Eric Holcomb

Address: 1900 NE 3rd St STE 106 PMB 361, Bend, OR 97701-3889
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November 2001 Leonid Meteors over Australia

Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Perhaps Australia's most famous geographic feature, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is the world's largest monolithic rock formation, measuring several miles around. (The hiking trial around the base is about 9 km or 5.4 miles.) The name Uluru comes from the Anangu clan of Aboriginals, who have considered the area sacred for thousands of years. Likewise, Kata Tjuta is the name given to a cluster of 36 domelike rock formations about 20 miles west of Uluru.

Click on thumbnails to see larger versions of these pictures.

Location of Uluru: latitude 25 21' S, longitude 131 1' E, elevation 1675 feet (at base of rock - the rock rises another 1140 feet above ground level)

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Left (2) - Uluru near sunset, when the reddish-orange colors deriving from the oxidized sandstone appear spectacular.
Right (2) - The neighboring Kata-Tjuta rock formations, including Olga Gorge and hikers on trail.

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Left - The "climb," the only trail leading to the top of the rock. The Anangu prefer that Uluru not be climbed because of its spiritual importance.
Center (3) - Various scenes around the base of Uluru, including an area where water collects after a desert rain.
Right - Native rock paintings, mostly fairly recent in origin.

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Left - Eric at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort.
Right - "Sails" providing sun shade at the resort.

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Left - A crested pigeon, a common bird at the resort!
Center - A lizard on one of the trails in the resort area.
Right - A desert sunset, with silhouetted tree and crescent moon above.