NASA. A Human Adventure, Brisbane

There are doubters and there are believers about Man landing on the moon and exploring space. Somewhere in between there are those who want to believe these amazing feats. But, whatever your opinion, if you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit the NASA exhibit, then you may well be missing out on some information to seal your opinion.

Visiting this exhibit is an eye opener and I would suggest you dont miss out, with only a couple of weeks left to run in Brisbane. Before visiting we thought maybe it was going to be photos, newspaper articles and a bit of memorabilia. This exhibit was so much more.

The first stage of your launch is on level three of the QLD museum. Youngsters are well taken care of with different activities to keep interested along the way.

Venturing through the exhibit, the information accumulation is nothing short of incredible. Here you will learn of the countries who entered the space race, their equipment, purpose and how they fared.

Its not all about reading, theres plenty to see and experience throughout. An array of spacesuits is quite mind boggling. How did anyone on earth even know what material to use in making spacesuits? There was a lot of guesswork as to what would actually work.Seeing these suits right up close is pretty awesome. There’s an array of suits to view, all differing in their makeup and sometimes purpose. It’s pretty rare to have the opportunity to view these, and if I were you, I wouldn’t miss that.Sections of replica rockets are displayed so you can see what astronauts have endured. Some are to scale and to be honest, you have to feel for those astronauts, theres not a lot of room.One of the most interesting items, I felt, was the original computer desk out of the Ground Control room. Not only were these actual computers used, the pieces of paper with notations and calculations was extremely intriguing. Some how, this was one item which really gave that human touch and made the experience real. After you finish viewing the awesome artefacts laid out on this level, you can then visit the rest of the exhibit on level 2. Photos are so real, you are totally drawn into the experience. The only thing stopping you from floating is gravity.The final piece of the exhibit is an incredible replica of the Atlantis. This space shuttle completed 33 return trips to space, orbiting our earth a total of 4848 times. That’s a lot.

Climb the stairs to see the top part of the module, and dont forget to check out the bottom half too.

Cleverly displayed so you can immerse yourself in a shuttle experience, whilst being mesmerised by the control panel, this replica is definitely the icing on the cake.

Even the toilet used in space is displayed in the bottom part of this shuttle. Information boards explain what you can see as you view all of this clearly as you look past the see through wall.It would be so easy to go on for hours about this exhibit, after all there is a lot to see. But, you need to experience it, and if it heads to your state or country, then dont miss the opportunity to look through. It really is well worth some time, no matter what your opinion may be. More photos and information are posted on Dine Live Travel, Instagram, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Visit and Experience, Space, the final frontier. It really is a human adventure, or is it……

Melbourne Food Experiences

There’s something about Melbourne. Not just Melbourne, the food, the coffee, ok yes theres the weather and diversity of the area, but everyone who visits Melbourne will tell you about the food.

From coffee vans to quirky cafes through to high end restaurants, Melbourne presents an incredible array of food choices, from many cultures.We enjoyed a number of meals whilst visiting. The first breakfast, including the silverside Brekky option above, was enjoyed at an interesting quirky suburban cafe Mr. Foxx. Friendly staff, great food and decor with a difference. Something to see in every direction.Ok it was winter and pretty chilly outside, but once inside the cafe you were enveloped with warmth, homeliness and customer chatter, all rising above the sounds of the coffee machine and kitchen preparations.Hubby approved of the chai latte it was apparently superb. As a non coffee, non chai drinker, I can only comment to say that a number of people I know who do drink coffee, would move to Melbourne just for the coffee. Apparently its that good.

On another day, we were visiting the Terracotta Warriors at the NGV, which had us finishing just before lunch. A little bit of museum exploring and the onsite Garden Restaurant was discovered. No need to brave the cold, lets give this one a a try.Seated next to expansive windows, overlooking a lawn area, complete with artworks, as well as pond with a somewhat interesting fountain sculpture in the middle. Ill let you visit and work that one out!White table cloths, highly attentive staff, matched to an extensive wine & food menu, making for plenty of choice for all. Add to that the garden fresh herbs and vegetables you can see outside the restaurant, and you know this will be a lovely dining experience.Food arrived in a timely manner, simple tidy presentation. Upon tasting, wow, totally delicious, melt in your mouth food.

I was also lucky to enjoy another breakfast, at a suburban cafe, One Little Place. Highly recommended by some lovely ladies in the Norsu Interiors shop, which just happened to be next door. Check this place out too, its unique collection of home interior design items and ideas will give you plenty of inspiration, and enough shopping to fill up your vehicle each trip!The dish I chose at One Little Place, was the one recommended, Avocado Crush. A deconstructed version of avocado smash which was not only intriguing, but what a superb idea for breakfast! Totally different to the usual presentation on this dish, here you were able to mix and match yourself. Absolutely loved it.The warmth and character of this little cafe made for a very enjoyable breakfast for one. Add to that a quick chat to the friendly staff when paying the bill and it was certainly well worth stopping by.

Our final stop on the last day, as we headed out to Melbourne Airport, was at the Boathouse, which was an easy stop on our way to the airport.This restaurant is right on the river, with a huge outside deck. Some braved the chilly conditions to sit out there, and all honesty, on a warmer day, that would have been an awesome place to sit for a while. On this particular weekday however, the warmth of the inside fire was definitely much more appealing!

Today I opted for the Express 2 course lunch, which just happened to accompanied by a glass of wine, winning! The lightly batter fried calamari was soft, easy to eat and quite tasty. Follow this up with the creamy carbonara and you have delightful lunch, not to heavy, not to light. Especially after you have shared the calamari!Hubby was a little more hungry, his choice being a substantial burger and chips, which I’m told was delicious. High praise.Theres a lot happening at this venue, as we could see looking around. Those cocktails we saw on the blackboard, sound like the ideal accompaniment to a table on the balcony, overlooking the river. Perfect place for summer!We only touched on a few of the many venues in Melbourne. But as well as dining out, we enjoyed the delectable delights delivered to your door. So many choices, so much food. When you order restaurant quality food to your door, well sometimes its just easier. Bellissimo­čśś

NGV Melbourne, Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

The ceiling of the Great Hall, located within Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), is impressively beautiful. Even on a dull day, the colourful glass glinted as random sun rays attempted to shine through.Our visit today was to see the infamous Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality display, which was being held in conjunction with Cai Guo-Qiang’s The Transient Landscape. On display until October, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit.
To be able to witness firsthand, these incredible historic works of art, is simply mind blowing. Each of these artefacts as well as the warriors themselves, have been handcrafted by ancient civilisation. Thousands of years old, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the sheer logistics involved.
There are some real warriors on display as well as a few replicas. However, keep in mind each one of these (and there are thousands), were made piece by piece. A hand, an arm, a head a body. All made separately then joined together. Remember too, every one of these images, including the horses, are taller than a normal human. These are not small, nor are they plain. Every single statue has their own personality. How many years did it take to achieve this?
We call our selves modern society, but, how advanced were our predecessors? I’m thinking very! An ancient civilisation created all of these incredibly detailed works of art. All to honour their Emperor.
As you enter this display, the changing displays show the sands of time throughout the ages. Very cleverly done. Inside you witness the sheer spectacle of ancient art including priceless gold and artefacts.
The ceiling above is covered with swallows. Part of the display by Cai Guo-Qiang, this amazing 10 000 porcelain bird mass, represents a 3 dimensional impression of the sacred Mt Li, which is the site of the tomb of Chinas first emperor. This is where the Terracotta Warriors were first discovered in the mid seventies, alongside the first Emperor, Qin Shihuang.As you stroll through this incredible display, do not forget to look up, or simply sit for a while and become part of the amazing experience you have the opportunity to witness.After viewing some priceless artefacts as well as irreplaceable warriors, you move through the superb gun powder art of Cai Guo-Qiang, into the area housing tomb stones and miniature.The entire showing held some personal interest, after having recently found out that Cai was a distant relative from a few generations back. Not only does this spark the interest, but you feel that extra personal touch. Mesmerised and still in awe, I cannot explain the feeling of being in the presence of such meaningful historic pieces. Keep in mind these works of art date back to 200BCE. The estimates give us an idea of the sheer size of these massive warriors with more than 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots, led by 520 horses plus another 150 cavalry horses. Add to this the strongmen, musicians, acrobats and officials, all hand crafted and buried with the Emperor and its about now you begin to understand why this archaeological find has held such significant meaning in our history. In particular Chinas history.Watch the video before you move into the museum shop. Here you will see the intensity and effort behind Cai Guo-Qiangs spectacular art.

If you are in Melbourne, dont miss this display, if not in Melbourne then you really should consider a visit.

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Phillip Island, Victoria Australia

Within an easy couple of hours drive from Melbourne, Phillip island is about 26 km long and about 9km wide, totalling around 100 square kilometres. Arriving at Phillip Island in an open whale boat on 5 January 1798, George Bass named Phillip Island after the first Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip.

The roughly 97km of coastline is rugged in places, with pounding waves hitting sandy or rocky beach areas. This island not only forms a natural breakwater for the Western Port, it is also home to around 9500 permanent residents, with upwards of 40 000 inhabitants during the summer.

Connected to the mainland by a 640 metre concrete bridge, Phillip Island has a multitude of activities to amuse visitors.

Not long after arriving on the Island, the iconic Phillip Island race Circuit comes into view on our left hand side. Don’t be shy, follow the signs down to the cafe and information centre. The idea for this racing focused venue, and constructions of same, emerged in the early to mid 1950’s.Memorabilia encased in the walls, to honour those racing legends who have passed on, lines the curved entrance hallway to the main information centre. A huge mural inside gives you a full birds eye view of the track. Here we found friendly helpful staff, with plenty of ideas on offer should you wish to partake in activities. Opposite the main desk, a wall of options and costings is in clear view for all. Or, take a selfie on the podium, with helmet underarm and trophy held high.Choose your activity, perhaps stop by the cafe or souvenir shop, wander out onto the cafe balcony area to greet the local wildlife, there really is something here for everyone.There’s a few peacocks about, and they are not afraid to wander up for a chat or show off their colours. They’re not fenced in here, free to come and go as they please, but, the general choice seems to be to stay.

Once you have satisfied your curiosity at this stop, head back out to the road and continue exploring the island.

Our next stop was at the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre. The massive $58 million structure, still being finished, provides an entrance to the penguin population residing here.This expansive building has been designed to handle the influx of visitors during the busy season. Still smelling completely new, you can stop for a bite to eat, organise a tour, learn about the local wildlife from the interactive displays or browse the gift shop.The reasons for the sweaters? Back in the late nineties the ‘Knits for Nature’ began to help save penguins from soaking in oil after spills, until staff could clean the oil off them. These little jumpers have to be knitted just right to fit their intended subjects.

Spend some time in this beautiful National Park, theres a lot of different wildlife including birds, and seals to see as well as beautiful landscapes.

Our final stop was to be The Cape Kitchen for lunch, which we had passed as we first came onto the island. With a table up the very front, overlooking the open waters of the Bass Strait, what better place to stop and relax.Delightful staff, a beautiful expansive restaurant, amazing views, finished off with local fresh produce off the well thought out menu. Again, this building is massive, designed with the tourist and local market in mind. If you haven’t stopped in here, even just for a coffee and cake, then you really are missing out on a fantastic experience. Our day visit wasn’t a long one, but given its an easy hour and a half or so drive from Melbourne, it’s incredible what a total contrast to the city this area is.

Enjoy Phillip Island, there is a lot here. Plenty of spots to stop and much to see. We missed quite a bit on this trip, but you cant do everything. There’s always next time!

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A short break in Melbourne made for time to explore this history seeped area of Victoria. So much to see, never enough time, however we started with an area near the city, encompassing Williamstown & Newport.

The waterfront at Williamstown has wonderfully restored historic buildings overlooking the marina. Melbourne City and the Port of Melbourne provide a hazy backdrop of cranes and highrises, behind the berths of marine vessels, located near the mouth of the Yarra River. HMAS Castlemaine, the last of the Bathurst Class corvette still afloat, has been restored to a wartime museum, occupying a permanent marina berth. HMAS Castlemaine served in World War II, and is now open to the public on weekends to give you an insight into life on board as experienced by wartime crews.

Families enjoyed the beauty of this particular sunny winter day, strolling around the park area, wharf, some feeding ravenous seagulls.

We drove a little further down the road and stumbled across a themed Titanic restaurant. Looks intriguing so we will keep that one in mind for our next visit!

Lunch stop was at the Newport bowls Club with an onsite bistro, bar and an entertainment calendar. Drinks and menu are all affordable, as was the music on this particular day.

Drinks and menu are all affordable, as was the music on this day, $15 per non-member or $10 for members.Order and pay for your meals at the kitchen, which will then be delivered to your table when ready.

All the food was real food, delicious, filling, as well as warming on chilly winters day. Highly recommend stopping by for chilled beer or tasty meal. This is a place where you will feel at home, receive friendly service, and not break the bank.

If you’re in the area on a Sunday, enjoy your music, why not extend your stay with a visit to the Newport RSL sub-branch. This small RSL hosts an open mic evening on Sundays, starting at 3pm and including the option of an affordable $5 meal, where you fill your plate with delicious home cooked meat and salad. Enjoy a meal and drink whilst you listen to the talent on hand. Patrons pick up guitars, play drums or sing, with some being regulars, others just visiting. Join in or simply sit back and relax in the chilled out atmosphere. Drop by if you’re in the area, Newport &Williamstown area has a lot to offer, with plenty to see.

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An Evening in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Fortitude Valley is full of activities at any time of the day or night. There is always something happening as well as much to see here. It’s a place where culture oozes from the area as East meets West. From historic buildings through to modern, grunge to clean lines. Brisbane’s iconic Valley will always be known as Australia’s first dedicated entertainment district.

Affectionately known as The Valley to local Brisbanites, the area sits on the Eastern edge of the main city. Easily accessible by train, which we chose to use on this weekend afternoon, its simply a matter of choosing where you would like to go.

Our choice today was the intriguing Alfred and Constance, consisting of two Queenslander style homes, the bones of which were used to create bars and differing areas within.

Starting with a cocktail on a quiet part of the verandah, we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and attentive, friendly staff. Patrons drifted in for a chat over a drink with mates, or for group celebrations. With the different bars as well as this really cool verandah area, where you can watch the world pass by, theres bound to be an area to suit you.The menu is pub style food, at reasonable prices. Arancini, pictured above was quite delicious. Not only was the food nicely presented and tasty, it arrived quite quickly after ordering.Salt & Pepper calamari, plus cheesy bacon fries completed the shared choices for this evening. After taking some time to meander through the food and drinks, it was time to leave this relaxing spot and head off to find our main objective for the evening, Brush N Barrel.

Brush & Barrel is an interesting concept, bringing together a love of wine and painting. Tonight was a pet portrait evening which was a birthday treat for myself. Photos of our pets had been sent in, with staff sketching these onto a canvas for us to paint, whilst indulging in a wine or two. Yes! Bring your own wine and learn a few brush strokes, before you proudly leave with a painting of your own pet, completed by yourself.A couple of staff are hand to assist, one then using a canvas to show you some brush strokes. You dont have to follow the instructions, go off on a tangent and do your own thing. At the start you carefully try to imitate the instructor.But, at some point the wine loosens your senses and try as I may to follow the instructions, it was time to turn rogue. I couldnt see me producing one of those splendid looking works of art on the wall, but it doesn’t matter. Flow with your brush and experiment with the colours. Our dog is black, with a white chest and prior to this session, I simply could not visualise painting in different colours. But, it doesn’t take long before you realise this is a lot of fun! A myriad of colours are on hand to encourage you to expand your horizons, leave the railway track and experiment.Happy with the end result, the evening eventually came to an end. Our instructor started at the back of the room and went from portrait to portrait assisting budding painters. Unfortunately, some of those who were first on the list, called the instructor back after their initial assistance, leaving those further down the room with a long wait for some advice.

But, it was all good for me, happy in the fact that I was the only one to do this painting, that was enough for me.

Take some time to visit The Valley. You’re bound to find something that suits your taste! Highly recommend both of the venues in this article, especially the wine & paint at Brush & Barrel, a great destress session!

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French & Mor, Albany Creek

Tucked at the end of a group of shops, in a quiet area of surburbia, is a surprisingly cool French inspired cafe.Book high tea in advance, take your own bubbles, for a mere $2 cover charge, then relax whilst the wonderful friendly staff cater to your every need.Crockery was embossed with an interesting design, complementing the chunky wooden table. Even sugar had transformed as cute cubes with silver tongs. The little details do make a difference, with effort made here to include attention to detail.At $41 per head, this high tea was definitely very good value. Great idea for a birthday gift too!

Once seated, peruse the drinks menu to decide on your beverage choice. The coffee drinker can choose two coffees, not delivered at the same time, whilst tea lovers have an interesting selection of teas to choose from.Should you require an additional coffee or tea, this is only an extra $2. Very reasonable.

French flavour oozes from the menu, from baguette to delightfully intricate petite fours and sweets.For those who have allergies, which may be affected by the ingredients, French & Mor makes sure you do not feel left out. Indulge in your very own two tiered high tea, designed to ensure you are served only what is safe for you to eat.´┐╝

The selection is quite impressive, and this is the two tier designed just for one person!

First up, some beautifully fresh bread chicken, tomato and cucumber sandwiches, which literally melted in the mouth. Pausing to savour the mini sandwiches, it was then time to indulge in the beef baguette, again wonderfully fresh, pairing well with the horseradish creme, which had a hint of mustard seeping through. Nothing overpowering, but some fantastic separate flavours there to enjoy.

Grissini and charcoal wafer thin crackers followed, dipped in tasty beetroot hummus.

Already you discover you’ve beaten the hunger pains. These tasty morsels are actually a lot more filling than they appear!

Those petit fours were to follow, with the selection of desserts the last remaining items to be consumed.Dainty French macaron which literally dissolved perfectly in your mouth was the first dessert on the plate. A myriad of flavours followed with raspberry pur├ęe and peppermint pana cotta. Both strong dominating flavours, bringing an end to this most enjoyable high tea.

Keep this one up your sleeve for somewhere as a surprise gift or just to be that little bit special. There is a normal cafe menu to if you would like to check it out first. Just remember to contact the friendly, helpful staff and organise your high tea in advance.

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Kata TjutaWalpa Pit Stop Tour

The very last tour for the Uluru trip, was a fairly easy afternoon walk at Kata Tjuta. Our friendly driver Adam collected us from the hotel and provided us with an informative commentary during our 45 min drive each way. Adam had worked out here for ten years so he was a fountain of knowledge.

The tour was small, not on a huge coach, so quite personalised. Adam stopped along the way at a lookout which was a short walk up, to have a fabulous view of Kata Tjuta. We were warned of the flies, and he wasn’t wrong! We had fought flies all week and become somewhat used to them, but, this was literally like the breeding ground for all flies, well it seemed that way anyway. But the view sure made up for it. Adam was right, this was worth perfecting the Australian ‘wave’ for.

Back on the bus, it was short drive out to the Olga’s themselves. Along the way we passed the longest shortcut in Australia. This road is 2800 kilometres if you traverse the entire Outback Way, which takes you from Winton Queensland to Laverton Western Australia. 1600 kilometres is dirt road and there is up to 300 kilometres between food, fuel and sleep stops. quite mind blowing facts and a trip you would need to be very well prepared for. Don’t turn down there by accident, you might be there a while!Kata Tjuta means many heads. There are 36 domes which make up this intriguing area, cover around 21 kms squared. The highest of the domes is Mt Olga, 1066 metres above sea level or towering around 546 metres above the desert plains, was so named by Ernest Giles in 1872, to honour Queen Olga of W├╝rttemberg.

The Armadus Basin Kata Tjuta lies in, was formed around 850 million years ago. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are formed with sediment originating from what is know as the Mount Currie Conglomerate, which consists of granite, amongst other sediments, with patina being the compound giving the orange-red hue Uluru and Kata Tjuta are known for.Many Pitjantjatjara ‘Dreamtime’ legends are associated with Kata Tjuta. The stories are fascinating, with a sacred area set aside over generations for ‘men’s business’. Legend foretells, women who become privy to the ‘men’s business area’ are open to violent attacks or even death. The Anangu people believe those dome formations are home to the “dreaming”s spirit energy. In 1995 they again began using the sacred site for cultural ceremonies.After completing Kings Canyon, this walk was really quite easy to traverse with marked tracks and easily walked bridges. Highly recommend you wear good solid footwear though, there are loose rocks and rocky steps to negotiate in places.You cannot help but be completely mesmerised by the sheer size of these domes, as you negotiate your way through the Walpa Gorge. Listen for the wind though, it whistles as you make you way through the canyon. Take some time to breathe in how incredible nature is, if you dont stop and enjoy along the way, you will miss the moments.

The entire Tour from pick up to drop off, isn’t more than about 2.5-3 hours, including around 1.5 hours drive time. For an autumn/winter afternoon walk, I’d recommend walking out here, its easy enough to be pleasant, yet with a little challenge and the added bonus of a great little spot at the top of the gorge, harbouring native plants and a grove of Spearwood trees.Spearwood trees are an evergreen shrub, growing to around 2-6 metres, with some yellow globular blossom forming in spring. They were not blooming today, but still, it is worth the walk. Remember to respect the Anangu people and do not cross into areas you are specifically requested not too.The trip back down is fairly easy, a few steps but just follow that marked path down the gorge, stopping along the way to take some photos and listen for the whistling wind. It is quite interesting. Especially when there was no wind at the bottom, yet throughout the walk, you really become attuned to nature, with the addition of that whistling wind.

After a short stop at Australia’s, most expensive long drop toilet, (oh yes you need to see this and hear the story, it is quite entertaining), it didn’t take long to be dropped back at the hotel. I’m not giving away all the secrets, head out to Kata Tjuta and find out for yourself, probably not one for the heat, but we had a pretty good time of year and wasn’t too hot.Check Dine Live Travel on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram as well as our other platforms for more information and photos. Thank you for following this blog and really do hope you have enjoyed this Uluru series. Some exciting things coming in the next week or so, keep an eye out!

Uluru – Day Four, Desert Awakenings Tour

Lets hope you’re not feeling a little dusty after indulging in that spectacular dinner last night! Our last full day began early, pre sunrise, as we were collected from our hotel by the engaging Jo, and transported to a sand dune out past the airport. Here, hot drinks and warm damper awaited us as we were about to witness the magic of an outback sunrise. Next, we would be heading into the National Park to the base of Uluru itself. Later today would see us venturing out to Kata Tjuta on an afternoon tour.

The biting desert cold night air which we had briefly tasted ducking from the warmth of our hotel into Jo’s All Terrain vehicle, now enveloped us as we reluctantly left the bus and trudged up the sand dune. The only noise in this expanse was the low murmmuring of voices which were occasionally raised to emphaise how cold each person felt.

We were only a small group, and the walk up the dune was not far. But, that little bit of elevation was going to give us a stunning, uninterrupted view of the sunrise, Uluru and Kata Tjuta.At the top of the dune, Jo gleefully greeted our breakfast cook who had an array of food including warm damper, pastries, fruit and hot water urns, filled with boiling water, ready to warm our chilled innards with a choice of hot beverages.

After loading up with warming drinks, everyone surrounded the gas heaters, trying desperately to breathe heat into numbingly cold bodies.

Its about now you regret being a photographer. Wistfully watching everyone else with one hand hugging a warm cup, the other either tucked deeply into a pocket or held out like a peace offering in front of a gas heater, I tried to encourage my unwilling fingers to operate the camera. It will be worth the effort of taking these photos I told myself. Ignore the cold, just do it.

The sunrise was simply magical. Soon forgetting the cold, you could not help but be mesmerised with the scene unfolding in front of you. Darkness was being tinged with the first rays of light out on the horizon, whilst Jo mingled with her charges, getting to know them and helping with breakfast.

With a gentle ease, the sun slid above the horizon, turning darkness to light as we thanked our chef and headed back to the vehicle for the trip to the base of Uluru.

First stopping at the park gates for clearance, we then drove on to National Park Land, home to the Anangu people. Don’t forget to organise your Park pass prior to arriving, it will cost a mere $25 for the few days you are here and the pass can be loaded on your mobile device for easy access.

The imposing rock grew bigger as we advanced down the road. Finally, we were going to get to witness this monolith up close.

Now Jo is one of the most engaging and heartfelt story tellers I have ever come across. Driving through the park she related stories of Anangu people and their beliefs. Listening as she told us of the history behind certain marks on the rock, you just could not help but be spellbound.

Eventually we arrived at the carpark at the base of the Uluru walk. The Anangu people ask that you respect their wishes and not climb the rock, however, it is open for walking until 26 October 2019 when it will permanently close. There have been many deaths resulting from attempts to climb the rock, dont allow yourself to become a statistical memory.

We had no intention of disrespecting the wishes of the community, therefore we did not climb, not even a short way. There were however a surprising large number of people clambering up the rock. Remember I mentioned the chain that Peter, the Curtin Springs station owner had installed many years ago? Well that is it snaking its way up Uluru. This is the chain Peter and four young men installed over the course of 8 weeks.

Wandering down the side path, I read the story laid out on the posts along the path about the Mala and Wintalka people, and the fight which resulted in a huge devil dog, Kurpany being sent to destroy the Mala peoples Ima (ceremony). Each story has a lesson to be learned. This one was to teach us that it is important to finish what you start and that you should watch and listen to warnings of danger. Rock formations are simply fascinating, and as we drove around to the other side of Uluru Jo told more stories of how these formations or holes in the rock occurred.

Around the back of the rock, every person in our group, including at one point a couple of cyclists who were passing through, were intently listening to every animated word. I was completely blown away not only by Jo’s knowledge, but the heartfelt way she delivered these stories, giving them every respect deserved.

We walked the path down into a little oasis of sand and water, tucked in amongst the sandstone rock forming Uluru. This peaceful area was heavy with spiritual presence from generations of the local community. A cave close by, had sheltered these generations in the past, and the drawings were still there from thousands of years ago.More photos on the facebook page and some on instagram. Simply amazing to see these still clearly showing on the rock face.The Cave wasn’t fully enclosed and one can only begin to imagine how difficult it would be living in these tough conditions, given our softer lifestyle now.

Our last stop was the Cultural Centre. You need to stop and wander through here, give yourself some time to do so and really soak it all in. Start from around the back and stroll through the tunnel which is cleverly put together, depicting community life over the years. There’s no photography allowed in here, so unfortunately I can not show how amazing this place is. But perhaps thats best left for you to find out yourselves.

Thank you to the Anangu people for allowing us access to this world heritage area. Your generosity in doing so is greatly appreciated. Remembering the words of Bob Randall, one of the traditional owners who has now passed, “We don’t own the land, the land owns us”.

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Uluru – Day Three ends with A Night at Field of Light

Day three at Uluru had begun with the Helicopter Tour. We then filled in the day by browsing the town centre shops for souvenirs, walking around the resort and taking in some of the awesome free activities. One of which was the incredible Mani Mani Theatre. You cannot take photos or video in the theatre, however we were completely blown away with the sheer brilliance of the story telling and interpretive dance. If you don’t stop in to see this you really are missing an incredible experience.

Our more relaxed, somewhat less strenuous day, was going to end with A Night at the Field of Light. This experience combines the popular Sounds of Silence dinner with British artist Bruce Monroe’s 50 000 light display, making for a totally unique and simply awesome evening.

Collected from our hotel, the AAT Kings coach took us to a secluded sand dune area, not far from the resort, tucked away behind the camel farm. After disembarking from the coach,you head up the sand dune to be met with trays of bubbly and smiling welcoming staff. Ok, you have my attention now, this is looking pretty good!!Glass in hand, mingle with your fellow tour participants, as the sun beings to drop down below the horizon for the night. Your backdrop is Uluru, which changes colour as often as the light reflections do.Raise a toast to the rock as you witness an almost silent sunset. The only noise out here, are the soft murmur of voices, a light clinking of glasses, punctuated only with the clicking of cameras and burst of laughter. Quietness envelopes you, very different from city life where noise is a constant reminder of life moving on.Trays of canap├ęs are offered to all. Smoked kangaroo, crocodile, poached prawns, rosella and caramelised sweet potato are on offer to tempt your tastebuds. As the sun begins to disappear on the horizon, participants move location, with a short walk down to the area set up for your 5 star dinner.

A brilliant red carpet moves beneath your feet. Your ceiling this evening will be an incredible array of night stars. Gas heaters dotted throughout the white linen covered tables, will help to keep you warm. That group of strangers you are being seated with, will be your interesting companions for the evening.

Darkness falls as tables are filled and relaxed diners greet their fellow table companions. Staff check with each diner to ensure their choice of drink is catered for throughout the evening. Warming tomato and thyme soup is then served to the tables. Enjoy your entree, its a nice way to warm the insides as the temperature drops.

Each table is soon asked to head to the buffet, where you help yourself to a wide selection of food. On the menu tonight you have kangaroo, lamb, barramundi, chicken, vegetables and salad. Menu items are clearly named so pick your choice, head back to the table and savour those bush tucker flavours mixed with your choices. The beautiful sounds of the didgeridoo provide a soothing background to the laughter and chatter.

Finish your dinner with a variety of delicious sweets. By now you are full, cannot eat another thing. The flowing alcohol has relaxed everyone with friendships forged and stories shared.Beneath your sand dune, the field of lights below has sprung into life, with colours becoming more prominent through the evening.

After dinner, as all the man made light is extinguished, the incredible canopy of stars above your head comes to life. An onsite astronomer runs you through the constellations and planets twinkling peacefully above. As the laser points out specific areas, you are completely in awe of canopy of diamonds. With no man made light to interrupt, the sky above is absolutely exquisite. Never will you see something as brilliant as this from a brightly lit city.Tonights interesting astronomy lesson draws to close, patrons have utilised the best long drops you will ever see in your life, and before you know it, the time arrives to wander through the field of lights.

Glasses are left behind, staff begin to clear the tables as you all take your cameras to immerse yourself in this incredible display.The brainchild of British artist Bruce Monroe, this immersive coloured light experience covers 49000 square meters. 40 people took six weeks to plant the different coloured solar powered stems. Wander through the snaking paths. There’s a long or a short route. I chose the short route, only to give myself more time to stop and take photos.

You really cannot describe the feeling as you wander through the baubles of light. It is immersive, it is soul restoring.

As patrons emerge from the other side of the field, your waiting coaches display their resort destinations. Choose the coach you need and before long, you are safely back at your accommodation.

Another perfect end to a perfect day. It’s an early start tomorrow, with a Desert Awakenings tour starting the day, before a wander through Kata Tjuta.

Sleep easy, dreaming of sparkling stars and lights. Tomorrow is the last full day at this amazing outback destination.Remember to check all the other Dine Live Travel Platforms, including instagram, facebook, Pinterest and twitter. Photos, or coffee table albums are available upon request. Perhaps you may prefer to utilise our new itinerary service. Sweet dreams!