Recently we visited the Red Centre of Australia for a few days. As an add-on to our tour from Alice Springs, we chose to spend a night at Field of Light, Uluru. Here’s a quick Field of Light review, including what it is, and a few photos.
What is the Field of Light?
The Field of Light is a huge art installation on the outskirts of the Yulara settlement near Uluru. Often you will hear it described as the Uluru lights, the Uluru light show, or even the Festival of Lights, Uluru, but in reality it is kilometres away from the famous rock.
The Uluru art installation was created by Bruce Munro and contains more than 50000 hand-blown light bulbs out in the Australian desert. They are all linked together by fibre optic cables, and as the sun goes down, the lights turn on.
The lights are all powered by solar panels that are located at various places amongst the lightbulbs. There are a variety of colours scattered throughout the field, and every few seconds they change, like a breeze blowing across a grassy field.
How to Visit the Field of Light
Field of Light is not too far from Yulara, but the only way to see it is to jump aboard one of the buses designated. The bus is included in the price of the ticket, and picks up at a few locations around Yulara. You cannot drive to the Field of Light yourself.
When I did the tour pre-covid there were three basic “departures” each night for the Field of Light. Currently there is only a single departure time, but that may change again in future.
The actual times are based on the sunset, with the first departure half an hour after sunrise (then the next two were each 45 minutes after the last). A bus will pick you up from your Yulara accommodation or an agreed pick-up point within the town.
The drive out to the site is only about five minutes from the last pickup in town. On arrival, you will be met by a guide and will be given a short talk on what the Field of Light is, and instructions on how to get around.
It is very dark except for the lights themselves, and some other low white lights that mark the path.
There are two different paths that visitors can take through the lights. The shorter one is only about 300m long, the longer path about 700m.
Visitors are instructed not to use flash photography, and tripods are not to be taken into the area of the lights – although they can be set up and used on the main road right to the side of the lights which could still give some great photos.
Aside from these basic visits, for a much steeper price you can do any one of a number of experiences. There is a Field of Light Star Pass which included canapés and drinks, a guided walk, and access to an elevated platform with views across to Uluru.
Another option is to do this same package but with transfers done through the desert by camel. There’s a restaurant that serves a Field of Light dinner with some packages or you can even do a Field of Light Tour by helicopter!
If that’s still not enough, you can get up before dawn and do a Field of Light sunrise tour to see it all again.
The Uluru Field of Light was originally a limited time display, but now the dates have been extended indefinitely, so there is still plenty of time to get there and see them.
It is recommended to book Field of Light tickets well in advance – I would recommend two weeks in advance for the basic tickets, perhaps even longer for one of the other experiences. You may be lucky to get last minute tickets, but it does regularly sell out.
My Field of Lights Review
So what did I think? I have to say overall I was blown away by the size of the installation! This is seriously one big piece of art! Photos can absolutely not do the size of it justice and you really do need to go and visit to appreciate just how much ground it covers.
Many of the promotional photos show the Field of Lights with Uluru in the background as the sun goes down. If you do one of the basic departures, you will not see this for two reasons. Firstly, they begin after sunset, so it is already dark and there is only the lights to be seen.
Secondly, to get views of Uluru you need to go up into the dunes to a viewing platform – and this is only part of the more expensive packages. This means you need to consider carefully what you might like to see.
My only criticism – and it didn’t really bother me but it might many other people – is that the path really isn’t very well lit. Expect to find small bushes at the edges that do not show up in the limited light. Perhaps take a small torch or use the light from your phone if you are concerned this might be an issue.
While overall this is an expensive activity – basic tickets start at $45AUD ($31USD/€31) – it reflects the remoteness of the Uluru location and the sheer scope of the project. While there are other similar displays by Bruce Munro around the world, this one is by far the largest, in an amazing landscape.
If you have come all the way to Uluru, then you should also definitely see this! After all, there is not a lot else to do at Uluru at night!
Some Field of Light Uluru Images
Confession time – I am no professional photographer! Having said that, I still want to show you some of the photos I took while in the Field of Light to give you an idea of what you might see. With no tripods allowed, these photos are all taken holding the camera as still as I could.
Want to read more about my visit to the Red Centre? Click through to these posts:
Alice Springs to Uluru on a Budget – Visiting the Red Centre, Australia
The Rock Tour – Our 3 Day Uluru Trip Review
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