Heart of the Red Centre
On your approach to Uluru (Ayers Rock), you cannot believe your eyes; the sandstone rock formation literally rises from miles and miles of flat desert surrounding it, a monolith created five to six hundred million years ago when it was pushed up by a tremendous earthquake through the waters of a long-gone inland sea – one solid piece. It is the height of the Empire State Building with a circumference just under six miles, and depending on the time of day, it appears to change colors. But Uluru’s real story lies in its significance to the Anangu, the Pitjanjatjara and Yankunjatjara people of the Central Australian desert, and the legends of the Dreamtime.
To the Anangu, Uluru symbolizes life and is a sacred site. At the base, by the caves and waterholes where moisture is retained and there is a fairly dense tree and shrub cover, the Anangu lived in harmony with the surroundings. They carried out rituals and ceremonies, painted the walls and caves, and lived their daily lives. Every feature of the rock had its origin in the Tjukurpa, the Dreamtime, when the world and man began. Ancestral histories, stories and legends are conveyed not in written words, but in song, dance, rituals and ceremonies – and the legacy of the Dreamtime lives on generation to generation. The story of Uluru is complex – we’ve put together some videos and a podcast to learn more.