Swaying gently across the sand dunes on a friendly camel, as a spectacular Central Australia sun sank below the horizon, set the ‘wow factor’ benchmark for the inaugural Unconventional Uluru Showcase, a three day program hosted by the NT Convention Bureau.
Early-rising the following morning was rewarded with a ride to the rock aboard SEIT Outback’s unique dining facility, the double-decker Fork and View coach. With its upper deck fitted out as a 44-seat open-air restaurant and the lower deck boasting a well-equipped commercial kitchen, participants were rewarded with panoramic views of a desert sunrise bathing nearby Uluru, which was complemented by a hearty breakfast. Desert dingoes howling on cue as the sun rose above the horizon provided an extra-special thrill.
A guided walk around the base of the monolith which included a visit to the Mutitjulu Waterhole provided cultural insights as well as an opportunity to view rock art dating back thousands of years.
On the final evening at Uluru, exciting aerial sunset-viewing of Uluru and Kata Tjuta was provided as helicopters transported the participants to an exclusive four-course open-air dinner on the ‘Tali Wiru’ dune top. Voyages Ayers Rock Resort has also recently launched another new fine dining concept for the warmer months at Uluru. Called Mayu Wiru, which translates to ‘beautiful flavour’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, it is a premium dinner experience for a maximum of 16 guests and is ideal for small corporate meetings and incentives. The dinner combines an Indigenous-themed gourmet menu served at the Sails in the Desert hotel, which is then followed by an exclusive viewing of the amazing light installation, ‘Field of Light’. The experience includes a star talk about the southern night sky and an escorted stroll through the field for a close-up viewing.
The extensive paved terrace of the Uluru Camel Farm provided the perfect post-camel ride dinner venue for the Uluru Showcase group, with the entertainment surprises including ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ style drag queens. The terrace area now boasts new lighting and audio visual facilities and extensive dance floor and staging areas. The venue offers great versatility and can cater for gatherings ranging from small exclusive groups up to large conference or corporate events involving hundreds of guests. The Camel Farm has a permanent racetrack which is the location of the annual Uluru Camel Cup and can also be utilised for bespoke camel races for business event groups.
A spectacular finale early morning sunrise viewing and breakfast was provided at the Field of Light, the lighting installation created at Uluru by acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, before the Showcase participants returned home.
“The Showcase program highlighted the Uluru lifestyle and not just the accommodation available – it was so much more about experiences than facilities,” said Alisha Fulker, sales events coordinator with AMP Services in Melbourne. “It enabled us to witness Uluru for ourselves. Allowing us time to stroll around the base and really learn about it, was a stand-out experience for me.”