Mt. Augustus: The World's Largest Rock

Escarpment on Mt Augustus, Mt Augustus National park, Western Australia.
••• Ted Mead / Getty Images

Mt. Augustus, the world's largest rock, sits in the Golden Outback of Western Australia east of Carnarvon. Standing as a testament to the stark beauty that nature itself bestows, Australia’s great Mt. Augustus is a natural landmark that is deserving of all the accolades afforded to this great part of nature.

With a national park dedicated to the great space in which Mt. Augustus resides, it is one of the greatest spots in Western Australia.

Rich with heritage and untouched beauty, Mt. Augustus is a place of discovery and adventure that is bound to reveal something about you and your limits. Referred to as the Burringurrah by the Aboriginal people, the site is a much-loved area for many.

How Big Is Mt. Augustus?

Mt. Augustus is approximately two and a half times the size of Uluru, another of Australia's breathtaking landmarks, and has often been cited as the world’s largest rock. By being afforded this illustrious title, this incredible aspect of nature allows users to see just what the Red Centre of Australia truly has to offer. Spanning across an infinitely large space of land, Mt. Augustus is a space that bears its cultural roots within Aboriginal history.

With Mt. Augustus covering an area of some 11,860 acres, it’s safe to say that its title as "world’s largest rock" is safe. But what about Uluru you may ask? Well, both are great testaments to nature, though they differ on account of a few technicalities.

The difference between Uluru and Mt. Augustus is that Uluru is a rock monolith consisting of a single rock while Mt. Augustus is a monocline formed by a geological linear, strata dip in one direction between horizontal layers on each side.

Uluru is thus the largest rock monolith in the world and of monoliths and monoclines; Mt Augustus is the world's largest overall.

Facts About Mt. Augustus

Height: According to Western Australia's Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), Mt. Augustus rises to a height of 717 meters (approximately 2,350 feet) above a stony, red sand plain.

Its central ridge is almost 5 miles long. Despite the technicalities, it’s clear to see that this rock is immensely large and is an undeniably powerful piece of nature.

Age: Astonishingly, the rock of the mountain is estimated to be 1 billion years old, sitting on a granite rock said to be 1.65 billion years old.

Name Origin: Mt. Augustus was named in honor of Sir Charles Gregory (1819-1905), brother of the explorer Francis Gregory who was the first to climb the mountain during an epic 107-day journey through the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

The mountain is referred to as Burringurrah by local Wadjari Aboriginal people and is a site of some significance. Due to its place as a cultural hub, Burringurrah is a great site. 

Walking Trails Around Mt. Augustus

There are a large number of walking trails around and up the mountain. Only the fit and experienced should attempt the walk to the top of Mt. Augustus. You can get advice on the walking trails from Mt. Augustus Outback Tourist Resort at the foot of the mountain.

Directions to Mt. Augustus

Mt. Augustus is some 530 miles from Perth. From Carnarvon on the North West Coastal Highway, Mt. Augustus is some 300 miles through Gascoyne Junction and 220 miles from Meekathara. Roads are unsealed gravel and, while able to be used by conventional vehicles, the going can be slow and tough but certainly challenging for the adventurous. Some roads may be closed or damaged after heavy rain.

Edited and updated by Sarah Megginson.