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Travelling with Dogs: Visiting Uluru with your dog

I recently travelled to Uluru/Ayers Rock with my collie, Sandy and was happy to find that the heart of Australia is, surprisingly, dog friendly . I hope that you find this blog helpful in planning your Uluru trip with your BFF (best furry friend).

G’day!

I’m Melissa (Liss) Connell and this is my personal travel blog. The Slow Lane chronicles my Aussie adventures in my 1974 Kombi, with my furry sidekick Sandy. As the co-founder of Exploring Eden Media, I write articles (and post our books) as I travel. Check the postage stamp on your book order and you’ll see where I am right now!

Sunrise over ancient Uluru. Breathtaking. Iphone snap by me.

The low-down on taking your hound to Uluru

Covering over 327,414 acres of Australia’s desert is the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There’s much to see inside the park including Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the many-domed Kata Tjuṯa (The Olgas). While it’s not possible to take your dog within the national park itself, there are ways that you can explore the surrounding region with your BFF and there are also options for dog-sitters (see below). If there’s any information that’s outdated please leave a comment below!

That coat won’t stay white for long! Pic by me.
Sandy doing her best sly dingo impression. Pic by me.

Pet friendly camping

Ayers Rock Campground

Located only 15km from Uluru is Voyages Ayers Rock Campground. As I found, it’s vital to book ahead during the high season. The pro’s – it’s close to Uluru and the main shopping area of Yulara. Plus … it’s dog-friendly! The con’s – it’s busy. The campground was completely booked when I arrived so they offered a spot in their overflow for $30. Needless to say, there are no other campgrounds nearby. Book early for a powered site and keep your pooch on a leash at all times. For a great sunset view of the rock without entering the national park, head across the road from the van park’s entrance and climb the little hill, as seen in the photo above.

Dog minding

There are a couple of options for dog minding here. 1) You can ask a fellow camper to mind your dog and, in exchange, could look after their dog another time. 2) Call a local resident dog minder. I used to display the current dog minder’s name and phone number here, but since it changes regularly, I’ve now left it to the individual dog minders to leave their name and phone number in a comments below this blog post. That way, the dog minder can also delete their comment when they’re no longer offering the service.

Into red dirt country! Pic by me.

Free camping

Click here to read my blog about free camping around Uluru / Ayers Rock.

Curtin Springs Roadhouse

This working cattle station and roadhouse is located about 100km from the Ayers Rock/Olgas National Park, on the Lasseter Highway. There are powered and unpowered campsites, plus homestyle meals. Unpowered sites are free, but showers are $3 as water is in short supply here. It’s pet friendly and you can have a campfire, but you must bring your own wood.

Dog minding

No dog minding service at Curtin Springs. Ask a fellow camper to mind your dog or contact the current dog minder in Yulara, as listed in the comments below.

Free camping at Curtin Springs Roadhouse. Pic by me.
Happy hound! Pic by me.

Further afield – King’s Canyon (Watarrka)

There are two campgrounds near King’s Canyon (Watarrka), both of which are dog friendly. These are King’s Canyon Resort which has powered sites for $25 pp / per night and unpowered $20 pp / per night and then there’s King’s Creek Station. Located 36km from the canyon, King’s Creek has an almost 5 star rating on Trip Advisor, which says a lot in this day of age. Campsites are $22 pp unpowered / $25.50 pp powered. Bring some wood for a campfire and have a go at one of their famous camel burgers!

Dog minding

As per above, ask a fellow camper to mind your dog if you’d like to visit the nearby King’s Canyon (Watarrka). Note that King’s Canyon is roughly a 3 hour drive from Uluru.

Desert dog. Pic by me.

Risks and dangers

A few things worth considering, for those bringing their beloved furry friend to the red centre:

  1. Dingoes. This wild dog is native to Australia and can sometimes be known to be aggressive. Keep yourself and your dog at a safe distance and don’t approach dingoes. They have been known to attack domestic dogs.
  2. Snakes. Liru means ‘poisonous snake’ in one of the Anangu languages. In Uluru-Kata Tjuta there are eight different kinds of Liru including the King Brown snake. Watch where your pup is walking. Browns hunt by day and on warm nights.
  3. Birds and other native animals. Keep your dog on a lead to protect native wildlife from being attacked or hunted.
  4. Hot sand. The ground can get scorching hot. Keep this in mind when you’re walking your pup in the heat of the day.
  5. Dehydration. Carry plenty of water, both for yourself and your pup.
  6. Leaving dogs in cars. Keep the windows down, find a shady spot and leave them in the car for as little time as possible. Or better still – tie up your dog in front of the shops or cafe that you’re eating in, rather than leaving them in the car on a hot day.
Beware of hot sand on your dog’s paws! Pic by me.

Q: What do you get if you cross a Beatle and an Australian dog?  
A: Dingo Starr

Yeah, that’s a dad joke if I ever did hear one.
Exploring the red dust roads outside of the national park. Pic by me.

Vets in Alice Springs

Alice Springs Veterinary Hospital – Ph 08 8952 9899. 17 Elder Street Alice Springs.

Alice Veterinary Centre – Ph 08 8952 4353. 74 Elder Street Alice Springs.

Desert Oaks Veterinary Clinic – Ph 08 8953 4936. 17 Brown Street Alice Springs.

Boarding Kennels in Alice Springs

Pawz n Claws Pet Accommodation – Ph 08 8953 5590. 47a Priest Street Alice Springs.

Exploring the national park while Sandy is being looked after back at the campsite. Pic by Renae Saxby.

I hope this was helpful. Drop back from time-to-time as Sandy and I continue our journey to the Kimberley, Western Australia (I will upload more blogs – read them all here). And please – if any of the information has changed or if you know of more great spots, leave them in the comments below 🙂

Want to keep track of your travel in Australia with your best mate? Grab the best map of Australia.

43 comments

  1. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for this article. It helped us so much when we were Uluru.
    Monica looked after Ernie (our 1 year old lab) during our stay. She was amazing, loves dogs and even sent me a couple of photos. Highly recommend for anyone else visiting. Ernie loved her and had a great time.
    Safe travels!

    1. G’day Megan, oh brilliant, I’m stoked my little blog helped you and Ernie. Thanks for leaving this comment of recommendation for Monica, too. It’ll help other travellers. (Folks reading this – Monica has commented further down in this post, if you want her number). Cheers!

  2. Hi how great this info is .Thank you so much as we now can come and see the Field Of Lights .Such helpful information,just the best for us that won’t leave our best friend at home .If we travel Buddy travels with us .Thank you once again for your Blog.Irene

  3. Hi
    I have been dogsitting for 4 weeks now Shannon has moved on i have been busy after putting a couple of posters up in ARR(yulara) campground and Boomgate to national park.Wed/Thurs or any time after 6pm 0429526043

    1. Thanks Monica! I shall leave this comment sitting here for anyone interested in contacting you directly. **Note, I used to display the current dog minder’s name and phone number inside the blog post, but since it changes regularly, I’ve now left it to the individual dog minders to leave their name and phone number in a comment below this blog post (as you have done). That way, the dog minder can also delete their comment when they’re no longer offering the service. If you want people to give you endorsements after you’ve looked after their dog, please tell them to write it in reply to your comment**

  4. Hey all you doggie travelers, we are at Uluru at the moment, staying at the Ayer’s Rock Caravan park which is dog friendly and we used an awesome woman named Monica to look after our pooch today while we visited the park.
    She was awesome and loves minding dogs when she can, she has 2 days off a week (wed/Thursday) but can mind dogs after 6 other days.
    I recommend end giving her a call +61 429 526 043
    Safe travels

  5. Hello lovely people,

    Jess here, I have minded many of your beautiful dogs here in Uluru over the passed 6 months and just wanted to say a big thank you to this blog and all your beautiful puppies. I lost my job due to COVID affecting tourism and thanks to this blog I was able to offer my services to the lovely people visiting and your beautiful dogs. It’s been a hard time and a lonely time but getting to spend time with your beautiful furry friends not only kept a roof over my head but my head on straight.
    Thankfully my full time work has returned after a long awaited time so I will no longer have the availability to mind dogs going forward. I enjoyed my time with every single one of you. Safe and Happy Travels going ahead

    1. Thanks Jess. I’m so happy that my little blog post was able to give you employment and a livelihood through Covid. This is so fantastic. We here at Exploring Eden Books wish you all the best and from me personally (as a dog lover) thank you for taking great care of everyone’s pooches. Cheers. Melissa

    2. Hi Jess, My partner and I will be travelling through and staying around the 15th – 18th of August. Do you have any recommendations for pet sitters in the area?

  6. Thanks Melissa, excellent blog. My husband and I are planning a trip from Melbourne to Darwin this year and are travelling with 2 staffies and your blogs are really helpful. Can you believe my maidan name is O’Connell. Thank you

  7. I had Jess look after my dog for a day while exploring Uluru. She was great with sending photos while he was being looked after and accommodating to his needs. I would definitely recommend Jess to look after your companion. Her contact details are mentioned in previous comments.

  8. 2/11/2021 Hi Melissa,thank you for your helpful blog. We have been visiting Yulara Ayers Rock Camp ground and contacted Jess on 0422527153 to mind our two Border Terriers Morency and Cuppa Tea while we visited Uluru. We found her to be most accommodating, at short notice, fantastic with our dogs and welcomed them into her lovely home and very reassuring to us so we could relax and enjoy our visit. We highly recommend her.

  9. Just a reminder, only certified and qualified dog minder here 🙂 Shannon 0401 201n737

    $15 per hour as always with a backyard for puppas! Be careful where you leave your pets here. Not everybody has been ticked off by housing out here and as such not all your fur babies get the right levels of care and attention <3

  10. This is GREAT Mel! Really helped me and Beau, my 13 month old Border Collie, while visiting Uluru, Kata-Tjuta, and Wartarrka (Kings Canyon). Here are a list of three more great dog minders in Yulara:
    Jess – 0422 527 153 ($20 p/hr, and exceptional! She made a video of all the adventures she took Beau on, had her own reward treats, and sent pic updates regularly!)
    Nathan – 0450 849 463 ($20 p/hr, also brilliant! Clearly a dog lover and happily hung out with Beau for an afternoon)
    Sarah – 0468 946 122 (I never ended up using her because our schedules didn’t align, but another helpful and communicative dog minder!)

    If travelling to Wartarrka (Kings Canyon) too, dogs can stay in vans/utes in the carpark of the Kings Canyon walks! Hot tip: leave early, even before sunrise, to hike the rim walk before it gets too hot for your doggo to be left in your vehicle. The rim walk is estimated at 3-4 hours, I am a fit 35 yr old who did it in 2.5hrs.

    Hope this helps! Don’t feel like you have to leave your fur-friend in Alice Springs – take them with you and enjoy cuddles aplenty of an evening. And help people in Yulara get work while Covid is making their tourism suffer horribly!

    Cheers,
    Julia & Beau

  11. Hi Melissa,
    Great information and advice on your blog. We are heading off soon with our pooch – 12 yr old Jack Russell from Busselton in SW WA and heading to Uluru. Thanks so much for Shannon’s details regarding dog sitting. Getting excited to finally head off.

  12. Laura is no longer in Yulara unfortunately. However I have happily taken over the reigns as resident dogsitter. I have 10 years experience and along with my partner we are exceptional dog lovers! Give me a text on 0401 201 737 and I will do what I can to fit you in my schedule 🙂

  13. we are planning a trip soon, I just look at your lead for Laura for dog sitting it says she is closing down as of 31/03/2021, Which is a real bugger, might have to change our plans

  14. Hi Melissa, thanks for the blog, encouraged me to head out this weekend with my 2 dogs. Just an update to your info, Che isn’t currently there for dog minding and he asked me to post this comment – as he is getting a lot of inquiries and feels bad about turning people down! He recommended Laura (0448604270) and I’ve just made a booking with her 🙂
    Happy travels
    Marlies

    1. Hi Marlies,
      thank you so much for providing the update to this info.
      I’m so glad that this article inspired you to get out and explore with your furry friend 🙂
      Melissa

  15. Great article Melissa. This will absolutely help us with our journey to Uluru with our hound Rock-doggy-dog.
    Thanks again,
    Grace

  16. Hi Melissa,
    Hi Melissa, Thanks for your excellent blog. Only today my wife and I decided to look into a caravan trip to Uluru and maybe beyond. We’re experienced caravanners, as is our aged Golden Retriever. Any special advice for a pair of 70+ year- olds? What’s the best time of year at Uluru?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Denis. That’s lovely that you’re travelling with your Retriever. I think mid year is best, temp wise. Or, the months around then. So … now! I hope that you have a wonderful time, when you go! This would be a great time to go now, with so few international travellers here!

  17. Hi Melissa,
    What a great article, I feel really encouraged as I am planning a trip through the Red Centre with my furry co-pilot and have been wondering about visiting some of the great sights out there.
    You are an inspiration.

  18. Did u travel solo with your dog? I am planning a similar trip on my own with my dog and am a little anxious about the restrictions and the solidarity of it all??

    1. Hi there, yes, I was travelling solo (though, I did meet with a friend who was travelling in her own campervan for part of this trip). It’s difficult with the restrictions, but if you’re ok with leaving your dog with the dog sitter at Uluru then you’ll be ok. Or, leaving with another camper at the campground and then doing the same thing for them the next day. Hope that helps!

  19. Hi Melissa. We had the pleasure of meeting you and Sandy on our travels during our holiday across the red centre not once but four times. Amazing how we kept meeting up. Love your stories. You and Sandy definitely left a huge impression on us. Keep up the good work. As soon as I saw this article I recognised Sandy. Lucky dog.
    Until we meet again. Jenny and Peter.

    1. G’day Jenny and Peter,
      Oh wow, it’s lovely to see your names pop up on our website. Yes, I remember you both.
      I hope that your travels are going really well!
      Sandy and I are still in the Kimberley. An easy place to get stuck, for sure 🙂
      Our adventure at Coober Pedy is published in the current issue of Time To Roam Magazine.
      Happy travels and perhaps see you again down the road.
      Kindly,
      Melissa

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