Climbing is not the only way to experience Uluru. Ahead of the climbing route's closure on October 26, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ranger Peter Wilson suggests five other activities that lets travellers explore the Australian icon and its surrounds. See parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/, northernterritory.com
The best place to see sunrise is from the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Viewing Area. It's been specially built to get the best view of Uluru in the morning and you'll be able to see the sun rising over the Rock and Kata Tjuta at the same time. While it's popular for sunrise, it's a lot less crowded at sunset – a good tip if you're looking to beat the crowds.
We have a good guided tour led by one of our rangers, which is the Mala Walk. It's free and leaves every morning at 10 from the Mala car park. A ranger will take you around the Rock and you'll hear stories of the ancestral Mala people who play an important part in traditional Anangu culture, and explore rock art. If you're feeling active, you can hire a bike and cycle around Uluru, which will take about 2½ hours.
While you won't be able to camp within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, you'll find great camping areas at the Ayers Rock Campground at Yulara or a little further out in Curtin Springs. It's on the way to Mt Connor, the flat-topped rock which some people mistake for Uluru when they first drive towards the national park on the Lasseter Highway.
Lots of people know about Uluru, but Kata Tjuta is just as spectacular. The Valley of the Winds walk is popular for a good reason and you get a great view while walking on the track between two of the domes. Just be aware that you can't take photos in the valley as there are sensitive men's sites in there.
For a ranger's pick, not many people know that Uluru has several water holes. On the eastern side of Uluru is Mutitjulu Waterhole, which you can see as part of the Kuniya walk. This place is so peaceful and cool – and you can really feel the spirituality of the Rock in a quiet moment.