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Wednesday, 31-Dec-2003 05:17:57 AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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Uluru and Bald Rock: Australian monoliths

Uluru, Australia's largest monolith
Uluru, Northern Territory
Photo courtesy of
GeoScience Australia

Uluru

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is 9.4km if you walk around it, and about 345 metres high if you climb it (and is thought to be the tip of a mountain which extends kilometres below the surface). It's 3.6km long, 2km wide, and is roughly oval in shape. It's made of arkosic sandstone, and is renowned for the way it changes colour in the light and is particularlyspectacular at sunrise and sunset.

Uluru is located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park about 335km to the south-west of Alice Springs in Northern Territory, Australia. The Park is 132,566 hectares in size and is World Heritage listed.

Uluru is the homeland of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people (also known as Anangu) and was returned to their care and ownership in 1985. The area contains carvings and paintings by Aboriginal people and is also the location of a number of sacred sites which are closed to the public.

The monolith's sandstone has weathered in places to form interesting shapes and caves.

Uluru was named "Ayers Rock" by European explorer William Gosse who sighted it in July 1873. It was named by him for the South Australian premier of the time, Sir Henry Ayers. In 1995 the name of the National Park was changed from Ayers Rock-Mount Olga National Park to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to acknowledge Anangu ownership and their relationship with the area.

Related Links

Aboriginal people recognised in world heritage award
The special expertise of the Aboriginal people in the management of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park received world recognition with the awarding of the UNESCO Picasso Gold Medal.
http://www.dfat.gov.au:80/intorgs/unesco/ulurawrd.html

Photo courtesy of Henry Gold
Photo used with permission from Henry Gold

Bald Rock

Bald Rock is situated in Bald Rock National Park on the New South Wales-Queensland border. The 'Rock' is Australia's largest granite monolith, and rises to 1277 metres above sea level. It towers about 200 metres up out of the surrounding bushland, is 750 metres long and 500 metres wide.

The granite dome is actually water streaked, creating a striking view on any day. The park is accessed via the Mt Lindesay Highway.


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