Admire Ayers Rock, Australia's most recognizable natural landmark, a sandstone monolith that rises 348 meters (1,142 ft) high and has a total circumference of 9.4 kilometers (5.8 miles). Situated virtually in the geographic center of Australia, it is considered to be a sacred site by Aborigines, who believe that "Uluru" - as it is known in the local dialect - is where the earth itself rose in grief following a titanic battle among the gods. Nearby is the impressive Kata Tjuta Formation – or Mount Olga – which, along with Ayers lie within Luru-Ktak Tjuta National Park. The local Anangu people lead walking tours that provide interesting facts about the local flora and fauna, bush foods, and Aboriginal dreamtime stories. Perhaps no visit is complete without a climb to the top of Ayers along a steep trail that takes about an hour to traverse and rewards you with magnificent views. Make sure to time your visit to coincide with dawn or sunset as the entire rock is bathed in shades of wondrous reds and golds.
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