Travel: Longitude 131

There are many reasons why we travel. Relaxation. Exploration. The opportunity to see the world through the eyes of others.  But regardless of the reason, a trip elsewhere always changes us, and it is that fresh perspective that keeps us chasing new opportunities to wander and grow.

In Australia, the indigenous Aboriginal people would go on Walkabout- a solo journey across the Outback-to invigorate the mind and spirit. The Aboriginal people believe that the world is continuously shaped by actions- compassion and clashes alike visually altering the landscape around us.  Walkabouts would trace these landmarks left by their ancestors, following paths called “songlines.”

Uluru, the most sacred of these spots, stands tall and glowing red in the middle of the expansive desert lines. For centuries it has been a Dreamtime destination for those looking to learn the lessons of the past, better understand the present, and see into the future.

Longitude 131° sits at this gateway, with a dozen canopied tents each gazing uninterruptedly towards Uluru.  More than a place to stay, the luxury accommodation offers a unique all-inclusive and immersive experience built into the local history, culture, and landscape.

Guests are welcomed to Dune House, a central meeting place complete with a locally-sourced restaurant and wine cellar, a library offering a quiet place to delve deeper into your surroundings, and a pool and patio overlooking the sandstone monolith that explorer William Christie Goss famously declared “appears more wonderful every time I look at it.”

Set out before sunrise to capture Uluru in it’s most majestic light.  Longitude 131° offers trips to Mutitjulu waterhole, the long-time life source to all visitors the Uluru as well as the site of centuries of cave drawings telling tales from the Dreamtime. Alternatively you can set out to nearby Kata Tjuta, a cluster of domed mountains steeped in local mythology.

You’ll return from either trip to a full spread of local-fare, and an opportunity to head to nearby Mulgara Gallery, where you can browse hand-crafted glassware, pottery, textiles, metal and leather work, historic and contemporary Aboriginal dot paintings, and jewelry set with iridescent opals, the national gemstone of Australia.

At sunset join the group for a walk into Kantju Gorge, a base walk around Uluru, enjoying the last of the day’s glowing light complete with champagne and canapés.  Return to dine outdoors under the nighttime Southern sky at Table 131°, enjoying a four course meal and local dance performers.  Not ready to settle in to the silent sleep of the desert yet? Join Longitude’s in-house astronomer to trace the constellations above and hear the Aboriginal stories behind the stars.

If you’re looking for a trip as good for your soul as it is inspiring to your senses, you won’t be disappointed.

Sarah Bertness is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering the arts, music, fashion and culture. She has a love for all things avant-garde, late night rock and roll, wanderlust, and a good dose of fringe and gold sequins. You can follow her musings on Twitter and Instagram @sarahbertness.

You must be logged in to post a comment