Uluru welcomes you
Far from the closest city. Far from ordinary.
Soaring hundreds of metres into the vast desert sky, Uluru (sometimes called Ayers Rock) is one of the largest monoliths in the world and dates back 300 million years. People flock from all over the world to get a glimpse of its towering red (or are they orange?) dunes, cliffs, valleys, and gorges, and to see and hear the stories of the Anangu people who have spent thousands of years in its shadow. In fact, to the Indigenous people of Australia, Uluru is not a rock at all, but a living, breathing being. Today, to respect and protect its sacred status, visitors are not permitted to climb Uluru, but there are still plenty of ways to explore and be amazed by this incredible place.
Facts About Uluru
Made of arkosic sandstone, Uluru rises 348 metres above the desert floor and boasts a circumference of 9.4 kilometres. It’s taller than the Eiffel Tower and 2.5 times higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And that’s the tip of the iceberg, so to speak – Uluru extends an additional 5-6 kilometres underground. The region’s weather fluctuates to the extreme, with highs in the summer over 47 degrees Celsius, dipping to -7 degrees Celsius in winter. Amazingly enough, the area gets 307mm of rain per year, on average – not bad for a desert!
History of Uluru
Ancient Aboriginal history of the Central Australian landscape goes back to the beginning of time, where three significant ancestors, Mala (Rufus-Hare Wallaby), Kuniya (Woma Python) and Liru (Poisonous Snake) of the region play an important role in the creation of the land.
In more recent history, the 1870's, we can date the discovery of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta by the first white explorers of the time to William Gosse and William Giles respectively. Gosse, who was the first to reach Uluru named it Ayers Rock after the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time, Sir Henry Ayers. Giles, who made it to Kata Tjuta named it The Olgas after the then reigning Queen Olga of Wurttemburg.
In the early 1900's the government declared their ownership of the land and the site was opened to tourists in the 1950's. It was only in 1983 that the land was returned to its rightful owners.
What Colour is Uluru?
Uluru is known to change colour depending on the time of day, but is most impressive at sunrise and sunset when it glows stunning red. The red comes from the surface oxidation of the iron rich sandstone. Without this Uluru would look grey.
Uluru is also an art canvas for local creation stories, with ancient rock paintings found in many locations around Uluru. Created using natural minerals they include geometric symbols such as concentric circles, figures representing animal tracks and the outlines of animals.
Can I climb Uluru?
No, the Uluru climb is now permanently closed.
In November 2017 the landmark decision was made by the Traditional Owners of this land and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board to close the climb for good. On 26 October 2019, a significant date marking the 34th anniversary of the Uluru hand-back, the climb was officially closed and the chain was removed.
There are many other memorable ways to experience Uluru - from cultural tours to exploring on foot, by bike or segway. Visit the Cultural Centre first and plan your days in the park.
Welcome to Yulara, the coolest little town you didn’t know existed. Located in the Southern Region of the Northern Territory, Yulara is a fairly new community that emerged to help support tourism around Uluru, but also to protect the fragile ecosystem and spiritual heart of Australia from heavy traffic. Yulara was established in 1976, just 14km away from Uluru. Today, it’s home to just over 1,000 people, plus thousands of species of animals, birds, plants, and insects – and a quarter of a million visitors every year.