The Incredible Changing Colours of Ayers Rock at Sunrise and Sunset

The Incredible Changing Colours of Ayers Rock at Sunrise and Sunset

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/04/2016

Reading time: 3 mins

You’ve heard of rainbow fish, rainbow cakes and rainbow candles, but what about rainbow rocks?

Uluru (previously Ayers Rock) is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. Set in the heart of Australia’s red country, it is a hugely popular attraction for millions of visitors each year. But it also boasts a fascinating and rich cultural history. The monolith holds great significance for the local Indigenous community, the Anangu.

As well as catching a glimpse of the impressive monolith, tourists are encouraged to learn more about its cultural history. The monolith plays an important role in the Anangu Tjukurpa, stories from the beginning. Tjukurpa contains religion, law, moral systems, history and societal frameworks. Anangu elders share Tjukurpa with younger generations through song, dance and ceremony. Many Tjukurpa traditions are sacred and not for the uninitiated.

Sunrise and Sunset

Though hundreds of people head to Uluru every dau, it is the sunset and sunrise that really takes their breath away. In the mornings, as the warm Australian sun begins to rise, the monolith turns from a milky grey colour to faded purple. As the sun reaches higher the rock glows red, then to a beautiful golden colour, which it remains for the rest of the day.

When darkness begins to fall, it goes through another mesmerizing colour shift. Fading from bright red and gold, it becomes a beautiful dusky pink and purple as the sun dips behind the horizon. The colours seem surreal against the wild, sparse landscape. The clear view of the stars only serves to emphasise the monoliths beauty.

For many, it is the promise of a multi-coloured sunset that draws them to Uluru. It’s certainly understandable why, especially when for many it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In the hour before sunset, tour buses pull up in the main car park and layout champagne buffets for their guests. Tourists travelling in their own vehicle are directed to another parking area, away from the large busses. The view from both areas is stunning.

At the looking areas there is a sense of anticipation as everyone waits for the sun to lower. It isn’t just fellow tourists you’ll be watching with though. At this time of evening much of the local wildlife can be seen scuttering around. The air begins to cool, and they come to hunt and relax in the shade.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the wildlife or simply get to know Uluru and its fascinating charm, visiting at sunrise or sunset is an incredible way to experience the area. Don’t forget to pack your camera so you can capture the amazing array of colours that light up the monument!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.