Uluru Stories and Tips

Dining Under the Stars (not the Southern Cross)

Our tour organized a dinner for us and some other tour groups to have an Outback dining experience. The tourist-without-a-tour-group version of this is called the Sounds of Silence dinner. I’d actually booked the Sounds of Silence dinner in advance (advanced bookings are essential) because it’s been given high tourism ratings (you watch the sunset as well), but our tour switched around their itinerary, so I had to cancel.

Ours was the rustic version, without the much better food. We had steak on the barbie, as well as kangaroo meat (or fish for the veggies of the bunch) plus rolls (which, from how hard they were, had been sitting out for a while), salad and dessert. I actually broke down and tried the kangaroo meat, and it wasn’t bad. It had a much stronger taste than beef would, but it wasn’t overly gamey or anything. It’s supposed to be a very lean meat, and helped the aborigines maintain their svelte figures. The steak was very overcooked, and the best part of the dinner was the still partially frozen pecan pie.

That’s not the point, however. The point is to be sitting out in the middle of nowhere eating dinner with friends and looking up into the sky. You’d have never guessed that there were so many stars. As in the Sounds of Silence dinner, there is an astronomer on site to help point out the Southern Hemisphere constellations and give you a little astronomy lesson. Alas, the Southern Cross doesn’t rise until late night/early morning, so I didn’t get to see that particular group of stars. However, the astronomer demonstrated that since there’s no “South star” like there is a North Star, the early ship masters had to triangulate between certain stars to determine which way was South.

The Sounds of Silence dinner has tablecloths and much better food, and sells for about $130. I wish I would have done that one instead. The stars with better food would have been a priceless experience. (It was pretty neat, even with the bad food.)

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