Walks in Kata Tjuta
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is one of Australia’s most popular natural destinations. It’s a wonderful park in the geographical heart of the country with countless rare and wonderful geological features. Of the two main sections of this park, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is the main attraction. But visitors would be well advised not to overlook the majesty and magic waiting in Kata Tjuta, an essential component to any proper tour of Ayers Rock.
Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, is a land of 36 steep sandstone monoliths dotting a rugged yet surprisingly lush landscape. Like Ayers Rock, these rock formations are most spectacular at sunrise and sunset when the light seems to give them a magical red glow.
The Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area is the prime spot to get a view of this part of the park at its best. Since no walking is required, it’s an easy part of any Ayers Rock tour and can be tacked on to the end of a daytrip. As its name suggests, the viewpoint is located on top of a towering sand dune and encompasses Uluru in its panorama.
There used to be 12 different walks in Kata Tjuta but only two walking trails remain open today out of respect for the delicate nature of the area and the spiritual significance of it to the local Anangu people. Today, the Anangu hold most of their serious rituals in Kata Tjuta since tourism has all but taken over the area around Ayers Rock.
But the two walks in Kata Tjuta that remain open to the public are very impressive. The Valley of the Winds Walk in Kata Tjuta is a seven kilometre beauty that makes a loop to two spectacular lookout points. The entire Valley of the Winds Walk takes about three hours and is easy-going. Do it in the early morning to avoid the crowds. The other walk in Kata Tjuta is the Walpa Gorge Walk, an easier 2.6km stroll that takes in a nice representative of the native wildlife and plants of the park.