When it comes to conferencing in Australia’s heartland, Ayers Rock Resort has it covered, with plenty of great experiences right on your doorstep.
Prior to the opening of Ayers Rock Resort’s state-of-the-art convention centre in November, the company behind the multi-million construction of the venue and refurbishment of the property, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, made a commitment to develop greater engagement between guests and indigenous Australians.
That commitment has now been achieved with the guests at the property having the opportunity to engage in a range of free activities. Free activities that are well-suited to partner programs or for those delegates who have brought their children include the following:
- A guided garden walk – participants meet with an indigenous guide who will lead the group around a Red Centre backyard, highlighting local flora in the hotel’s garden. Participants will learn how indigenous people traditionally lived by using the bush for food and medicinal purposes.
- Self-guided hotel garden walk – collect a garden walk guide from reception and follow the map for a self-guided option.
- Indigenous art classes for kids – join the indigenous team as they teach traditional aboriginal painting methods. Using paper canvases, boomerangs (for an additional $15), or rocks children can create their own indigenous-inspired artwork to take home. Classes are held at outdoor locations, with wet-weather options indoors. This activity can also be arranged for conference groups, working particularly well as a break from meetings.
- Bush Yarns – held at the Circle of Sand, the indigenous heart of Ayers Rock Resort, participants will quickly become captivated by the yarns told by the indigenous storyteller about aboriginal history, culture and traditional techniques used on the land. Guests will learn about an indigenous man’s “survival kit” including weapons such as katjii (hunting spears), tjutinpa (clubs), kali (boomerangs) and miru (spear thrower).
- Indigenous art markets – held in the Town Square lawn area, guests will marvel at the beauty of locally made art and can support local indigenous artists by purchasing a unique piece to take home and share with friends and family.
- Interactive didgeridoo playing – listen to the enchanting sounds of the didgeridoo while enjoying lunch at the Town Square. Male guests have the opportunity to try it for themselves. Guests can also purchase a didgeridoo at the nearby Craftworks. (Culturally, the didgeridoo is only played by males.)
- Spear and boomerang throwing – join an indigenous guide and learn how to throw a spear or boomerang.
- Wakagetti Cultural Dancers – Wakagetti, meaning “dance”, will open your mind and heart to indigenous culture through a dance performance. Hear how the didgeridoo got its western name and learn of its heritage. Men in the audience are invited to join in a kangaroo dance, while for the ladies, an emu dance. At the end of the performance there’s the opportunity to interact with the troupe and capture the moment with a photograph.
Ayers Rock Resort also has a tour and information centre to assist guests in organising tours of the region.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is also working hard at greater indigenous engagement for the meetings and incentive travel market sector, with a raft of new product coming online.
The company recently announced the launch of Tali Wiru, an exclusive dining experience under the stars which is a more intimate offering for groups of up to 20 people.
The Tali Wiru (beautiful dune) experience begins with French champagne and canapés around a firepit and progresses to the dune top for a table d’hote four-course dinner, matched with premium Australian wines. Following the dinner a local storyteller shares celestial creation stories while coffee, tea and dessert wine is served before guests are transferred the short distance back to the hotel.