Australia: Six of the best ways to experience Uluru

SEGWAY AROUND THE ROCK

They look, well, awkward. And you will, too, particularly when you are kitted out in the compulsory helmet, knee and elbow pads. However that's where the awkwardness ends. There are no tricky brakes, gears, pedals or buttons to get your head around. Lean forward slightly and you move; to stop, stand straight and it obeys. These custom-made Segways with extra wide wheels come into their own around Uluru's 12-kilometre base, enabling you to appreciate the sheer size of the Rock while having the wind in your helmet hair. Breeze by hot and puffy walkers who look on with envy as you glide past.  Available on guided tours only. Maximum 12 people.  See ulurusegwaytours.com.au

ENJOY A MILLION-STAR DINNER

satoct27sixofbestuluru

Tali Wiru means "beautiful dune" in the local Anangu language and this is exactly where you'll be led for this top-of-the-range dining experience. From the moment you arrive at the dune on dusk, an air of mystery descends and questions are brushed away with "just wait and see". It's worth the wait. We ascend a small rise as a didgeridoo haunts the air around us. Then waiters emerge bearing trays of French champagne and hors d'oeuvres. After we watch the sun set over Uluru and Kata Tjuta we head to our dining room under a spangled sky. A four-course dinner showcasing native ingredients emerges from the tiny kitchen built into the dune – each one matched with exceptional wines. Time for star-gazing: we hear indigenous and European interpretations of constellations as they are pointed out.  A blazing fire completes an unforgettable night. Limited to 20 guests. Tali Wiru runs for six months of the year. From $360 per person. See ayersrockresort.com.au

SEE IN THE DAWN

satoct27sixofbestuluru

It's pre-dawn, but that doesn't matter when you are about to witness a mind-boggling sunrise from a viewing platform at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. This sky show will stay with you long after leaving. The desert grass seems to hum with life as tracks of tiny mammals are revealed at first light. After a picnic breakfast, explore some of the 36 giant domes of Kata Tjuta – The Olgas. The sheer size of this formation stuns visitors as does the strange whistling wind that accompanies you through the entrance to the V-shaped Walpa Gorge. A guide will attempt to make geographical sense of what you have just seen, but some things remain hard to get your head around. See seitoutbackaustralia.com.au

LIGHT UP

satoct27sixofbestuluru

English artist Bruce Munro has managed to further illuminate the beauty of Uluru through his Field of Light installation which has drawn rapturous crowds since it opened in April 2016. The giant fields housing 50,000 coloured LED lights on swaying stems intrigue and amaze as they change colour as you walk through them and provide a duelling night show with the milky way-streaked night sky. Field of Light is only accessible through a resort tour. The installation has been credited with generating  unprecedented demand for rooms in the Red Centre. Enjoy the Sounds of Silence outdoor dinner on the same night. See ayersrockresort.com.au

TUCKER YOURSELF OUT

***EMBARGOED FOR GOOD WEEKEND, APRIL 7/18 ISSUE*** Uluru/Northern Territory magazine - Ayers Rock Resort / Tali Wiru and Indigenous food :?Bush Tucker (handout photo, no syndication)

Lamb cutlets with Illawarra plum and bush tomato jus. Pressed wallaby with fermented quandong. King prawns with finger lime and Geraldton wax … Over recent decades, international and Australian visitors alike have expressed growing curiosity about and enthusiasm for Indigenous ingredients and food knowledge. From the moment you arrive at Ayers Rock Resort, myriad new taste sensations and cooking possibilities become apparent. To kick-start your knowledge and your appetite, try a Pink Pepper Gin made with native pepperberries or a martini made with Green Ant Gin from the Desert Gardens Hotel's Mangata Bistro and Bar. Then head out for a free guided walk through the hotel's native gardens. See ayersrockresort.com.au

RIDE A CAMEL

satoct27sixofbestuluru

These animals were made for walking in the desert so why not take advantage of their superior footwork. All camels at the Uluru Camel Farm have been captured from the estimated 500,000 wild ones perusing the Australian outback. This, says one handler, is a bonus because captured camels have a "sweeter disposition" – something to do with them enjoying the comforts of farm life. Camel rides can be taken as part of packages to the Field of Light experience. It is on the back of a gentle swaying camel that you can fully appreciate the greys, silvers and olives of the spinifex and desert oaks against the red soil. Nothing quite beats dismounting your camel train and being handed a glass of champagne as the Rock smudges purple in the setting sun. See ulurucameltours.com.au

Jane Richards was a guest of Voyages, Ayers Rock Resort. See ayersrockresort.com.au or  voyages.com.au

Comments