Although Uluru holds the centre stage when touring the Australian Red Centre, there are many more things to see besides the iconic Ayers Rock. Although it might be the biggest rock out there, the red domes of Kata Tjuta or The Olgas are no less attractive. The three dozen red domes located 30 km from the Ayers Rock, are a striking attraction as every tour program of therocktour.com.au/ includes it in the itinerary. No tour to Uluru can be complete without seeing the red domes. Kata Tjuta, meaning many heads is of immense significance in the Aboriginal law, custom and religion.
To retain the anthropological value of the place, only two walks are open for tourists – the shorter 2.6 km walk to the Walpa Gorge that takes 45 minutes is just beautiful and the longer and more challenging walk to the Valley of Winds covering 7.4 km between 2 to 4 hours though arduous is very rewarding at the end.
It looks beautiful during sunrise and sunset
A comparison with Uluru obviously comes to the mind when you view the sunrise and sunset at Kata Tjuta which is no less astounding. The sunset is particularly beautiful and never should you miss the fantastic view of the sunrise from the dune viewing platform. When the sun rays appear from behind the Ayers Rock located at a distance, the majestic sight will hold you in awe. If you are on a package tour, make sure that it includes a visit to the domes in the itinerary.
Uluru’s forgotten rock
Atila or Mt Conner that was formed about 550 million years ago is yet another never to miss attraction, and lest people forget to visit it, the moniker ‘Fool-uru’ meaning forgotten rock seems most appropriate. Located on Curtin Springs cattle station, you need the station owner’s permission to visit the rock after driving down 80 km from Uluru.
Hiking Kings Canyon
It takes a day trip to visit Kings Canyon located in Watarkka National Park about 300 km from Uluru. You can either drive down on your own or book a return hiking tour or choose a tour package that covers the destination. If you want to take the famous Rim Walk (6 km), you must be there by 9 am after which the rangers close the gates as a measure of safety. And you must be ready to bear the sweltering heat as the temperature can touch 36oC. The stiff climb that you encounter at the beginning of the walk is so challenging that people have given the hill a nickname of Heart Attack Hill. However, it is rewarding enough once you reach the top as the spectacular landscapes will make you forget the pains undergone.
The Garden of Eden is like an oasis at the heart of the canyon, and the domes of the Lost City in the distance appear like beehives that soothe the heart and mind. For those who want a lighter walk, the option of Creek Bed Walk (2km) provides impressive views of the canyon from the periphery.