Uluru and its surrounding arid landscape is one of Australia’s most prominent ecosystems. Here, tufts of greenery break up the sprawling red earth that seems to stretch out endlessly to the horizon.The desert is home to a selection of Australia’s best-loved wildlife and ancient monuments that have both sacred importance to the local Indigenous tribes and also provide iconic images of the country.At Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, visitors can gaze out on the surroundings, taking in the age-old landscape while they learn more about the dreamtime stories that imbue the land.
This site boasts a number of picturesque walks that visitors can take, passing through rich scenery and stunning viewpoints along the way. The two most popular walks are through Walpa Gorge and the Valley of the Winds.The former weaves its way through the thirty-six majestic domes that make up the iconic landmark of Kata Tjuta, exposing hikers to the fragile environment that has characterised this part of Australia for thousands of years.
Along the way, you can learn more about the fascinating Aboriginal past of the region, discovering how the land owners conduct traditional ceremonies and carry out their daily lives surrounding by nature.
Walpa Gorge itself is a natural creek that carves its way between the two tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. The path folds out in a rocky formation and follows a 2.6-kilometre return route that takes you directly through the rugged walls of the landmark.
The gorge is a sight to behold, boasting a unique ecosystem that acts as a desert refuge for many of the plants and animals that live there. Keep your eyes peeled for rare plant species as you pass groves of vibrant spear wood and reach the designated viewing platform that sits between the domes of Kata Tjuta.
The scenery that unfolds around you is breath taking, while the vastness of the landscape tells of the many stories that have taken place here over the years. Listen out for the gentle sound of the wind, too, because this is how the gorge got its name – Walpa means whistle in the local language of the Anangu people who reside in the area.
The landscape surrounding Uluru is filled with incredible natural monuments that are well worth a visit. Kata Tjuta is an impressive, surreal sight, and the Walpa Gorge walk lets you enjoy it in all its glory, as well as explore the lush oasis of the gorge itself.