Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Uluru - Ayers Rock

Ayers Rock is most commonly known by its Aboriginal name Uluru. Uluru is one of the great wonders of the world, the world's largest monolith and is a very recognizable icon for Australia. The rock is one of the reasons I wanted to go to Australia. Since all of the pictures I have ever seen of the rock are views from one side, I was shocked to learn the extent of its actual size. I scanned in this drawing from one of the brochures we got so you can get an idea. It rises 377 yards above the ground and has a circumference of 5.5 miles.

Uluru is located in the Northern Territory southwest of Alice Springs. We stayed in Yulara, which is very close to the rock. During our walk around the rock, we look into the Mutitjulu cave where drawings are still visible on the rocks.

You can click on the images for a larger view and then close the image window to return to the blog. The upside down U refers to a person sitting and the circles within a circle represent waterholes.

From a distance the rock looks very smooth, but it has an interesting and varied surface. To me it resembled bark on a tree.

Viewing the rock at sunset is a very popular activity as the rock appears to change colors.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Nation Park is of significant cultural and religious significance to the Anangu, the Aboriginal tribal members of the area. We visited the park's cultural center where we watched a tribal member make tools out of natural materials found in the park. What an amazing experience!