Ayers Rock (Uluru)
December 06, 2001
Ayers Rock, or Uluru as it's called by the Aborigines, is Australia's most famous natural landmark and arguably the world's largest monolith (single slab of rock). It's approximately 2 1/4 miles (3.6 km) long, 1 1/4 miles (2 km) wide, almost 6 miles (9.4 km) in circumference, and nearly 1,070 feet high (345 m). Uluru is a chunk of layered sandstone, which extends about 3 miles below the desert surface. Its layers run vertical.
While it's steep all the way around its base, it's not too difficult to climb. However, there's no good need to climb it. For one thing, it's an Aboriginal sacred site, and the Aborigine people would prefer that you not climb it. In addition, the big attraction of Ayers Rock is the fact that it's a huge hunk of rock sticking up above the Australian Outback. If you climb it, then you're standing on top of practically the only thing worth seeing for miles around.