Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olga’s, is a large rock formation located near Uluru (which is about 30km away). Although Uluru is world famous, Kata Tjuta should not be missed when visiting The Red Centre of Australia. Like it’s famous cousin, Kata Tjuta is at it’s most spectacular at sunrise or sunset when the rocks have a red glow.
Kata Tjuta Facts
- There are 36 dome shaped sandstone rocks
- Kata Tjuta is spread over 20km (Uluru is 3.6km by 2.4km)
- The highest point is called Mount Olga (named after Queen Olga of Württemberg)
- Kata Tjuta is higher than Uluru (Mount Olga is 1066m, Uluru is 863m above sea level)
- The sandstone domes are thought to be over 500 million years old
- The Anangu people have inhabited the area for over 22,000 years
- Kata Tjuta means ‘many heads’ in Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal
- The Anangu people now hold most of their spiritual rituals here rather than Uluru
Kata Tjuta Walks
There use to be 12 Kata Tjuta walks, however there are now only 2 out of respect for the local Anangu people and also so that the area is not damaged by visitors.
The Valley of the Winds – 7km
This walk is the most well known and most popular of the 2 walks found here. The walk takes roughly 3 hours and involves some steep climbs and there are some loose stones. Good footwear and water are essential, and possibly take some snacks as well! There are 2 spectacular viewing points along the way and the majority of the walk is fairly easy-going.
Walpa Gorge Walk – 2.6km
If you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do the Valley of The Winds walk then check out the Walpa Gorge Walk instead. It’s only 2.6km and is much easier. There’s also lots of native wildlife and plants to try and spot on this walk as well.
Dune Viewing Platform – 0km
If you’re unable to walk then head to the Dune Viewing area as it provides fantastic views of the domed landscape and no walking is required.
Top Tip: If heading out on a walk, get there early to avoid the crowds
Other Things To Do in Kata Tjuta
Helicopter Ride – One of the most amazing ways to see Kata Tjuta is to do a helicopter ride. For starters you’ll see much more of the area than you will by walking, especially as much of it is inaccessible by foot.
Visit The Cultural Centre – The Cultural Centre is much more than a souvenir shop, although you can buy souvenirs. You can easily spend 2 hours here and it’s well worth visiting before heading to Kata Tjuta so you have a greater understanding and appreciation of this spiritual place.
Things you can do at the Cultural Centre:
- Learn about the Anangu people and their culture through exhibitions and free daily presentations.
- Visit the two art galleries – Maruku Arts and Walkatjara Art
- Have some tasty food in the Ininti cafe
- The cafe also does great coffee!
- Buy yourself some souvenirs
- Have a picnic with an amazing view (bbq’s provided)
Australia is home to the world’s oldest culture and you will gain a much deeper understanding of it by visiting Kata Tjuta. Make sure that you include it on any trip to the centre of Australia!