do not climb, yet many do. I respected their wishes. I would not charge up a blocked staircase in a place like the Vatican so was not going to do it here.
In about 2 hours at a steady pace with no break I did the Base Walk around the rock and the short branches Kantju Gorge and Mutijulu Walk. Those uninterested or unable to do the walks, which would be brutal in hot weather, can access the rock at several places by car and will miss little. There are occasional water stations but the only restrooms are at the Cultural Centre. I then drove over the sunset spot and waited for the glow.