Ayers rock is one of the most interesting landmarks I know of. It is located almost in the middle of Australia. It’s a huge sandstone rock with no other formations nearby, in an area that Aboriginals believe is the place of creation. Given its incredible size, Ayers Rock is best seen from afar at one of the various viewpoints, like the one I took this picture from.

Even as a tourist there for just a few days, it was obvious that Aboriginals and tourist groups have had a tug of war over the rights to this landmark, which is also known as Uluru to Aboriginals. The companies (or company) that offer tours of the area have started offering climbs to the top of the rock…not very respectful of the Aboriginals’ beliefs and rights, as they consider Ayers Rock to be a sacred site. The rock is so steep that tour companies put metal pegs into the rock to help tourists make the steep climb. How would you feel if someone put a metal pole through your sacred site?…yea, that’s what I thought.

Thankfully, there are those that respect the site and refuse to climb it. You can take a walk around Uluru, but for the most spectacular scenes you have to be there at sunrise or sunset. This shot was taken just before the sun started to set behind me.

There is a small town nearby where most people stay when they visit. After such a long day exploring the area, I found myself at Outback Pioneer Barbecue eating crocodile, emu, and kangaroo, family style. A couple hours of sleep, and it was back to Ayers Rock to catch the sunrise from the other side.