About Mount Augustus
Mount Augustus is situated 350 kms east of the township of Gascoyne Junction, and stands within the Mount Augustus National Park. The Mount is one of the World’s most spectacular peaks, towering 858 metres above the surrounding plain and is 1105 metres above sea level. This mighty monocline appears like a giant anthill and is visible for more than a 160kms. It has long been a landmark both by air and road.
Mount Augustus Station, which is situated at the base of “THE ROCK”, is over 100 years old and covers over one million acres. The Station is still a working Station running beef cattle and has over 72 windmills to be maintained. The average rainfall in the area is approximately 200mm which falls during the months of November to February. There is no shortage of water as there is ample underground water and the Station does not need to rely on rainwater for domestic consumption.
F T Gregory named Mount Augustus on 31 August 1858 after his brother Augustus, who was then leading an expedition in search of the remains of Dr Leichardt. The mountain was first ascended on 3 June 1858 by F T Gregory and is the culminating point of a long and broad ridge about 8 kms in length. The upper portion of the North face is an almost vertical escarpment.
The rocks of Mount Augustus are of Upper Proterozoic age, being deposited on an ancient sea floor as sand and boulders some one thousand years ago. The deposits of sand and boulders consolidated to form sandstone and conglomerate strata, which were eventually uplifted and folded. The strata at Mount Augustus are folded in an anticline – that is an upfold like an inverted V.
The sandstone and conglomerate strata of Mount Augustus are continuous over a wide area and occur at nearby Mount Phillip in the Parry range 160km to the northwest. The strata lie unconformably on granitic rock that formed the floor of the sea on which the sand and boulders were deposited. This granitic rock which lies under the rocks of Mount Augustus is 1,650 million years old.
Mount Augustus is constantly being compared to Ayers Rock but this is like trying to compare a Holden with a Rolls Royce, both are motor vehicles but completely different in most respects. Ayers Rock is a monolith without any growth whatsoever whilst Mount Augustus is covered with scree. Mount Augustus is more than twice the size of Ayers Rock and while it is possible not as dramatic to look at as Ayers Rock it has splendour and mystique that justifies it being called “Magic Mountain”.