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History of Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)



Europeans came to the western desert area of Australia in the 1870s. Uluru and Kata Tjuta were first mapped by Europeans during the expeditionary period made possible by the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line in 1872.



In separate expeditions, William Ernest Powell Giles and William Christie Gosse were the first European explorers to this area. In 1872 while exploring the area, Ernest Giles sighted Kata Tjuta from near Kings Canyon and called it Mount Olga, while the following year Gosse saw Uluru and named it Ayers Rock after Sir Henry Ayers, the Chief Secretary of South Australia. Further explorations followed with the aim of establishing the possibilities of the area for pastoralism.



In the late 19th century, pastoralists attempted to re-establish themselves in areas adjoining the South-Western/Petermann Reserve and interaction between Anangu and white people became more frequent and more violent. Due to the effects of grazing and droughts, bush food stores were depleted. Competition for these resources created conflict between pastoralists and Anangu. As a result police patrols became more frequent. Archaeological findings to the east and west indicate that humans settled in the area more than 10,000 years ago. Europeans arrived in the Australian Western Desert in the 1870s. Uluru and Kata Tjuta were first mapped by Europeans in 1872 during the expeditionary period made possible by the construction of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line. In separate expeditions, Ernest Giles and William Gosse were the first European explorers to this area.

While exploring the area in 1872, Giles sighted Kata Tjuta from a location near Kings Canyon and called it Mount Olga, while the following year Gosse observed Uluru and named it Ayers Rock, in honour of the Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers. Further explorations followed with the aim of establishing the possibilities of the area for pastoralism. In the late
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