Also known as Uluru, Ayers Rock is an extraordinary place of natural beauty. Located in the southern part of the Northern Territory in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Ayers Rock juts out of the landscape and should not be missed. If you’re fit, climb to the top and be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. If you’re not so fit, stroll along the bloodwood trees that grow around Uluru. At Ayers Rock, you can also see aboriginal rock paintings and numerous sacred sites in the area. Definitely visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, where you can learn about aboriginal history and culture, as well as arts and crafts. Uluru is a World Heritage Site.
Download a larger image and share the photo with your class, then try these discussion questions and classroom activities:
- The aboriginal people, one of the oldest societies on the planet, have looked after this landscape for tens of thousands of years. The rocks in this area are covered with ancient aboriginal art, which was used as a form of storytelling. Visitors can see some of the aboriginal art, as can you, thanks to the internet. Take a look at some of the art that has been preserved. How did the ancient aborigines represent and make sense of their world?
- Ayers Rock is said to be the largest monolith in the world. However, some dispute that fact. Is Ayers Rock a monolith, or is it part of an underground rock formation? How was it formed? Why is it made of Arkose Sandstone, when there is none other nearby? And what about the strange honeycomb weathering of the rock? Read up on this geological issue. What do you think?
- Now, for fun, imagine yourself landing here from outer space. What does this strange landscape suggest to you? Take a look at Ayers Rock in this video and then try to envision a world that looks like this.
- Lastly, do you think you could climb this rock? And if you made it, how about getting down? Watch this video and see if you could do it. What is it about enormous natural structures that make humans want to summit?