Voyages Sounds of Silence

11:34 PM JustJaslin 0 Comments

HIGHLIGHT IN ULURU AYERS ROCK The highlight of my entire trip to Northern Territory Australia has to be the Sounds of Silence dinner. You know, I'm always all about al fresco dining so you could imagine how I excited I was when we were told that we would be dining in the middle of the outback, under the stars (and no, it was not thrown in for good measure to romanticise the dinner, I will get to that later), with one of the 7 natural wonders of the world as a setting. Everything just sounds better by the minute already.

NTAustralia has arranged for us to arrive for dinner with style (how often would someone arrive for a dinner on a camel's back?). And yep that was exactly the plan. I was stoked!! Uluru Camel Tours picked us up from our hotel where we arrived at the camel farm with a short safety briefing before we were all put up on the camels' back. It may look nothing too much from the ground, but holy moly it was wayyy up higher than it seems while we got up.

John gave me a ride on his back. Apart from the occasional yawns and ignoring me when I tried talking to him, he was fairly nice. No running off at high speeds or anything. Thank god. We meandered along the outback desert trail as we explored the stunning red sand dunes of Uluru, listening to our cameleers who told us more about camels, flora and fauna along the way. The scenery was still and beautiful, and I never thought anything like this could feel so laid back. That's when I think the outback lifestyle has completely captivated me.

Here's the cameleer who has walked with us (okay technically, he was the only one walking) and stayed close to the back as he told us stories and patiently answered our questions on our one hour ride. I was pretty sure that we covered quite a fair bit of distance where I asked if he found it exhausting. In fact, he said that he usually covers about a 12 kilometer walk on a daily basis! I can't even handle my 2.4 kilometer run with grace, much less a 12 kilometer walk. Hats off.

However living in the outback meant dealing with all the creepy crawlies. Australia has 5 out of the world's 10 most deadliest snakes where he shared that both his neighbors faced snakes in their houses. (And our guide Luke in Darwin keeps a snake as his pet)

I was like, so what do you do? You are in the middle of nowhere and you are not likely to get any help soon.. That's when he said that everyone living in the outback has some sort of an identity card with all the relevant authorities' contact at the back of it. There's one that deals with snakes - but then again I'm not quite sure if I would still have the ability to think straight and make calls if I ever came face to face with one in my house. 

Our camel ride took us to the Sounds of Silence site and we certainly did arrive in style because everyone was just taking pictures of us (and our camels!). We mingled together with people that came from all parts of the world with some champagne and canapes as we caught yet another beautiful sunset on a viewing platform at the top of a hill. I can never get enough of sunsets. The sun painted the skies in hues of pink and orange and it was a great start to the Sounds of Silence experience. 

We made our way down to the next location before it turned dark, and our dinner started with sounds of a didgeridoo (a wind instrument played by Indigenous Australians of northern territory) under the outback sky. Our buffet dinner was bush tucker inspired cuisines that incorporated the flavors of the native bush ingredients.

I think I would have enjoyed our dinner better if the insects in the outback were not as attracted to the warmth from the table lights. We were all rushing to finish up what's on our plate before the next fly or cricket could pounced on them. Leo's glass of wine had a huge cricket which landed in it! But I guess this was just part of the experience in dining in the outback. I just wished they could have switched on the electric warmers and that would have diverted the insects' attention.

One of the waitress said that it wasn't like that during other times of the year. Different seasons and temperatures played into the factor so I would say September would not be an ideal month. It would be better to check with them prior to planning the dinner.

Apart from rushing through my dinner, I was really contented to just sit back and enjoy the night skies which we dined under. We certainly dined under a galaxies of stars (told you the words were not merely thrown in for good measures). It was nothing, and by that I really mean it, nothing compared to the skies we see in Singapore. The night skies in Singapore is too bright for most stars to shine through, let alone such an amount of twinkly lights. 

It was really hard, playing with the camera settings to capture the stars in the skies. But it was all so worth it when I finally did so. The main highlight of the dinner for me was when all the lights were completely blew out. It was just pure darkness and silence that fell in the middle of the outback landscape. (I can't even see my fingers!)

Then came the voice from a sky walker. It was such an experience - We couldn't see anything except the stars which are the only source of lights as we listened to a voice that came out from the dark. The sky walker had this powerful torchlight (which I think it's even stronger than the search lights on Marina Bay Sands. Maybe a good measure would be the Batman's light signal.) and he told us stories about the skies and pointed out interesting facts and horoscope signs. Did you see the curve in the picture above near the top left hand corner? That's the tail of the Scorpio sign! Wow. I'm completely amazed. 

There's just something about looking out into the stars and galaxy (yes I also did managed to capture it in the same picture above!). We had a chance to view through their telescope equipment, saw the rings of the planet Saturn with my own eyes, and a double star far out in the Milky Way. If you did notice, there are blue and orange stars in the skies where the blue represented young stars where they gradually turn to a shade orange as time pass. 

I think what's amazing is when we are looking at the exact same skies that has been around for thousands of years; And they are exactly what the aboriginals see thousands of years ago. The same stars which people who lived in the past relied on to differentiate different times and seasons of a year.

Here's a toast to dining in the beautiful outback landscape in Uluru together with all nine other top bloggers in their niche area. It is definitely a dining experience to remember for a lifetime. 


Relevant Information

Award-winning Uluru Camel Tours
Camels to Sounds of Silence: AUD$100 per pax
Duration: 1 hour
Inclusive of vehicle transfer fro hotel to Uluru Camel Farm


Voyages Sounds of Silence
Price at AU$185 per adult  
AU$92.50 per child (10-12 years)
Duration: Approximately 4 hours
Inclusive of return transfers to hotels.

Voyages Outback Sky Journeys
(Star gazing tour)

Price at AU$38 per adult
Free for children 15 years and under

Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes


I hope you enjoyed reading my adventures on this blog.
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