Australia’s Great Barrier Reef makes final 28 list for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Voting closes in two weeks so make sure you vote for your favourite N7W.
Uluru (Ayers Rock). A visit to this monolithic rock, the world’s greatest, is an awesome experience. It is composed of a type of sandstone that has been exposed through folding, faulting, the erosion of rock and infill. At the base are caves, inlets and overhangs formed by chemical degradation and erosion. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, Uluru rises from the surrounding plains and belongs to the Anangu Aboriginal people for whom it holds a special spiritual significance. In an isolated spot 280 miles (450km) from Alice Springs, the power of the rock draws hundreds of visitors taken on tours by Aboriginal guides who explain the monolith’s importance in Aboriginal culture. Some opt for the 1,142ft (348m) climb to the top, which takes about 45 minutes and is not for the faint-hearted.
It’s recommended to view Uluru at different times of the day – part of the magic of the rock is its constant colour changes in different lights, particularly at sunrise and sunset. You can take a camel tour of the outback at Uluru, or enjoy an unforgettable flight in a light aircraft or helicopter for a bird’s eye view of the monolith. About 19 miles (30km) from Uluru is another fascinating geological formation on the desert landscape. Known as Kata Tjuta (formerly known as the Olgas), these comprise 36 domes of red-brown earth, the tallest of which, Mount Olga, is 656ft (200m) taller than Uluru. There is also an Aboriginal cultural centre and an arts and craft centre, along with restaurants, swimming pools, galleries, supermarket, medical centre and post office.