World Tourist Sights Ayers Rock Australia

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

TOUR OF UNIQUE SITES AND SIGHTS IN THE WORLD

AUSTRALIA

NORTHERN TERRITORY

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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