Red Centre: New connections for Uluru

November 25, 2023
By Patrick Cros

Virgin Australia will resume next June its flights to Uluru after four years, with two direct services from Melbourne and Brisbane. Bookings have opened on 21st November. The opportunity to discover the world heritage listed Rock, one of Australia’s most famous natural landmarks, and its new features like Wintjiri Wiru.

Virgin Australia is launching direct flights to Ayers Rock from Melbourne and Brisbane for the first time. The airline previously flew between Sydney and Uluru for a decade before the pandemic, a service that ended in March 2020. Launched in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, the new services to Uluru from Melbourne and Brisbane will add 62,000 seats per year to the Red Centre, connecting tourists directly to the spiritual heart of Australia. This new offer adds to that of Jetstar with up to 26 services per week to Uluru from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

"Whether it's still on the bucket list or a much-loved destination, visiting Uluru is a must-do for international and Australian travelers alike," Voyages CEO, Matt Cameron-Smith said. "These new routes deliver more choice for travel to the Northern Territory, but also an abundance of convenient international connections throughout Virgin Australia's global network of partners. We can't wait to roll out the red carpet for Virgin Australia's return to the Red Centre."

The first flight will depart Melbourne on Thursday, 6 June 2024, operating up to four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday), with the inaugural Brisbane flight following the next day Friday, 7 June 2024, flying three times a week (on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

The Outback puts on a show

Those new flights will give travelers more opportunities to enjoy all experiences offered in the Red Centre. After an amazing sunset on Uluru and Kata Tjuta, performances have been created to enhance the magic of the desert by night. As a complement to Field of Light and its 50,000 solar-powered stems of colored lights - creating a fascinating mass of glowing desert flowers, by artist Bruce Munro - Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia launched in May "Wintjiri Wiru" - meaning 'beautiful view out to the horizon' in the local Pitjantjatjara language. This breathtaking cultural storytelling experience brings to life a chapter of the ancestral Mala story through choreographed drones, lasers, and projections that illuminate the night sky. Two experiences spotlight the deep connection between the land, the Anangu people, and their eternal tales: a Sunset Dinner and an After Dark show, every night, from March to December.

The Sunset Dinner is a three-hour Wintjiri Wiru experience that begins with welcoming cocktails and canapes as the sun sets over Kata Tjuta and Uluru. A gourmet dinner hamper follows, featuring native ingredients and paired with premium Australian wines. As darkness descends, the dramatic light and sound show begins. A second show each evening, "After Dark," is a shorter, hour-long experience that includes light refreshments followed by the show. The two experiences blend the ancient Anangu storytelling about Mala with cutting-edge drone, laser, and light projection technology.

Sleeping in the heart of the Outback

Ayers Rock Resort, located about 20 km from Uluru (Ayers Rock) and 50 km from Kata Tjuta, offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different traveler needs and budgets.

The "Longitude 131˚" is the high-end luxury camp, offering views direct to Uluru and across the desert to Kata Tjuta from sixteen tented pavilions among the red-rust dunes.

The 5-star "Sails in the Desert" is a luxurious hotel offering a refined experience with elegantly decorated rooms and suites (Superior room, Terrace room, and Deluxe Suite), a relaxing spa, and an outdoor swimming pool lined with lush gumtrees. The onsite restaurant serves contemporary Australian fusion cuisine.

The 4.5-star "Desert Gardens Hotel" also provides a blend of modern rooms and suites, some with views of Uluru. It features an outdoor pool, natural gardens, and a selection of dining options. The hotel’s 218 elegant guestrooms provide a relaxing retreat from a day of adventure. Accommodation options are diverse, from Deluxe Rock View rooms to Garden View rooms amidst towering gumtrees and garden beds dotted with native shrubs and flowers.

The 4-star "Emu Walk Apartments" is ideal for families or couples and friends traveling together. These self-contained apartments offer one or two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and easy access to the resort's shopping areas.

The 3.5-star "Lost Camel Hotel" is a contemporary boutique hotel with uniquely designed, colorful rooms. It includes a central pool and is close to the resort’s dining and bar areas.

The Outback Hotel renovated

Reopened in April after a multi-million-dollar refurbishment with the new name "Outback Hotel and Lodge" (formerly Outback Pioneer Hotel), the 3.5-star hotel remains the resort’s most down-to-earth and affordable option, targeting more budget-minded travelers and families, but now with more style and a stronger sense of place. The 125 rooms, enhanced and refurbished, are dotted among the sparse but beautiful desert gardens with a pool that now incorporates a lawn area and expanded tiling. The refurbishment also includes free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, walk-in rain showers, and new bedding configurations, complete with smart TVs, key-card entry, fridges, and USB chargers. Dining options include the Bough House, Outback Kiosk, and Outback BBQ and Bar, where guests can cook their own Australian BBQ with their choice of meat or fish, including steaks, kangaroo, emu sausages, or barramundi (Note that due to ongoing refurbishment it will be fully reopened around Easter, 2024).

Practical Information:

# Virgin Flight Brisbane - Uluru:

- Frequency: 3 services per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

- Seats Per Month (in each direction): 2,330+ seats

- Start 7 June 2024

# Virgin Flight Melbourne - Uluru:

- Frequency: Up to 4 services per week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

- Seats Per Month (in each direction): Up to 3,100 seats during peak season

- Start 6 June 2024

Goway Inbound
ABN # 57 002 767 839
Privacy PolicyContact Us
Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand
Australian Tourism Export Council
Copyright ©2021 All rights reserved Goway Travel Pty. Site by