Kata Tjuta, meaning ‘many heads’ in Anangu language, is otherwise known as The Olgas, a group of 36 domed rock formations 25km east of Uluru.
The tallest peak, Mt Olga, is 198m higher than Uluru and was named in 1872 in honour of Queen Olga of Württemberg, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas I.
We set out early and spent the morning exploring the magic of Kata Tjuta.
The first part of the Valley of the Winds walk was quite easy along a gravel track
with some stunning scenery.
Karu Lookout gave a hint of the extent of this spectacular rock formation.
We continued on past incredible escarpments
and rock faces.
The path became narrow and rugged
as it meandered within the domes,
over trickling creek beds.
In places, the trail all but disappeared and we had to scramble up the steep slopes.
The rock domes are the remains of erosion that began over 500 million years ago and extend six kilometres into the ground.
The track improved a little
just before we reached the gap in the rocks that is Karingana Lookout.
From there, the path descended very steeply to the bottom of the valley to complete a circuit walk. We opted to retrace our steps instead, our feet sighing with relief as we drove away, with fabulous memories of Kata Tjuta.