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Kata Tjuta - The Olgas

Written By: Gauranga Magriplis

Kata Tjuta is another place sacred to the local indigenous people. Commonly called The Olgas, It is a magnificent collection of massive rocks all next to each other. Situated in the same national park as Uluru (the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park), these massive rocks are thought to be around 600 million years old. While Kata Tjuta is the name given to all the rocks Mount Olga is the name given to the largest of them. The name comes from the Russian Queen, Queen Olga on Wurttemburg who ruled for 27 years.

The summit of the tallest of The Olgas – Mount Olga is 546m and just like Uluru the best time of day to see Kata Tjuta is at sunset and sunrise. This is for the same reason as Uluru. The gorgeous red rock changes colour becoming very bright during sunrise. And while the sun is setting they seem to become almost purple and becoming a dark silhouette.

Kata Tjuta from Above
Kata Tjuta (Olgas), Northern Territory

How was Kata Tjuta formed?

The Olgas lie in the Amadeus Basin, and began forming around 850 million years ago. The sedimentary rock was moved there by inland rivers and seas.

Local legends

Kata Tjuta is considered a sacred Dreamtime location to the traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara people. They believe that a great snake lives at the summit of the mountain and is so powerful he is able to generate a hurricane.

Kata Tjuta Aerial View

Are you allowed to climb The Olgas?

As of October 2019, you are no longer allowed to climb The Olgas. This came into effect at the same time as Uluru. The climbing ban was actioned because these incredible formations are sacred to the local traditional owners of the land.

While you can not climb The Olgas. There are still plenty of things you can do around then to see these great natural structures!
These would include going on one of the hiking paths. Or even take a guided tour from a local indigenous elder.

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