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Kata Tjuta Review

Many visitors feel that Kata Tjuta is more satisfying to explore than Uluru. Uluru is one immense block, so you feel as if you're always on the outside looking in. Kata Tjuta, as its Aboriginal name ("many heads") suggests, is a collection of huge rocks hiding numerous gorges and chasms that you can enter and explore.

There are three main walks, the first from the parking lot into Walpa Gorge (formerly known as Olga Gorge), the deepest valley between the rocks. This is a 2-km (1-mile) walk, and the round-trip journey takes about one hour. The gorge is a desert refuge for plants and animals. The rocky track gently rises along a moisture-rich gully, passing inconspicuous rare plants and ending at a grove of flourishing spearwood.

More rewarding, but also more difficult, is the Valley of the Winds Walk. This 7½-km (4½-mile) walk is along a stony track to two spectacular lookouts—Karu and Karingana. Experienced walkers can complete this walk in about three hours. The Valley of the Winds walk is closed when temperatures rise above 36°C (97°F), which is after 11 am most days in summer.

The Kata Tjuta Viewing Area, 25 km (16 miles) along the Kata Tjuta Road, offers a magnificent vista, and is a relaxing place for a break. It's 600 meters from the car park, and interpretive panels explain the natural life around you.

Updated: 01-15-2014

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