Collaborative storytelling through 1000 drones lights up the sky at Uluru

By Helen Hayes November 20, 2023
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Now is the perfect time to reconnect to Uluṟu, the heart of our country, with the culturally significant, world-first experience, Wintjiri Wiru.

This article is brought to you by Ayers Rock Resort.

Storytelling is an art form and can be done in many ways, through talk, words, art, music, dance and light. An ancient story is being told in a new way in our red heart at Uluṟu, and it intertwines people, culture and history in a beautifully creative and important way. If you’re looking for a transformative trip, then look no further. Because something truly special is happening in Uluṟu and you need to see it… now.  

Called Wintjiri Wiṟu, which means ‘beautiful view out to the horizon’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, this incredible and dreamlike experience is a meticulous reimagining of the Mala story. A new cultural storytelling experience developed in beautiful collaboration with the Anangu people who have one of the oldest living continuous cultures in the world. They have been the custodians of this Country and its many stories, since time began. It is the first time in the world that an Indigenous story has been performed on this scale, and on a regular basis. 

The story of Wintjiri Wiṟu

This story is not just pages in a book, or delicately plucked from distant memory. It is a story rooted in the land, the waterholes, the animals and the history in the landscape.  As custodians of the land, the Anangu people hold the Mala story from Kaltukatjara to Uluṟu. To share their story, RAMUS designed and produced an artistic platform using drones, light and sound to create an immersive storytelling experience. The story is shared through the clever and innovative use of exquisitely choreographed drones, lasers and projections.

The scale is huge. Imagine over 1100 drones lighting up the sky as they dive and wave and change from various patterns and colours to the shape-shifting Kurpany – the ‘devil dog’ with his red eyes glaring – all performed in a natural, open-air desert theatre. Wintjiri Wiru was respectfully curated over many years by senior Anangu people from Docker River and Uluṟu, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia and media architecture studio, RAMUS. Watching on, guests will feel a powerful connection to Country with the mesmerising visuals accompanied by narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, and complemented by a soundtrack of traditional inma recorded by members of the community.

It will be a special experience, with a story passed on for thousands of generations from the world’s oldest living culture, now passing to you.

The Wintjiri Wiṟu experience

There are multiple ways to see this visually stunning and culturally-important experience. Choose the Sunset Dinner experience where you can enjoy a gourmet hamper that shines a spotlight on native ingredients while marvelling at the incredible sunset, select the Twilight performance where you’ll enjoy Australian wines with delicious cheese and dessert selections, or opt for the After Dark show, which offers light refreshments. You’ll view the show from a sustainably-built platform on a dune top with breathtaking panoramic views of both Uluṟu and Kata Tjuta. Another great initiative is the artwork from local Anangu artist and community member, Christine Brumby, that has been cut into elements of the steel separating the seating levels of the platform.

Witness the stunning choreography of the lights, lasers, projection and sounds. Image credit: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

It is not just this skyscraping, ground-breaking cultural experience that will leave you starstruck – there are other wonderful culturally enriching activities to enjoy and appreciate. With the focus on Wintjiri Wiṟu being in the sky, turn your focus downwards for the renowned Field of Light installation by Bruce Munro. Immerse further into Indigenous culture by joining a dot-painting workshop, and leave time to experience the spiritual wonder of Uluṟu. Choose to wander around the base of this majestic monolith on foot, on a bike or on a Segway. It is an ethereal experience – the textures of the rock, the beauty of the waterfalls and the meaning of the ancient art will stir your soul.

Back at the resort, enjoy a range of restaurants and resort bars, take a dip in the pool or just relax and think about what you have seen and the cultural learnings you will take home.

Visit Uluṟu and make a difference

Visiting Uluṟu to see Wintjiri Wiṟu will not only impact you, but will also make a big difference to Indigenous Australians. Voyages has long had a major focus on supporting Indigenous Australians, by feeding profits back into education, training and employment through their National Indigenous Training Academy. Voyages also supports Indigenous enterprises such as food and beverage suppliers through experiences like Wintjiri Wiṟu, and supports local artists as well, through the Gallery of Central Australia, and through support for remote art centres by providing commercial avenues for their work. These partnerships with the Anangu people shines a spotlight on their culture, which in turn engages younger generations of the Anangu people as well as non-Anangu people. By going to Uluṟu and witnessing Wintjiri Wiṟu, you are supporting Indigenous Australians and their stories, and that will make you feel good.

What are you waiting for? Take our word for it and book to visit Uluṟu to see Wintjiri Wiṟu, where an unforgettable connection to Country awaits.

Book a spectacular holiday to experience the Wintjiri Wiru with the whole family.

This article was brought to you by Ayers Rock Resort.