After an incredible three days in the outback, the RedBalloon team can now officially tick Uluru off our bucket list. Our founder Naomi Simson and CEO David Anderson generously took the RedBalloon team and our parent company The Big Red Group to Central Australia for the weekend. As far as bucket list experiences go, they really don’t get much better than this! While we did do some work (we promise), in this company experiences are the name of the game, so we made sure there was plenty of time to get out an explore the incredible Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. From helicopter flights to segway tours, to impromptu dance-offs - here's what we got up to during our action-packed weekend away.
Dot painting at the Uluru Cultural Centre
We had the honour of learning about the meaning behind Indigenous dot paintings by two Anangu women, Sarah and Valerie. We then completed our own paintings, using the symbols to tell our own stories. A few members of the team had the courage to share the stories behind their paintings, which was a very powerful experience and definitely a highlight of the trip.
Walking tour of Uluru
Some of our group were then led on a walking tour around Uluru by Valerie, who acted as a guide telling stories of the Tjukurpa and translating the ancient rock art still visible in the caves of Uluru.
Segway tour of Uluru
For others who were feeling a little adventurous, it was time to tackle the Segway. After a bit of a bumpy start and more than a few first-timer wobbles, we got the hang of things and were wheeling around The Rock in no time. While the whirr of the wheels may take away from the serenity a little, this is a great option for those wanting to see a more of Uluru, with limited time.
Field of Lights dining experience
It’s genuinely hard to put into words just how special this experience was. We sipped champagne as we watched the sunset over Uluru before enjoying an alfresco dining experience under the Milky Way. We even had a guide point out the constellations in the sky before being treated to an impressive full moon rise over the desert.
Field of Lights
The photos really don’t do this place justice. In fact, our best advice is don’t even try and capture it on your phones, simply enjoy the moment. You’ll feel like you are surrounded by stars as you walk through the Field of Lights under the Milky Way. This may have been the best bucket list experience of all.
Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge
Aside from the resorts and accommodation options, there’s one supermarket and one pub – a different kind of Outback watering hole. The great live music had the party started in no time. There may have even been an epic dance-off, but what happens on tour, stays on tour…
Sunrise highlights tour
The highlights tour included brekkie while watching the sunrise over Uluru from an awesome vantage point. We then walked a small length of Uluru to see Kantju Gorge. Many parts of Uluru are sacred sights to the Anangu people, and no photos are allowed. Sometimes it’s better to simply take these places in through your eyes only. Another group headed off to Kata Tjuta to take in the sights of the other incredible rock formation in the region.
Sunrise camel ride
Many of the team got to experience this special moment together as they trekked through the desert on the back of a camel watching the sunrise over Uluru. They even got to enjoy some freshly cooked damper on their return.
There are so many incredible viewing points of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, but perhaps the best way to appreciate their size is via the sky. If you’ve never been on a helicopter tour before, why not tick it off your list at one of the most iconic sites in Australia.
Harley Davidson tour
One of the RedBalloon team (obviously the coolest one of us) toured Uluru on the back of a Harley Davidson. Judging from the smile on her face, we'd say she enjoyed the experience. It's incredible to look back at the shared experiences and memories made in just three days. This really was the ultimate #BucketList adventure.