Saturday, March 22, 2008

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) is a large rock formation in central Australia, in the Northern Territory. There is something totally awe-inspiring about Uluru. There it sits in the centre of Australia, located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park close to the small town of Yulara (aka Ayers Rock Resort). A huge monolith, 862.5 metres above sea level, 1395 km south of Darwin and 465 km south west of Alice Springs, rising out of the desert. Uluru, which means ‘great pebble’ in the Aboriginal language.

Uluru is a 3.6km-long rising 348 metres above the surrounding countryside. It has an area of 3.33 sq. km and a circumference of 9.4 km. It experiences an average of 200-250 mm of rainfall per annum and a typical desert temperature range which can fall to -8°C at night-time in winter and rise to 47°C during the day in summer. Uluru is notable for its quality of changing colour as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable sight. It is made of sandstone infused with minerals like feldspar (Arkosic sandstone) that cause it to give off a red glow at sunrise and sunset. The rock gets its rust color from oxidation.

It is sacred to the Aborigines and has many storied springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Ayers Rock was the name given to it by European settlers and Uluru is the Aboriginal name. Uluru is adjacent to an Aboriginal settlement, and to the tourist town of Yulara. In 1985 the Australian Government returned ownership of Uluru to the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu, who then leased it back to the Government for 99 years as a National Park.

Summer 21-36 (celsius)
Autumn 13-28
Winter 4-20
Spring 15-31

Fly from any capital city and land at either Alice Springs or Ayers Rock.Flight from Alice Springs to Uluru takes approximately 40 mins.
Catch a train from Sydney, Melbourne or Perth and connect with “The Ghan” from Adelaide, to Alice Springs.From Queensland, catch “The Inlander” from Townsville to Mt Isa, then coach or fly.
Three main highways, fully sealed roads, the Stuart from Adelaide to Darwin; The Barkly from Townsville through to Mt Isa; from Perth join the Victoria Highway at Kununurra.

Sydney 2954 kmMelbourne 2278 kmBrisbane 3509 kmPerth 3628 kmAdelaide 1544 km

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