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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 many ways that you can explore the surrounding region with your BFF and there are also options for dog-sitters, as listed below. If there’s any information that I’ve missed, or anything that’s outdated please leave a comment below!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 campsites

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 campground 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) Give the local dog minder Che a call 0459293977.

Into red dirt country! Pic by me.

Free camping

Check back to the blog soon as I’ll be writing about free camping next.

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

As per above, ask a fellow camper to mind your dog.

Free camping at Curtin Springs Roadhouse. Pic by me.
Happy doggie! 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 3 hours drive from Uluru.

Desert dog. Pic by me.

Risks and dangers

A few things worth considering, for those bringing their beloved furry friend into 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 and help protect native wildlife from being attacked or hunted.
  4. Hot sand. Yep, the ground can get scorching hot, so 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 it 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.

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, please leave them in the comments below 🙂

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