It’s not every day you celebrate a milestone birthday, in fact, it’s probably once a decade. It was only fitting I chose to travel to Australia’s most iconic destination for my most iconic milestone birthday. Overwhelmed by the size of Uluru, nothing could prepare me for its aura up close, and since it’s aged at over 500 million years, I felt positively young in comparison.
As much as I love socialising with my friends, when it came to organising a party for my milestone birthday, the prospect of getting on a plane was too hard to resist. So, I swapped a few hours of fun for a splurge on a five-day domestic holiday to Uluru instead.
Why I chose Uluru
It only seemed fitting to spend my milestone birthday in Australia’s spiritual centre. Uluru is sacred, spiritual and it is something that every Australian should experience at least once in their lifetime. I spent the day of my birthday meandering the many trails circumnavigating the rock in awe while taking in its many hues ranging from burnt orange, yellow, red and even blue and purple. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of Uluru, nothing could prepare me for its aura up close.
There is one part known as the cathedral where it’s as though a higher spirit commands silence as everyone automatically started whispering. You know you’ve arrived somewhere sacred.
What to do in Uluru
There are many ways to experience Uluru including by helicopter, camel and Segway, but at the top of my list was indulging in the gastronomic Tali Wiru dinner overlooking the rock. As my special day fell on a Saturday getting a booking was always going to be tricky, but a last-minute cancellation further confirmed I had made the right decision in making the journey. Dinner exceeded all expectations as one gourmet course after another was seamlessly served. It rivalled any fine dining experience on the food and wine front alone, made all the more special knowing that Uluru was watching over me, albeit from afar.
The Field of Light was a magical prelude and even though we couldn’t see Uluru once the sun had set, we could feel its powerful presence hovering on the horizon. As darkness fell and the sky became a star-studded extravaganza, pathways began to emerge among thousands of glittering lights adorning the desert floor.
Quality time with my family
Even though it was initially challenging to convince my teenage daughter to visit a big rock in the middle of Australia, she eventually acknowledged (in her sardonic style) there was something unique about the country’s spiritual centre. For me, travel isn’t just about new experiences, it’s also about making memories, and what could be more memorable than spending time with your loved ones in Uluru.
Overcoming the challenges of travelling during a pandemic
There were logistical challenges as flights out of Perth direct to Alice Springs only left and returned on Saturdays and Sundays and travelling all that distance for just one night didn’t appeal. However, it presented the opportunity to fly out earlier and make a detour to Adelaide and to visit wineries in the iconic McLaren Vale.
The travel gods smiled upon us and we secured a booking at the Emu Walk Apartments at the Ayers Rock Resort. There were no border closures, national travel restrictions or lockdowns at the time of travel. Was it risky flying during a pandemic? Probably, but isn’t there always an element of risk when travelling or even organising a party?
Following my passion
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a wanderlust to explore the world. Not even a pandemic has curbed that passion. Had international travel been an option, I have to admit that New York City or balmy Sri Lanka may have topped the list. In many ways, I’m grateful that domestic travel was the only option, not only was I able to spend my special day in one of the world’s most iconic destinations, but I was able to support Australia’s travel industry at a time when it needed it most.
For more information about Uluru please click here.
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