What are four interesting facts about Uluru?

What are four interesting facts about Uluru?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/27/2022

Reading time: 4 mins

Uluru is one of the most famous natural landmarks of Australia. Standing at 348m tall, this gigantic sandstone monolith holds significant cultural importance to Australia’s indigenous community and is a formation that must be seen to be believed.

Hundreds of thousands of travellers from Australia and the world travel to the Red Centre every year to take in the sights of Uluru and the surrounding region of Kata Tjuta National Park. It is a place that takes you away from reality of the day to day. A place of stillness and reflection, being in the presence of Uluru is referred to by many as spiritual.

Uluru has a rich history and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site since 1987, and there are some interesting facts that you may not know about the beautiful place.

1. The total circumference of Uluru is 9.4km long

So, in saying that, it’s not really a short walk around the base – but it certainly is a worthy trek. The duration of your walk will depend on your level of fitness and stops along the way – but expect it to take a minimum of 3 hours.

The walk around the base of Uluru is a guided experience where you will connect with and learn about the rock and its stories. You will pass through sections that feel completely different from the last, and you will see various flora and fauna and stunning scenery as you go. You can no longer climb Uluru, so this is the closest you can get.

Uluru can get very hot in the afternoons of the summer months, so it’s recommended to begin this walk earlier in the day when the day is a little cooler. Wear good hiking shoes, apply sunscreen and bring plenty of water.

2. Uluru / Ayers Rock officially has two names

You’ve heard of Uluru, and you’ll know it’s also referred to as Ayers Rock. Whilst it has been called Ayers Rock since 1873, it has been called Uluru by Aboriginals long before that. Uluru comes from the local Anangu people. Ayers Rock became the common name after William Gosse became the first non-Aboriginal person to see it, and it was named after the SA Chief Secretary at the time – Sir Henry Ayers.

Many still refer to it as Ayers Rock, however as we continue to work towards better relationships and respect of our indigenous communities, more and more are only using the original name of Uluru. Uluru is sacred and therefore highly respected by local communities and visitors. It was renamed in 1993 as Uluru / Ayers Rock, which it remains today.

3. It is taller than New York’s Chrysler Building

And the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It can be hard to grasp how large Uluru is, but when you think about how tall these famous buildings are it certainly helps to put things into perspective. For context – the Chrysler Building is made up of 77 floors.

What’s even more amazing is that Uluru is even bigger underground. The part we see above ground has been exposed to millions of years of erosion, however under the earth Uluru is vast – it continues 2.5km below the surface.

4. Uluru used to be grey

This one seems hard to believe when seeing its current distinctive rich red colour, but its true! Before the sandstone rock was exposed to water and oxygen it was a grey colour – this can be seen when looking at inside surfaces. The iron minerals in the rock that were exposed to millions of years of erosion and elements oxidized and rusted, leading to the striking colour it is today.

The red of Uluru is breathtaking, and what’s most interesting is that the vibrance changes depending on the time of day. The colour you see at sunrise will differ at midday and again at sunset. It is something special to see.

Uluru is home to over 40 sacred indigenous sites, and rock art telling ancient stories. A visit here will be full of many more fascinating facts that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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.