There are many ways to enjoy Uluru’s magic, and sunrise and sunset are particularly popular. During our stay in January, each evening AJ and I would take a drive to one of the allocated viewing areas to watch sunset at either Uluru or Kata Tjuta. No two nights were the same. Nature provided a different show every evening with the light, colours and clouds ensuring we were equally mesmerised each time. Our most memorable experience was ‘A Night at Field of Light’ which is a combination of the Sounds of Silence dinner and a visit to the Field of Light. This is offered as an accessible tour so we thought we’d share our accessibility tips.
A NIGHT AT FIELD OF LIGHT – SOUNDS OF SILENCE DINNER ULURU
Hubby and I have previously enjoyed the Sounds of Silence dinner and the Tali Wiru dinner. and as a family we have visited the Field of Light. This time it was just AJ and I travelling to Uluru, and as a teenager I felt AJ was the right age to fully appreciate the dinner. BJ isn’t a fan of lingering over meals and doesn’t sit still long enough for star gazing so our mother-daughter trip was the perfect opportunity to share this magical experience.
Our evening started with a short bus ride to a viewing platform overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Staff greeted us on arrival with trays of sparkling wine, a selection of non-alcoholic drinks and delicious canapes. While sipping and nibbling we had plenty of time to snap photos of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as the sun set. I hope the photos are appreciated because it’s not easy juggling wine and a camera, while not spilling a drop!
Once the sun disappeared, the rhythmic sounds of a digeridoo signalled it was time to make our way to dinner. Tables are allocated randomly and we were fortunate to be seated with a family with a daughter the same age as AJ. Instantly they were chatting and comparing school subjects and learning to drive making it a positive start to sharing a table with people we didn’t know
As natural light faded, 50,000 lights, which make up the Field of Light art installation, illuminated the desert floor like a magical garden rising up.
Dinner includes magnificent views of Uluru, a three-course bush tucker inspired dinner, premium selection of Australian wines and beers, and a self-guided walk through the Field of Light art installation.
If you’re keen to check out the latest menu prior to booking, you can download the Field of Light brochure.
Between dinner courses our table’s candle was extinguished and we were treated to a star gazing talk by a resident expert who walked us through decoding the southern night sky. The outback sky is like no other, with no light pollution the stars truly dazzle in number rarely seen by city dwellers.
There’s no doubt the location, unique food and atmosphere make this a wonderful evening, but the company of fellow diners from around the world adds to the experience. We both thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the people seated at our table from the UK, USA and Canada. There was no awkward silence. Everyone at our table seemed keen to share their travel finds so far, plans for the future and observations about Australia. It’s always interesting to hear what people think of your country and what they like and what they find odd. I noticed a hum of chatter and laughter at the surrounding tables and no-one seemed keen to move at the end of dinner. Fortunately we still had a wander through the Field of Light to look forward to.
ACCESSIBILITY AT A NIGHT AT FIELD OF LIGHT – SOUNDS OF SILENCE DINNER ULURU
We’ve found staff at Voyages helpful when requesting accessibility information and bookings. I suggest booking in advance and checking your accessibility needs can be met. When travelling with BJ we booked a wheelchair accessible tour to Field of Light which allowed for a wheelchair users to stay in their wheelchair for travel.
Multiple locations are used for the various Sounds of Silence dinners. Our experience with accessibility at the A Night at Field of Light dinner was generally good but it should be noted this is set in a natural environment. There is an incline to reach the viewing platform and the ground cover is desert sand, though not deep sand. The path down to dinner is fairly compacted and should be manageable for most wheelchair users.
An accessible bathroom is situated not far away from the dining area and has good circulation space inside.
FIELD OF LIGHT
Bruce Munro is the acclaimed artist who designed the Field of Light after being inspired by Uluru. The Field of Light is created by 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres which are ‘planted’ in Australia’s spiritual heartland. The installation, aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku by the local community, means ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjantjatjara.
The installation is set in the desert so the pathways are sand. However, we found the sand was compacted and easy to get through. Keep in mind we had BJ’s off-road tyres on his chair which no doubt assisted the process. It isn’t far to get around the installation or you can appreciate it from the outer edge of the path.
We had read that tripods weren’t allowed at the site so Hubby left his behind, making capturing good images difficult. We were later told that monopods are allowed. If you are a keen photographer I recommend you take one.
While it’s magical to wander around the Field of Light, it’s hard to appreciate the size of the art installation up close. Viewing it from the dinner location is a good way to put it into perspective. If you are thinking of doing the Sounds of Silence dinner and visiting Field of Light, I recommend combining them in the A Night at Field of Light dinner. Not only will it save time but you’ll gain a unique perspective of Bruce Munro’s stunning installation.
HWWT TIP – If you are travelling in a peak time, or if this is just an experience you don’t want to miss, book prior to arrival at the resort. Many of the popular tours book out well in advance. Don’t wait until you get to Uluru and hear people raving about it to book. I promise you, this is a tour worth the money.
This was my third dining experience at Uluru. Each one has been unique and wonderful in its own way and my eagerness to take AJ to A Night at Field of Light was spurred on by our previous experiences. AJ and I were hosted by Voyages Resort for A Night at Field of Light but our opinion, as always, is based on a wonderful evening. You can read more about it on the Voyages website.
If you’re planning a trip to Central Australia, make sure you read our other reviews.