The Olgas, living in Uluru's shadow
06.07.2012 - 06.07.2012 16 °C
Kata Tjuta or Mount Olga (or colloquially referred to as The Olgas) is about 50 kilometers to the west of Uluru and although not as famous as Uluru, in my view it is even more spectacular than Uluru. It is a group of 36 domed rock formations and the highest point, Mt Olga, is 546 meters above the surrounding plain, almost 200 meters higher than Uluru. The Pitjantjajara name Kata Tjuta means 'many heads'. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are both in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
We did the Valley of the Winds walk and the track takes you through the valleys and creek beds to the two lookouts, Karu Lookout and Karingana Lookout, from which there are breathtaking views over the Olgas and valleys. We also saw many Zebra Finches up close for the first time.
There are many Dreamtime legends associated with this place and it is as sacred to the Anangu people as Uluru. One legend follows the great snake king Wanambi who is said to live on the summit of Mount Olga during the rainy season and stays curled up in a waterhole on the summit. During the dry season he moves down to the gorge below. He also uses the various caves on Mount Olga. The hairs of his beard are the dark lines on the eastern side of the rock. His breath is the wind which blows through the gorge; when he gets angry it can become a tornado.
Archaeological work suggests that Aboriginal people have lived in the area for at least 22,000 years.
From here we will travel further south for a brief visit to Coober Pedy and Lake Eyre in South Australia before heading north again to warmer weather in Queensland.