After 5 months of travelling solo and planning every last detail my dad came to join me in Australia. For 4 nights and three days I gave up complete planning control and let him book whatever he wanted. This was while we were in ‘The Red Centre’. Basically the Australian outback. Slap bang in the middle of the country (or as close to the middle as you can get!) All I knew about the area it that it was going to be hot and it is home to Uluru. Probably one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks!
One thing dad was really keen to see was ‘The Field of Light’ at Uluru. I turned up having absolutely no idea what this was, but I knew it involved prosecco and a view of Uluru for sunset. So I was game! The evening ended up absolutely knocking my socks off!
For one thing, who doesn’t love a sunset?!
An evening under the stars.
We all piled on coaches from our hotel around 6:30pm and headed to Uluru. We arrived at a viewing platform just before sunset so we got to see the beautiful rock change colour a number of times as the sun went down. During this we were served prosecco and canapés. The canapés fully embraced the outback experience and included carrot and crocodile quiche and little slices of toast with kangaroo. I pretended I wasn’t avoiding gluten and tried a sweet potato and feta filo parcel and a caramelised onion tartlet!
After the sun had set we were walked to our dinner area. The tables seated 10 guests so you got the chance to mingle with other diners. We were served a three course ‘bush tucker inspired menu’. Pumpkin soup, a buffet including outback specialities of kangaroo steak, risotto with warrigal greens (outback’s version of spinach to you and me!) and various other things I’ve forgotten. Then a choice of yummy desserts, coffees and port. The wine was free flowing (or beer if you preferred) and there was a didgeridoo player providing the atmospheric music.
The stars in Australia are like nothing I have ever seen. SO BRIGHT! The sky was clear and the moon was enormous. After dinner the candles on the tables were put out so we were in darkness and an expert on stars talked us through what we could see over our heads. It’s a shame I couldn’t get a photo but it just doesn’t do the stars any justice!
Now it was time to finally explore the Field of Light!
What is the Field of Light?
The Field of Light is a concept thought up by British artist, Bruce Munro. He is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations, and he certainly has provided that at Uluru!
As the sun set and darkness fell in the distance we started to see some lights twinkling low down, in amongst the trees and shrubs. It turns out the Field of Light is quite literally that. 50,000 glass spheres have been installed in the ground covering 49,000 square meters. All gently sparking in different colours. Once you get closer you see how large this area is and it really was breathtaking!
Unfortunately this photo isn’t mine, I can’t take the credit here!
There were specific paths laid out for you to walk through the Field of Light and watch the glass spheres slowly change colour. It was hypnotising!
Bruce Munro had been living in Australia for 8 years when he had the idea for this installation. Back in 1992 he was camping by Uluru when he became inspired. He says:
“I saw in my mind a landscape of illuminated stems that, like dormant seeds in a dry desert, quietly wait until darkness falls, under a blazing blanket of southern stars, to bloom with gentle rhythms of light.”
From 1992 this idea didn’t go any further that his sketch book until in 2004 he finally envisaged the Field of Light as it is today. Anyway, whether you’re into the meanings of modern art or not, it’s hard not to be impressed by the end result.
As you can see, it’s pretty impressive! The lights are all solar powered, therefore not wasting any energy and very eco friendly. Nothing has been dug into the ground. The glass spheres were all made in the UK and flown over to Australia. It then took 40 people 6 weeks in the blistering 40+ degree heat to install them all.
It won’t be there forever!
The exhibition is of course, only temporary. It was actually due to end in March 2018. We visited in the last week of February 2018 and most people on our table had booked because they realised it was about to end and they didn’t want to miss out. Just before it was due to end it was announced that the Field of Light dates have been extended and will now be open until December 2020!
If you happen to be swinging by the dead centre of the Australian outback you can get your tickets here. There are other ways to see the installation, including at sunrise, by helicopter, or even by camel!
It was a brilliant way to start our three days in the Red Centre and a really gorgeous evening. My only complaint is that our waitress seemed to take a dislike to me and would skip my wine glass most times she was topping everyone else up! Then she cleared mine away while going around the table offering everyone else more. *Eye roll* I was probably older than her so she can’t have thought I was under age!
Waitress dramz aside it was pretty epic! I highly recommend that if you get the chance, you try and check it out. I feel exceptionally lucky that I got to experience such a rare and peaceful thing.
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