Best Time to Visit Uluru and Alice Springs in 2023

For people planning to visit Uluru a common question is when is the best time to visit Uluru and Alice Springs. There are a range of factors to help people to decide including the weather in Uluru, also key dates like public holidays and Australian school holidays.

It is also a good idea to know when larger events and markets are planned to be held – either to plan to join in or to avoid visiting at that time!

Below we have put together all of this information to help you work out the best time of year to visit Uluru and Alice Springs.

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Uluru Travel Planning Resources

Check out our other articles below to help you plan your visit to Uluru, Alice Springs and Kings Canyon

Uluru Weather and Alice Springs Weather

The best time of year to visit Uluru and Alice Springs is from May to September, as in this period the maximum temperature per day is typically between 20-30°C (68-86°F) and the Uluru weather is mostly dry with little rain and only a few flies. It can get quite cold at night so ensure you also bring warm clothing! August and September are the months to view wildflowers in and around Uluru and Alice Springs.

Over October to March is very hot, with maximum temperatures regularly over 35°C (95°F), and it is also the rain and storm season – which is great if you want to see waterfalls flowing over Uluru! The warm season is also the fly season, so you should plan to purchase a head net to keep the flies off your face.

Over the hot season you should ensure you complete any walks before 11am and also drink a lot of water to stay safe. Over December to March the local campervan hire companies and Alice Springs markets do not operate due to the extreme summer heat.

Uluru and Alice Springs Markets

There are no markets in Uluru, however there are two market options in Alice Springs as follows:

  • Todd Mall Markets operate fortnightly on Sundays from 9am to 1pm from mid-March to early December. Click here to check out the market dates.
  • Todd Mall Night Markets operate monthly on Thursday Evenings from 5-9pm from April to December. Click here to check out the market dates.
Views over Alice Springs, NT
Views over Alice Springs, NT

Northern Territory Public Holidays for 2023

Below are the public holidays and regional holidays for Uluru and Alice Springs.

Public Holidays2023
New Year’s DaySunday 1 January and Monday 2 January
Australia DayThursday 26 January
Good FridayFriday 7 April
Easter MondayMonday 10 April
Anzac DayTuesday 25 April
May DayMonday 1 May
Queen’s BirthdayMonday 12 June
Alice Springs Show DayFriday 7 July
Picnic DayMonday 7 August
Christmas Eve part-day holiday 7pm to midnightSunday 24 December
Christmas DayMonday 25 December
Boxing DayTuesday 26 December
New Year’s Eve part day holiday 7pm to midnightSunday 31 December
Sunrise over Ayers Rock, NT
Sunrise over Ayers Rock, NT

Australian School Holidays

Australian school holidays are a peak time for families to visit Uluru – at these times flights to Uluru and Alice Springs are the most expensive (school holiday dates are always excluded from flight sales), along with accommodation etc. Flights, hotels, hire cars and tours also book out early, so if you plan to visit during a school holiday period ensure you make your plans at least six or more months prior to ensure you get your preferred options.

Each state has slightly different school holiday dates which result in blocks of dates which are the peak periods.

School Holiday Periods2022
Summer School Holidays11 December 2022 to
31 January 2023
Spring School Holidays1 – 30 April 2023
Winter School Holidays24 June to 24 July 2023
Spring School Holidays16 September –
15 October 2023
Summer School Holidays9 December 2023 to
30 January 2024
Kata-Tjuta Views
Kata-Tjuta Views

Uluru Major Events for 2023

Uluru Events2023
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light in Alice Springs
Parrtjima is the meeting place where old meets new. It is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of it’s kind, showcasing the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology – all on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia.
Each year this free event celebrates the ways in which artists evolve and experiment with different styles and materials, while staying true to Country and culture.
7-16 April 2023
fabALICE Festival in Alice Springs
A unique showcase of Drag, Family and Cabaret events, celebrating the inclusivity and diversity of the Red Centre.

So much for everyone in this fabulous Festival line up. Spectacular drag, comedy and cabaret performances and all ages events featuring Sing-a-long to the Sound of Music hosted by Hans, Night Markets and Family event, Drag Queen Story time, Lunch & Laugh Comedy luncheon, fabALICE Gala under the Stars featuring 100% Kylie, Drag Queen Bingo, DI-VER-CITY Youth event, and an over 18’s Drag and Cabaret party. Watch out for the line up of partner events from supporting local business including a Lip Sync Battle and a Luncheon and Masquerade fashion show – all set amongst a glittering landscape of Alice Springs!
9 – 12 March 2023
Wide Open Mparntwe/Alice Springs Festival in Alice Springs
We’re planning on turning the town into a festival site across a range of venues and bringing the joy, the love and the colour of the Wide Open Space (WOS) Festival into town for a week. There will be a 2 day festival complete with pool party on the first weekend followed by a range of events keeping you entertained through to the following weekend. We’ll also be working with local tourism operators to help get you out on Country for a few days in between.
28-30 April 2021
Opera Gala at Uluru
Enjoy sublime arias from the final act of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, performed among expansive gumtree gardens, while indulging in an exclusive Tali Wiru-inspired dinner using native bush ingredients.
Be mesmerised by our Gala Concert, performed next to the spellbinding Field of Light Uluru, or witness two exceptional dawn performances that will leave you awestruck as the sun rises over the horizon and bathes Uluru in the morning light. Join us in this memorable musical celebration in the spiritual heart of Australia.
~ May 2023? TBA
West Macs Monster Trail Running Festival near Alice Springs
Ultra runners will have the opportunity to test themselves on 231km of spectacular single track in a full length end to end, supported, non-stop ultra race event being organised by the Alice Springs Running and Walking Club (ASRWC).
As well as the full length 231km ultra (6 ITRA Points), there will be ultra options of 128km (5 ITRA Points) from Ellery Creek or a 65km (3 ITRA Points) from Standley Chasm.
The most popular and fun event is the fantastic Section 1 of the trail, running a 25km distance from Simpsons Gap and finally a family orientated fun run of around 5km at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. All events finish on the Sunday at the Historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station in a superb festival environment with food, music and entertainment. 
19-21 May 2023
Dark Skies Festival in Alice Springs
We welcome you back to one of Australia’s premiere astronomical events. Held in a region that boasts some of the darkest skies in the world and hosted by a team with over 21 years experience, this years DSF explores the wonderful and ancient stories played out in the night sky. Enjoy sounds and visual presentations by our collaborative artists and astronomers on the Sun & Moon, Arcturus, Southern Cross, Orion, Pleiades and the Magellanic Clouds.
~ May 2023, TBA
National Sorry Day
Observed annually on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’.
National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also commemorated by Australians right around the country.
26 May 2023
Uluru Camel Cup in Yulara
The Camel Cup has been an annual event since 2012. It has formed part of many great community events including Outback Week and Outback Fest
~May 2023, TBA
Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs
The Finke Desert Race is an off road, multi terrain two-day motor race through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) Community. The race crosses the Finke River, believed to be the oldest river in the world.
9-12 June 2023
Alice Springs Beanie Festival
The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a community-based event that began in 1997. The festival was organised to sell beanies crocheted by Aboriginal women in remote communities. It has grown into a fun event where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists share their culture and exhibit together.
23-26 June 2023
Alice Springs Show
It is our vision to become the best regional Show in Australia, and to achieve this we will continue to showcase Alice Springs and surrounding regions’ pastoral and agricultural industry, its history and its local innovators and businesses; and offer a kaleidoscope of fun filled entertainment and education for the whole family.
7-8 July 2023
National NAIDOC Week
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
2-9 July 2023
Australian Outback Marathon in Yulara
Enjoyed by professional runners, club runners, casual runners  and beginners, there are events for all running levels including the full marathon, half marathon, 11km and 6km fun runs.
In addition to its beauty, the course is relatively flat, with only a couple of inclines and sand dunes. Most of the course is on unsealed roads, bush tracks and soft-sand trails, with a few small sand dunes and plenty of Australia’s famed “Red Earth” thrown in for good measure.
29 July 2023
Blacken Open Air Festival near Alice Springs
Australia’s original camp out heavy music festival, Blacken Open Air, is held at Ross River Resort near Alice Springs.
Gathering on Arrernte country, against the stunning ancient backdrop of N’Dhala Gorge, Blacken provides a uniquely Australian experience. The lush festival site is surrounded by red cliff escarpments and ancient river beds.
~ July 2023, TBA
The Redback Mountain Bike Stage Race near Alice Springs
The Redback is a 4 day, 6 stage MTB race on the dusty trails surrounding Alice Springs in the very heart of Australia.
18-21 August 2023
Henley on Todd Regatta in Alice Springs
The Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta is a fun, quirky and eclectic ‘boat’ race held each year on the dry sandy bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs, Australia – it’s the only dry river boating Regatta in the world.
Regatta attendees compete in ‘boat’ races in the style of the Flintstones: holding a lightweight boat frame and running around the buoy and back to the finish line. The finale of the day is known as the Battle of the Boats. As one of our past crew members described it “it’s the best water fight I have been in my life!” The 3 motorised boats are each loaded with canons that fire off with plenty of colour, water cannons and water bombs. The winner is decided by the crowd!
Regatta attendees are strongly encouraged to join in and participate in the wide variety of events on offer during the Regatta. There are events for everyone including plenty for the kiddies.
19 August 2023
Red Centre NATS07 in Alice Springs
Celebrate everything on four wheels over three action packed days showcasing the very best in street machines, elite show cars, hot rods, classics & exotics.
1-3 September 20-23
Desert Song Festival in Alice Springs
Singers and musicians, choirs and audiences from Alice Springs and Central Australia, and visitors to the region, experience something special, as artists from this vibrant multi-cultural community come together with visiting interstate and international artists and musicians to present a series of events celebrating the singer, the song, the instrument, the land and its people.
~ September, TBA
Desert Festival in Alice Springs
Celebrating 20 Years of incubating Desert Culture & Art.
21 September – 1 October 2023
Alice Springs Masters Games
The Alice Springs Masters Games has earned a reputation of being the ‘Friendly Games’, thanks to the camaraderie and good-spirited nature of the thousands of competitors who take part.
The development of Masters sport included an underlying belief that each participant is a champion in his or her own right, as long as the physical and mental attributes for each stage of life have been maintained at their optimum levels.
Next event 12-19 October 2024

Hopefully after you have considered all of this information it will help you to better plan your visit to Uluru and Alice Springs!

Join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group!

You are welcome to join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Uluru!

Join the Uluru Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.