Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kata Tjuta

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.

Absolutely incredible.

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…

No comments:

Post a Comment