I'm a freelance writer living in Perth.
I enjoy gardening and films. I have appeared in several local short films.
Published November 23rd 2017
Visit the world's largest rock
Most people have heard about Ayres Rock (now known as Uluru), but not many people know about Mount Augustus and even less people have travelled to view this rock, which is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
It is claimed to be the largest monocline in the world. Uluru is a monolith, which is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock. A monocline is a step-like fold in rock strata consisting of a zone of steeper dip within an otherwise horizontal or gently-dipping sequence.
I had the opportunity to travel to this rock. The nearest accommodation is the green oasis of the Mt Augustus Tourist Park which is only 3 kilometres away from the base of the rock. You have a choice of powered sites starting from $33 or twin share rooms from $88. There are also camp sites for tents. They have a communal bbq and picnic areas. A small store onsite sells basics and fuel. You are welcome to bring your pets here.
There are so many things to do at this rock that you could easily spend a whole week here exploring. Firstm you can drive around the base of the rock on a 49 km loop road, which has information boards spread along the way. You can actually climb to the summit on a 12 km round trip track that gives you panoramic views.
There are also several shorter walking trails at different parts of the rock. All trails have basic markings only, but you need to be quite fit as they are all rated Class 3 and above. This means you need a high level of fitness and need to carry plenty of water with you as there are no facilities on the walk trails. On one of the walks, you are able to view Aboriginal engravings at the Ooramboo trail, which is on the south face of the rock. At night, the skies are so clear you can see millions of stars.
There is one permanent waterhole in the area, which has trees overhanging and are reflected in the water. Though the area seems isolated and rugged there is a large variety of birdlife plus other wildlife. Always look out for possible snakes.
Mount Augustus is 460 km from Carnarvon via Gascoyne Junction or 340 km from Meekatharra. The roads are mostly gravel but suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles. Though I found some parts of the road a bit rough, it is the adventure that counts. It is always advisable to carry extra fuel and water and supplies in the outback.
The Mount Augustus surrounds are the traditional lands of the Wajarri people and they call the rock Burringurrah. There is a legend about a young boy named Burringurrah who broke Aboriginal law and ran away. He was caught and faced tribal punishment. He died and turned into this rock.
Between May to September volunteers from National Parks and Wildlife are based here to assist visitors. Many backpackers from Europe seem to find their way to here also.
I was there 20 years ago and it is an amazing experience to climb to the top and look at the view!
All the time we camped there we could sense the spirituality of the area. We drove from Tom Price through wonderful but rugged countryside to get there.