Ayers Rock: Facts and Information About Uluru

Here are some facts about Ayers Rock.

  • Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, is a large sandstone rock formation located in the Northern Territory, close to the exact centre of Australia. The closest large town is Alice Springs, about 200 miles away.
  • The huge sandstone rock is 1,142 feet high and can be seen from miles around. It measures almost 6 miles in circumference and is known for appearing to be different colours at different times of day.
  • Ayers Rock is one of the largest monoliths on earth, and one of the oldest of all rocks. It is thought to be about 500 million years old.
  • Although it appears red in colour most of the time, the rock is actually grey. The red colour and the colour changes are caused by large amounts of oxidized iron.

Ayers Rock

  • Humans have lived in the area for thousands of years, although the rock was only discovered by Europeans in 1872. It was named after South Australia’s chief secretary, Henry Ayers.
  • The rock has been sacred to Aborigines for centuries and the local name Uluru was officially recognized in 1993. The name Uluru has no meaning and was a local family name.
  • There are lots of cave paintings and carvings in the area surrounding Ayers Rock. Many of these are thousands of years old.
  • There is no vegetation of any kind on Ayers Rock. However, because of rainfall running off the rock, the surrounding area is lush and supports a variety of wildlife, including several species of bat.
  • Summer temperatures at Ayers Rock can reach as high as 45 degrees C. It is often very windy on the summit and visitors are forbidden to climb during high winds.
  • About 10 percent of all visitors actually climb to the summit of Ayers Rock. Many visitors stay at the nearby Yulara Resort, offering accommodation ranging from caravans to  luxury lodges.