Virgin Australia now flies direct from Melbourne to Uluru, the heart of the “Red Centre” and one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks

Last November, Virgin Australia announced new direct flight routes between Melbourne and Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), as well as Brisbane and Uluru, making it easier than ever to get to the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. We flew on Virgin Australia’s inaugural flight from Melbourne to Uluru on 6th June, 2024 to experience the service and convenience of getting to this sacred destination, and seeing the incredible sandstone island mountain for ourselves.

Above: View from virgin Australia’s inaugural flight from melbourne to Uluru. Shot on Leica M11.

Above: Reflection of our virgin australia flight from Melbourne to Uluru. Shot on Leica m11.

Flights between Melbourne and Uluru will operate up to four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; and to celebrate this new route, Virgin Australia is offering promotional fares starting from AUD $169 one way.

Above: Inside Virgin Australia’s flight between melbourne and Uluru. shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.

Above: the spectacular View of Uluru from the plane. when you fly in to Uluru from melbourne, try to secure a left window seat, as the aircraft will pass to the right of Uluru. shot on leica m11.

It’s a short 3 hours, 20 minutes flight going to Uluru, and an even shorter 2 hours 50 minutes returning to Melbourne. To monitor and manage the flights, we downloaded the Virgin Australia app (available for iOS and Android) and added our trips using the Booking Reference number.

Above: screenshots from The virgin australia app.

Above: You can connect to the virgin australia wifi network during the flight. This enables you to watch movies on your smartphone, and monitor the flight status.

If you’re planning a trip down to Australia, add Uluru to the itinerary; you should see this natural wonder at least once in your life. It is believed to be about 550-700 million years old (much older than dinosaurs), and it stands at 348m in height (taller than the Eiffel Tower, which is 330m) and measures around 9.4km in circumference (it’ll take roughly three and a half hours to walk one round).

Our visit to Uluru was hosted by Virgin Australia, in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, and Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru. With this new service from Virgin Australia, tourists are better connected to the spiritual heartland of Australia, and this ultimately supports the growth of the country’s Indigenous Tourism sector.

Above: Virgin Australia planes at melbourne airport.
Shot on leica m11.


Uluru is the famous massive rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, Central Australia. It was also given the name Ayers Rock by Sir William Gosse back in 1873, when he came across it while exploring. Uluru and its surroundings are home to the Aṉangu people, the Traditional Landowners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and is recognised with a UNESCO World Heritage listing for both cultural and natural values.

Above: Uluru has a beautiful red-orange tone, which is the result of the rusting of iron found naturally in arkose.
shot on leica m11 during sunset.

Plan a visit to Uluru during sunrise (7.11am) and sunset (6.12pm); this is when it appears to be in a whole spectrum of colours, because the sun’s rays reflect on the rock as the sun moves through the sky.

Above: Uluru at around 10am.
shot on leica m11.

Above: One of the many cave structures in Uluru.
shot on leica m11.

Above: The gorgeous texture and curves of Uluru.
shot on leica m11.

Above: a close-up of the texture of Uluru.
shot on leica m11.

Above: that’s my shadow while cycling around Uluru in the morning. The winter months (from june to july) are the best times to visit the park and especially cycle; you won’t get hot even under the blazing sun, and the cold wind is invigorating. shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.

Kata Tjuṯa (meaning “many heads”), also known as The Olgas, is a group of large, domed rock formations located within Uluru-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. The site teems with diverse plant and animal life, and the spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast red sandy plain hold important stories and historical significance to the Aṉangu Aboriginal people.

Above: Kata Tjuṯa seen from our virgin australia flight from melbourne to Uluru. shot on leica m11.


Ayers Rock Resort is the main accommodation and experience provider at Uluru, and offers six options to stay at (from a lavish resort and self-contained apartments, to outback camping). We stayed at Sails In The Desert, a modern hotel showcasing Indigenous styling in every room.

Above: the cosy room at SAILS IN THE DESERT, Ayers Rock Resort. Shot on Leica m11.


On our first night in Uluru, we were welcomed by the Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner and Cultural experience (from AUD $295 per adult). This begins with cocktails on arrival made with Beachtree Gin (an Indigenous-owned distillery), canapés while watching the sun set over Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa, a gourmet dinner hamper that’s served picnic-style in a degustation basket on an open-air platform, followed by a 20-minute immersive sound and light show that depicts the ancestral Mala story.

Above: welcome dinner hosted by virgin australia.
Shot on leica m11.

Above: at night, the clear sky above Uluru means that you can see many stars. shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.

The entire experience takes around 3 hours (including travel from the hotel), and highlights from the meal include the award-winning Koala Gin from Beachtree Distillery, lemon myrtle crocodile curry pies, blackened pepper leaf kangaroo and smoked emu with saltbush chilli crust.

Above: Selwyn is Aṉangu Pitjatjantjara Yanykuntjara and I met him at the Virgin Australia event. Aṉangu (the name used by members of several Aboriginal Australian groups) are the original landowners of Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa.

Above: I had the privilege of meeting Inawantji at the Virgin Australia event as well. She’s Aṉangu Pitjatjantjara Yanykuntjara, and the stories she must have must be incredible. Two days in Uluru isn’t enough.

In the early hours of the morning, we walked through the Field of Light exhibition, which sees 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres that gently bloom with rhythms of coloured light.

Above: FIELD OF LIGHT exhibition by bruno munro.
Shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.

Above: FIELD OF LIGHT exhibition by bruno munro.
Shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.

The best way to capture photos of the entire park is on a helicopter tour. There are many plane and helicopter providers that offer tours over the park, and we were booked on Professional Helicopter Services that boasts a #1 rating in its service category.

Above: our helicopter from PHS.
Shot on leica m11.

Above: view from the helicopter. We’re told that this region has the highest concentration of free camels in the world. shot on leica m11.

Above: tried to spot camels but couldn’t. can you find any?
Shot on leica m11.


The best time to visit Uluru is during the cooler months between May to September. You’ll be less uncomfortable exploring the Park under the sun, plus there will be fewer flies. We visited in Winter during June, where temperatures dipped to 4°C at night and in the early morning, with winds making it feel even colder.

Wear layers and bring a jacket to stay warm, and comfortable walking shoes that you’re familiar with. Add on a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, and a water bottle to stay hydrated. Lastly, bring insect repellent.


If you’re travelling from Melbourne and plan to stay a few nights there, consider QT Melbourne in the heart of the city along Russell Street. It’s within walking distance from Melbourne Central, right next door to Chinatown (where there’s incredible food!), and it’s a 5-star hotel with all the modern conveniences and amenities to keep you comfortable while away from home.

[Click on the images to see more.]

I was booked on LIMOCENTRAL for transport between the airport and QT Melbourne. It’s a comfortable and efficient way to get to your destination; the drivers are professional and polite, and always on time.

Above: my final domestic flight from melbourne to sydney on Virgin Australia. Shot on apple iphone 15 pro max.
Book flights to Uluru on Virgin Australia online at
Reserve your ACCOMMODATION and experiences in Uluru at AYERS ROCK RESORT.