I get picked up at my hotel by Craig from Alice Wanderer. The bus is a Toyota Coaster. It’s a large bus with 3 steps. I transfer rather easily to the second step then to the floor then the seat. Craig stores my wheelchair in the back of the bus. There are 9 people on the bus for the day tour to Uluru and Kaja Tjuta.
Our first stop is in about 1 hour at Stuarts Well for breakfast. We meet a second bus that has 7 people taking the 2 day tour to Uluru, Kaja Tjuta and Kings Canyon. Stuarts Well has one step I need help up to the eating area and does not have an accessible bathroom. The parking lot is packed red clay and gravel that’s not too difficult to wheel on. Paving the parking would make it much easier to wheel on. A small ramp to the eating area and making the bathroom accessible would be recommended.
We get back on the road after about 45 minutes then have another break 1 hour down the road at a Shell station. They do have an accessible bathroom at the gas station. We stop again in 1-1/2 hours for morning tea over looking Table Top Mountain. You can hike up the hill across the road for view, but is not accessible.
We are now only 1 hour from Uluru. Everyone boards the second bus driven by John for our trip to Uluru. John will also be our guide for Uluru and Kaja Tjuta. Craig drives to Yulara to get rooms for the people taking the 2 day tour then sleep to be able to drive the people for the 1 day trip back to Alice Springs. There are normally 2 drivers for the day tour, one driver to drive to Uluru and give the tour, the other to drive home. The second driver was sick so while we are touring with John, Craig sleeps for the drive home. We arrive at the park around 12:45pm and stop at the sunset viewing area for a few photos of Uluru since there will be a huge crowd later for the actual sunset. The parking lot is paved but the viewing area is packed red clay.
The flies are horrible. They go for any area where there’s moisture on your face eyes, ears, mouth and nose. I try a product called, Desert Blend, which is supposed to be the best fly repellent. It works ok but I might have to use the head net I bought. We start at the Aboriginal Culture Center to learn the history of Uluru. There are no photos allowed inside the Culture Center or at various sacred sites around the park. It’s hard packed red clay to get to the Culture Center and the inside is accessible with an accessible bathroom.
We have lunch outside the Culture Center before heading to sites around Uluru. We start viewing Rock Art then to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. There are a couple small inclines up to some of the grated walkways that I need a little help up. The red clay is pretty easy to wheel on but it gets everywhere.
The flies are getting worse so I break out the head net. Not the most attractive thing but it keeps the flies off your face. We visit continue our tour at Kulpi Minymaku (the kitchen cave) and Kantju Gorge. This is also red packed clay to wheel on. A couple areas to get closer views are not wheelchair accessible because you have to walk up some rocks.
The last stop is where people have the opportunity to climb Uluru. With this being a sacred site for the Aboriginal People, they request you do not climb Uluru and respect their beliefs. Also, 40 people have died climbing Uluru to date. Uluru is much bigger than just what you see; the rest of the rock is 5 km underground. The ground here to wheel on is also red clay.
After a 40 minute ride we are at Kaja Tjuta. This is not accessible at all. I can only go about 50 yards through rough terrain until a steep incline and big rocks stop me. The rest of the group hikes through the gorge. They return after about a 30 minute hike. No way to make getting into the gorge accessible.
It’s getting close to sunset so we head back to our first stop at Uluru, the sunset viewing area. John sets up a nice spread of champagne, cheese and crackers for our group to enjoy while watching the nice sunset at Uluru.
The 9 people on the day tour have small nice dinner by the bus before heading to meet Craig for our long ride back to Alice Springs. We meet Craig and change back to our bus for our return journey.
The tour with Alice Wanderer was excellent. I did not need much help by Craig or John but they were very helpful when needed. John was very knowledgeable and had a bunch of information about Uluru and Kaja Tjuta. Not being able to make it to the gorge was disappointing but the trip was well worth it. Craig was very responsible sleeping for the ride back to Alice Springs. If you are able to transfer from your chair and bump up/down steps this tour is possible. The red clay is not difficult to wheel on it just gets everywhere. Then the flies, the most annoying part of the trip but you just have to deal with it. The head net worked the best and recommend getting one to make the trip more enjoyable. I would recommend Alice Wanderer Uluru Tour to any able body person. For a wheelchair user, there are a couple areas around Uluru some wheelchair users may need help but for the most part is pretty accessible. It’s impossible for a wheelchair user to hike through the gorge at Kaja Tjuta. You must be an active wheelchair user to do this tour. Be ready for a very long day, the day trip is about 20 hours. Accessibility wise this tour would receive a 2.5/5 rating.