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Uluru’s Field of Light: Why sunrise is the best time to go

As we entered a new year I wrote a piece for Escape about Australia’s silver travel lining for 2021.

In it I shared how as much as I miss international travel and knowing that people from around the world are free to come to Australia and see our big beautiful country, right now Australians have a rare opportunity to see some of our most famous attractions without the usual crowds of tourists.

One place that immediately comes to mind is Uluru, so today I’m sharing another piece I wrote for Escape about something I’ll never forget – seeing Field of Light at sunrise.

Read: Taking a Harley Davidson tour of Uluru

When this story first appeared Field of Light had been extended until the end of 2020, but the good news is it’s now a permanent exhibition. If you’re able to travel to the Northern Territory this would be a very special time to see it. And here’s a little taste of why…

Over to my Field of Light memories in Escape….

As I sit in the dark the light closest to me softly pulses in and out as it changes from blue to a gentle golden white. The stars are out and the only sound comes from a pre-dawn chorus of crickets, providing the perfect soundtrack to this serenely beautiful scene.

There may be a dozen other people somewhere in the darkness, but with the equivalent of seven football fields to spread out in, it’s been easy to go down one of the paths by myself, find a quiet spot and turn off my torch light to feel the full effect of Bruce Munro’s Field of Light.

Munro first had the idea for Field of Light when he visited Uluru on a road trip in 1992, but the original installation appeared a long way from the Northern Territory, in a window display in the London department store, Harvey Nichols.

Field of Light then appeared in museums and outdoor spaces in the UK, US and Mexico before it came ‘home’ to Uluru in April 2016, where it took six weeks for Munro’s team and volunteers to install 50,000 small frosted bulbs on metal stems that gently sway in the lightest of breezes.

Field of Light was originally going to be a one-year exhibition but it proved so popular that it was extended to March 2018. Then in January it was announced it would stay until the 31st of December 2020 (Note: it is now a permanent installation).

When I saw the news I realised how close I’d come to missing out on something truly special here in Australia and vowed to see more of my own backyard. Within weeks I was on an Inspiring Journeys trip that would take me from the Barrier Reef and Daintree to Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru and then onto Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley.

The premium boutique sister brand to AAT Kings, Inspiring Journeys offers the AAT Kings sunrise Field of Light tour as an option on their Inspiring Australia tours, and it’s an option everyone should opt in on.

When we first see the lights from the top of a sand dune it looks like a field of illuminated poppies in a patchwork of reds, violets, blues and whites. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I’m torn between wanting to look out at that view all morning, and running down the dune to be amongst it.

Continue reading this story here
Field of Light Uluru pink lights at sunrise, image Amanda Woods

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