Voyagers Touring’s A Night at Field of Light offers a stylish way to explore Bruce Munro’s art installation currently `lighting up’ Uluru.
The ‘field’ comprises 50,000 individually handcrafted delicate light stems covering an area of over 49,000 square metres. Each evening the stems come alive in a variety of colours, lighting up the landscape.
As we learnt on our tour, British artist Munro is renowned for producing large immersive, light based installations. This is his largest work to date, featuring more than 300,000 component parts and over 380 kilometres of optic fibre. It’s also his first solar powered installation, with 36 portable solar panels installed to interface with 144 projectors.
The exhibition’s popularity has seen its stay at Uluru extended from its initial closing date of March 2017 to March 2018. Judging by the makeup of our tour group, the installation is just as popular with locals as it is with international visitors.
A Night at Field of Light is one of seven tours on offer, exploring the installation. They range from the $39 A Field of Light Pass to the $615 A Night at Field of Light by Helicopter.
My choice was based on one of my all-time favourite previous Uluru experiences – the Sounds of Silence dinner. According to the brochure, A Night at Field of Light combined this dinner with a viewing of the installation. That was fairly accurate, minus one of my enjoyable previous ‘Sounds’ experiences – the playing of a didgeridoo. Apparently there was a lack of didgeridoo players during my stay – even though this was one of the `advertised tour features’.
The `Field of Light’ dinner also seemed a little noisier – but that could have had something to do with the excitement of my fellow travellers.
Our tour started with a short coach transfer from our Ayers Rock Resort accommodation to an Uluru viewing area. The installation is located outside the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.
Watching a typical Uluru sunset with wine and canapes provided the ideal start to the evening. It was then a short walk to dinner and a three-course bush tucker inspired menu. While there were a number of people on out tour it was extremely well organised. Soup was served at the table, then a couple of tables at a time were directed to the buffet. The bathrooms also coped well with the crowd.
A highlight of the dinner was an astrology talk. Having heard many such talks over the years, this was one of the best. The laughs suggested both locals and international visitors appreciated the humour and knowledge of the presenter. A clear evening and a sky full of stars added to the enjoyment.
During dinner we were also given a briefing on the Field of Light. While this was educational, I was a little confused about accessing the `dune top viewing area’ which apparently provided an overview of the installation. I thought all might be clear once we made the short walk from dinner to the `field’- but it wasn’t! And given the only light came from the installation and flashing of cameras, finding our guide was impossible. Instead, I walked around the lights at ground level, enjoying the colors. Most of us chose the longer walk around the installation (there’s also a shorter walk).
After about 20 minutes it was time to board buses for a return trip to the resort, ending the four and a half hour tour.
Costing $245 a person, A Night at Field of Light isn’t cheap; however given pricing of other tours around Uluru, the quality of the food, the continual supply of wine and beer and the location of the dinner, I was very happy with my choice. My only regret was not finding that dune viewing area, as I’m sure it would have provided an interesting perspective to what is a most colorful light exhibition.
*Jenny Burns joined A Night at Field of Light at her own expense on Monday, August 21 and stayed at Emu Walk Apartments.