Set in the desert dunes with the silhouette of Uluru glimmering in the last rays of the sunset, Tali Wiru is the most unique romantic fine-dining experience Australia has to offer.
It’s hard to imagine how the incredible experience of visiting the sacred Australian landmark of Uluru can be improved.
Maybe ‘improved’ is the wrong word. Perhaps ‘enhanced’ is better.
Either way, Tali Wiru—the four-hour romantic fine-dining experience at the top of the rippling sand dunes that lap at the feet of Uluru—does exactly that.
Check out our quick 90-second video of Tali Wiru to get an idea of just how beautiful this experience is.
What Does Tali Wiru Mean?
Collectively referring to themselves as Anangu, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the surrounding area, seemingly love an understatement.
Even their name—Anangu—means simply ‘people’, yet theirs is the longest surviving continuous culture in the world.
When we discover that Tali Wiru translates merely as ‘beautiful dune’ there’s an opportunity to anticipate underwhelm.
But we have the inside track.
The day before, we witnessed the launch of the largest permanent ongoing drone show in the world in the sky above Uluru. It tells part of an ancient song line of Anangu history and is their most impressive project.
However, it’s just called beautiful view—Wintjiri Wiru in Pitjantjatjara.
So we know Tali Wiru is going to be something remarkable.
What Should You Expect At Tali Wiru?
After an exhilarating off-bitumen drive in the monster-truck style minibus from our hotel in nearby Yulara out into the desert, we’re greeted by our hosts for the evening.
As we climb the gentle slope of the sand dune, with the desert sun nodding its head towards one horizon and Uluru bathing in the golden light on another, we’re struck by just how unique this dining experience really is.
Along with welcome drinks come superb canapés made with native ingredients.
Proteins like kangaroo, Morton Bay bug and yellowtail kingfish are accompanied by ingredients that are exotic to us, but are locally sourced and foraged here.
Bush tomato, finger lime, wattle seed and Davidson pear, ice plant, quandong, samphire and desert lime all work to create impressive layers of flavour that belie the size of these exquisite morsels.
We enjoy the full colours of the sunset while a didgeridoo player gives us the appropriate soundtrack and a chef from the kitchen tucked into a tiny shack talks us through the ingredients they’re using tonight.
But then it’s time for the main event.
Up a lit pathway, we find—at the top of the highest dune—tables laid with white table cloths and silver, and the crystal glassware shines in the evening light.
We take our places at this almost ethereal dinner, where we’re served amuse bouche and entrees match with fine wines from across Australia. Mains come with the theatre of a grand reveal from under metal cloches and the feast continues.
Venison, lemon myrtle, toothfish, muntries, 6+ marble wagyu beef and Australian truffle in various dishes on the menu make choosing our meals very difficult, but ultimately unimportant. Every dish that comes from the little kitchen is perfection.
For once, food envy doesn’t rear its obnoxious head at the table.
Dessert comes all too quickly and we wish we could stay up here forever. Options of a chocolate device, dessert honey and Kakadu plum mousse or a cheese board give us one last troublesome decision to make, then it’s time for some stargazing.
As you can imagine, here in the desert’s pristine air away from city lights, the constellations are brilliantly bright.
Aided by a professional stargazer and his phenomenally powerful laser pointer, we explore our galaxy while we digest.
Before we head back to our hotel transfer, there’s one last pleasure to enjoy: a seat at the campfire with a drop of dessert wine or digestif, and we talk to the didgeridoo player from earlier while he shows us some indigenous artefacts and traditional tools.
The whole evening is more like a dream that all too soon ends and we’re rumbling back to town, stomachs full but hearts even fuller.