Places in the heart: Anthony Field

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is ”chill city” for Anthony Field, aka the Blue Wiggle, who says visiting the red heart of the Northern Territory is like going on a retreat.

I first went to Uluru in the 1980s and I’ve been back five or six times, twice with my wife, Miki, and our three kids. I used to love driving from Alice Springs, but now I fly. The first thing I always do is get a photo with whomever I’m with, lying in the red dust. People can’t believe it when they see the colour of the ground.
It’s a totally different style of holiday to when I was a kid. I love my mum and dad, but Dad’s idea of a holiday was driving to Canberra in a Holden station wagon with seven kids, no seat belts. We got kicked out of the Australian War Memorial for being too noisy. It made the Canberra Times.
Mum was very protective of us: at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, we had a rope tied around our waists. We got in the papers again. Uluru’s the real Australia, the real spirit. You can actually feel it. It’s like going on a retreat. You can even meditate, walking around Uluru and around Kata Tjuta.
Yes, it’s beautiful to watch the colours change on the rock at sunrise or sunset, but in the midday heat, there are secret waterholes in the shade. We pick desert roses and other native flowers – and my children actually put down their Nintendos for the weekend.
The main thing is to switch gears in my brain. Uluru is chill city, even though it may be 40 degrees. However, I don’t really care about the heat. We’re going back there. I think all Australians, if they can get there, should go to Uluru. It’s something we should all do. It’s the heart of Australia.
The Wiggles’ national Taking Off tour starts in March. thewiggles.com.au

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad, and occasionally I chat on radio, too, from Essentials Magazine to 3AW or the Irish Times.

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