Along with its distinctive Indigenous tradition, any go to to Uluru is about views, views and extra views. And the most effective vantage factors to recognize the Rock are within the cooler desert dawns and dusks from a appropriate distance, by no means on or atop it. Yet curiously, glimpses of the monolith are in relatively quick provide inside Ayers Rock Resort correct, besides from the lately refurbished 218-room Desert Gardens resort. In this respect it even upstages the ritzy, five-star Sails within the Desert on the different finish of the resort, or Yulara (postcode 0872), because it’s formally designated within the Territory.
Ayers Rock Resort, and Deserts Gardens itself, is about 20 kilometres from Uluru and a three or so-hour flight from Sydney and Melbourne. Qantas has lately launched direct flights from Sydney to Ayers Rock Airport (additionally known as Connellan Airport) a mere 10-minute drive from Desert Gardens.
It could appear a bit “Besser Block-chic” however Desert Gardens, because the title suggests, is superbly enveloped inside an arid forest of native shrubs and wildflowers (free guided walks of the gardens can be found to visitors) and a number of the pricier rooms supply coveted views of the Rock. It’s exhausting to consider that the Philip Cox-designed Ayers Rock Resort, also called the township of Yulara, is sort of 40 years outdated. Even more durable to conceive is how such an environmentally and culturally-sensitive, low-level design might have probably been achieved so way back when nationally environmental ignorance nonetheless exists. No marvel Cox’s design, particularly Sails within the Desert with its billowing shade fabric, gained a coveted “enduring architecture” award a few years in the past.
My spacious, second-storey “deluxe rock view room”, with balcony and newly-laid carpet with a design impressed by dappled gentle beneath a tree cover, is enticing and comfy. But the room does really feel extra like being the beneficiary of a spruce-up relatively than a full refurbishment, significantly in respect to the toilet. Just a few extra considerate touches (equivalent to correct, not prompt, espresso), could be welcome. But with such an unbelievable selection of experiences at Uluru – far too many to element right here – you’d have to have rocks (make that a Rock) in your head to spend an extra of time in your bolthole.
The resort’s distant location would not in any respect inhibit its capacity and dedication to hold its visitors extraordinarily well-fed and watered. The foremost restaurant at Desert Gardens is the newly and attractively renovated, al a carte Arnguli, which is the native Pitjantjatjara phrase for bush plum. Overlooking the central swimming pool, framed by two magnificent towering ghost gums, Arnguli’s menu is appropriately infused with bush tucker flavours. Right subsequent door is the extra informal and equally well-designed Mangata (which means: “desert quandong”), looking onto the native greenery of an outside terrace. It’s open for breakfast and all-day eating with a lounge space in entrance of the doorway. Sails within the Desert who?
The prime tucker theme at Uluru continues apace at Tali Wiru (which means “beautiful dune”), the resort’s premier outside eating expertise which takes place beneath the celebrities following sundown canapes and panoramas of each the Rock and the equally outstanding Kata Tjuta (previously the Olgas) at an elevated website outdoors the boundaries of Yulara. The achieved dishes on the four-course menu, served by a largely Indigenous crew, are infused with native herbs and spices. Back on the town, do not miss Yulara’s latest delight and pleasure, the Gallery of Central Australia (GOCA), that includes stellar Indigenous artwork, which is all on the market. The works are drawn from the encircling desert communities. The resort’s Town Square, which incorporates an info centre and cafes (one in every of which, Kulata, doubles as a venue for Indigenous hospitality trainees) is inside a simple stroll from Desert Gardens or bounce on the free shuttle bus.
Your reviewer was up in pitch darkness the 2 mornings of his go to so as to take up stupendous sunrises. But that in-room view of Uluru, whenever you do get the possibility to correctly take pleasure in it, is a true bonus of any go to to this definitive Australian vacation spot, significantly because the cooler months method and earlier than the worldwide vacationers return in numbers.
Garden view rooms, which may sleep up to 4 folks, from $400 a night time with a minimal two-night keep. Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory. Ph: 1300 134 044. See ayersrockresort.com.au
Did we point out the views?
Consider staying an additional night time or three for a well-deserved sleep-in. This place certain does rise early and we imply early.
OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE
Anthony Dennis visited as a visitor of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.