The Valley of the Winds day hike is considered by many visitors to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park a must-do, allowing walkers to wander among Kata Tjuta’s mighty domes and to experience a uniquely Australian landscape.
Formerly known as the Olgas, Kata Tjuta is a group of ancient rock formations found 30 kilometres from Uluru. Made up of 36 domes over an area of 20 kilometres, the rocks are believed to be about 500 million years old and the highest dome, Mount Olga, is 1066 metres above sea level and 198 metres higher than Uluru. The multi-domed formation in its entirety is believed to originate from a single monolith much like Uluru, and similarly has significant cultural and spiritual meaning for the local Anangu people.
Kata Tjuta is a Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal word meaning “many heads.” There are many Pitjantjatjara legends associated with Kata Tjuta. One tells the story of the great snake king Wanambi, who is said to live on Mount Olga and only comes down from the mountain during the dry season. His breath is said to be able to transform a breeze into a hurricane in order to punish those who did evil deeds.
Kata Tjuta is a sacred site for men in the Anangu Aboriginal culture, and many of the legends surrounding the site remain kept as exclusive knowledge for the Anangu men and are not shared with Anangu women or with westerners.