Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a sandstone rock formation located in central Australia. How many of these fun Uluru facts did you know?
- On 15 December 1993, it was renamed “Ayers Rock / Uluru” and became the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory.
- The order of the dual names was officially reversed to “Uluru / Ayers Rock” on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs.
- For the purpose of mapping and describing the geological history of the area, geologists refer to the rock strata making up Uluru as the Mutitjulu Arkose, and it is one of many sedimentary formations filling the Amadeus Basin.
- The strata at Uluru are nearly vertical, dipping to the south west at 85°, and have an exposed thickness of at least 2,400 m. The strata dip below the surrounding plain and no doubt extend well beyond Uluru in the subsurface, but the extent is not known.
- The mulgara, the only mammal listed as vulnerable, is mostly restricted to the transitional sand plain area, a narrow band of country that stretches from the vicinity of Uluru to the northern boundary of the park and into Ayers Rock Resort.
- The bat population of the park comprises at least seven species that depend on day roosting sites within caves and crevices of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
- These species are distributed throughout the park, but their densities are greatest near the rich water run-off areas of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
- The first tells of serpent beings who waged many wars around Uluru, scarring the rock.
- While exploring the area in 1872, Giles sighted Kata Tjuta from a location near Kings Canyon and called it Mount Olga, while the following year Gosse observed Uluru and named it Ayers Rock, in honour of the Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.
- Beginning in the 1940s, permanent European settlement of the area for reasons of the Aboriginal welfare policy and to help promote tourism of Uluru.
- On 26 October 1985, the Australian government returned ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines, with one of the conditions being that the Aṉangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife agency for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed.
- The A$21 million project about 3 kilometres on the east side of Uluru involved design and construction supervision by the Aṉangu traditional owners, with 11 kilometres of roads and 1.6 kilometres of walking trails being built for the area.
- In 1975, a reservation of 104 square kilometres of land beyond the park’s northern boundary, 15 kilometres from Uluru, was approved for the development of a tourist facility and an associated airport, to be known as Yulara.
- According to a 2010 publication, just over one-third of all visitors to the park climb Uluru; a high percentage of these were children.
- On 1 November 2017, the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park board voted unanimously to prohibit climbing Uluru, with the ban to take effect in October 2019.