This article contains the best travel advice you’ll find online for people who want to travel from Brisbane to Uluru.
Most people never forget the moment they set eyes on the majestic rock in Australia’s Red Centre. But for first-timers, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get there from home.
Let’s make it easier for all you Queenslanders with the travel bug.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting to Uluru from Brisbane.
If Uluru isn’t already on your bucket list, you need to do something about that.
The World Heritage Site attracts hundreds and thousands of interstate and global visitors; who never forget the moment they saw the giant sandstone monolith in all its glory.
This sacred rock is the ancient heart of Australia. It has stood 863 metres above sea level for more than 500 MILLION years.
Uluru used to be called “Ayers Rock”, but there was a name change in 1993 (a sign of respect to the local Anangu people).
The custodians of the land believe that Ancestor Spirits created the majestic rock and nearby natural wonders during the Dreaming.
Are you ready to hike through rocky formations, create traditional artwork, dine under the stars and learn about one of the oldest living cultures on earth?
Come to the Northern Territory and see the magic for yourself!
#1. How to get to Uluru from Brisbane
There are 3 main ways you can get from Brisbane to Uluru:
- Fly by plane (quickest and easiest way)
- Train and bus combination (requires the most planning)
- Take a road trip in your car (enjoy the outback along the way)
#2. Brisbane to Uluru distance
Hint: It’s too far to walk.
✈️ Air travel:
Direct flight from Brisbane Airport to Ayers Rock Airport + airport transfer: 2,247 km (4 hours total travel time)
Direct flight from Brisbane Airport to Alice Springs Airport + airport transfer: 2,433 km (5 hours total travel time)
🚌 From the Airports to Uluru:
We offer airport transfers, but some travellers also enjoy booking a car. Here’s for far the drive is:
Ayers Rock Airport to Uluru by car: 30.1 km via State Route 4 and Uluru Rd (29 minutes)
Alice Springs Airport to Uluru by car: 467.8 km via Stuart Highway/A87 and State Route 4 (4 hours and 53 minutes)
🚗 Driving from Brisbane to Uluru:
Brisbane to Uluru by car: Brisbane to Uluru by car: 3,223 km via Stuart Highway (34 hours, which is roughly 4 to 5 days of driving)
🚆 Train and Bus combination:
Brisbane to Uluru via Sydney and Adelaide: more than 17,000 km (3 days and 3 hours)
#3. Driving from Brisbane to Uluru
3,223 km, 34 hours (roughly 4 to 5 days of driving)
Buckle up, there’s a long drive ahead.
Don’t worry, you won’t get bored as the landscape constantly changes before your eyes.
It’s not often that you get to immerse yourself in the dusky red and orange of Australia’s outback, so why not take your time and turn this into a road trip that you will remember fondly?
Whatever route you choose, there are many exciting destinations to visit. You could easily spend a few weeks exploring the countryside, at least..
Note: if you don’t have a 4WD, choose a route with only sealed roads (the Stuart Highway is fully sealed).
Make sure your car is safe for long distances before you set out. Pump your tires if needed! Pack drinking water and plenty of snacks, your body will need refuelling along the way.
Speaking of fuel, you’re looking at spending around $644 to fill up your car each way – but this varies depending on your vehicle’s requirements and petrol prices at the time. Check out this fuel calculator for a general estimate.
Don’t drive for longer than 8 to 10 hours a day. Please take plenty of breaks as well, at least every two hours.
Here’s a sample of destinations that you can visit on your way to Uluru, to give you an idea of some of the adventures ahead.
Note: these locations are on the Southern route from Brisbane, via the Stuart Highway.
- Goondiwindi, Queensland
Distance from Brisbane to Goondiwindi: 342 km (4 hours and 10 minutes)
Goondiwindi is a modern rural town that sits along the Queensland and NSW border. The streets are lined with beautiful trees and the local Macintyre River is a sight to behold. Why not stretch your legs at the Goondiwindi Natural Heritage and Water Park? If the weather is warm, you’ll feel tempted to take a dip in the lagoon. There’s a BBQ area, walking trails, hot showers, clean toilets and plenty of play equipment for the children.
Accommodation: The Border Motel is a budget-friendly option that has no shortage of public amenities that will help you feel at home – such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a flat screen TV and pool. You’ll sleep like a baby in the comfortable bed, and the rooms are spacious and clean. If you’re feeling peckish, the pubs and shops are within walking distance.
- Cobar, NSW
Distance from Goondiwindi to Cobar: 738 km (8 hours and 14 minutes)
After a long day of driving, it’s worth having a well-deserved rest at Cobar. The strong community spirit really stands out in this mining town. There’s so much to see, from the Fort Bourke Hill Lookout to the Peak Gold Mine. If you’re a history buff, you’ll get a kick out of doing the Heritage Walk, which puts you on the same path as historical buildings with an interesting story. Grab a free map from the information centre to see where the most important buildings are located.
Accommodation: Sink your teeth into some hearty pub food at the Great Western Hotel, where you can also book a room. The bar and dining area is open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner. There’s also a coffee shop.
- Wilcannia, NSW
Distance from Cobar to Wilcannia: 260 km (2 hours and 40 minutes)
This small town sits along the Darling River, and it was Australia’s third largest inland port during the mid-19th century. The local Barkindji people have called Wilcannia home for around 40,000 years. Mutawintji Heritage Tours is completely owned and operated by First Nations people. A local Aboriginal guide will take you on a tour of the stunning landscape, and explain the rock engravings and stencils that you see. You’ll learn about the Dreaming and walk away with a stronger appreciation of the sacred.
Accommodation at Warrawong on the Darling: Enjoy some downtime on the banks of the Darling River, with your choice of modern cabins, bush camping and powered caravan sites with water views. You get the best of both worlds: modern amenities and comfortable living, but you’re also surrounded by wildlife.
- Port Augusta, South Australia
Distance from Wilcannia to Port Augusta: 609 km (6 hours and 40 minutes)
The Wadlata Outback Centre is a hit with visitors of all ages, which is hardly surprising, given how many awards it’s won. Hands-on exhibits teach you about the fascinating history of the region, going back millions of years. Who said education had to be dull?
If you want a bird’s eye view of the entire town, lace up your joggers and climb the stairs to the top of the Water Tower Lookout. This tower was built in 1882 to provide water to people living in the area. Those days are gone, but today the tower serves as a viewing platform that allows visitors to snap the perfect photo. If you have a fear of heights, pace yourself!
Accommodation: There’s minimum fuss at the Crossroads Ecomotel, which prioritises your comfort while also respecting the environment. This is a modern energy-efficient building with clean rooms and comfortable beds. Pets are welcome in some of the rooms too!
- Coober Pedy, South Australia
Distance from Port Augusta to Coober Pedy: 540 km (5 hours and 36 minutes)
If you love opals, please visit the “opal capital of the world”. This small mining town displays some of the biggest opals in existence. Above ground, marvel at how the outback changes colour with the sunset! Below ground, take a tour through historic mines and even look for opals yourself – by participating in public “fossicking” at the Jewell Box (pick and shovels are available for rent).
Accommodation: Did you know that most locals live underground in Coober Pedy? This is the best way to escape extreme temperatures in the area. Not only will you have the chance to explore underground art galleries, churches and homes, but you can even sleep in a modern cave at The Lookout Cave Underground Motel. It has all the luxurious features that you could hope for, with a touch of adventure.
- Uluru, Northern Territory
Distance from Coober Pedy to Uluru: 750 km (7 hours and 51 minutes)
You’ve soaked in the rustic beauty of the outback and enjoyed many destinations along the road, but nothing compares to the reverence of seeing Uluru for the first time.
Now that you’re here, there’s a strong temptation to explore every nook and cranny of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
But for that, you need to be well rested!
Thankfully there are plenty of accommodation and dining options at Ayers Rock Resort, which is a 20-minute drive from Uluru. You really can’t go wrong, the food and lodging experience is amazing across the board!
#5. Brisbane to Uluru flight time
There are two options. You can fly from Brisbane to Ayers Rock Airport, or from Brisbane to Alice Springs Airport.
- Direct flight from Brisbane to Ayers Rock Airport: 3 hours and 35 minutes, costs range from $148 to $300 for one way. (2,217 km)
- Direct flight from Brisbane to Alice Springs Airport: 3 hours and 15 minutes, costs between $249 and $454 for one way. (1,966 km)
After you land in the Northern Territory, you’ll need to travel to Uluru.
We offer airport transfers, but some travellers also enjoy booking a car.
Here’s how far the drive is:
- Ayers Rock Airport to Uluru by car: 29 minutes via State Route 4 and Uluru Rd (30.1 km)
- Alice Springs Airport to Uluru by car: 4 hours and 53 minutes via Stuart Highway/A87 and State Route 4 (467.8 km)
Note: If you want to spend less time on the road, your best option is to get a direct flight to Ayers Rock Airport, which is a short 30-minute drive to Uluru. It takes 5 hours to drive from Alice Springs to Uluru.
#6. Brisbane to Uluru bus and train combination
You can catch a train and travel on three buses through Sydney and Adelaide, to get to Uluru.
3 days and 3 hours
How the journey progresses:
- Bus from Brisbane to Sydney Central Station: 16 hour trip on Gx422, costs between $140 and $270
- Train from Sydney Central Station to Adelaide Parklands: 26.5 hour trip on Indian Pacific, costs between $400 and $2,000
- Walk to bus stop in Adelaide: 27 minute walk (2.2 km)
- Bus from Adelaide to Alice Springs: 21.5 hour trip on Gx580, costs between $210 and $400
- Walk to bus stop in Alice Springs: 11 minute walk (940 metres)
- Bus from Alice Springs to Mutitjulu: 7.5 hour trip on Docker River, costs $176
- Taxi from Mutitjulu to Uluru: 18 minute trip, costs between $26 and $32
#7. Some activities in Uluru (no matter how you travel there):
There’s plenty to do in Uluru, here are a few of our favourite activities:
Mala Walk: Explore ancient campsites, caves and rock art on a ranger-guided walk to the stunning Kantu Gorge. The track goes for 2km, but you can also do it yourself as there are many signs showing you the way. Take plenty of drinking water and wear comfortable shoes and a hat. You’ll need sunscreen too!
Sunset BBQ: Imagine enjoying a glass of bubbly and delicious yummies against the stunning backdrop of Uluru? You will travel to and from your destination in air-conditioned comfort on this Uluru sunset tour, which is suitable for all ages groups and caters to a range of diets including vegetarian, gluten-free or dairy-free. Here the stars put on their finest show because there are no competing city lights.
Tour around Kata Tjuta: Uluru isn’t the only famous attraction in the Northern Territory, thank you very much. Have you heard about The Olgas? This cluster of 36 large rocks is another geological marvel. If you take a hike at sunset, you’ll see how the dome colours change to mirror the surrounding landscape. There are a number of walking trail options, from easy to more challenging!
Visit rock art sites: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is filled with many natural rock formations and caves that were decorated by ancient tribes over the centuries. There’s no shortage of rock art to appreciate, and each surface tells a unique story that’s been passed down the generations. A ranger can explain the art to you on a guided tour, or you can visit the sites yourself (but please don’t touch the rock art).
#8. Uluru tours from Brisbane
Join a tour group or hire a private charter, to immerse yourself in this sacred destination. Reputable tour companies plan memorable activities, while also respecting the wishes of traditional custodians (such as not climbing Uluru).
It’s a win-win situation: you get to meet new people and absorb traditional culture, without having to plan any activities.
Why choose to experience the beauty of Uluru with Emu Run Experience?
We have multiple tour options to fit your travel plans – departing at different times from Alice Springs or Ayers Rock Resort Accommodation.
Our driver will pick you up from either location in an air-conditioned coach.
See the best of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and its surroundings with our accredited and passionate guides.
Hear ancient stories, go on guided walks and enjoy good tucker while Mother Earth puts on her finest show. All activities are safe for any age group and fitness level. Meals, beverages and snacks are provided – catering to a range of dietary requirements.