Northern Territory Travel

Uluru, Ayers Rock History

Aboriginal History

There is a world of history and cultural significance that surrounds Ayers Rock or as it is formerly known as, Uluru to its Aboriginal owners the Anangu people. The history of the Northern Territory Ayers Rock dates back to the beginning of time where it is believed the Anangu Aboriginal People have cared for this huge monolith and have been protecting it within their lands and for this reason Uluru holds a great spiritual significance to the Anangu People and stories revolving around the rock have been passed down from generation to generation. Ayers Rock is located 400km south west of Alice Springs and rises some 318m above ground level and is approximately 8km in length around the base of the rock. It is said that only a small part of Ayers Rock can actually been seen where most of the huge monolith is hidden beneath the ground.

It wasn’t until the 1870’s when explorers William Giles and William Gosse first discover the huge monolith when they were trying to come across water in the Red Centre. Ayers Rock was named by William Gosse after his superior; Sir Henry Ayers how was at the time the Chief Secretary of South Australia. William Giles was the one who discover the Olgas who named the rock formations after Queen Olga of Wurttemburg.

Soon after the European discovery of Ayers Rock, Uluru and the Olgas people from all around came to see Ayers Rock for themselves, with a settlement and tourist accommodation for visitors being constructed. The Anangu people of Uluru were only a small few and with the growing amount of people flocking to the region over the coming years, the Anangu people relocated themselves to other surrounding locations away from the tourist where they could live in peace.

Aboriginal ArtUluru NativesAyers Rock

With people climbing the rock there was huge erosion and terrible effects there were appearing all over the rock and finally in the 1970’s the governing bodies at that time gave back ownership to the Anangu people and the settlements and accommodation establishments that had been built around Ayers Rock were moved to a different location which is now known as Ayers Rock Resort and has far less impact on the rock.

Ayers Rock has always been a part of history and known the world over and because of its cultural significance and to preserve its existence in 1979 the government declared Ayers Rock, Uluru and Kata Tjuta a National Park and in 1983 Prime Minister Bob Hawke granted ownership back to the original owners, the Anangu People but for these agreement to be granted the Anangu People were required to allow tourists and visitors to come to the rock to marvel at its beauty. You are still allowed to climb the rock by the Anangu People urge visitors not to and at present a law is trying to be passed that climbing the rock be strictly forbidden.

Ayers Rock is one of those famous attractions that people always want to come to and its history will always be a story that is told over and over again. It rich history, cultural significance and beauty can be experienced for yourself with many great guided and self guided walks up and around Ayers Rock, Uluru.

Europeans FoundersSatellite view of UluruFounding of Uluru