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Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.
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Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, Northwest Territories

Country: Australia
State: Northwest Territories
Gateway City: Alice Springs is the gateway city to Uluru – Kata Tjuta NP. Alice Springs can be reched from any major terminal in Australia. Connellan Airport is located adjacent to the park and is serviced from most domestic Australian cities
Climate: During the summer temperatures at Uluru can range anywhere fro 10C to 45 C. In the winter time temperatures can range from 32C to –10C. It’s desert climate provides a maximum of 40mm of rain per months during the wet winter season. Less than 5 raindays
Number of visitors per year: The accessibility to Alice Springs on a modern paved highway coupled with accomodations that range from modern hotels to campsites, Uluru plays host to tens of thousands of visitors each year.

History

Archaeological explorations have determined that the Aboriginal people have inhabitated the Uluru area for over 22,000 years.  The first European explorer to see the monolith was William Gosse in 1873.  The area was named as an Auasralian national park and in 1985 the area was returned to the ownership of the Anangu peoples.  The Anangu people jointly run the park with Parks Australia.  Uluru was named as a Cultural Landscape in 1994.  This was only the second property so named by the World Heritage foundation.

About

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northwest Territories is the home to Ayers Rock, a geological formation recognized world wide.  In 1985 Uluru was returned to the Anangu aboriginal tribe who now manage the park jointly with Parks Australia.  Uluru’s historical significance has led to it’s acceptance as a World Heritage Park. Ayers Rock is the largest freestanding monolith in the world.  The aboriginies of Australia view it as a holy site and consider it to have been there since the beginning of time.  A massive pile of ancient rock domes, Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas.  They are 40 km away from Ayers Rock.  The color of Ayers Rock can change as the day progresses or the color of the sky changes.  At sunset the color of the rock can change from a brilliant red hue to a subtle lilac shade in a matter of minutes. 

During the summer temperatures at Uluru can range anywhere fro 10C to 45 C.  In the winter time temperatures can range from 32C to –10C.  It’s desert climate provides a maximum of 40mm of rain per months during the wet winter season.  Less than 5 raindays per month are normally recorded.   

The Ayers Rock monolith rises almost 350 meters above the desert. The monolith measures 1.9km from north to south and 3.1km from east to west.  Approximately 60% of the rock lies beneath the surface of the earth.  It is possible to climb to the top of the rock however its caretakers discourage this since it is considered a sacred place.  Sightseeing, photographic opportunities and walks abound.  The cultural center provides programs on Aboriginal life and life in the outback.

Highlights

Uluru – Kata Tjuta NP allows the visitor unbridled opportunities to visit and explore the ecology of the Australian desert.  The visitor can either take a guided tour or strike out on their own.  Investigating and exploring the cultural significance of the Aboriginal tribes who have resided in the area for millennia can absorb even the most ardent historian.  The changing colors of Ayers Rock in the sunset provide a magical experience.

Residents

A harsh desert has had numerous native animals the opportunity for adaptation.  Goannas, geckoes, skinks venomous and non venomous snakes among others inhabit the land.  In the sky can be seen Eagles, Falcons, Kestrels and Kites all in search of prey.  Mammals in the area include red kangaroos, dingoes and rock wallabies.

Activities

Aerial tours in both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters allow the visitor an opportunity to view Ayers rock from the sky, fully allowing an appreciation for the size of the monolith.  Guided tours are provided either in 4wd vehicles or motorcycles to the immediate and surrounding area.  Eco friendly tours are provided which allow a rich interpretation of the flora and fauna of the area. 

Conservation projects

The Anangu and Parks Australia have created a 170 hectare enclosure’ which is the new home for 25 Mala.  Mala are a species of wallaby, which has been extinct in the Uluru region since the mid 1990’s.  Once the mala are adapted to nature the hope is to release them into the wild and reestablish a native population.

Submitted by Bird_Watcher on Jul 27, 2009