What gives Uluru its red colour?

History of Uluru

For over 30,000 years the sacred site of Uluru and its surroundings have been populated by Indigenous Australians who call the area home. The Anangu people are direct descendants from their ancestral beings who they believe created the Earth in the beginning. They are now dedicated to preserving and conserving Uluru and its mystical properties. In 1873, European settlers venture into the area, and Sir William Gosse comes across the large rock formation which he then names Ayers Rock. In 1950 the location is declared a national park, but it isn’t until 1987 that Uluru becomes listed as UNESCO World Heritage site. Nowadays, the Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park is jointly managed by the traditional owners of the land; the Anangu people and the Parks Australia.

Its bright red colour

Uluru wasn’t always red; in fact its original colouring was grey. Over 550 million years ago, the rocks began to form and the erosion that Uluru and Kata Tjuta has gone through over time, has given birth to the giant red monolith we see today. However, if you take a journey inside the many caves in the national park, you’ll find that the inside of the surface still retains its natural colouring. Over thousands of years, Uluru has been exposed to the water and oxygen in the air that is slowly decaying the minerals of the rock, causing it to oxidise. The result of this has been that the iron minerals found inside the arkose surface is rusting which ultimately led to its red colour. You may even hear that the colour of the rock changes during some periods of the day, which is a direct outcome of the reflective sun rays. These rays are reflected by the sky and the ground which then bounces back on to the rock giving it its magical colour changing events.

Why is it sacred?

The Uluru- Kata Tjuta national park is extremely significant to the Anangu people; who are the part of the oldest culture in the world, with origins from over 65,000 years ago. In the park alone, there are over 40 sacred Indigenous Australian sites, some of which tourists are not allowed to visit or photograph. For these spots, there are clearly indicated markings on the map of the area. The sacredness of Uluru and surrounds are also in part because of the powerful ancestral spirits which the Anangu people believe reside in these sites. For all those who do choose to visit the Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park, you can sit down with the traditional owners of the land and listen to their stories and beliefs, which are an integral part of the history and culture of Australia,
How to get there

From many cities in Australia you can fly directly into Yulara by way of the Ayers Rock Airport. The best way to see Uluru is by driving there, as the scenery is breathtakingly rugged and dramatic. Most people choose this option rental cars can be expensive, so booking a tour and letting someone else do all the driving while you sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery is a popular option among tourists.

Join our 3 Day Uluru Tour from Alice Springs today!

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