- Reviews: 277
Voyages Longitude 131 all-inclusive resort-II: "Glamping" Part II @ Longitude 131- Uluru
The peace and solitude of Longitude 131 was clearly evident as soon as I stepped out of my complimentary Range Rover transport from the Ayers Rock Airport.
The dirt road leading to the Longitude 131 "campsite" is about 5-10 minutes from the main Ayers Rock Resort area.
A short climb to the top of a sand dune brings you to the communal "Dune House" where reception, dining, entertainment and socializing occurs.
Once there, you walk to your "tent" and are shown all the aspects that make it "glamping"-glamour camping.
Choices after that are as simple as just enjoying the view of Uluru through the floor to ceiling bay windows the foot of your bed or everything from a Harley-Davidson Tour to a Helicopter Ride of the area (which apply extra charges) or you can opt for complimentary tours as I did that include:
Uluru (Ayers Rock) & Kantju Gorge Sunset tour
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) & Walpa Gorge tour
Table 131 – Dining Under the Stars
Cultural Center and Kata Tjuta Views
Uluru Sunrise Walk
Mulgara Gallery and Township Tour
Self Guided bush walks
I thoroughly enjoyed my sunset walking tour of Uluru and watching the rock colors transform right before my eyes, the dinner under the stars, the Uluru sunrise walk around the base (about 9 km), the Cultural Center, and the sunset toast. (I did take SOME time to just enjoy the solitude of my tent overlooking Uluru).
I can't praise enough the staff of Longitude 131 from the guides to the room attendants to the chef and wait staff--all were awesome and instrumental in making this "luxury wilderness" adventure so special.
I had so many little sidetrips during my 5 week adventure in Australia (and Thailand/Singapore) this trip that I forgot that Longitude 131 was all-inclusive and this was a most pleasant surprise.
So, champagne it was--- and the anticipation of knowing that I would soon be enjoying a fusion of Australian cuisine and both indigenous & international flavors. The first of my gourmet, 5-star cuisine meals consisted of:
Cauliflower Soup (Almond Buerre Noisette)
Braised Rabbit and Black Truffle Raviolo (Olive Tapenade, Baby Spinach, Lemon Olive Oil) or
Butter Poached Western Australian Lobster Tail (Green Asparagus, Poached Egg, Pickled Radish)
French Sable Biscuits (Dark Chocolate Marquise-Orange Glaze)--and this was just lunch.
Dinners were even more exotic with everything from Venison to Barramundi.
Of course, a wide selection of beverages, wines, and beer made for a great time in the Dune House or back in the room (which was also stocked).
There was nothing less than 5-star quality in everything about Longitude 131. From each of the individually "themed" tents (I was in the Burke-Wills [ Australian Outback explorers] tent), you could, as the resort touts, "Get as close to serenity as possible, rejuvenate the body, stimulate the mind, activate your senses and liberate the spirit".
I would suggest going online to their website to really capture the beauty and essence of the resort and area and even ordering their DVD for a more intense look at this "glamping."
- Reviews: 277
Voyages Longitude 131 all-inclusive resort: "Glamping"- Longitude 131 style @ Uluru
Longitude 131 (a Voyages Resort Group) is simply unique and awesome. Accomodations, food, service and ambiance are all 5-star plus.
I have never stayed in any resort like it before. It consists of only 15 individually-designed and brilliantly appointed "tents" and each has a private view of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the extraordinary landscape of the Outback of Central Australia (but still within the Northern Territory).
This all-inclusive resort offers airport transfers, all food, snacks, beverages & wines/spirits, tours and accommodations and is the only resort that actually views Uluru.
The resort has a large pool, viewing areas and several rest-relax spots but the draw is always the "rock" and it can be seen from almost everywhere on the property.
The complimentary tours and events are incredible.
Sunset champagne toasts to Uluru, 5-star cuisine dinner under the stars, astronomy lectures and sky viewing, digideroo concert, sunset walks and canapes/champagne at the base of Uluru, sunrise walks and "brekkie" (breakfast) at the base of Uluru, tours of the Cultural center and so many more.
There is a total of 15 private, luxury tents featuring:
• King-size bed (twin available upon request) • Air Conditioning / Heating • Bath Robes • Private Bathroom • Shower • Shaving Outlet • Hair Dryers • Mini Bar • CD Player • Lounge • Arm Chair • Writing Desk • Tea & Coffee making facilities • In-Room Safe • Pool Towels • Smoke Detectors • Direct Dial ISD/STD Telephone • Daily Cleaning • Evening Turndown Service
Each elevated tent also tells a story of an early Australian pioneer or explorer with pictures and narratives throughout. The walls have a unique interior design in earthy natural tones, finishes and fibres with an eclectic mix of classical colonial and contemporary pieces. Wardrobes and vanity basins are similar early 1900's Australian food chests and wash troughs.
The white dome roof & flowing fabric draped from the center "big top" create the illusion of camping but only in comfort. A bedside switch can raise the floor-to ceiling window blinds to allow Uluru at sunrise to work its magic. These eco-green rooms are designed to remain cool in summer & warm in winter with individual controls.
The Dune House, in the middle of the "camp" site, is a huge communal facility and central meeting place for all Longitude 131° guests where meals are served and where the reception is available to meet any needs or wants.
The Dune House also includes a library with maps, a comprehensive collection of historical and current books, games, a large screen TV, DVD player (with library) & internet station. You can access the well-stocked bar and enjoying a drink in the lounge or out on the deck with stunning views of Uluru and the surrounding desert.
See part 2 for more info:
- Reviews: 7
Voyages Resort Uluru: Desert Gardens
Its not practical to recommend this accomodation because as far as I know,there is nothing else. You're bascially stuck with a choice of the different styles /prices within this resort complex.
We stayed at the Desert Gardens section. It is Motel type accomodation, NOT hotel. Its long buildings with motel type rooms on ground floor and duplicated on the first floor with a long balcony walkway. One room with a bed, a seperate bathroom . Its neat and pleasantly decorated. Its comfortable enough for its purpose, to sleep. .Its not worth the money charged but it sure beats sleeping out under a bush.I'll pick cheaper next time.
There are other types of accomodation within this complex, from Sails in the desert which is the most expensive to camping grounds at the other end of the price range, and self contained units with cooking facilities in the middle range.
Pick whatever suits your wallet and needs .Be aware you are a captive tourist and the prices are unashamedly high to rip you off.
I liked the white gum trees. Very interesting. I watched covertly for a few hours to see if someone was actually painting them . They weren't.Its amazing but they're real. The desert Gardens also had a nice pool area and we had a view of the rock from our balcony.
- Reviews: 224
Yulara Resort Camping: The only place to camp
Stayed here 24th May 2006.
When in and around the National Park there is nowhere else to stay closer to Ayres Rock and the Olgas.
The people at Yulara really have the monopoly here, they've built a whole village with a bar (you need to show you're a visitor to be able to buy alcohol in the whole resort) a petrol station, a supermarket, an hotel, hostel and the camp sight.
We chose the cheapest option, and at AU£26 a night is still not cheap. There was a big open shared kitchen and bbq's to share, though the tent area was far too tighlty packed in meaning you could hear the person next to you breath.
We went in late May 2006, so not the peak season and it was busy, we didn't need to book though, just turned up in the evening. It was very cold though, it got down to 3 degrees at night, so be perpared, even if it's hot during the day (as it was) it gets very cold at night.
You can go on a very small walk to see Mount Connor, you can't see Ayres rock from the resort.
- Reviews: 595
Yalara resort YHA: Some how budget travel
This establishment is opperated by the resort, but is affiliated to the Youth Hostels Australia. They have rather crowded dorm so the better option is the smallish four person dorm which come with a fridge.
Its a busy place with a good hostel vibe about it. There is a large kitchen and outdoor covered area.
- Reviews: 1536
Curtin Springs Wayside Inn: ... real taste of the outback ...
Curtin Springs Wayside Inn (or Station) is part of a huge working cattle station and located along the Lasseter Highway, the main road from Alice Springs to Uluru, about 85 km’s east from Yulara.
Curtin Springs offers affordable accommodation (close to Uluru), a camp ground, a shop, a licensed bar, restaurant, a petrol station and station tours, including visits to Mount Conner.
We had a reservation for a budget room, but were very happy we could upgrade it to one of the twin ensuite rooms, with just a little bit extra luxury. All rooms are situated in a kind of mobile homes, but they were very clean with a perfect airco and we had a very good sleep in the desert.
‘The Bough Shed’ - the original homestead of the owners - is now dining area and opened at 6.00 pm. We had a simple but decent meal and stayed a long time in a lovely evening, talking with other travellers. In the morning we could order a breakfast.
Curtin Springs Station offered us a real taste of the outback, with some modern facilities and an authentic atmosphere.
- Reviews: 1536
Kings Creek Station: ... in a kind of tent ...
Kings Creek Station is a working cattle and camel station with nowadays facilities for camping, accommodation and an opportunity to experience the outback either by quad , helicopter or camel. It is located 35 km’s from the car park at King’s Canyon along Luritja Road.
We had a kind of a tent: a permanent canvas cabin constructed of steel frames with normal (twin) beds, light and power and a fan. We had to use shared facilities like toilets and showers, which were absolutely clean. Staying only with one other couple we almost had our own private facilities, just a couple of metres outside our cabin.
There is also a shared kitchen with bbq facilities, but we had our diner in the café/restaurant. Which was custom made for us: fish (in the middle of the desert), chips and salad with an Australian wine and a lot of water.
A Bushman’s style breakfast next morning was included in the price.
Perhaps the most impressive moment was when we walked back to our cabin and saw the thousands of stars in the sky and were surrounded by the silence of this part of the Australian desert.
Kings Creek Station has also a campground and a (very) small swimming pool, a shop for basic supplies and a petrol station.
Adventurous alternative for an expensive lodging in Kings Canyon Resort.
- Reviews: 1536
Glen Helen Resort: ... some luxury in the desert ...
At the end of the sealed Namatjira Drive, about 135 km’s from Alice Springs, lies Glen Helen Resort, a little bit of ‘desert luxury’ in the middle of the impressive West MacDonnell Ranges. If we hadn’t made several stops on our way, we could have done this drive from Alice Springs in about one hour.
Glen Helen Resort, built in 1900, is a strange mixture of an homestead, some motel like buildings and a lot of old buildings; these all surrounded by the impressive, of course red coloured, rocks of the Glen Helen Gorge on the banks of the Finke River.
We had booked a motel room, very basic but appropriate to the desert and - very important - with airco, although a little bit outmoded. Due to the heat during daytime we had only 'hot' water from the tap. All together we had a rather good sleep and next morning we were surprised by the fantastic view of the gorge in the shining sun.
Glen Helen also offers budget quarters and a campground. Restaurant Namatjira, with beautiful Aboriginal art on the walls, offers good decent ‘outback’ meals.
There are also a small swimming pool, bar/lounge, shop, petrol station and you can buy a Mereenie Loop Road permit at Glen Helen.
We paid, just for the room, AUD 126,-
The location in the 'Red and Hot Centre', offering some luxury just appropriate to its setting.
- Reviews: 111
Camping in Uluru
Enjoy the freezing night in a tent, wake up at 5 a.m. to see the sunrise in red rock.
There are various excursions from Alice Springs to Uluru. We had a weekend trip and it cost about 300€,accommodation in tent.
And if you want to have a dinner, it is included, but you need to find wood to be able to make a fire ...But I loved it! Great experience with local tourguide!!
- Reviews: 272
King's Canyon Resort: Is it a dorm room? It's more like a motel room!
Our stay at King's Canyon Resort was interesting. Before leaving HK, I emailed them several times to reserve 2 dorm beds for 1 night but I got a reply asking me to email to another address instead. OK, I followed the instruction (again for several times) but I didn't get any replies. When we checked in Ayers Rock Resort, I asked if they could help confirm my booking with King's Canyon as they're basically under the same company (Voyages). Ayers Rock Resort Staff called and said that King's Canyon didn't do any reservation for us, instead of booking the beds for us right away, they gave another number to me and asked me to call later. OK, I followed the instruction and it turned out to be a non-reservation related number. OK, I gave up. I just hated making simple things so complicated. I decided to just walk-in and check-in upon arrival at King's Canyon.
Luckily, we were there at low season (25.05.2006).
More luckily, the staff of King's Canyon check-in desk was nicer than those at the phone hotline.
They put us into a 4 bed room which wasn't occupied by any others! We opened the room door and I screamed "WOW! How nice!" It's a room with 4 beds (3 singles and 1 double) stationed at each corner, each with a bedside shelf; while in the middle of the room was a circular table with 4 chairs, there's also a fridge (it worked!), a water boiler & instant coffee/tea and a TV!!! Wow, it's more like a motel room than a backpacker dormroom!
The layout of the Resort is different from that of Ayers Rock Resort. Instead of having one central common kitchen, each block of dormrooms (maybe 5-6 rooms in a block) has its own kitchen, that means you don't need to walk too far away to cook your food. The Resort implements a deposit system on lending out the cooking utensils, which is a brilliant idea in ensuring that nothing will be gone.
There were also lots of interesting plants/flowers. It's also not difficult to see wild parrots feeding on the lawn right outside your room.
- nice environment
- nice layout
- friendly staff @ reception
- clean (except the kitchen)
- spacious 'dormrooms'
- expensive yet worthwhile
- there's one handsome staff called Olivier at the reception when we checked out. He's very friendly and super handsome!!!
- impossible to make reservation, no matter on phone or via email
- poorly operated/maintained gas station: limited unleaded gas available on our check-out!!!
Though I just stayed one night there, that's the best night I experienced in the Outback.
- Reviews: 465
Erldunda Desert Oaks Motel Caravan Park: Cheaper than staying at Yulara
This is a Roadhouse on the intersection of Yasseter and Stuart Highway. It's about 250 km from Yulara, but if you're only planning to visit one day, the travel distance fully makes up for the price you'd have to pay staying at Yulara. Desert Oaks has backpacker accomodation, motel units, caravan and tent sites. There's also a restaurant on the premises.
Very nice staff, swimming pool, tennis court and even a conference room.
- Reviews: 465
Outback Safari's: Swagging
I went with this tour to see Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. You can do this on your own, but I know you'll learn more about these places with a guide. We slept outside in swags, that was absolutely amazing. A swag is a sleeping bag made out of canvas, so it's waterproof. It's got a thin matress in it, so you can sleep in your swag with your sleeping bag. If it starts to rain put a piece of the canvas over your head and you'll stay dry.
Great way to experience (not just see) the outback.
- Reviews: 428
Kings Canyon Resort: Also only place to stay in Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon Resort is a wilderness retreat that has been built to blend in with the surrounding environment. It is a place to relax and unwind and experience the true beauty of the night desert sky and enjoy the natural beauty of the canyon.
Took the budget room again as that's all I can afford. The room is very basic with 2 beds, a cupboard, a table and a chair. Community bathrooms again, this time, it's a 2-minute awalk across shrubs to get there as the bathrooms serve the campgrounds as well.
As this was winter month, I made sure that I do all my stuff before going to bed as I ain't coming out here in the middle of a cold dark night!
In the middle of nowhere.
- Reviews: 408
Curtin Springs: Cheapest accomodation around Ayers Rock!
About one hour driving from Ayers Rock. basic accomodation and camping ground. It's located in the middle of a private property of 4.000 sq.km. surface! But it's the cheapest accomodation you can find around Ayers rock!
BBQ place, bar, restaurant where you can taste a camel steak, fuel station, nice view on Mount Connell (you can arrange a visit).
- Reviews: 30
Backpack Pioneer Lodge: Hostel in the Desert
I stayed at the Pioneer Lodge for two nights while I was in Ayres Rock. It was exactly like your average hostel accomodation. Quite clean and well kept. The rooms were 20 bed dorms, so privacy was zero to none, but its not like you spent a lot of time in there anyway. And every time someone came into the room, they turned on the big lights in the dorm, it was like a big camp!
Let's see, unique qualities...We with the concrete walls and floors it sort of had the prison-like accommodation. Also if you were sleeping on the top bunk, there is no side rail, so its rather scary...Glad it was only 2 nights.
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