Ayers Rock is a major tourist attraction for anyone visiting this country. The Aboriginal name of the rock is Uluru. Together with the near-by Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas rock structures, it is part of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.
Its European name was given by the explorer William Gosse in 1873. Today both names: Ayers Rock and Uluru are in use.
Uluru means "the place to meet" and it has a strong cultural importance to its traditional owners.
The custodians of the land are the Anangu people who have been living there for tens of thousands of years.
To learn more about this, visit the cultural centre in the park. You will see artefacts, videos and various cultural items that will help you understand more about Uluru and its sacred sites.
Once in Alice you can book a tour to Uluru and enjoy three excellent days in the outback and an unforgettable "sounds of silence" dinner under the stars experience.
Uluru is a homogenous sandstone monolith - it has caves, small valleys but no joints. The red colour that reminds of rust is just...rust - the oxidised iron component in the sand.
It stands 348 metres high but it is said to go more than 6000 metres underground.
Its circumference is 9400 metres and a walk around it will reveal:
Climbing the Uluru should be avoided, to respect the traditional owners of the Rock. It is an important part of their culture. Also they don't want to feel sorry or responsible if something happens to you if you climb. And things can go wrong, as the climb is not easy at all.
Take a guided walk instead, it is a much better experience and also very educational. You can follow the signs, or follow the park rangers who will be happy to share a few stories and give a lot of information.
Kata Tjuta - Sunset
The English translation of the name means "heads many", but it is also known as The Olgas.
Like Uluru, it changes colour with the time of the day. See how, in the picture above, the sunset has turned the striking red to stunning blue.
The structure, 40 km from Ayers Rock is formed of 36 round domes or heads that cover about 35 sq km. The tallest of them is 546 metres.
It offers many walk paths where you can see the wonderful colours and forms of the structures and also catch sight of a wallaby or other native Australian animals.
Here is a selection of top Ayers Rock tours to choose from.
If you visited Ayers Rock you probably have beautiful memories. Places in the Northern Territories and the red centre are full of character and worth talking about.
So if you travelled anywhere in the outback or visited the Top End, share your thoughts and travelling tips with others. Let us know what makes this part of the country so special.
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