Uluru: reasons to visit Australia‘s Red Centre
Experience the best of this iconic Australian landmark.
April 1, 2016 marked the beginning of Bruce Munro's internationally acclaimed art installation, Field of Light at the base of Uluru. The epic art-piece will be on show until December 2020, giving you ample time to start planning your dream trip to the Red Centre. While you're here, there are plenty of other unforgettable experiences that only Uluru can offer.
Video highlights: Australia's Red Centre
Field of Light
In the heart of the Northern Territory you'll find more than 50,000 solar-powered stems crowned with glass spheres lighting up the night's sky. The magical sight begins to glow at sunset and continues throughout the night, creating a literal blooming garden in the middle of the desert. In keeping with the vast scale of the red desert, this is Bruce Munro's largest Field of Light installation to date, with the brightly coloured light stems covering an area the size of four football fields.
Munro visited Uluru in 1992 and was inspired to create this project, which has had many iterations installed across the US and UK in previous years. Created as an artwork to be experienced - not just looked at - there are a number of ways you can get up close and personal with this amazing spectacle.
There is the entry-level Field of Light pass which includes return coach transfers to the remote site with ample time to experience the installation. If you're a morning person, try the Sunrise Field of Light pass where you can experience the desert in the quiet of the pre-dawn while still under a blanket of stars. Alternatively, you can enjoy an amazing dinner under the night sky at A Night at Field of Light or take guided tours of the installation at night by camel or helipcopter.
Unparalleled dining experiences
If you've never seen the stars from the desert, that alone is an amazing sight. Come nightfall, a million stars light up the sky with exceptional clarity. Sounds of Silence is a four-hour experience that begins with canapés and chilled sparkling wine served on a viewing platform overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The menu is inspired by traditional Australian bush tucker including crocodile, kangaroo, barramundi and quandong and, after dinner, the resident 'star talker' will decode the southern night sky.
Tali Wiru, meaning beautiful dune in local Anangu language, offers a table d'hôte four-course dinner, matched with premium Australian wines. Located on a dune top, this experience only caters for 20 guests at a time for an exclusive dining experience. The menu includes kangaroo and quandong pie, Darling Downs wagyu fillet, glacier 51' toothfish and twice baked Heidi Farm gruyere soufflé. After dinner, an Aboriginal storyteller shares stories of the world's oldest living culture.
Scenic helicopter tours
Walking around the base of Uluru is beautiful but it won't let you fully appreciate the scale and size of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta, the national park surrounding it. To take in the full 360 degree views, take to air and tour it by helicopter. From the sky you can see Uluru, the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta and Lake Amadeus.
Desert Awakenings tour
This is the perfect introduction to Uluru. Starting at day-break, the tour starts with a traditional Aussie breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, tea, coffee and homemade damper with Golden Syrup followed by a guided tour at the base of Uluru including Kuniya and the Mutitjulu waterhole.
Uluru Camel Tours will take you on an unforgettable journey through red dune country with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as a stunning backdrop. Though, if getting atop a camel doesn't appeal but you'd like to say hello, the Camel Farm is open all year round for visitors to come and explore the camel museum and saddlery.
Kings Canyon day tour
Kings Canyon is located within the Watarrka National Park in Australia's Northern Territory. It's about 306 kilometres (190 miles), from Uluru and is a great example of Australia's rugged outback. The canyon is 270 metres (885 feet) deep, and at the bottom you will find a tropical oasis that you won't find in other parts of the country.
First-hand Aboriginal experiences
To further your journey and knowledge of the local indigenous tribes, the Cave Hill day tour is the perfect option. Cave Hill tour is an Aboriginal cultural experience that will provide you with an insight into everyday Aboriginal life. The tour is a six hour fully guided 4WD tour that will take you into the heart of the Pitjantjatjara Lands of Central Australia. Your Anangu tour guide is a traditional owner of Cave Hill and will tell you all the stories relating to their traditional homeland. Highlights of the tour are the magnificent cave paintings, learning about traditional food gathering and the preparation of desert bush tucker, and the 360-degree panoramic view from the top of Cave Hill.
Luxury accommodation in the heart of the desert
Longitude 131 immerses you into the Australian outback, while maintaining the highest form of luxury. There are 15 luxury tents, elevated above the sand. You'll wake up to views across Uluru through floor to ceiling windows, and every tent is equipped with all the "mod cons" you need; wifi, entertainment and music systems, and climate control.
However, if you prefer to be part of a hotel, Sails in the Desert is the perfect option. Offering 228 5-star rooms and suites, you can explore the hotel's Mulgara Gallery filled with Indigenous art, or relax with one of Red Ochre's spa treatments. There is a beautiful outdoor pool and restaurants within the hotel, too.