Ayers Rock Resort’s two unbeatable assets – its location in Australia’s iconic red centre and connection to Indigenous culture – come together in its new conference complex.
Uluru Meeting Place is located just a few kilometres from Uluru and Kata Tjuta – both places of great spiritual significance for Indigenous Australians. Conference delegates not only immerse themselves in this stunning desert landscape but can learn more about the intricacies of Australia’s Indigenous culture – the world’s oldest living culture.
The opening in November last year ushered in an exciting new culturally immersive era at the resort that gives guests insight into ancient Indigenous practices.
These deep changes began when Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, a subsidiary of the Indigenous Land Corporation, bought the resort in 2011. It channels profits back into Indigenous training and employment, and building the resort experience into something truly unforgettable.
This radical rethinking is reaping rewards. Voyages won the Best Indigenous Tourism Experience in the 2013 Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards – recognition of its success in cultural engagement and Indigenous training and employment. The awards recognise Australia’s finest destinations, hotels and cultural attractions.
For event planners, this means the resort comes with a unique built-in selling point – access to a range of experiences led by Indigenous guides and performers that can be built into a program to enhance breakout periods throughout the day or as a mid-conference energiser.
Working with the Voyages Business Events team, planners can draw on a flexible menu of Indigenous activities such as dance workshops and performances (with an option for audience participation), spear and boomerang throwing, sand drawing and storytelling, didgeridoo sounds and yarns, and boomerang painting (conducted as a team-building exercise). Large delegations can be split into groups to participate in these events in a more intimate round-robin style.
Conference programs can also be enhanced with other activities in and around the resort and neighbouring Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park such as camel rides, watching sunrise and sunset over Uluru, guided walks and dinner under the stars.
As for Uluru Meeting Place, it was rebuilt to double its capacity. The complex now includes two main conference spaces – the ballrooms can host 306 delegates and 420 delegates respectively with theatre-style seating. The rooms can be sub-divided with acoustically rated walls, or opened up to become one common space for large trade shows.
A light-filled pre-function area adds more flexibility to the complex while a permanent marquee caters for up to 280 guests and an outdoor amphitheatre can host up to 350 guests. Advanced audio-visual equipment is seamlessly integrated throughout the complex. The neighbouring Sails in the Desert hotel includes additional breakout rooms and a function space that can be drawn upon.