Uluru or Ayer’s Rock is in northern Australia and looks like a big red mountain on a flat desert. It is actually a big red-colored rock made of sandstone and is over 600 million years ago. The Aboriginal people of Australia, present in Australia for about 10,000 years, call the monolith Uluru.
Only part of the rock is visible above ground. The rock is about 350 meters high. There is an additional 2.5 km (or 2,500 meters) below ground. That means that as high as you see it standing at the foot of the mountain, there is 7 times that much more underground!
The rock is reddish in color due to the iron content of the rock. The iron, normally grey in color, is oxidized giving it an orange color. (Iron in presence of air and moisture = oxidation = rust). I guess you could think of it as a really BIG Rusty rock.
The Aboriginal people own the land and rock but the government has a 99-year lease. You can walk around the mountain in about 3.5 hours but there are other ways to get around it as well. You can ride bikes or take camel rides. You can go all alone or with a tour guide. You are allowed to climb the rock and not that long ago many people did. There have been accidents and deaths while climbing the rock so it really isn’t recommended. For me, the most important reason to not climb this rock is the desire of the Aboriginal people who are the keepers of this sacred site. You can learn more about the cultural importance of this area here.
I would like to be near Uluru for sunrise or sunset. I have seen some beautiful photos of the majestic red rock and would love to share those moments with you.