Uluru / Ayers Rock

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock and officially gazetted as Uluru / Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km (280 mi) by road. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high, rising 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level, with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi). Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour at different times of the day and year, most notably glowing red at dawn and sunset.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally “island mountain”. An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded


Uluru is seen at as the sun sets on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. The site and its surrounding area is scared to the Anangu people, the Indigenous people of this area and is visited by over 250,000 people each year. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A vistor is seen on the Mala walk near Kantju Gorge at Uluru on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs.(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


Uluru is seen at as the sun sets on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A general view of Uluru is seen as it rains on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A waterfall is seen in Kantju Gorge as it rains at Uluru on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A waterfall is seen in Kantju Gorge as it rains at Uluru on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A general view of Uluru is seen as it rains on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A general view of Uluru is seen as it rains on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A general view of Uluru is seen on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


Water runs down the surface of Uluru as it rains on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


Uluru is seen as the sun sets on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


Water runs off Uluru in Mutitjulu Waterhole as it rains on November 28, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


A general view of Uluru is seen on November 27, 2013 in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. Uluru/ Ayers Rock is a large sandstone formation situated in central Australia approximately 335km from Alice Springs. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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