Under a bright-blue desert sky, guests at Ayers Rock Resort gather on the Town Square lawn for a free bush tucker lesson. The Bush Food Experience, a new free daily activity, gives guests an up-close look at the foods that Indigenous Australians have been gathering and eating for tens of thousands of years.
An assortment of bowls and platters decorated with the bold dots and lines of Indigenous art cradle everything from desert figs to bunches of pungent native lemongrass and branches of harlequin mistletoe, with its unmissable red, green and yellow tube-like flowers.
Uncle Leroy Lester imparts his wisdom to the crowd. “The thing about all desert fruit is that it doesn’t rot – it dehydrates,” he explains. The fruit goes through three stages – when it’s juicy, plucked straight from the bush, when it’s semi-dried and lying on the ground, and when it’s been baked by the sun.
Things have certainly become a whole lot more delicious at the resort since it evolved into the bush tucker capital of Australia. The resort’s multi-faceted Bush Tucker Journeys program ranges from free activities such as the daily Garden Walks that explain how Indigenous Australians use plants for food and medicine, to luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences such as Tali Wiru.
This dune-top haute dinner under the stars begins with a flute of champagne and the thrum of the didgeridoo while guests admire the day’s last light glowing on Uluru. After enjoying canapes such as pan-seared scallops with gulgulk (green ant) beurre noisette, and smoked kangaroo and kutjera (desert raisin) crostinis, diners take a seat for a four-course meal with premium matched wines. Dishes such as Wagyu beef with paperbark-smoked onion soubise, and rosella and lychee gateau with green-ant coconut snow, are so exquisite that it’s hard to believe they’ve emerged from a rustic bush kitchen.
Native flavours also permeate the menu at ‘A Night at Field of Light’ – an open-air buffet dinner at the edge of the extraordinary Field of Light, the once-in-a-lifetime light exhibition by British artist Bruce Munro (open until 31 March, 2018).
This coming August, the resort debuts a quarterly culinary event that celebrates native flavours in the spiritual heart of Australia. ‘Uluru Feastival’ will incorporate everything from a masterclass with Bush Tucker Journeys’ ambassador and larger-than-life Indigenous celebrity chef, Mark Olive to exquisite dinners under the desert night sky. This will be a feast that promises to tantalise all your senses, and open your heart and palate to indigenous culture and bush tucker flavours. Uluru Feastival dates for your diary are 18-20 August and 3-5 November 2017.
More information: 1300-134-044