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.
Everything that you see, right across to the northern face of Uluru, is connected to the Mala. This is what is happening here. In the beginning, Mala men, women and children must travel a long way from the west and the north to reach Uluru. When they arrive they camp at separate sites from one another in groups of young men; old men; young and single women; and old and married women. They do this because they are here for an Inma (religious ceremony).
Some Mala men, who came from the west, carry the ceremonial pole, Ngaltawata. They scramble quickly to the top of Uluru and plant the pole in the ground at the most northern corner to begin the Inma. From this moment on, everything becomes part of the ceremony. Even everyday jobs like: hunting; gathering and preparing food; collecting water; talking to people; or just waiting, are now done in a proper way for ceremony. This has become Law for men, women and children ever since.
The Mala are happy and busy. Suddenly people from the west come with an invitation to join another Inma. The Mala must refuse, as they have already started their own ceremony. The people from the west return home in great anger at the insult. They plan to wreak vengeance upon the Mala in a terrible way.
Across the land comes an evil, black dog-like creature: Kurpany. He has been created by these people in the west to destroy the Mala ceremony. Luunpa, the kingfisher bird, cries a warning to the Mala men, women and children. In terror, the remaining Mala flee to the south with kurpany chasing them all the way.
Today, on the Mala Walk, you will see some of the very places where the Mala prepare for ceremony. As you walk through this area you will be surrounded by the Mala Tjukurpa."
Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre is a great starting point for visitors to the park. The centre offers information about activities and the park as well as an introduction into Anangu culture. Because of the deep spiritual nature of the area and what is contained within the Cultural Centre, please do not photograph or video inside the building or precinct. This is to respect the wishes of the traditional owners, and protect Anangu's cultural and intellectual property.
This award-winning Cultural Centre, a stunning example of contemporary Australian architecture. Dynamic displays, video and artwork explain this world heritage landscape from the perspective of the traditional owners, Anangu. Learn about Tjukurpa, creation stories and laws, which explain the spiritual meanings of the surrounding landscapes.
To enjoy the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre you must enter Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Evening Uluru Sunset Tour
Travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Enjoy nibbles and a glass of wine as the sun sets over the western horizon and the evening sky brings out the many shades of colour for which Uluru is famous. Don't forget your camera! It ...
Travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Enjoy nibbles and a glass of wine as the sun sets over the western horizon and the evening sky brings out the many shades of colour for which Uluru is famous. Don't forget your camera! It is recommended to photograph Uluru every 5 minutes to really capture the gradual changes of the rock. Occasionally, when it rains, you may be lucky enough to see the spectacular sight of water cascading over the sides of Uluru. Return to Ayers Rock Resort about 20 minutes after sunset. If you want to have BBQ dinner also.
Uluru Sunrise Tour - Y9
Travel to the sunrise viewing area at the eastern end of Uluru and watch the first sunlight of the day creep across the desert plains. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits as the morning sun slowly changes the colour of Uluru. In summer, watching sunrise at Uluru in the cool morning air is the perfect start to the day. In winter months, we recommend a jacket as the desert air can be cold. National Park entry fee is AUD25.00 per person. Charges are payable direct.
Uluru Sunrise Tour Climb Or Base Tour - Y18
Soak up the first rays of dawn at the Red Centre of Uluru and watch in awe as the area is set ablaze with sunrise. Savour the moment of tranquility before the sight of the vast imposing giant and then head out to the base of the Uluru Climb. Contemplate the spirituality of the sight which is sacred to the aboriginal people of the area. Observe the colour changes of the rock formation and delight in the surrounding landscape decorated by springs, waterholes and rock caves. Take a more peaceful stroll along the Mala Walk if you prefer, and marvel at the Anangu rock art and serene caves nestled amongst the bloodwood trees alongside Uluru.
Half Day Kata Tjuta And Uluru Sunset Tour
Travel to the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta. On the way, stop at a lookout for panoramic views of its eastern side. Continue on before arriving at the base of Walpa Gorge. Spend some time exploring the gorge and the unusual conglomerate rock formations. The walking trail through Walpa Gorge follows the natural creek between two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. In the late afternoon we travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking colour changes of Uluru at sunset whilst enjoying nibbles and a glass of wine.
Half Day Kata Tjuta Valley Of the Winds Walk - Y51
Be enchanted by the geological wonders that are Kata Tjuta. Uncover one of the most splendid sights of the outback as you stand aghast in the presence of this awesome imposing cluster of gigantic domed rock formations. There are 36 domes in total composed of sedimentary rock which spread across some 21.68km2! Discover more about the remarkable geological history of this phenomenon from your well informed guide and then get down to the raw and rugged two-three hour walk in the valley between them.
Feel the grandeur and be humbled by these massive red conglomerate rocks. Witness the unique flora and fauna that has survived in this harsh environment year after year. Once you reach the Valley of the Winds lookout, step back and contemplate the views of the stunning central landscape of Kata Tjuta
Evening Sound Of Silence Dinner - SOS
The journey begins on a lone sand dune. A meandering path takes participants to an uninterrupted, 360 degree view of this vast landscape. In front is the fabled Uluru; behind are the domes of Kata Tjuta and, possibly the most spectacular sunset you have ever seen. Here enjoy sparkling wine and a selection of delectable canapés.
Full Day Kings Canyon Explorer - Y19
Travel from Ayers Rock Resort to Kings Canyon Resort, stopping for breakfast at Kings Creek Station (own expense). Make the rocky climb to the rim of the canyon for marvellous views of Watarrka National Park. The climb may take up to three hours and is recommended only for those with a good level of fitness. Alternatively, you may wish to take a less strenuous walk to explore the boulder strewn canyon floor. After lunch (own expense), we make our way back to Ayers Rock Resort.