Ayers Rock or Uluru?
Australia’s most famous natural landmark has two names – Uluru and Ayers Rock. So which one is correct?
The rock was called Uluru a long time before Europeans arrived in Australia. The word is a proper noun from the Pitjantjatjara language and doesn’t have an English translation.
In 1873, the explorer William Gosse became the first non-Aboriginal person to see Uluru. He named it Ayers Rock after Sir Henry Ayers, the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time.
Ayers Rock was the most widely used name until 1993, when the rock was officially renamed Ayers Rock / Uluru – the first feature in the Northern Territory to be given dual names.
In 2002 these names were reversed at the request of the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs and the rock took on the official name of Uluru / Ayers Rock, which it still has today.
That means you can use either Uluru or Ayers Rock to refer to the rock. However, in the national park we always use the original name: Uluru.