Mount Augustus or Burringurrah as it is known by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people, is about 850 kilometres from Perth and midway between the Great Northern and North West Coastal highways. One of the most spectacular solitary peaks in the world, it rises 717 metres above a stony, red sandplain of arid shrubland, dominated by wattles, cassias and eremophilas, and is clearly visible from the air for more than 160 kilometres.
The rock itself, which culminates in a small peak on a plateau, is about eight kilometres long and covers an area of 4,795 hectares. At about twice the size of Uluru (Ayers Rock) it is the biggest ‘rock’ in the world.
Nearby emus seek fruits, and bustards snatch insects and small reptiles from the ground. Bungarras (goannas) and red kangaroos are common on the plain, while euros and birds of prey are found closer to the rock. At Cattle Pool on the Lyons River, a tributary of the Gascoyne, permanent pools attract waterbirds such as black cormorants, swans and ducks. In the trees are corellas and blue-winged kookaburras.