What are the features of Uluru?

What are the features of Uluru?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/12/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

The most recognisable natural landmark in the entire country, even the entire world; Uluru. Also known as Ayer’s Rock, is the large red rock that looms over the Aussie outback. Featuring in millions of the country’s postcards and advertisements. 

The Rock Overall

  • It’s Formation

    Scientists have estimated that Uluru is around 500 million years old, forming a similar time to when the Australian continent first developed. This all began when a large majority of Australia was underwater. The rock first began once the land masses began to separate and move, causing two fans, one made of sand, and the other made of conglomerate rock, to be pushed together with force. Eventually, the pressure was so great the two fans condensing into one rock, to what we know today as Uluru.

The rocks different features

  • Southern Side

    The southern side of Uluru features a series of steep valleys with large pot-holes and plunge pools. This is all due to the continued water erosion on the arkose rock. From centuries of rainfall slowly cutting into the deep sections of Uluru until they eventually fell away with the stream, forming the large holes we see today.

  • North-West Side

    Featured on Uluru’s north-west side is parallel ridges outlining the sedimentary layers of the rock. This I also caused by erosion, with large winds and rainfall cutting away segments.

  • Uluru’s Smooth Surface

    The smooth sections of the red are all due to humans, with millions of feet travelling across the same section of rock every day. As Uluru is a tricky path to travel up, there is only one section that allows visitors a safe path up and back.  And with so many travellers trekking the same steps, the rocks have become worn smooth by the countless feet.

  • Uluru’s Flaky Surface

    The flaky exterior of Uluru is due to the chemical decay of the minerals present. Normally, the arkose rock is a greyish colour, however, the oxidation of the iron mineral present in the rock exposes a rusty flaky residue, causing the rust red colour Uluru is famous for.

  • It’s Surrounding Features

    What makes Uluru so significant is its deserted surrounds. Sitting right smack bang in the middle of nowhere, right in the heart of Kata-Tjuta National Park. This lets you immerse yourself completely in the Aussie outback and see the true beauty of the native wildlife. With unique animals and plants sprinkling the red sand and dry landscape. Even from far away, you can see Uluru from a distance, with barely any trees or mountains blocking your sight.

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.

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