Spread over a space the size of several football fields, more than 50,000 tiny bulbs shimmer to light as Uluru falls into darkness. It was a truly remarkable and magical experience.
Standing on top of the tall sand dune and over looking Uluru, the field in front of us slowly transformed from a field of grass and trees, to a blanket of tiny lights, changing colours and getting brighter as the darkness fell over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There is no better way to spend an evening than at the Field of Light at Uluru.
The first time we visited Uluru it was to try and make it to the Field of Light before it ended. It was only in it’s first season in 2017 and we didn’t want to miss out on this amazing sight. Three years later, the Field of Light is still glowing, with it’s current season extended until the end of the year. Even though we’d seen it before, the Field of Light was still one of the things we were most excited about on this visit to Uluru, and it was just as beautiful as we remembered.
There are a few different ways to experience the Field of Light, combining the experience with some of Uluru’s most amazing experiences. But at a minimum we would recommend booking the Star Pass. The Star Pass takes you up onto the dune top as the sun is setting, where you get to watch the field of light come to life while tasting a delicious menu of bush tucker and Australian wine and beer. Once the sun has completely set you get to go into the field and wander around amongst the lights.
Camel to the Field of Light
This time we combined our Star Pass experience with a camel ride to the Field of Light. So we were picked up from the Ayers Rock Resort Campground at around 4pm (times change throughout the year depending on the sunset time), and taken over the the Uluru Camel Tours Farm, just a little way down the road. The camel farm is home to more than 80 camels that have been caught from the wild and trained. The whole farm has such a cute set up, and is definitely worth a visit all on it’s own. But if this is your only visit, make sure you head to the back where you will find the Funny Farm, home to all kinds of different animals, including a baby camel, donkeys and chickens who are likely to peck at your feet as you walk around.
We jumped on our camels and began our trek to the Field of Light. The ride from the camel farm takes about 45 minutes – those camels really do not like to move at a fast pace, and it’s so peaceful calmly wandering through the desert. You can see Uluru in the distance for most of the ride and it was such a unique way to learn more about Uluru and see a different perspective of the rock.
Field of Light Star Pass
We arrived at the Field of Light before anyone else, so it was a great opportunity to find ourselves the perfect spot on top of the dune for the sunset. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine as the sun started slowly setting behind us, and waited for the field to start coming to life. The dune top is quite long, offering beautiful views over Uluru and the Field of Light the whole way along. Spread out right to the ends to avoid the crowds, there’s more than enough room for everyone to find a beautiful view.
The one thing that was a little bit different to our first visit, was that since we were visiting in a the world of Covid-19, instead of waiters tray passing canapes around the dune top, you are given a small little pack with a taste of 4 different canapes. I think this actually worked heaps better, because on our first visit we kept missing out as waiters were swamped by people as soon as they came out of the little kitchen area. This time, everyone got their own serving and we got to taste test a little of everything on the menu.
The installation is actually solar powered, with with 36 solar panels helping the Field of Light come to life each night. As the sun began to set different parts of the field began to light up one after the other, changing colours and becoming brighter as the darkness began to really set in. You get to watch the field completely light up before making your way down to the field itself.
It’s only a small walk from the dune top to the field, and then you have about 45 minutes to explore the field at your own pace and just completely immerse yourself in the glittering field. It’s almost difficult to explain how a field of tiny lights could have such a humbling effect on you, but it is a completely unique and truly magical sight.
The Field of Light is actually the creation of Bruce Munro, a successful artist who is known for his immersive, site-specific installations that use light to evoke emotional responses – often in an outdoor context and on a monumental scale. In his own words: The Field of Light installation was one idea that landed in my sketchbook and kept on nagging at me to be done. I saw in my mind a landscape of illuminated stems that, like the dormant seed in a dry desert, quietly wait until darkness falls, under a blazing blanket of southern stars, to bloom with gentle rhythms of light.”
After completely selling out it’s original first season in 2016, the Field of Light was extended for a second season, and then extended again until December 2020. If you’re planning to visit it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance, as some nights and experiences can completely book out well in advance and you definitely don’t want to miss out during your visit to Uluru.
If you’re currently thinking about a visit to Central Australia any time in your life, we would highly recommend trying to visit before the installation leaves and experiencing it’s beauty for yourself.
Tickets to the Field of Light
There are a few different ways to experience the Field of Light, depending on your budget. All tours include hotel pick up and drop off from anywhere in Ayers Rock Resort, as you can not access the field yourself.
Field of Light Pass: The Field of Light Pass includes only entrance to the exhibition and a self-guided walk through the Field of Light after dark. There are three different departures for this tour throughout the evening, with the whole experience lasting for about an hour and 15 minutes. The Field of Light Pass costs $44 per adult.
Field of Light Star Pass: We highly recommend this option as a minimum for your experience. Departing 30 minutes before the sunset, the Star Pass takes you to an exclusive dune top overlooking Uluru and the Field of Light itself. As the sun sets over the dune, the field below glimmers to life with thousands of tiny lights, and on the dune you have the best view in the house.
The Star Pass goes for 2 hours and 30 minutes and includes outback style canapes, Australian sparkling win, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, a 45 minute self-guided walk through the field and panoramic views of the Field of Light from the dune top area. Tickets for the Star Pass costs $98 per adult.
Sunrise Field of Light: For a completely different experience, check out the Field of Light in the opposite way, as the earth slowly comes to life. Departing 1 hour and 45 minutes before the sun rises, the sunrise tour goes for 2 hours and includes a self-guided walk through the illuminated field, and a morning tea, coffee or hot chocolate as the outback comes to life. Tickets cost $75 per adult.
Star Pass by Camel: Take advantage of this experience by combining two of the most popular Uluru evenings in one. Departing about 2 hours before the sun sets, take a peaceful ride through the red sand dunes, high a top your own friendly outback camel while overlooking Uluru.
Your ride takes you all the way to the Star Pass dune top, arriving as the sun sets, where you will then join the second part of your evening where the Star Pass experience begins. With a duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes, this experience includes entry to the Camel Farm, a 45 minute camel ride, followed by the Field of Light Star Pass experience, see above. Tickets for the Star Pass by Camel cost $205 per adult.
The list of combination experiences is extensive, including A Night at Field of Light which combines the Field of Light with the Sounds of Silence Dinner, and you can even add to this further with a camel or helicopter experience.
This is definitely a can’t miss experience for anyone visiting Uluru. Book your tickets in advance to avoid missing out on the dates you need and you will be amazed watching the bulbs glitter to life as the sun sets.