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Visit Ayers Rock
This is the landmark of the territory and one of the most stunning natural marvels in the world. It is the summit of a buried mountain, the largest monolith on earth, rising unbelievably huge, and abrupt from the flat, scrub desert that surrounds it. Towering 1143 feet above the plain and measuring 5 1/2 miles in circumference, the rock is twice the size of central London. The wind playing around its titanic flanks gives the monolith a strange moaning "song" that the Aborigines - who venerated it for centuries believed were spirit voices. They called the rock Uluru.

Ayers Rock lies amid Mount Olga National Park, about 280 miles from Alice Springs. The road there is rough going, but the sight there takes your breath away the suddenness with which this monster looms before you, the sheer silent immensity of its bulk catches your throat before you become aware of its colors. The colors change with the time of the day - from deep scarlet to gold to delicate lilac, presenting entirely new vistas with every hue. The rock is honeycombed with caves, many still unexplored, and some used for tribal ceremonies and burial chambers. There is an aura of ageless mystery about the rock that no amount of camera-clicking can capture. Do yourself a favor: Get up before sunset and walk to the viewing area and watch Ayers Rock at Sunrise. Breathtaking! Then be sure and see it again at sunset. Unreal!

Note: At Ayers Rock you'll learn why the Aussie wears those hats with small corks dangling from them. Those moving corks help keep the flies from your face.

You can climb all the way up if you're in good physical condition. At the top you sign your name in the park ranger's book and get your reward in the form of a fabulous view. The crystal clarity of the air shrinks distances in an amazing fashion. This writer climbed the rock and considers it one of his greatest achievements. It's not easy!

The Olgas: Twenty miles from the rock stands a cluster of striking blue domes called The Olgas. They are huge round-monoliths topped by Mount Olga, rearing 1800 feet and encircling some of the most beautiful bush land in the center. These rocks also change coloring and glow like red-hot irons in the morning. The park has a large variety of wildlife - from big goannas to tiny marsupial mice. There are also flies! One tries to ignore them, because the visit is worth the irritation.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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