Journeymarvel – Uluru is known as a large rock tourist attraction in Australia. There are several facts about Uluru. Starting from a brief explanation about Uluru, the formation of the Uluru rock, as a sacred place, also known as Ayers Rock, the prohibition on climbing, and 2 notes on world heritage sites.
Uluru is a monolith that has fantastic dimensions. This monolith is about 348 meters high from the surrounding surface. So, this makes it 24 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Uluru itself actually has an invisible part embedded beneath the surface of the ground. Uluru can be compared to an iceberg or ice rock on land. This is because the part embedded below the ground surface is said to be much larger. The part that is visible above ground is only a small part of the giant monolith.
Reporting from the official Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park website, the size of Uluru hidden underground can reach a depth of 6 kilometers. Not only that, there is also a collection of 36 stone domes called Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta is also known as Mount Olga which is about 30 kilometers from Uluru. The area at both ends of the rock became known as Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Formation of Uluru Rock
The origins of Uluru and Kata Tjuta date back to around 500 million years ago, to around the same time as the formation of the Australian continent. Large blocks of the earth’s crust joined together to create the island of Australia. The rocky matter that eventually became Uluru and the Kata Tjuta is part of one of the mountains that make up the Petermann Mountains.
1. How was Uluru Formed
Planet Earth was a different world in the past. At that time, there were no land-based plants and it would be around 250 million years before dinosaurs finally loitered.
According to a geologist who previously worked with Geosciences Australia, Dr Marita Bradshaw, the entire landscape was very different during that period, there were no land plants, plus think about the climate at that time. After a series of ice ages, perhaps the climate that existed at that time was a desert climate.
Dr Bradshaw also added that Uluru has large crystals of rock-forming minerals in it. This means it was very close to the source and it had not been in the Bear River system for long, then shifted over a long period. So, not much chemical or mechanical erosion occurs on it.
2. Uluru as Seen Now
After a long period of mountain building and rapid erosion, the central part of Australia became an inland sea and a phase of deposition began in the area now known as the Amadeus Basin.
According to Dr Marita Bradshaw, there was limestone, sand and mud that was deposited in the Amadeus Basin and that buried the arkose and sedimentary rock that eventually formed Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
About 400 million years ago the sand and gravel of Uluru and Kata Tjuta shifted considerably downward. Then, under so much pressure, they change from sediment to rock. Another volcanic incident, known as the Alice Springs Orogeny, began about this period as well.
Over millions of years, this incident made the huge folds that are perceptible when you fly over Central Australia today. The rocks that form Uluru and Kata Tjuta are also embroiled in this incident.
After a long time of erosion lasting hundreds of millions of years, Uluru and Kata Tjuta finally appeared from the softer rock.
So, why is the Uluru rock red? Uluru’s red color is due to the oxidation or hardening of the iron-containing minerals contained in the Uluru rock and as it has been in the open desert air for hundreds of thousands of years.
Aborigines are a race native to Australia who are thought to have inhabited the continent since 45 thousand years ago. The Pitjantjatjara tribal group, also known as the Anangu people of the Aboriginal race, is a tribe that lives permanently and cultivates the Uluru area. For them, Uluru is a very important and sacred landmark.
The Anangu people believe that Uluru was formed during what is known as the dream period. This is the time when the ancestors and their gods created the world and Uluru. They believe that some parts of the stone represent these gods. They also often touch Uluru Rock to get blessings and blessings.
At the base of the rock, there are many shallow caves that were used by the ancestral Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people for shelter. The caves are also filled with ancient rock paintings that have deep meaning for the tribe.
Known as Ayers Rock
In 1873, Uluru was known as Ayers Rock. The name is taken from the name of the Chief Secretary of South Australia who served at that time, Sir Henry Ayers. This name was used to refer to the Uluru rock until 1993. However, at the end of 1993, the name was changed.
Uluru is the name given by the Anangu people to the rock which is a popular Australian tourist destination. To respect the culture and beliefs of the Anangu people, the name Uluru is used again. As reported by Australian Geographic, the large rock was officially named Ayers Uluru Rock on December 15, 1993.
In 2002, the Tourism Association at Alice Springs submitted a request to change the order of Uluru’s official names. They proposed that Ayers Uluru Rock be changed to Uluru Ayers Rock. Since then, the official name of the giant monolith has become Uluru Ayers Rock.
Prohibition on Climbing
Management of Uluru was officially given back to the Anangu people in 1977. Since then, they have welcomed people who wish to visit. Apart from its dimensions, the history and culture attached to Uluru make this rock one of the popular tourist locations in Australia.
Visitors are treated to stunning views of Uluru and the surrounding plains. Some of them even climbed the monolith.
The activity of climbing this historic rock was apparently considered to be a lack of respect for the Anangu culture. This is because the stone is sacred to them. In 2017, to respect and respect the culture of Australia’s indigenous tribes, climbing activities on Uluru rock began to be stopped and prohibited. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Management Board issued an official decree prohibiting visitors from climbing it.
Has Two World Heritage Site Records
The Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock areas, which are national parks in Australia, are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Uniquely, this location holds records in 2 different categories in UNESCO World Heritage. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is recorded at the formation stage of natural and geological diversity, and at the formation of cultural diversity.
The location of the Uluru rock was first recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. This area was first recorded because of its natural diversity, namely the geological formation of the Uluru rock and its vast plains which have biodiversity.
Uluru’s second UNESCO World Heritage record was listed in 1994, on cultural heritage grounds. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park area is very rich in significant Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Various Options for Getting to Know Uluru Ayers Rock
Uluru is a popular tourist attraction in Australia. Many people come to this place to see the beauty of the red rocks which look spectacular and also to enjoy the calm atmosphere. Then, there are various options for getting to know this Uluru Ayers Rock.
First, there is the Uluru Base Walk. The route is a 10.6 kilometer loop. You can do this in 3.5 hours. The path is very easy and can be traversed by wheelchairs because the ground surface is flat. By taking this route, you have completely circled Uluru and can see the wildlife around the mountain and all sides of Uluru.
Second, Mala Walk with 2 kilometers round trip and 1.5 hours. Starting from the Mala parking point, this route leads to Kantju George which is a towering steep cliff. Traces of flowing water that are starting to turn black due to moss can be seen on the stone walls and depend on the season.
Sometimes the pool under the cliff is filled with rainwater. On the way to Kantju Gorge, there are several locations where there are Aboriginal handpaintings on the cave walls.
Third, there is the Lungkata Walk. You can travel 4 kilometers round trip from the Mala or Kuniya parking points and takes 1.5 hours. Fourth, Kuniya Walk with 1 kilometer round trip from the Kuniya parking point and takes around 45 minutes. This path leads to a well and cave which also has rock art.
Various Things You Need to Pay Attention to on the Uluru Walk
There are several things that you must pay attention to and understand on this Uluru Walk. First, it depends on the time you have and your health level. You can choose to focus on just 1 to 2 routes or choose to surround the entire base of the mountain. This walking path is actually very easy and flat. However, sometimes in summer, the weather can be very hot so it can really drain your energy.
Second, in the summer it is recommended to start trekking in the morning until it is finished at 11 noon. Third, it is recommended to drink at least 1 liter of water every hour to prevent dehydration. Fourth, around the base walk, there are areas where visitors are not allowed to take pictures because these locations are considered sacred. So, you are obliged to respect and obey these prohibitions.
Fifth, because it is a sacred location for the Anangu tribe, it is highly recommended that you as a visitor do not climb the mountain. Actually, there is a route that you can use if you want to climb to the top of Uluru. However, this route is very steep.
Several people who have climbed also testified that the route is dangerous because the conditions at the top are quite windy and very steep. So, people easily lose balance and fall.
At the bottom of the climbing route, there are several metal plaques bearing the names of people who died climbing Uluru. So far, 36 people have died while climbing Uluru. Some fell, some had heart attacks, and so on. Whatever the reason, you as a visitor should respect local beliefs by not climbing Uluru.
Those are detailed explanations about Uluru facts that you can understand. Uluru or Ayers Rock is a very special tourist attraction in Australia. It is not just about its beauty, but this rock also has sacred value for the Anangu Aboriginal tribe.
Therefore, if you want to visit Ayers Rock, do not forget to respect all applicable rules and the beliefs of the Anangu tribe. Also, make sure you prepare yourself well before traveling to Ayers Rock. For example, bringing the necessary equipment and wearing appropriate clothing.