World Tourist Sights Ayers Rock Australia

About the world's largest monolith Ayers Rock in Australia, description and location of the tourist sight.




Sight: Ayers Rock.

In the vast and rugged Australian heartland, tucked in between the Macdonnell and Mus-grave mountain ranges, sits massive Ayers Rock. Rising aloofly from the flat brown plain which surrounds it, the giant rounded rock is the world's largest monolith. Its vital statistics (for a single rock) stagger the imagination: length, 2 1/4 mi.; circumference, 5 1/2 mi.; height, 1,100 ft.; estimated weight, 4 million tons. Throughout the day, Ayers Rock puts on a fascinating show of changing coloration. Naturally a profound red, it becomes a vivid ball of flame when touched by a crimson dawn or sunset. Tiny facets of micalike feldspar, reflecting the sun's rays, create the illusion of a surface studded with mirrors. In the midday sun, however, the rock appears whitish yellow, while deep shadows turn it a purplish hue. Aborigines have affixed paintings of mythical lizard-men and other anthropoid figures on the walls of Ayers Rock's shallow caves. Hardy visitors may climb to the rock's summit.

Location: 250 mi. southwest of Alice Springs, near the very center of Australia.

Seeing It: It's advisable to visit here with an organized group. Several package tours are available by different modes of travel, some for overnight and others for several days; accommodations may be primitive, however. You may also take a day-long flying excursion from Alice Springs.

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