I've not been to Uluru yet, but I have seen many pictures of this majestic desert landscape. I'm told that like may other places, there's just no replacement to seeing and "feeling" it in person. The area offers many memories of a lifetime, including spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Can you imagine watching them with this view of Uluru from your own exclusive hideaway? Breathtaking!
Longitude 131, the closest accommodation to Uluru, provides these most spectacular views from luxury safari tents set amongst the sand dunes for those seeking exclusive, unfettered luxury. Rates start at US$1900 (2 night stay min, double occupancy).
Longitude 131 is one of a number of hotels and a campground at the Ayers Rock Resort. Visitors have a choice of additional luxury offerings at the Sails in the Desert, Desert Gardens Hotel and Emu Walk Apartments. The Outback Pioneer Hotel, Outback Pioneer Lodge and the campgrounds offers option for the more budget minded traveler.
While the sunrises and sunsets are stunning with the wide variance of colors changing as the sun moves over the landscape, don't overlook the evenings. A once in a lifetime experience at the resort is the "Sounds of Silence", a spectacular four hour dinner under the brilliant outback sky. The Southern Cross, the Milky Way and signs of the zodiac are easily seen due the clarity of the skies. Sparkling heavens as far as you can see. The resort is also showcasing the "Field of Lights" through March 2017, a global phenomenon by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro.
So where is this Australian icon? Uluru is in the Northern Territory, within the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, also known as Australia's "Red Centre". Uluru (Ayer's Rock) is a short one hour flight from Alice Springs, a three and half hour flight or thirty hour drive from Sydney. Many visitors to Australia do not realize just how big the country is and just how far apart some cities are. Australia is about as big as the lower 48 states. That said, if you have limited time, be careful how many places you have on your itinerary on any given visit. Best to come back for a second (and third) visit and not overschedule yourself.
Uluru is sacred to Australia's Aboriginal people, who have lived in the region for over 10,000 years. One of the best ways to start your experience here is at the Cultural Centre, where you are introduced to the natural environment, Aboriginal culture and traditions. Participate in a dot painting workshop where Aboriginal artists show you how they share their culture through art. Take a guided walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn more about ancient traditions, stories and rock paintings. Walk the entire base of Uluru (take plenty of water and finish before 11am in the summer), or concentrate on certain sections, but don't climb!The traditional owners do not climb because of spiritual significance and with respect to this visitors are asked not to climb. It can also be quite dangerous. The adventurous though can see the beauty from above in a helicopter ride or from a hot air balloon.
All photos courtesy of Australia.com Tourism
It's been a while since my visit to Australia, but I still have clear memories of my three weeks spent in this most beautiful country. We split our time between Sydney (and the surrounds), Cairns and Melbourne, giving us the chance to experience a number of "iconic" Australia symbols, including climbing the Sydney Bridge, meeting a koala and kangaroo face to face, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Daintree Rainforest and shopping for opals in Melbourne. We were able to see, explore and participate in many things, but many more experiences await, including spending time at one of Australia's most famous icon symbols, Uluru.
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