Why sit in a restaurant when you can eat outside and soak up the desert air? Ayers Rock Resorts Sounds of Silence dinner is not just a meal, its an event. In an outdoor clearing, you sip champagne and nibble canapés as the sun sets over the Rock to the strains of a didgeridoo. Then head to communal white-clothed, candlelit tables and a buffet meal that will include kangaroo, emu, crocodile, and barramundi. The food is not exceptional, but youre really here for the atmosphere. After dinner, the lanterns fade and youre left with stillness. For some city folk, its the first time they have ever heard complete silence. Look up into the usually clear skies, and (if its a clear night) an astronomer will point out the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. You can also look at the stars through telescopes. Sounds of Silence is held nightly, weather permitting, and costs A$195 for adults and A$96 for children 10 to 15, including transfers from Ayers Rock Resort. Surcharges apply for Christmas Day. Its mighty popular, so book as far ahead as you can, even up to 3 months ahead in peak season. Book through the Ayers Rock Resort office in Sydney ([tel] 1300/134 044 in Australia or 02/8296 8010) or online (www.ayersrockresort.com.au).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.