Ayers Rock Tour Guide

Ayers Rock Tour Guide

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Published by TOP4 Team

The world’s best-known rock is photogenic as any film star but moodier. As the sun begins to sink beyond the rim of the desert, the crowds with their cameras gather by car and bus along “Sunset Strip”, the tongue-in-cheek name for a dusty stretch of improvised parking lot. Watching Ayers Rock undergo its striking changes of colour, the onlookers are not solemn but rather festive, friendly and relaxed. In fact, very Australian. They are fulfilling an Australian dream, getting to know this mystical, 500-million-year-old rock that rises from the red heart of the country.


Ayers Rock


The wonderful rock, seemingly dropped by divine design in the middle of nowhere, actually protrudes from a buried mountain range. About 350 m (1,150 ft) high and some 8 km (5 miles) around, it is even more impressive than the dimensions suggest. Standing alone in a dead-flat landscape, and tinted as bright as you imagination, the monolith lives up to its reputation. You’ll need no complicated explanations to understand why the Aborigines consider it sacred.


The Aborigines have owned Ayers Rock (they call it Uluru) under Australian law only since 1985; the small local Aboriginal community leases it back to the government for use as a national park, in return for a healthy income and participation in its management. The hand-over of the land created a raging controversy; vociferous opponents advertised the slogan, “The rock belongs to all Australian.”


For the Aborigines it’s not just a rock, it’s a vital aspect of the Dreamtime, encompassing the creation of the earth, linked with the life of the present and future. Various parts of the monolith are qualified as sacred sites they are signposted, fenced off, and definitely barred to outsiders.


Viewing The Rock


The most inspiring views of the rock are to be seen at dawn and dusk. It’s worth getting up at six in the morning to stake out the mighty silhouette from 20 km (12 miles) away, waiting for the sunrise. As first light strikes the lonely monolith it catches fire, glowing red, then orange, finally seeming to emit rays of wondrous power. Only then the desert world comes to life: a hawk squawks, a rabbit rustles the brush, and hordes of pesky flies begin to buzz. Insect repellent helps, but the flies seem to outnumber the people 20 to one. Maybe this is why Aboriginal legends mention bothersome flies.


Ayers Rock Sunset View


If you’re fit you can join the crowds climbing the rock. A few hours suffice for the round trip via the marked trail, which has a protective chain to grab when the going get too steep or windy. The ascent requires no mountain-climbing experience or equipment. But do wear sensible rubber-soled shoes and carry drinking water. From ground level, the climbers attaining the summit look like a line of very tired ants.


Another worthwhile way to get to know the rock is join a walking tour led by a park ranger, which circumnavigates the base. Up close, the monolith discloses its variegated surface: caves, dry rivulets, furrows and burrows, wounds and gashes, and what might be taken for fanciful engravings 60 m (200 ft tall).


To know more tourist spots and attractions in Northern Territory and more travel tips like this, do not hesitate to call Random and Wild Hiking today!

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