HOME AND AWAY
THE Ayers Rock Resort complex in the great red centre is looking very smart after a $43 million revamp by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. The five-star Sails in the Desert hotel has been thoroughly refurbished and there’s an extended Indigenous Guest Experience program that includes dance performances, spear and boomerang-throwing workshops and art classes at which guests are encouraged to create dot paintings. Look around the lobby of Sails for fantastically swirled canvases of emu feathers by resident artist Raymond Walters Japanangka (whose workshop and gallery is nearby). The Ilkari restaurant has been jazzed up with latticed lights and chic tub chairs and features an excellent buffet; the 228 rooms (pictured) feel fresh and full of light with Aboriginal-motif paintings, soft furnishings and custom-made carpets; flat-screen televisions; and fragrant Indigiearth toiletries based on bush botanicals. Also in the resort complex are the Desert Gardens Hotel and Emu Walk Apartments plus budget digs and a camping ground. Don’t miss the free Mani Mani Indigenous Cultural Theatre presentation, Wednesday to Sunday. More: ayersrockresort.com.au.