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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

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.

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