Wintjiri Wiru Is the Stunning Nightly Light Show with 1000-Plus Drones That's Arrived Above Uluru

If you need another excuse to head to the Red Centre, this nightly cultural storytelling experience featuring more than 1000 drones is it.
Ben Hansen
Published on May 18, 2023

Update Wednesday, August 23: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has added a third nightly sound and light show so that more people can experience Wintjiri Wiru. You can learn about Wintjiri Wiru Twighlight via the Voyages website.

A luminous three-dimensional cultural storytelling experience featuring one of the world's largest daily drone shows has been unveiled at Uluru. Across two shows each night, with Uluru setting a showstopping backdrop, Wintjiri Wiru tells the local Aṉangu community's Mala story through the use of verbal storytelling (both in English and the Aṉangu people's local Pitjantjatjara language), light displays, lasers, sound and a massive fleet of more than 1000 drones.

Folks heading to the Northern Territory for Wintjiri Wiru's sunset dinner will kick off the experience with canapes curated by Mark Olive showcasing native Australian ingredients. Also on the agenda: taking in the immense beauty of Uluru and Kata Tjuta from the new sustainable viewing deck as the sun disappears below the horizon, and sampling creamy crocodile pies, pepper beef and truffle burgers, and cocktails made with Beachtree Organic Koala Gin.

From there, attendees are taken on an immersive journey through a story that's been passed down for thousands of years. Voyages Indigenous Tourism worked directly with a group of ten senior community members from the Kaltukatjara (Docker River) and Uluru Aṉangu groups to create a show that tells the Mala ancestral story accurately and respectfully.

"We are Aṉangu and we have one of the oldest continuing cultures on earth. This chapter of the Mala story has been passed to us from generation to generation. Our ancestors walked this Country, carried this story and shared this story through inma, our songs and our ceremonies," says Rene Kulitja, on behalf of the Aṉangu Consultation Group.

"We have held hands with Voyages to create Wintjiri Wiru together. From the beginning, Voyages has been working together with the Aṉangu Working Group — talking together, listening together and creating together."

The impact upon the environment and the local communities were also closely considered. No concrete was laid in the creation of the viewing platform, allowing it to be removed one day if needed; the movements of local wildlife were carefully monitored, including special consideration given to a local group of endangered desert skinks; everyone involved in the project undertook extensive cultural training lead by Aṉangu; and Indigenous-owned and -run law firm Terri Janke and Company was enlisted to oversee the project.

When asked about Voyages' goals, Resort General Manager David Harper responded: "creating opportunities for Indigenous Australians through cultural tourism."

Wintjiri Wiru now forms somewhat of a trio of experiences available to visitors surrounding Uluru — joining Bruce Munro's immersive Field of Light and starlight-lit fine dining experience Tali Wiru. The launch also coincides with the debut of Bruce Munro's latest installation Light Towers at Kings Canyon, forming a Red Centre light trail with the aforementioned attractions, as well as the yearly luminous Alice Springs festival Parrtjima — A Festival in Light.

Tickets for the Wintjiri Wiru sunset dinner are available for $385, while you can nab a spot at Wintjiri Wiru after dark for $190, or $95 for children.

For more information on Wintjiri Wiru, head to the Ayers Rock Resort website.

Images: Getty Images for Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. 

Aṉangu share the Mala story, from Kaltukatjara to Uluru, through a drone, sound and light show designed and produced by RAMUS.


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Published on May 18, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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