When heading out to Ayers Rock I realised that the sleeping arrangements were so expensive that an overnight trip from Sydney was all I could afford. Paying close to 170 dollars a night for basic accommodation was just not in my budget. Ayers Rock Resort, being the only lodging option, has several alternatives to choose from, from swanky 5 stars to a camping ground. But not until once there I realised camping was an alternative. I am not a super camper, but I could have survived two nights or three. Anyway, after being picked up at the airport (free shuttle), a long check-in line awaits. The result of “everybody” flying in at the same time. The Outback Pioneer Lodge consists of huts housing a few rooms each, very basic stuff, with separate restrooms and shower facilities, like at a campground. In addition to accommodation the resort has like a village centre where you’ll find a few shops, places to eat, cafe style, and a grocery store. Scheduled activities also take place here. If you’re not in the mood for having dinner here or at one of the other nicer hotels, the lodge has a food truck vibe dining option with outside seating, like a party tent with long tables and benches. A social setting. All the resort properties are located around a huuuge roundabout, which is the very best thing about this area, as on the walk home from the village centre crossing the roundabout to get to the hotel, you get a taste of the outback and an elevated look-out point, from where you can spot the rock you came to see.