Skip to main content

The past, present and the future were the main themes of a birthday celebration as Ayers Rock Resort marked it’s 40th birthday this week.

Traveltalk was invited to a special evening to mark the occasion, held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney.

While celebrating the expansion and success of the resort over the past four decades, the event was also used to unveil the next exciting chapter in its history.

“As we mark 40 years of delivering exceptional hospitality and innovative experiences, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re expanding our offering with two new cultural and Indigenous-inspired experiences at Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru,” said Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, operators of Ayers Rock Resort.

The desert will become the canvas for an animated Indigenous art experience called Sunrise Journeys – Uluru’s all-new early morning cultural and sensory immersion.

The new work is a collaboration between three Anangu artists, Selina Kulitja (Maruku Arts), Denise Brady (Kaltukatjara Art) and Valerie Brumby (Walkatjara Art); Anangu musician and composer, Jeremy Whiskey; and expert visual experience creator, Mandylights, whose recent work includes the Harbour Bridge and city lighting for Vivid Sydney and the Chayong International Light Festival in Beijing.

Together the artists collaborated on a bespoke painting titled Ngura Nganampa Wiu Mulapa. Meaning “our Country is truly beautiful” in Pitjantjatjara, it depicts their deep shared connection to Anangu culture and the Country.

As guests take their seats before dawn on a sustainably constructed, floating platform overlooking Uluru and Kata Tjuta, the artwork is recreated on the vast, dark desert landscape below using cutting edge lasers and projection technology.

Indigenous iconography — similar to those commonly seen in dot paintings — begin to gently ebb and flow across the land.

Local musician Jeremy Whiskey’s bespoke musical score is coupled with natural soundscapes and melodic narration from the artists, enriching the sensory experience.

The combination of gently pulsing lights, music and ambient noise creates a deeply mindful experience before guests enjoy the stillness and wonder of an Uluru sunrise.

Denise Brady, Kaltukatjara Art, says of the Sunrise Journeys collaboration: “Our hearts burn with passion to share our Country and knowledge with the world. As the sun rises, we look forward to creating a future together.”

The 2.5-hour Sunrise Journeys experience operates daily from August 1 and is priced at $125 per person for adults and $75 per person for children.

The resort is also introducing an Australian Native High Tea, priced at $75 for adults and $45 for children.

Each afternoon, guests will have the opportunity to sample a selection of handmade sweet petits fours and savoury light bites together with fine tea, coffee and Australian sparkling wine, showcasing the unique culinary heritage of Australia.