Don’t fall for ‘Fool-a-ru’ in the quest for Uluru!

by Merlin Jake
by Merlin Jake

Uluru is one of Australia’s iconic natural landmarks with many making a beeline on an Uluru sightseeing tour for this location that is imbued with Aboriginal culture. Scaling or walking around Ayers Rock is one of the main things to do in Uluru and an integral part of all Uluru tours. At a height of 348 mts, Uluru is an ‘inselberg’, geographically defined as a prominent knobs of landmasses that rise abruptly from the surface and are surrounded by flat lowlands.

Well, to the perplexity of many tourists, there is a second inselberg close by that many mistake for Uluru! Attila is almost a perfect doppelganger but you really can’t blame people for mistaking it for Uluru! When you’re travelling in a coach for many hours, passing through boundless parched land with only Uluru on your mind, the chances are you will see Atilla and believe you’ve arrived at your destination! As this mistake was repeated by many over the years, Attila came to be locally known as ‘Fool-a-ru’ and is an inside joke among the local tourism industry operators.

So what are the apparent characteristics which will help you differentiate between Uluru and Attila? Well, for starters, Attila is almost thrice the size of Uluru and the peak is more flat and slightly taller, whereas Uluru has a faint dome-ish appearance. You will see Attila a.k.a Mt.Connor first when journeying from King’s Canyon, so that’s another way of distinguishing the two.

Both are sandstone structures, and like Uluru which changes colour at different times of the day and year, Attila also shows the same attributes. The varying colours are most visible at sunrise and sunset when it glows a deep red. There are shape differences between the two as well, but it isn’t perceptible from the ground level. From the skies, Attila has a quirky horseshoe-shape unlike that of Uluru. As Uluru has Lake Amadeus nearby, Attila also has a salt lake of its own known as Lake Swanson, but is much smaller in size.

Unlike Uluru which is more open to the public, Attila is on a reserved premise and you need to get special permission to visit the area. Owned by the Severins, it’s a family property but they run guided tours around this place. Attila is also an easier climb than Uluru, with the slopes less precipitous. You also get to see some great fossil relics along the way.

So if you live a life out of the ordinary, why not head to Attila for a real adventure out on the Aussie Outback! Attila might not have the oomph-factor of Uluru, but you will have many tales to tell your friends and family back at home, and not to mention irreplaceable views!