Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Situated 462 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is connected to Alice by networks of sealed roads and has its own airport, with flights to and from Alice Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Perth and Darwin. 40 kilometres to the west of Uluru/Ayers Rock sits Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas - a massive pile of ancient rock domes. The Uluru and Kata Tjuta you see today are the remains of erosion that began around 500 million years ago.
Like icebergs, both formations are but visible tips of enormous slabs of rock that extend as far as six kilometres into the ground. Archaeological work suggests that Aboriginal people have lived in the area for at least 22,000 years. The Anangu people are Uluru’s traditional custodians but until recently, the famous monolith was known as Ayers Rock, named after former premiere Sir Henry Ayers by European explorer William Gosse, who first sighted the rock in 1873.
Uluru was returned to the care and ownership of the Anangu in 1985 and they now jointly manage the national park with Parks Australia. There is a $25 entry fee into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park which allows multiple entry for three consecutive days. A range of accommodation from camp sites to five-star luxury is available at the Ayers Rock Resort in the township of Yulara, purpose built to service travellers to the Park.
The Yulara Visitors Centre provides information on local history, geology, flora, fauna and culture and sells souvenirs and educational gifts.