Making the most of my two night stay in Uluru was important – I’d had a good rest in Sydney and was fully intent on being a full-on tourist. First up was the Uluru ‘Field of Lights’ Experience. All Uluru-based experiences are run by ‘Voyages’, a company which is partially owned and 40% run by Aboriginal peoples.
My coach was on time and we piled into the air conditioning, glad to be away from the flies and the heat for a few minutes.
We were driven no more than 10 minutes away from the hotel area (see more on the Outback Pioneer hotel here) and to the base of a sand dune on a dirt track road. The bus jolted along in the sand.
At the top, we could see some people standing.
There were about 25 of us in total and we were greeted at the top of the dune by a tour guide. There was a chef and two waitresses and a guy running the bar. A glass of champagne started us off.
The view was stunning.
Isn’t Uluru like a sleeping beast?
Someone kindly took this picture but didn’t get the ‘I’d like to be beside Uluru’. But when you travel along, beggars can’t be choosers!
As dusk began to fall, food was produced. I hasten to add that, at this time of year (end of Summer, early Autumn) there are flies EVERYWHERE. At least 5-10 on you at any one time or if you stop waving for a moment and, yes, on the food. But a couple of glasses of champane reduced my will.
Above were roast chunks of butternut squash on a rye bread with wattleseed cheese.
Below were kangaroo sliders (smoked kangaroo – very nice).
As the sun slid behind the red-earth hills, the beers were brought out and people started to loosen up and chat a little more.
Aren’t the skies just amazing?
The food was still on the go… these were savoury profiteroles, with a blue cheese and local herb whip inside.
This lovely pair were from Chile and had been living in Australia for a few years while studying (in Melbourne). They were making their last couple of trips within Australia before heading home for the next chapter of their lives.
Night really started to fall quickly and the shimmer on the Field of Lights below us rippled out in candy colours on the desert floor.
This artistic installation is phenomenal and up there in my Top 5 things to do in your life. Ironically, it’s very very hard to photograph as the background is pitch dark night and the lights are very low voltage, powered as they are by solar cells.
As you stand among them, the colours subtly change and morph.
The Field is on a flat part of the desert and there is a pathway through it of just shy of 1km. It’s that big.
The people on the tour soon separated from one another as they wandered off or stopped for a picture with their friend or loved one. I found myself walking through this space on my own, the night silent but for an occasional buzz that is consistent out here in the Outback, the Snake Alarms. They vibrate on the earth and scare off any incoming snakes who might like to hide in plain sight.
This place was stunning and the whole experience of the flies and under-par hotel and high cost melts away.
This is one to plan for and just go. The artist, Bruce Monro, is a visionary. Fabulous.