A trip to Ayers Rock usually involves a five-hour drive from Alice Springs, in addition to a flight or an even longer drive, and therefore most people stay overnight. This is usually done in campsites or local resorts. One of the highlights of a visit is experiencing the changing colours of the rock at sunset and sunrise. At midday, temperatures can top 35°C during the summer months, so it’s best to plan to be indoors at the local Yulara resort town at this time.
For decades, tourists have been making the long journey to this remote site trying to find out just exactly what is Ayers Rock all about. Thousands of visitors travel some 460kms southwest of Alice Springs to see this remarkable lump of orange/brown sandstone that uniquely rises 350m from the flat plains of spinifex grass. Only the nearby Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas, offer anything similar in the region. Unlike Ayers Rock, they comprise of several sandstone mounds, which further add to the attraction of the area.
What is Ayers Rock?
Ayers Rock comprises of a single piece of rock, almost 10kms in circumference and jutting out of the Northern Territory Outback. There is no other known geological feature in the world exactly like it, so it’s certainly considered a natural wonder and attracts the crowds to prove it.
Ayers Rock is also known as Uluru, the name given to it by the local Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe long before surveyor William Gosse named it in honour of South Australia Chief Secretary Henry Ayers in 1873. Today, the Aborigines own and administer the land on which the rock stands and, since they attach spiritual significance to it, they prefer visitors not to climb it.
Ayers Rock is a World Heritage site, and one of several worthwhile attractions near Alice Springs, including Kings Canyon and a number of intriguing landscapes. An air strip makes it possible to fly directly to the site.
Ayers Rock is also known by its Aboriginal name ‘Uluru’. It is a sacred part of Aboriginal creation mythology, or dreamtime – reality being a dream. Uluru is considered one of the great wonders of the world and one of Australia’s most recognizable natural icons. Uluru is a large magnetic mound large not unlike Silbury Hill in England. It is located on a major planetary grid point much like the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Ayers Rock is a large sandstone rock formation in central Australia, in the Northern Territory. It is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 350 km southwest of Alice Springs at 25 degrees 20′ 41″ S 131 degrees 01′ 57″ E. It is the second-largest monolith in the world (after Mount Augustus, also in Australia), more than 318 m (986 ft) high and 8 km (5 miles) around. It also extends 2.5 km (1.5 miles) into the ground. It was described by explorer Ernest Giles in 1872 as “the remarkable pebble”.’
Uluru is an inselberg, literally “island mountain”, an isolated remnant left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term because of its multiple meanings, and thus a word generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded. For the purpose of mapping and describing the geological history of the area, geologists refer to the rock strata making up Uluru as the Mutitjulu Arkose, and it is one of many sedimentary formations filling the Amadeus Basin.
Ayers Rock Resort
Uluru-Kata Tjuta – Outback Australia
Regardless of where you stay while you’re at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, from the sanctuary of one of the four hotels, or the great outdoors and open spaces of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort Campground, you can experience the beauty of the living cultural landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory.
With over 65 tours, local activities and attractions within the Resort and the Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) National Park, your days will be action-packed. Ride a camel across the desert dunes. Hop on a Harley, or embark on a base walk of Uluru (Ayers Rock).
If you’re looking for relaxation and pampering after a day of discovering the outback, make sure you visit the beautiful Red Ochre Spa. The Red Ochre Spa has been designed with total indulgence in mind – a sanctuary where guests exchange stressed states for tranquillity. The Red Ochre Spa is located within Sails in the Desert Hotel, at Ayers Rock Resort.
By night, dine under a canopy of stars at the award-winning Sounds of Silence buffet barbeque dining experience. See the sun set behind Uluru, and after dinner, tour the southern night sky with a resident startalker.
Ayers Rock Resort provides a variety of accommodation options for every possible taste and budget – from the award winning 5-star Sails in the Desert, and modern Desert Gardens Hotel, to the self contained Emu Walk Apartments, the authentic Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge, and the Ayers Rock Campground, offering powered campsites and air conditioned cabins.