Kata Tjuta the rocks with many heads

Almost in the dead centre of Australia, located in the Northern Territory is the inspiring Uluru, or Ayers Rock as it is also known.  16 kilometres to the east of Uluru is another rock formation that is equally as interesting, but not as well known, and these rocks are called Kata Tjuta, or ‘many heads’ in the local Aboriginal tongue of the Anangu people.

Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas as they are also known, is a group of large domed rock formations called bornhardts.    The rocks form the other landmark in the Uluru-Kat Tjuta National Park and there are 23 domes in all, the tallest of which is Mount Olga with a height of 546 m (1,791 ft) above the surrounding plain, and 198 m (650 ft) higher than nearby Uluru.

If you’re after some serious adventure, you can grasp how incredibly ancient and remarkably imposing Kata Tjuta is by tackling the moderately difficult Valley of the Winds Walk. Trekkers are rewarded for their efforts with breathtaking views over the desert plains of the Red Centre.

Alternatively, take the easier Walpa Gorge Walk for a more a leisurely stroll amongst Kata Tjuta’s enormous domes into a lush desert refuge for plants and wildlife.

If you’re seeking elevated views of the surrounding Red Centre landscape then the 7.4 kilometre Valley of the Winds Walk weaves through the immerse domes of Kata Tjuta and treats its trekkers to spectacular views from its two lookout points. While the Kings Creek Walk takes you through the Red Gum-lined floor of Kings Canyon, where unique Aussie flora abounds and the wildlife spotting opportunities are endless in the lush Garden of Eden.

The spiritual significance of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to the area’s Aboriginal custodians, the Anangu people, runs deep. The Anangu have inhabited the region for 22,000 years and still carry out aspects of their traditional lives here today. They have a complex system of beliefs known as ‘Tjukurpa’ (pronounced ‘chu-ka-pa’) and for which there is no direct English translation that encompasses religion, law and the relationship between people, plants, animals and the landscape.

Art is a way of life for the Anangu people, the traditional owners of this land, and their painting and carving styles are very distinctive. Opportunities exist to meet the artists on the land that inspires them and invest in some original and truly unique pieces.

The bright, sunny days the Uluru-Kata Tjuta region enjoys for most of the year allow visitors to make the most of the outdoors for an unforgettable nature experience. In the evenings, the velvety night sky is lit up by a million stars which can be appreciated by the experienced astronomer or budding stargazer alike.

The best times to view Uluru/Kata Tjuta are at dawn and dusk when they rocks become a vivid red, and there are a few viewing areas where it is common to enjoy a dink and watch the rocks change colour.  At other times, it is possible to view Kata Tjuta from a helicopter, a Harley Davidson motorbike, and even from atop a camel.

Whichever method you choose to visit, you can’t help to be inspired by the majesty of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

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