The 1325 km² national park is 340 km southwest of Alice Springs in central Australia. The main attractions are the two sandstone mountains Uluru (Ayers Rock), which rises 348 m above the surrounding plain, and Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga), which towers above the area by 545 m and is the highest of the 36 island mountains west of Uluru. The mountains are around 500 million years old and are of particular spiritual importance to the Aborigines as “sacred sites”. Visit ezinesports.com for Oceania geography.
Ayers Rock: Facts
|Official title:||Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) – Kata Tjuta (Mount Olgas)|
|Cultural and natural monument:||since 1977 national park with 1336 km², Uluru monolith (circumference 9.4 km and up to 340 m high), west of Uluru Kata Tjuta with 36 rock domes on 35 km², including Mount Olga (546 m); of particular spiritual and cultural relevance for the Australian aborigines, numerous rock carvings and “holy places” at Uluru|
|Continent:||Australia / Oceania|
|Country:||Australia, Northern Territory|
|Location:||Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, southwest of Alice Springs|
|Meaning:||an internationally significant arid ecosystem with the two huge monoliths Uluru and Kata Tjuta|
|Flora and fauna:||Grasses such as Cymbopogon ssp., Groups of acacia species such as mulga (Acacia aneura) and Acacia kempeana, spinifex grass, isolated stands of rock figs and Eucalyptus terminalis and the casuarina family Allocasuarina decaisneana; 22 native mammal species such as dingo, red giant kangaroo, mountain kangaroo, pouch mole, spinifex jumping mouse, large rabbit nasal sac, occasionally Australian short-billed hedgehog; 150 species of birds; Among the reptiles, the largest Australian lizard, the giant monitor up to 2.5 m long, as well as thorn devil and black-headed python|
“We work well together”…
… this statement is surely more of a good intention than that it would actually be in everyday life between the Piranypa – the Europeans – and the Anangu Maru – the indigenous people of Australia. Tony Tjamiwa, one of the driving forces in the decades-long struggle for the transfer back from Uluru to the Mutitjulu resident there, knows how little has changed in our dealings with one another: »We know the essential aspects of our culture, which we call and Tjukurpa which the whites think are dreams in their sense (…). Today there are tons of Minga, the “ants” [this is how the tourists are pictorially described], every year, every month (…). They climb the rock and fall down, die (…). We would like to give you some advice on the way (…) not to climb Uluru (…). We are also extremely annoyed about the constant photography. The “ants” take photos of miilmiilpa [of “consecrated places”] and they take photos of us as if we were from another planet and not people like them. ”
With their exclusive sense of what is sacrosanct, the people of the Christian West seem to have no understanding for such requests. Even when the responsible government of the Northern Territory temporarily prohibited climbing Uluru, nothing changed in the behavior of the visitors. To this day, they undauntedly join the “train of the ants”, which – along iron posts and chain links – travels on the back of Uluru. For many, climbing the summit is seen as a sporting challenge. They don’t care about the importance of ulurus to Aboriginal people in Australia. Tjukurpa is mostly alien to the “ants” when they hear, for example, of the mala, the kangaroo creatures, and Kurpanngu, the unrest-causing “devil thingy”. Also the story of the Python Kuniya, who returned to Uluru from a long trip from Erldunda looks more like a Grimm fairy tale to European minds: Kuniya had become pregnant and wished that her children could hatch in her home town of Uluru. Although she was very weakened by the pregnancy and had numerous gryphons to fear, she set off on the arduous journey with her many eggs, which she carried in a bundle on her head. Every night she rested and wrapped herself protectively around her eggs to keep them warm. Every morning she moved further west, even if she had almost lost all hope of ever reaching Uluru. Every time she climbed a sand dune, she carefully searched the area to see Uluru. She finally spotted him on the horizon. She continued her way across sand dunes and finally reached the eastern flank of Uluru, completely exhausted. She was at home.
For the natives of Australia, these and other creatures of the “dream time” are a reality, are reflected in rock formations, rivers, streams, clay pans, mountains and springs, and live on in them. They seem strange to the visitors. Tourists are more attracted to the play of colors of the »Red Rock«, which is often captured in photographs: Uluru appears bright red, orange, crimson red, orange and crimson on closer inspection, depending on the sunlight, early in the morning and before dusk.
Just as fascinating are the splashes of color on the plants after heavy rainfall: yellow brush flowers of the “cork wood”, tomato-red “calyx flowers” of the herbaceous Brachysema chambersii, bushy acacias with lemon-yellow “bottle cleaner flowers”, yellow “straw flowers” of the “sun gold” and pink “cat’s tail”. Not far from the “Valley of the Winds”, a part of Kata Tjuta, a small flock of gray zebra finches buzzes around. Pink cockatoos loudly announce an “intruder”. At some distance, you can make out emerald colored multicolored parakeets. Occasionally a dingo roams the area around Uluru, and Spinifex bouncy mice show off their acrobatic skills in the dense Spinifex. »Pukulpa Pitjama Ananguku Ngurakutu« – »Welcome to the land of the Anangu Maru«.