Uluru (once called Ayers Rock)

Uluru is the Aboriginal name for one of the natural wonders of the world, a large rock formation located close to the exact centre of Australia.

Kata Tjuta National Park includes both Uluru and another unique rock feature, Kata Tjuta, which used to be known as the Olgas. Kata Tjuta are about 50km away from Uluru, and are part of the same original mountain range.

Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are sacred for the Aboriginal people of the area. Ancient Aboriginal paintings can be seen in caves in Uluru. These paintings tell the story of Dreamtime, the Aboriginal story of how the world was formed. Uluru is now listed as a World Heritage site, recognising its importance and uniqueness.

Uluru is often called a monolith, but is in fact an inselberg, which is a hard rock remainder of a mountain after the softer part has eroded away. An inselberg is an isolated hill or small mountain that stands out from a surrounding flat plain. The word means 'island mountain'.

Uluru is on a dry desert plain in the Northern Territory. It is 2.4km (1.5 miles) long and 1.6km (1 mile) wide and rises up about 348 metres above the surrounding land. It covers 3.33 square km (1.29 square miles) of land. It extends deep below the ground surface, exactly how far is not known. About 500 million years ago it was part of the ocean floor. There is little or no vegetation on the rock.

Uluru was named Ayers Rock in 1873 by European explorers, after the Premier of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers. The rock resumed its original name in 1985 when the land was returned to its traditional owners, the Anangu, who now own and operate the Kata Tjuta National Park, of which Uluru is part. Still called Ayers Rock by many, its official name is Uluru.

Did you know?

The rock is actually grey, although it appears red. The colour is a coating of red oxide.
Depending on the time of day, temperature and the weather, Uluru changes colour dramatically, from blue, violet to a glowing red.
The traditional owners, the Anangu, are often known as the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjara people, but these are actually the names of two languages spoken by the Anangu.
The Anangu ask people to respect their culture and law and not climb Uluru, although it is still possible to do so.

This image is with permission of http://www.globalimage.com.au/

Go here for more information about Uluru

Go here for photos of Uluru

If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, Ron. & Sydenham, Shirley. Uluru [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2005)

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