I was super excited to cross another item off my list of 103 things, and the excitement only built as we entered Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Our first stop, however, was not Uluru. We made a beeline for Kata Tjuta. Even though I like to think I’m in the know, I hadn’t heard of Kata Tjuta until shortly before this trip. You’ve probably never heard of it either.
Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas, is the other major landmark in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is not nearly as well known as Uluru despite being a mere 25 kilometers away, but as I was soon to find out, it is nearly as impressive.
Whereas Uluru is one massive monolith, Kata Tjuta is a conglomeration of large domed rock formations which are all in very close proximity to each other. That’s the major difference. Geologically, the two have similar histories and both sites hold a spiritual significance to the local Aboriginal people. The rocks aren’t nearly as large as Uluru, but they are by no means small. As a size reference, check out the trees growing on top of this one:
We arrived in the morning and there was quite a bit of fog:
But the fog slowly burned off to reveal a series of large domes:
After a hike around the outside, we peered up into the Karingana Lookout and began our ascent:
The lookout sits between two of the larger rocks, and you don’t truly get a sense of the scale of these things until you are inside looking up and looking out.
We walked back into the lookout – deeper between the rocks – and a lush interior revealed itself. This was a popular hunting ground for Aboriginals as animals that wandered in often had no escape.
The view coming out the backside of the rocks was just as impressive:
But my opinion briefly changed as soon as I learned that we’d be walking down a very smooth, wet, and slippery bit of rock. Fun times.
I walked away without falling once (woohoo!). I was unscathed and completely in awe of the landscape. Could Uluru be any better than this? I was soon to find out…