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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Kata Tjuta - The Olgas

Sunrise over central Australia

Day 1 was seeing the sunset at Uluru, the next morning was a very early start (4.30am wake up for 5.15am pickup!) to go and see the sunrise and visit Kata Tjuta.

Kata Tjuta in Pitjantjatjara means 'many heads' there are 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta. It is also know as 'The Olgas', named for Queen Olga of Wurttemberg, her father was Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. The explorer Ernest Giles named them The Olgas for his benefactor Baron Mueller who had previously been elevated to Baron status by Queen Olga's husband. Mueller got a baroncy and Olga got large rock formations named after her!



The early morning tour started with a stop at the sunrise viewing platform in the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Hot chocolate and biscuits were on offer as we watched the sun come up.




The boardwalk up to the sunrise viewing platform, the boardwalk and marked paths help protect the vegetation from the hordes of tourist footprints!


Sunrise at Uluru.


Kata Tjuta from the sunrise viewing platform.

Once the sun was up, it was back to the bus and we headed for Kata Tjuta. First stop was the viewing platform for a photo stop. The guide also gave us some flora information, the landscape was quite green because of all the rain the region had received. It also meant that certain flowers had bloomed for the first time in years, the example that was pointed out to us, was a little blue flower called the 'pin cushion flower' it had bloomed for the first time in 15 years as a consequence of all the rain.



The final stop was at Kata Tjuta, there are 2 walking trails, we did the Walpa Gorge trail. With the sun rising it was getting hot and it was refreshingly windy in the gorge!


Looking out of the gorge to the flat landscape of the National Park.


The rock face, the highest of the domes is called Mt. Olga.


Walpa Gorge watering hole, I stopped here as this was the nicest part of the gorge, you could keep going for those who wanted to get to the end of the gorge.




Once we were all back from the gorge walk it was back to Yulara, I was back by 10am and then it was time for a nap!




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