Get to know the incredible Uluru with these 11 interesting facts about the monolith!
Uluru, in Australia’s Red Centre, is a bucket list item for many international travellers and locals alike. Get to know this impressive rock formation before your trip to the Red Centre, with these incredible facts!
1. It’s taller than the Eiffel Tower
Towering 348 metres above the surrounding plane, Uluru is taller than several famous buildings around the world including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Chrysler Building in New York.
2. It takes about 3.5 hours to walk around the base
Uluru is 3.6 kms long and 1.9 kms wide, with a total circumference of 9.4kms. The incredible walk around the base takes you through a surprising variety of landscapes, and is best attempted in the morning before the desert heat sets in.
3. There is even more of it underground
Uluru is big, but most of its mass is buried under the surrounding desert. Uluru as we see it today was created by millions of years of erosion of the softer surrounding rock. Beneath the surface, Uluru extends at least another 2.5kms.
4. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is owned by traditional owners
The local Anangu people were recognised as the traditional owners in 1985. They now lease the land to the Australian government and work in partnership with Parks Australia to manage the area.
5. That’s why Uluru has two names
When William Gosse was the first European to set eyes on Uluru in 1873, he named it Ayers Rock after the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time. In 1993, the name was changed to Ayers Rock / Uluru, acknowledging the Aboriginal name. Then in 2002, the names were switched around to prioritise the Aboriginal name. These days, while it’s officially called Uluru / Ayers Rock, most people call it Uluru.
6. It also has two UNESCO World Heritage listings
In 1987, Uluru was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for its unique geology. In 1997, the rock’s cultural significance to the Aboriginal people was also recognised.
7. Aboriginal people have called the area home for at least 30,000 years
Archaeological evidence has been found suggesting that Aboriginal people have inhabited the area around Uluru for over 30,000 years. You can view rock art on a walk around the base of Uluru, including paintings that date back 5,000 years.
8. Uluru receives around 300mm of rainfall every year
It varies a lot each year, but Uluru receives around 300mm of rain on average each year, creating waterfalls and bringing new life to the rock and surrounding desert.
9. Uluru is home to a surprising amount of plants and wildlife
Uluru and the surrounding area hosts over 400 plants species, many with traditional uses in Anangu culture as food, medicine and tools. Many animals also call the area home including 21 species of mammals such as dingoes, red kangaroos and the spinifex hopping mouse.
10. Climbing Uluru is prohibited
The Anangu people always requested that visitors refrain from climbing the rock out of respect for their ancient culture. The last climbers reached the summit in October 2019 when climbing was officially banned, and the chain guide that was fastened to the rock was permanently removed.
11. But Prince Charles and Princess Diana still climbed it
The royals climbed Uluru on their 1983 tour of the Red Centre.
Related article: When is the best time to visit Uluru?