Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has launched Wintjiri Wiru, a breathtaking cultural storytelling experience at Uluru, developed in partnership with the Anangu community.
This gamechanger for the Australian tourism industry combines ancient Anangu storytelling with state-of-the-art drone, laser and light projection technology. It is the first time an experience of this magnitude has been performed on a regular basis anywhere in the world.
Wintjiri Wiru – which suggests a ‘beautiful view out to the horizon’ in the local Anangu language – brings to life a chapter of the Mala ancestral story which sits between Kaltukatjara (Docker River) and Uluru. Over the past few years, Voyages consulted and collaborated closely with a group of 10 senior Anangu from both communities, to bring Wintjiri Wiru to life taking great care to tell the story in the right way.
Rene Kulitja, on behalf of the Anangu Consultation Group said “We are Anangu and we have one of the oldest continuing cultures on earth. This chapter of the Mala story has been passed to us from generation to generation. Our ancestors walked this Country, carried this story and shared this story through inma, our songs and our ceremonies.
“We are thinking about our future. We are looking forward and have created Wintjiri Wiṟu for the next generation, for our grandchildren.
“We have held hands with Voyages to create Wintjiri Wiṟu together. From the beginning, Voyages has been working together with the Anangu Working Group – talking together, listening together and creating together.
“People from every place have come to see Uluru. Now we want people to come and experience our story in a new way. We want visitors to know this is our story, to look and listen and feel with us. Our stories have been here since the beginning, and we want to share this story with the world.”
Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages, said: “We are honoured that we can share the cultural importance of the Mala story with our guests, through such an illuminating and captivating experience in the spiritual heart of Australia. As custodians of the land and this part of the Mala story, the Anangu consultation group has carefully guided us on the Wintjiri Wiru experience, from conception to launch, to generously share their story with the world.”
Designed and produced by world-renowned media architecture studio RAMUS, the Wintjiri Wiru experience illuminates the Central Desert with a spectacle of lights, projections and lasers shining on the spinifex and mulga, connecting the earth and sky to offer an expansive experience of light and sound in the presence of Uluru.
The depth of the story is revealed when more than 1,100 luminous drones take flight each night to lift the ancient images to the sky. Through exquisite choreography and visual artistry, the drones depict aspects of the Mala story accompanied by a narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, and a soundtrack with traditional inma recorded with members of the local Anangu community.
Visitors can view the show on an environmentally sustainable, purpose-built platform “floating” above the desert with stunning panoramic views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta nestled on the horizon. Artwork from local Anangu artist and community member, Christine Brumby, has been cut into the architectural steel separating the various seating levels of the platform and backlit for maximum impact.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia acknowledges continuing Anangu connection to land, water, sky, culture and community and pays respect to Anangu communities and Elders and welcomes the opportunity to celebrate Anangu culture through the Wintjiri Wiru experience.