One of the most popular attractions at Uluru ⏤ apart from the rock itself of course ⏤ is the Field of Light.
The Field of Light is an art installation situated in the centre of the outback with breathtaking views of the natural wonder, and famous monument, Uluru.
An area of 49,000 square metres, or the size of seven football fields, is filled with 50,000 stems topped with frosted glass spheres. These 50,000 individually crafted bulbs are powered by 36 portable solar panels which vibrantly light up the stems when darkness falls. 380 kilometres of optical fibre is used across the installation allowing the bulbs to change complete colour every 6 seconds. Amazing right?
This installation was created by Bruce Munro ⏤ a British artist who first visited Uluru in 1992. It was at this visit to the famous rock that he had the idea to create a large-scale installation that appeared like the seedlings which grow from the rugged desert after the heavy outback rain. Since this visit, the idea became lodged in the artist’s mind until he finally began to physically create these visions 12 years later, in 2004.
It was in 2016, that he finally had the opportunity to create the artwork in the location that sparked his initial vision. Now, the piece is placed in the outback and has been an incredibly popular attraction for tourists all over the world, and for very good reason!
To be honest, it was not long before I departed for Uluru that I learnt of this art piece. But once I began to research, I instantly knew that I had to visit. So when the day finally came, I was picked up from my hotel of Desert Gardens at 5.35 PM, before the sun was yet to set. We were taken 10 minutes down the road to a remote location with breathtaking views of Uluru.
Situated on the top of a small sand dune, we had the opportunity to see the Field of Light before it began to shine with colour. The small translucent bulbs were visible to the eye, with a vivid backdrop of Uluru as the sky began to turn to dark.
As the sun slowly set, we were treated to a cultural dance by the Anangu people who are the traditional owners of the land, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They showed us a glimpse into the true Australian culture as we sipped on champagne and watched the earth display its magic.
As the vibrant pink sky began to hide beneath the outback, the group was escorted to a different sand dune where we were served a delicious outback buffet. Tables were equipped for 8 people, so those travelling solo or in smaller groups were dining with other excited travellers.
The dinner was suitable for all dietary requirements, with 3 courses of delicious Australian cuisine and a mix of alcoholic beverages. The service was impeccable, and even when things went wrong (such as a minor gas bottle malfunction) the staff were constantly of the highest standards.
As bellies became extremely full and the air became extremely cold, all of the lights were switched off and we were guided through the outback sky. A young New Zealand man (ironic huh?) talked us through the night sky and made the entire group completely in awe of their surroundings. He had the biggest laser I’ve ever seen, whilst showing us the stars that shone down above us. He spoke beautifully of our solar system; the stars we can see, those that we can’t, and just how small we really are in comparison to our infinity.
After my mind was completely blown, it was finally time to see the magic that we’d all been waiting for.
In the total darkness of the night, the Field of Light lit up like a rainbow beneath the earth. An array of vibrant colours transitioned across the field below the midnight sky. A few different paths ran through the exhibition at different lengths, allowing the guests to experience the magic at their leisure.
Although in the darkness, Uluru is no longer visible, the fact that you know it’s hidden in the night is spellbinding in itself. The group was allowed around 30 minutes to stroll around the field and watch the bulbs change colour every few seconds.
It’s important to note that no tripods are allowed in the field, and all guests are to stay on the paths in order to preserve the artwork. I will say that this, unfortunately, makes the installation a little difficult to photograph, but I guess experiencing it in person is far more special than being able to capture it.
The incredible thing about this installation is that the entirety of its materials are re-usable. Once the exhibition is closed here at Uluru, all of the pieces used will be recycled for further artwork. After all, this installation alone is the equivalent weight of 15 cars, it would be a waste to simply dispose of it!
All in all, my night at Bruce Munro’s Field of Light was an experience beyond words. As I said to many other guests during my visit to Uluru, I did not have a single complaint about the entire exhibition or the night as a whole.
Spending an evening under the stars, in the middle of the red centre with delicious Australian cuisine, beautiful surroundings and an unbelievable display of lights, was an experience of a lifetime.
Somehow, after 245 days of design and production, Bruce Munro managed to make Uluru an even more magical experience than it already is.
You simply must visit!
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Pitjantjatjara people, and pay respect to their Elders, past and present.
Thank-you to Ayers Rock Resort for my experience at the Field of Light. It was the most incredible outback experience imaginable – All opinions and photos are my own.
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