The land of many heads

Uluru is not the only attraction in Australia’s red center. Close by, and part of the same national park, is Kata Tjuta. Getting up early pays off as you have a beautiful opportunity to watch the sunrise in the desert here. Even though I was staying at a campsite close to the national park, the temperature dropped considerably when I arrived in Kata Tjuta. With the sun still tucked away the desert air was chilly. I was shivering in my shorts and spaghetti top, but knew that I would be boiling in a few hours.

Kata Tjuta means ‘lots of heads’. From far away you see several big rocks all lined up and they could be seen as heads. The formation was formed years and years ago and rose into the air because of shifts in the earth. Getting closer you’ll get a better feeling for the size of the rocks. There are several walks, but since the temperature would be in the high forties, our group opted for the Walpa Gorge walk.

This walk is beautiful and not too strenuous. Taking it easy, you walk for about an hour along a rocky path with the occasional bridge. On both sides big walls of rock rise into the sky. Since the sun was still rising I only saw a big white light in the distance, like I was walking towards heaven. This heaven turned out to be a viewing platform. It was as far as you could go. continuing past the platform would be an insult to the local Aboriginals, since the place is important to Aboriginal men. It’s a place where the initiated still hold ceremonies and is off limits for anybody else.

Even though the Walpa Gorge walk is only short, it gives a good impression of the size of Kata Tjuta’s rocks. The red center is quite a unique area and it would be a waste not to visit this part of the national park. The walls had all sorts of holes in it and in some parts there were these cool smaller rocks, spread out like a work of art. In January the desert was a big red plane, dotted with yellow/green plants that only barely seemed to survive. Walking around in the heat you wonder how they survive at all. It’s an amazing experience that’s not to be missed!

 

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