@ It is a surreal experience the first time you see Uluru up close. It just seems so improbably large, a feeling which is amplified by the juxtaposition of the rock with the seemingly endless flatness of the Australian outback. I had a similar experience seeing the pyramids of Giza many years ago, regardless of how many times you have seen photos of them, the impact the real experience has on you is beyond expectations. After two decades travelling over six continents, it was quite special to finally get to the red centre of my home country for the first time.
It was particularly special to be able to see it from the air at sunset. Big shout out to @ayersrockhelicopters for agreeing to my special request to take the doors off for the flight (along with Deb and Peter, who were the other guests in the heli, for agreeing to put up with the almost 200km winds rushing past their faces so I could get some photos). Sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area, the rock has a circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 miles) and stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high above the surrounding plain. At its peak it sits at 863 m (2,831 feet) above sea level with most of its bulk thought to be underground. Considered an inselberg (literally "island mountain"), or monolith, it has incredible homogeneity and is almost without jointing or parting across its surface. This has allowed the rock to remain solid though the avoidance of scree and soil slopes while the rest of the landscapes around it eroded.
In a landmark native title settlement the area surrounding Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuṯa was handed back to the indigenous Pitjantjatjara Anangu in 1985. Named by British colonists in 1873 as Ayres Rock after the Chief Secretary of South Australia, it is now officially gazetted as Uluru / Ayers Rock under a dual naming policy.
Love Life, Love Photography
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