Uluru is probably Australia’s best-known natural landmark. The ancient monolith is pretty impressive close up and boasts intriguing statistics. Here are some facts on Uluru:
FACT: Uluru is better known as Ayers Rock; it named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name.
FACT: The rock was created over some 600 million years, and the Aborigines have been in the area for the last 10,000 years. It originally sat at the bottom of a sea, but today stands 348m above ground. One of the most startling Uluru facts however, is that some 2.5kms of its bulk is underground.
FACT: Uluru lies west of the Simpson Desert, not far from the ‘Red Centre’ of Australia, about 335kms southwest of Alice Springs (as the crow flies) and 463kms by road. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the biggest monolith in the world; Mount Augustus in Western Australia holds that title
FACT: Other facts on Uluru: the rock is about 3.6kms long and 1.9kms wide, with a circumference of 9.4kms. The climb to the top is 1.6kms, much of which is at a steep angle, while the summit is generally flat. The surface is made up of valleys, ridges, caves and weird shapes that were created through erosion over millions of years. Surface oxidation of its iron content gives the would-be grey Uluru a striking orange-red hue.
FACT: The nearby Kata Tjuta (or Olgas) are said to originate from a similar time. They are thought to have originally been one massive monolith, as opposed to the 36 separate domes they are today – one of the lesser known Uluru facts. They are a part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which was founded in 1950 as ‘Ayers Rock-Mount Olga National Park’, changing to its current title in 1995. The Aboriginals own the land, although the Australian government currently holds a 99-year lease.
How Big Is Uluru?
- 348 metres (1141 feet) high
- 3.6 km long (2.2 miles)
- 1.9 km wide (1.2 miles)
- 9.4 km or 5.8 miles around the base
- covers 3.33 km2 (1.29 miles2)
- extends about several km/miles into the ground (no-one knows exactly how far)
- 862.5 metres above sea level