Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.
Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain". An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.
I took the the first two photos of Uluru on board a plane while we were flying to Singapore. The remaining more conventional photos were taken when we drove there in July 2002. We climbed to the top of the rock and we were thoroughly awe-struck by its sheer size and majesty. The weathering of iron-bearing minerals in the rock by the process of oxidation gives the outer surface layer of Uluru a red-brown rusty colour, making for spectacular photos at sunrise and sunset when the reddish sun accentuates the rock's colour.
This post is part of the Scenic Sunday meme,
and also part of Madge's Weekly Topshot meme.