Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of a trip to Australia’s Outback is how green it can be! Most people can’t believe that there are over 416 species of native plants in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park alone. The Aboriginal people have used the plant life of Central Australia for thousands of years to supplement their diet of native game as well as for medicines, weapons, clothing and shelter.
As its World Heritage listing indicates, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ‘contains unique, rare or superlative natural phenomena, formations and features’. Anangu have for centuries divided the flora in the Park into a number of categories: Punu (trees), Puti (shrubs), Tjulpun-tjulpunpa (flowers), and Ukiri (grasses).
Tjanpi – Spinifex “Spiky Donuts”
The spiny leaves of Tjanpi (Spinifex) are rolled into needles to conserve valuable moisture. Young plants are round. As a clump grows outwards the outer leaves take root. Eventually as the plant expands, the centre dies, producing rings. Old clumps become metres wide. Tjanpi cools the sand for animals, provides food for grazing insects and mammals, and gives spiky protection, best avoided!
Kaliny – Kalinypa Honey Grevillea “Sweetshops”
The spectacular flowers of grevilleas make them popular in Australian gardens. But in the Central Desert they have a more important role. The flowers of Desert and Honey Grevilleas are full of nectar, attracting a host of insects and honeyeater birds. Look for beads of nectar glistening on these flowers in the early morning before the day shift of sweet tooths have their fill.
Kurkara – Desert Oak
One of the most distinctive and impressive trees of the pila and tali habitats is the Kurkara. Like many plants in the Central Desert, the Kurkara has modified leaves to reduce water loss. Its needles are made up of thin striped segments, leaf stalks, linked by a ring of projections, each of which is a tiny leaf.
Wanari – Mulga
This tough shrub is the most common shrub in puti and probably the most common in all of Australia. It is well equipped to survive dry hot conditions. Like most acacias, it has leaves that aren’t really leaves at all but flattened leaf stalks called phyllodes. These reduced leaves lose less water vapour when the plant breathes than more traditional leaves. They are also silvery to reflect the heat and hang vertically to minimise the sunlight falling on them.
Longitude 131° offers a transcendent experience of discovery
Timeless and enriching, Longitude 131° overlooks the dual World Heritage listed wilderness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Luxury Lodges of Australia
Longitude 131° is honoured as a ‘first 15’ founding member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, a collection of luxury lodges in extraordinary Australian destinations. Learn more ››
Capella Lodge - Lord Howe Island
From desert dreaming to island luxe… Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island was the first retreat in the Baillie Lodges collection and continues to capture guests in its magic. Learn more ››
Southern Ocean Lodge - Kangaroo Island
Sojourn south to sister property Southern Ocean Lodge, the globally celebrated retreat atop the limestone cliffs of Kangaroo Island. Learn more ››
Table 131° - Exclusive to Longitude 131°
The evening offers up an experience to last a lifetime, exclusive to Longitude 131° guests. Enjoy contemporary cuisine under the spectacular desert night sky, where dinner is served with the finest wines under a glittering canopy of stars… Learn more ››
Did you know...
Uluru is 348 metres at its tallest point: 43 metres higher than Sydney Tower, 24 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower, and just 33 metres lower than the Empire State Building.
Baillie Lodges Newsletter
Read the latest in luxe_essential*, Baillie Lodges’ newsletter and a roundup of news and events at Capella Lodge, Longitude 131° and Southern Ocean Lodge. Learn more ››
Classic Uluru Rates
Classic Uluru rates offer a discount bonus when staying three nights or more, from $3,600 per person twin share. Come walkabout. Learn more ››
Longitude 131° Video
Relaxed luxury. Exclusive experiences. Authentic Australia. To see what else Longitude 131° has to offer, watch our short film. Lodge Video ››
Field of Light Transforms the Desert Landscape
Artist Bruce Munro’s internationally acclaimed solar installation, Field of Light, has arrived at Uluru. Learn more about the global phenomenon and how Longitude 131° guests experience the interactive artwork here…
Stay four nights or more on Classic Uluru rates and benefit from platinum privileges. Explore the outback icons from above with a complimentary 15 minute scenic helicopter flight and enjoy a private dining experience for two on the dunetop. Outback luxe! Learn more ›
A Partnership Set in Stone
Longitude 131° is excited to be part of a new partnership with Ernabella Arts Inc, Australia’s oldest indigenous arts centre, which will see funding for an education program for its artists and residents as well as operational support over the next two years. Learn more on the blog, here ›