It’s telling when the picture I’ve chosen for the top of this article contains no visual representation of my room at the Outback Pioneer. The inside was pretty basic.
Run by Accor (and equivalent to an Ibis), the Outback Pioneer has both a hotel (your own room) and a lodge (= a hostel) in the one set of buildings. It’s laid out like a series of what used to be known as Nissan Huts, or separate tin-roofed buildings. These surround a bar, chip shop and restaurant (though the term could be argued!).
All of the hotel options at Uluru are on one long driveway or loop road and range from campsite up to 5 star. The Outback is the cheapest of the hotels. ‘Why on heaven’s earth did you stay there?’, I hear you cry… well, because this was about $300 a night and the ‘better’ hotels ran up to nearly $1,000. When you are spending 40 days in Oz, there’s a balance to be struck between cost and function.
The room seemed okay inside – two beds as standard and a dip in both of them. The linen was clean, so that’s something!
The desk or dining table was not positioned near a functioning plug socket and I changed its position pretty quickly.
Here, the AC is needed ALL the time! It was so hot during my stay at between 42 and 45 degrees every day.
The addition of a fridge and milk (woohoo) was welcome…
As was this lovely set of tea and coffee making things – but no kettle! And one didn’t show up despite my asking. Perhaps you leave a water bottle out in the heat and hope for the best!
The rest of the facilities were fine, just what was needed – iron and board is definitely not standard in every Aussie hotel I’ve just this year.
The amenities were basic but I bring my own good quality shower gel with me, so I don’t mind this so much.
Yes, that is my room. I was praying that no spiders and snakes were out and about and missed all but mention of them. There were a few cute lizards (maybe geckos?) lurching around on the path.
This was a view from outside the room and made it seem positively pleasant!
If the cost at $300 a night is too much, I would be tempted to stay in Alice Springs (for less than half the price) and do exactly what I said was the wrong thing to do… fly in and fly out on the same day or take a tour out of Alice for the day. It’s a lot of driving, but will save you a fortune. Once you’ve seen Uluru, which is fantastic, you’ve seen it.