travel journalaustralasiaaustraliasimpson desert Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland With views direct to Uluru and across the desert to Kata Tjuta, Longitude 131˚ is Australia’s most celebrated luxury camp.
by Eibhlis Gale Coleman

Laid deep in the Simpson desert, Longitude 131˚ offers 5-star accommodation within 10km of iconic Uluru. Surrounded by red dunes, the lodge is spread across a camp of opulent tented pavilions – allowing visitors to connect with nature while indulging in luxurious facilities.

Longitude 131˚ offers unimpeded views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, both world-renowned UNESCO National Heritage Sites. The lodge also boasts high sustainability – running entirely on renewable energy and designed to dismantle entirely. Glamping has never looked or felt so good.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

Longitude’s innovative campground design was the initial creation of leading Australian architect Philip Cox before its 2013 transformation by award-winning Max Pritchard. The 16 tented pavilions are ‘designed to offer both luxurious sanctuary and a profound sense of place’ – a concept Longitude keeps central to the guest experience. Each tent features floor-to-ceiling glass windows for maximised private views of Uluru and abundant natural light.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland
Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

In terms of décor, the lodge opts for furnishings and artwork sourced from local indigenous artists – maintaining that unique ‘sense of place’ and sacred culture of the red centre. Guests can choose from a ‘Luxury Tent’ or the ‘Dune Pavilion’ for an extra dash of luxury for their stay. The ‘Luxury Tent’ offers king or twin beds, an ensuite complete with a rain shower, and a private balcony with a day bed.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

The ‘Dune Pavilion’ features two bedrooms with ensuites, separate living and sleeping areas, and a private balcony with a plunge pool, loungers, and a day bed. The ‘Dune Pavilion’ is also Australia’s only accommodation to offer views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta – with Longitude 131˚ describing it as a ‘personal nature-meets-luxury experience.’

And the personal, natural experiences continue with Longitude’s dining options. A ‘creative, contemporary Australian menu enjoyed with a view to the nation’s spiritual heart,’ Chef Tom Saliba has carefully masterminded culinary options using quality fresh produce and local bush ingredients.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

Moreover, the two in-house restaurants offer cultural and natural experiences themselves. Table 131˚ is an open-air restaurant situated on a remote dune top, offering guests a chance to dine under the Outback stars.

Free from light pollution, guests can truly connect with nature while indulging in a four-course dinner with accompanying wine pairings.  A ‘tour of the sky’ with the Longitude lodge guide offers the perfect complement to an already spectacular experience – allowing you to unwind to Aboriginal creation stories as the evening sky darkens.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

On alternative evenings, guests are treated to dinners at the Dune House. The Dune House serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the cool retreat of the bar or on the terrace overlooking Uluru. For a pre or after-meal drink, guests can enjoy the ‘help-yourself-vibe’ or expert bartender service of Dune House Bar.

The bar itself boasts luxurious, cultural décor, featuring ‘nearly 500 unique spinfex tiles each hand designed by the ladies of Ernabella Arts Community’ – a local indigenous creative initiative.

Adventurous guests can also sample Longitude’s exclusively distilled gin, which follows a secret Kangaroo Island recipe. And, for a more intimate dining experience, guests can book private pods on the Dune Top, a glamorous viewpoint complete with both plunge pool and bar. From here, guests can enjoy private views of the night sky and exquisite cuisine.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

Longitude does not draw the line at dining experiences; guests can forget the stress of organising tours and juggling limited transportation options around Uluru. The lodge offers a plethora of excursions to the incredible local sights and attractions. Opt to visit Uluru for sunset, where you can enjoy a private pop-up bar with canapes and premium drinks.

Learn about the geology and history of Walpa Gorge and Kata Tjuta on a sunrise excursion – including sacred indigenous sites that Longitude guides have exclusive permission by local peoples to show guests around. Alternatively, relax onsite in the ‘contemporary billabong’ of Longitude’s swimming pool, which offers a bar, shaded deck, and loungers.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

For an extra bit of indulgence, visit Spa Kinara – Longitude’s in-house spa. ‘A physical and spiritual retreat, Spa Kinara aligns body and soul under the gaze of Uluru, who’s mysterious natural energies radiate throughout the landscape.’ Spa Kinara focuses on traditional healing techniques and natural, native beauty products such as scented emu bush, Kakadu plum, and Australian yellow clay.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

The spa also sources products locally, such as scented emu bush balm (also known as irmangka-irmangka) from the Ngangkari Program. Spa Kinara uses Li’Tya techniques and products, an Indigenous-inspired treatment style translating as ‘of the earth.’ Starting with a traditional Aboriginal welcome ceremony, guests can opt for an array of tailored facial, body, and ritual treatments.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

Treatments include therapeutic massages such as Kunapa, which uses irmangka-irmangka to ease ‘muscular aches and inflammation,’ and facial treatments such as Kinara, which uses native plants to combat signs of ageing. Your options are vast, but Spa Kinara’s knowledgeable therapists are happy to guide you through treatment options to find the best fit for you.

Longitude 131° luxury camp offers an essential experience of Australia’s spiritual heartland

A retreat to Longitude 131˚ offers the perfect combination of Australian nature, indigenous culture, and personal luxury. A magical experience, a stay offers an otherworldly glimpse into the serenity and spirituality of one of Australia’s most sacred natural sites. Longitude 131˚is the perfect choice for anyone looking to experience Uluru in true luxury and style.

For more information, visit longitude131.com.au

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About me
Eibhlis Gale Coleman is a passionate traveller having explored a number of premier destinations in Europe, North Africa, South East Asia, and Australia. She is a freelance writer at Royist and is currently exploring creative ideas for new-age travellers in the luxury sector.