The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).
No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru (Ayers Rock) rises abruptly out of the flat desert country that surrounds it.
Uluru is a giant sandstone rock formation which is recognized as the largest monolith in the world, it
is located near the geographical center of Australia in the Northern Territory.
The rock stands 342 meters, covers an area of 3.3 square Km and has a circumference of 9.4 Km
and rises majestically from the flat red desert sands that surround it, the monolith has been tilted
to 85 degrees by some giant upheaval in the past.
The rock was first sighted by a white man in 1873, surveyor William Gosse discovered it and named
it Ayers Rock after the then surveyor general, it is estimated that it has been known and respected
by the Pitjantjatjara people for 10,000 years.
Ayers Rock and the nearby Olgas was declared a National Park in 1958 having become a tourist
destination back in 1936 (this was the year of my birth and also the time that the first white woman
climbed to the top of Ayers Rock)
In 1985 the Australian Government returned ownership of the rock and the Olgas to the traditional
owners the Pitjantjatjara aborigines, they in turn leased it back to the National Parks & Wildlife
Service for a 99 year term to be run under joint management and given the joint name of
A new tourist resort was established 21 Km from the base of Uluru, this has been named Yalara and
has a population of 300, these people cater for the needs of tourists who stay at one of the 5 hotel/
motels and the large Campground.
The Olgas are a group of 36 domed rock formations which cover an area of 21.7 square Km, they
are located 25 Km from Uluru, the largest of these is Mt. Olga which stands 546 meters high, this
part of the National Park was also returned to the traditional owners and is now known as
Along with a few other changes since we first visited Ayers Rock in 1979, there is no longer the
freedom to camp virtually at the rock base, get permission to "bush camp" in the desert near the
Olgas, and now-a-days climbing of the rock while not prohibited is discouraged.
I had looked forward to visiting/climbing Ayers Rock since childhood and (although for a while
during the climb when I thought it might kill me) I would have been bitterly disappointed had I
not been to the top.
This tiny tent was home for our 5 day stop at Ayers Rock in 1979, we were less than 1 Km from the rock.
This photo shows "the climb" and the chain support which finishes about half way up, to discourage those who are not confident from continuing.
Looking down from about that halfway point shows how steep it is.
From the top wherever you look you can see the horizon clearly, I have photos that include the Olgas but couldn't locate them.
Hope you all enjoyed the look around Uluru, and especially Judy as it was she who requested it.
So don't forget if there is something you would like to know about Australia, just ask!