Exploring Uluru – The Largest Sandstone Rock Formation In Southern Australia

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Uluru (also called Ayers Rock) is a remarkable natural rock formation that towers for several hundred feet over the surrounding desert landscape. During sunrise and sunset, people throng at Uluru to witness this 348 meter high monolith change color from rich ochre to burnt orange to a deep red as the light changes. Here’s everything you need to know about Uluru.

Photo credit: Christopher Schoenbohm

Choose The Right Tour For You

The best way to see Uluru is by foot – that is the traditional aboriginal way. However, there are short trails that you can take from the car parking area. You can also take a guided walk with an aboriginal guide, or go for a camel tour around the rock. There are 4WD tours that take you several kilometers into the area as well.

Get The Best Out Of Your Tour

Make sure your tour guide is accredited with a good company so that you get culturally appropriate, up to date information on this great spiritual site. Your guide will inform you on how to traverse the Uluru rock circumference safely and point out the not-to-miss sights.

Respect The Anangu People’s Wishes

You’ll be requested not to climb Uluru; please respect this rule. The path that goes up the rock is worn and eroded from the many people that have climbed it. Respect the no-climbing rule to prevent significant environmental impacts on Uluru. Plus, if you do happen to climb up, it’s best you know that there are no sanitary facilities on top and absolutely no soil either. Plus, if you litter on the top, the rains wash your garbage into waterholes which are used by various wildlife such as frogs, reptiles and birds. You can, of course, enjoy all the culturally-rich experiences that this iconic national park offers you, without breaking any rules. Do not litter here, and don’t light campfires in non-permitted areas.

Explore The Cultural Center

The cultural centre is made wholly of mud bricks produced in the ancient aboriginal way. Do spend some time exploring the local architecture of this building. If you can make the time, take some bush-tucker food-making and food-gathering sessions at the cultural center. The center also organizes plant walks and free ranger tours to view the rock at dawn and sunset.

Walk The Uluru Walk

As you circumnavigate the base of Uluru, be sure to pay homage to its marvelous sights. This 10.6 kilometer walk is laden with beautiful cave rock art, tranquil waterholes and shady Sheoak trees. The walk is flat and there are many signs to inform you of what you’re seeing. There are specific points in the walk where you can get a different and peaceful perspective of the rock for meditation.

Appreciate The Aboriginal Art And Culture

Uluru has held a deep significance for the Anangu Aboriginal tribes for millennia. Take time to learn about the cave art, and listen to stories of the Dreamtime. Purchase art and musical instruments at the Cultural Centre. Join a spontaneous bush tucker lesson on making damper bread and collecting wild foods.

Study The Native Plants and Wildlife

The native flora and fauna are part of the aboriginal way of life. Animals are revered, and local plants offer sustenance and healing. Ask an aboriginal guide to help you recognize some of the 415 species of native plants, 178 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 73 species of reptiles among thousands more at Uluru. The ancient forests are revered by the Anangu people, so be sure not to litter, light campfires or take care of personal business there.

Nelly works for www.adrenalin.com.au and collates his world-travel experiences into well-written articles on various subjects, and contributes them to blogs and publications world-wide.

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