Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

City: Alice Springs       State: Northern Territory       Country: Australia
Uluru, also referred to as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.  When the original mountain range formed, the layers of sandstone were raised from horizontal to vertical and you can see the banding in the rock. Where water gets into cracks and Assures, it erodes away deep channels that sprout waterfalls after heavy rains. Water also soaks through the sandstone, eventually to emerge again as springs around the bottom of the rock that sustain some greenery and animals, making it an invaluable source of water and food in this arid land. The rock owes its red colour to the oxidation of iron at the surface: freshly eroded rock is grey. However, it is the more short­lived colour changes of the rock as the sun goes down, and it changes from red to purple then black (and changes in the reverse order during sunrise) that many visitors come to see.The climb to the summit is not as easy as you might think, and the Anangu would prefer it if people did not try it. Howeve, the views from the plateau at the top are amazing. The Anangu lead walking tours around the 9 km (6 mi) base during which they tell visitors about the plants and animals here, and about their culture and dreamtime.

Climate | When to Visit

Any time of year, but it can be very cold in June and July, very hot in November and December and stormy between January and March.
Visit during: January to December

Directions | How to Reach

By air or road from Alice Springs.

miscellaneous | Important Information

Don't miss sunrise or sunset from one of the viewing areas. Do not photograph the Anangu.

Travel More. Live More | Xplore

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