Australian Travel Destination Uluru Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon
Australian Travel Destination 7
It is sometimes hard to reconcile your pre-conceived notions with reality as you land into Uluru Ayers Rock. Nothing has quite prepared you for the contrast between the red sand stretching to the horizon in every direction and the monolith of Red Rock jutting upwards like the toe of a sleeping giant sticking up through the desert. Uluru Ayers Rock is a mystical place, one to be savoured as the sun rises and the Rock changes colour to meet the new day, or at sunset as the last rays beam across the flat of the desert and highlight the crevices and fissures of Uluru as it settles in for the night. It is almost as if you have given this Australian Icon a personality of its own.
For more detail, see the Map of Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta, Alice Springs, The Red Centre, Australia. Also see the Map of Uluru Ayers Rock Australia.
History of Uluru Ayers Rock
The Aboriginal People of Australia lived around Uluru Ayers Rock for over 30,000 years before 1873 when William Gosse, surveyor, first recorded its presence for the new European settlers of Australia. He named it Ayers Rock after the Chief Secretary of South Australia, though it is now officially known as Uluru Ayers Rock to honour the original Aboriginal name as part of a dual naming policy. Uluru Ayers Rock and the nearby Kata Tjuta have great religious and spiritual significance to the local Anangu people and are the subject of many tales and myths handed down through their Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. Tours of Uluru Ayers Rock, either walking, vehicle based on by camel will get you up close to the Rock at almost any time of day.
Geography of Uluru Ayers Rock
Located in the geographic heart of Australia, Uluru Ayers Rock is about 3 hours flight from the main cities of the east coast or south of Australia - it is almost equal flying time from Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne or Adelaide. The Rock itself is made up of sandstone with oxidation of iron bearing minerals in its makeup giving it the distinctive red colour for which it is famous. Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the size and scale of Uluru Ayers Rock is to see it up close from the air. An will throw it into focus very quickly.
Book a Helicopter Tour of Uluru: >>> Uluru and Kata Tjuta Tour by Helicopter from Ayers Rock
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Kata Tjuta - Mount Olga
Set out in the red desert some 25 Kms (15 miles) from Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta Mount Olga has great religious significance to the local Aboriginal People and is made up of the same type of sandstone as Uluru Ayers Rock itself. Some 36 separate domes of rock make up Kata Tjuta Mount Olga, the tallest of which is Mount Olga (hence the local name "The Olgas"), rising some 546 meters (1,791 feet) above the surrounding desert. There are many Aboriginal Dreamtime Legends associated with Kata Tjuta Mount Olga, but the stories are closely guarded by the tribal Elders and are not shared readily with outsiders.
After Darwin, way up north, Alice Springs is the second largest city in the Northern Territory of Australia and is situated pretty much in the geographic centre of Australia. It was established in the 1860's as a telegraph station as the north and south of Australia were joined by this (then) very modern form of communication. Today it maintains its role as a communication centre with the Pine Gap satellite monitoring base run jointly by the US and Australian defence departments situated a few Kms from the town. Surrounded by the very picturesque McDonnell Ranges, it takes about 6 hours to drive to Uluru Ayers Rock on the sealed road, but a very good way to see the ecology of the area is to join a 3-Day Alice Springs to Uluru Ayers Rock via Kings Canyon Tour that is a desert safari through the Mereenie Loop to Kings Canyon and on to Uluru Ayers Rock.
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Kings Canyon is visited as part of the overland trip from Alice Springs, or as a separate day trip from Uluru Ayers Rock. The Lodge at Kings Canyon is very good, and will give you time to explore this oasis in the Red Centre of Australia. There are a number of very good walks that allow you to explore the features of this 300 metre (900 foot) deep gorge - the Canyon Rim Walk is the best known, this taking about 3 hours including the Garden of Eden, the permanent waterhole that creates the unusual desert ecology of Kings Canyon.
Compare Kings Canyon Hotels: >>>> Australian.com - Hotels in Kings Canyon