Uluru is one of Australia's most recognisable natural icons. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high and measures 9.4 km (5.8 mi) in circumference.
Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.
In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names that consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. On 15 December 1993, it was renamed "Ayers Rock / Uluru" and became the first officially dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was officially reversed to "Uluru / Ayers Rock" on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs.
Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain", an isolated remnant left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range.
There are a number of differing accounts given, by outsiders, of Aboriginal ancestral stories for the origins of Uluru and its many cracks and fissures.
One story is that Uluru was built up during the creation period by two boys who played in the mud after rain. When they had finished their game they travelled south to Wiputa ... Fighting together, the two boys made their way to the table topped Mount Conner, on top of which their bodies are preserved as boulders.
Another is that Kuniya, the woma python, lived in the rocks at Uluru where she fought the Liru, the poisonous snake.
It is sometimes reported that those who take rocks from the formation will be cursed and suffer misfortune. There have been many instances where people who removed such rocks attempted to mail them back to various agencies in an attempt to remove the perceived curse.
Uluru Dreamtime Stories
In the creation period, Tatji, the small Red Lizard, who lived on the mulgi flats, came to Uluru. He threw his kali, a curved throwing stick, and it became embedded in the surface. He used his hands to scoop it out in his efforts to retrieve his kali, leaving a series of bowl-shaped hollows.
Unable to recover his kali, he finally died in this cave. His implements and bodily remains survive as large boulders on the cave floor.
Mita and Lungkata's Emu Meal
The Bell-Bird brothers, were stalking an emu. The disturbed animal ran northward toward Uluru. Two blue-tongued lizard men, Mita and Lungkata, killed it, and butchered it with a stone axe. Large joints of meat survive as a fractured slab of sandstone.
When the Bell-Bird brothers arrived, the lizards handed them a skinny portion of emu, claiming there was nothing else. In revenge, the Bell-Bird brothers set fire to the Lizard's shelter. The men tried to escape by climbing the rock face, but fell and were burned to death. The gray lichen on the rock face is the smoke from the fire and the lizard men are two half-buried boulders.
Body of Lungkata