Sacred Uluru: The Ancient Heart of Australia [41 PICS]

September 15th, 2011 Permalink

Uluru, also known as Ayres Rock, is a World Heritage Site and a finalist in the running for the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. Uluru is considered as the ancient heart of Australia; it’s sacred to the Aṉangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. While many tourists feel like they must climb Ayers Rock before they die, the Aṉangu do not believe in climbing this landmark since it is of great spiritual significance to them. Uluru and Kata Tjuta make up the two major features of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Some tourists to central Australia feel like this beautiful and ancient heart is the most anticipated highlight of their visit. [41 Photos]

Uluru at sunset

Uluru at sunset. This gorgeous natural sandstone icon in Australia stands over 1,141 feet (348 m) above sea level and has more hidden below ground than what you see here. Uluru, also known as Ayres Rock, can appear to be differing shades of red depending upon the time the day and how the sun strikes it. Photo #1 by Richard Fisher

Aerial view of Uluru  aka Ayres Rock

Aerial view of Uluru aka Ayres Rock. It has a total circumference of 5.8 miles (9.4 km). Photo #2 by Maurus Blank


Trees and brush at the base of Uluru in Australia

Trees and brush at the base of Uluru. Photo #3 by Nathan Siemers

climbing route at Uluru

This is the climbing route used by visitors to reach the top of the landmark. The Aboriginal owners of Uluru request that visitors do not climb the rock, but there are no legal restrictions against climbing. Photo #4 by Masao Mutoh

Ayers Rock-view from 50k

Uluru / Ayers Rock-view from 50k (31 miles) back. The beautiful area around Uluru has “a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings.” Photo #5 by Donaldytong

Brain of Uluru

‘Brain’ of Uluru? Photo #7 by F Delventhal

Skull at Uluru

With a heart and perhaps a brain, it’s no surprise to see a skull at Uluru. Photo #8 by Shek Graham

Uluru with rainbow

According to the history of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, the Anangu traditional owners have looked after Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s landscape for tens of thousands of years. Photo #9 by Peter Ruckstuhl

Kata Tjuta

This is Kata Tjuta which also called Mount Olga or The Olgas. It is 16 miles (25 km) west of Uluru. Both are breathtaking to behold at dawn and dusk. Photo #10 by Richard Fisher

Australia Uluru

According to Aboriginal legend, “The world was once a featureless place. None of the places we know existed until creator beings, in the forms of people, plants and animals, traveled widely across the land. Then, in a process of creation and destruction, they formed the landscape as we know it today. Aṉangu land is still inhabited by the spirits of dozens of these ancestral creator beings which are referred to as Tjukuritja or Waparitja.” Photo #11 by Bruno.Menetrier

Dawn aerial view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Dawn aerial view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Photo #12 by Leonard G.

Track around Uluru

Track around Uluru / Ayers Rock. In 1993, it was named Ayers Rock / Uluru, but the name was reversed again in 2002. Photo #13 by Luke Fabish

Under Uluru

Under Uluru. Like is said of many native lands like the Navajo Nation or on Easter Island, people who steal rocks as a souvenir will be cursed. Many people attempt to mail the rocks back to avoid the bad luck that they picked up along with the stolen piece of nature. Photo #14 by Luke Fabish

Uluru Monolith

Some people call Uluru a monolith; it is actually “an inselberg, literally ‘island mountain’, an isolated remnant left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range.” Photo #15 by Robert Young

Going up Uluru

Going up Uluru is a steep climb, 800 m/0.5 miles and takes about 1 to 2 hours to hike. Climbers are advised to drink plenty of water and be aware of strong winds. At least 35 people have died during recreational climbs. Photo #16 by Jamin

Uluru texture

The icon rock has an amazing texture. According to Wikipedia, “The Aṉangu also request that visitors do not photograph certain sections of Uluru, for reasons related to traditional Tjukurpa beliefs. These areas are the sites of gender-linked rituals, and are forbidden ground for Aṉangu of the opposite sex to those participating in the rituals in question. The photographic ban is intended to prevent Aṉangu from inadvertently violating this taboo by encountering photographs of the forbidden sites in the outside world.” Photo #17 by Los viajes del Cangrejo

Sunset On The Olgas (Kata Tjuta)

Sunset On The Olgas (Kata Tjuta). Photo #18 by Justin Otto

Bottom of Ayers Rock, Australia

Bottom of Ayers Rock, Australia. Photo #19 by Ikiwaner

Jack, a domesticated camel in the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia's Northern Territory

Jack, a domesticated camel in the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Photo #20 by Richard Fisher

Going down Uluru

Going down Uluru. Photo #21 by Jamin

sunset Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Sunset Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Photo #22 by Paul Mannix

A panorama of Kata Tjuta. The Pitjantjajara name Kata Tjuta means 'many heads'. The site is as sacred to the Indigenous people as Uluru

A panorama of Kata Tjuta. The Pitjantjajara name Kata Tjuta means ‘many heads’. The site is as sacred to the Indigenous people as Uluru. Photo #23 by Christian Mehlführer

Ayers Rock from a Helicopter

Ayers Rock / Uluru from a Helicopter. Photo #24 by Corey Leopold

Australian Outback - Mount O'Connor, a mesa between Alice Springs and Uluru

Australian Outback – Mount O’Connor, a mesa between Alice Springs and Uluru. Photo #25 by Gabriele Delhey

Ayers Rock - Kuniya walk (Rock climbing)

Ayers Rock – Kuniya walk (Rock climbing). Photo #26 by Donaldytong

path to climb uluru

Path to climb, but as a guest on sacred land, the Anangu ask that you consider respecting them by not climbing. Photo #27 by Los viajes del Cangrejo

Ayers Rock - Uluru, Australia

There are several Aboriginal ancestral stories for how Uluru originated and got its many cracks and fissures. “Uluru was built up during the creation period by two boys who played in the mud after rain. When they had finished their game they travelled south to Wiputa … Fighting together, the two boys made their way to the table topped Mount Conner, on top of which their bodies are preserved as boulders.” Other stories: “The first tells of serpent beings who waged many wars around Uluru, scarring the rock. The second tells of two tribes of ancestral spirits who were invited to a feast, but were distracted by the beautiful Sleepy Lizard Women and did not show up. In response, the angry hosts sang evil into a mud sculpture that came to life as the dingo. There followed a great battle, which ended in the deaths of the leaders of both tribes. The earth itself rose up in grief at the bloodshed, becoming Uluru.” Photo #28 by Australien-Links.ch

Spinifex arid grass in arid Australia

Spinifex grass in arid Australia. Photo #29 by Percita

Ayres Rock

In 1983, the Prime Minister “promised to hand back the land title to the Aṉangu traditional owners and agreed to the community’s 10-point plan which included forbidding the climbing of Uluru. However, the government set access to climb Uluru and a 99-year lease, instead of the previously agreed upon 50-year lease, as conditions before the title was officially given back to the Aṉangu.” Photo #30 by Alexandra at lb.wikipedia

Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, Austalia

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park, Austalia. Photo #31 by nosha

Crumbling Ayers Rock

Crumbling Ayers Rock. Photo #32 by sukhchander

Uluru erosion - During the rains, water cascades down this eroding the soft sandstone

During the rains, water cascades down and erodes the soft sandstone. Photo #34 by Shek Graham

Uluru dust

After Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site, more than 400,000 tourists now visit each year. Photo #35 by Robert Young

Uluru Foliage

While Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name, Ayers Rock is the most commonly used name outside Australia. Photo #36 by Luke Fabish

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Photo #37 by Paleontour

Uluru Waterfall

“Uluru Waterfall.” Outback Secrets wrote that “Uluru does not mean ‘waterhole’, as you might have read. It is simply an Aboriginal place name, referring to both the rock itself and the waterhole on top of the rock.” Photo #38 by Lisa Mayne

Uluru, Central Australia. Shows trees growing in a crack up the rock face

Shows trees growing in a crack up the rock face. Photo #39 by Mark Andrews

Australia's Kata Tjuta at sunset

Australia’s Kata Tjuta at sunset. Photo #40 by Alex Healing

Dusk near Uluru

Dusk near Uluru. Photo #41 by dincsi


7 Responses to “Sacred Uluru: The Ancient Heart of Australia [41 PICS]”

Leave a Reply