Olgas AustraliaOther Sacred Sites and Religious Art | March 29, 2010
Mount Olga (or the Olgas) or Kata Tjuta(aboriginal name of the Olgas) is a collection of a large dome-shaped rock formations located about 365 km southwest of the city of Alice Springs in Northern Territory in Australia. Kata Tjuta, along with Uluru or the Ayers Rock, located 50 km away, form the two major landmarks within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The Olgas like the Uluru (Ayers Rock) are sacred sites to the Aborigines since ancient times.
Naming of Olgas:
Mt. Olga was named by Ernest Giles in 1872 in the honour of Queen Olga of Württemberg. This was done at the behest of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller.
The Aborigines regard Mount Olga as the home of the snake Wanambi. The domed rocks on the eastern side, on the other hand, are identified with ancestors known as the mice women while those in the south-west are where Lirus, the poisonous snake men, make their camps.
The rock formation:
There are in all 36 domes made of a sedimentary rock consisting of varying rock types like granite and basalt, cemented by a matrix of sandstone that rise out of desert plain. Some of the rocks are closely located while others are more spaced apart.
Ayers Rock and Mount Olga were actually sediments in a shallow inland sea that gradually dried and was covered by desert. They were forced through the desert floor by a major upheaval about 300 million years ago and moulded by the wind.
The highest point of the rocks, Mount Olga, rises 1,066 metres above the sea level.
For many, the Olgas even more inspiring than Ayers Rock.
- Walpa Gorge Walk (2.6 km return)
- Valley of the Winds Walk (7.4km circuit)
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park:
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Northern Territory of Australia. The park is about 1,431 kilometres south of Darwin and 440 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs. The park spread over an area of 1,398 square kilometres, is famous for the Uluru and Kata Tjuta/Mount Olga. It can be reached by flights from various Australian cities. In 1993, the official name of the Park changed to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The entry fee to the park is $25 per person and the park remains open from sunrise to sunset.
The park is home to birds like the massive Wedge-tailed eagle and lizards, snakes and 24 types of mammals like dingoes and red kangaroos.
The national park is jointly owned by the Anangu Aboriginal people and Parks Australia.
Olgas and Uluru experience a semi-arid desert type of climate with a drastically varying temperature (from 5 degree Celsius in July to 37 degree Celsius in January). Uluru-Kata Tjuta receives approximately 12 inches of rainfall per year.
Reaching Olgas/Kata Tjuta:
Kata Tjuta can be accessed via Ayers Rock Airport, which is 20 minutes drive from Uluru.
Along Lasseter Highway that joins Stuart Highway , 200 km south of Alice Springs at Erldunda township. Journey time from Alice Springs is about 4 and half hours.
- Sails in the Desert Hotel (Ayers Rock Resort’s premium hotel)
- Desert Gardens Hotel
- Emu Walk Apartments
- The Lost Camel Hotel
- Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge
- Ayers Rock Campground