Kata Tjuta

Uluru - Kata Tjuta Travel Blog

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In the afternoon we went to Kata Tjuta, a men's sacred site. The Angura men took boys to Kata Tjuta to teach them the skills of being a man, I'm guessing hunting, hiding emotion and talking about football, but it could be anything, because the Angura do not tell anyone about the sacred stories of the site (which is fair enough, considering the disrespect with which Uluru is still treated).

We stopped at the lookout, full of flies, and looked with wonderful out over the primordial landscape, a plain of desert oaks the foreground for the enormous rock formation rising up out of the desert (semi-arid). It was a truly awe-inspiring sight.

While our guide couldn't tell us about the Angura stories, he could tell us about the geology.

Kata Tjuta and Uluru were formed 600 million years ago, when an enormous mountain range was present in central Australia. The mountain range eroded, leaving debris to flow into the inland sea, concentrating the deposits in two sink holes. The larger particles were all caught in the nearer sink hole, giving large accumulations of igneous pebbles. The smaller particles fell between the pebbles, giving them a concrete, and were also carried to the more distant sinkhole. With the internal movements of the Australian plate, the inland sea dried up, and these two sinkholes rose to the surface. Now filled with arkose sandstone due to the compression of the water pressure, and rich in iron, the formations were solid enough to resist the erosion that removed the old sea floor, leaving Kata Tjuta, with its conglomerate stucture, and Uluru, made of solid arkose sandstone, exposed.
Weathering has left a 1-2m thick coating of protective rust on the surface, covering up the blue gray colour of the arkose except for where water regularly runs. Kata Tjuta has 36 rounded domes, with the highest, Mt Olga, being 564m, and is far larger in area than Uluru. Uluru is only 348m tall, but continues beneath the surface for kilometres.

Driving up to Kata Tjuta, we walked through Walpa gorge. The walk was beautiful, with amazing colours in the green of the plants and the red of the rock and sand. The gorge was littered with fallen composite boulders, fallen from little pockets in the walls, were water froze in the arkose sandstone seems. There was a small creek running through the gorge, and as we meandered we stopped in several places to appreciate the beauty around us, and the pleasure of being together.

For sunset we went to Uluru. As we walked to our place, we saw a military dragon digging in the red sand, being very industrious, and then suddenly jumping up on its hindlegs and running very fast in a vertical posture. A ranger complemented us on our spot, saying it was the best in the look out, and we watched the sunset illuminate Uluru, and the moon rise over the desert (semi-arid).

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Uluru - Kata Tjuta
photo by: Morle