Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru in the language of local Pitjantjatjara people, is one of the most famous Australian landmarks and one of the symbols of Australia. One of the most astonishing things about Uluru is that on sunset it appears to change its colours. This makes a popular tourist destination and the statistics show that it is visited by more than 500 000 tourists every year.
Ayers Rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in the province Northern Territory, Central Australia. It is approximately 3km long, its width is 2km and its height – 348m. The different angles of the rising and the late afternoon sun reflect differently on the Uluru’s and interact with the different soil colours surrounding the Rock, to change its colour from the orange-red of early morning to the deeper, dusky-red of later afternoon. For the local people Anangu, Uluru is a sacred place. For them, it represents a connection with the Dreamtime.
It plays a significant part in their creation stories. Some of the legends about Uluru were found in the form of Petroglyphs by Australian archaeologist at the beginning of the 20 century. The most popular tourist activities on Ayers Rock are hiking and photographing. There are some interesting travel routes. Tourist can explore them on their own or with a local ranger. On the way, there are a lot of information signposts which give the tourists a deeper insight into the nature of Uluru. Since Uluru is a sacred place, the local Anangu people do not climb Uluru and request that visitors do the same.
Furthermore, climbing can be dangerous, especially for people, who are unfit or suffer from Vertigo or other medical conditions. The visitors’ guide says “the climb is not prohibited, but we prefer that, as a guest on Aṉangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing.” However, the walking tours are not the only popular activities among visitors. Scenic flights, Motorbike tours and Camel tours are other possible things to do.