Uluru: Dusk and Dawn

Northern Territory

The Uluru park is open from a bit before sunrise to a bit after sunset and those two events are big draws for the tourists.

Sunset, especially, is a big affair.  There are specially built parking lots for prime sunset viewing with at least 100 car spots.  Other people came way more prepared than we did, with folding chairs, appetisers, and champagne, while we just used a beach towel thrown in the trunk.  People were ruthless in staking out a spot and the whole parking lots and walkway were filled an hour before sunset (hence the snacks/drinks to keep them occupied).

Sunset was at 6:05 pm, but the light started changing around 5:00 and the most brilliant glowing red was at 5:56.

In the progression of pictures below, the first was taken at 3:46 (normal Uluru in the day) and the last was taken at 6:38 (when Uluru is just a looming shadow in the dark).  In between are varying shades of red/brown.  It was amazing to see the way the light changes; sunset at Uluru is labeled a “must-do” for a reason.

If you turned away from the majestic rock, there was the actual sunset (as the sunset viewing for Uluru is set up for Uluru to reflect the changing sunset).  The outback sunset itself was just as glorious.

Sunrise was less cutthroat but just as popular.  Again, there were specific viewing areas, but these were platforms a kilometres hike away from the carpark.

It may have been the pretty heavy cloud cover, but, to me, sunrise wasn’t as stunning.  It didn’t glow on Uluru in the same way.  However, when turned around from the rock, the radiance of the sunset above the clouds was awesome.



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