Apologies for the redundant title. Kata Tjuta means “many heads” for the Pitjantjajara people of Australia. Though they don’t literally look like heads, their massive size is overwhelming enough especially on a flat landscape that they rise above anything else, like heads poking out of the ground overseeing everything around them. Kata Tjuta has 36 of this head-like formation and the tallest among them is Mount Olga that’s why this is also called “The Olgas”.
I have never seen something like it before and maybe I’m not gonna see something like it again. The heads are composed of red sandstone, like Kings Canyon, but its formation is truly amazing. Rocks of granite and basalt are clustered together and compressed with red sandstone. For me, it’s a like 3-d mosaic of various sizes of rocks. It even seems like man-made! But after learning bits and pieces of its geological origin, I content myself with the fact that this is one of the many wonders of nature.
The landscape is out of this world. It’s like stepping on an entirely different planet. We took the Valley of the Winds walk for an hour. The climax was a steep climb up to a viewing area where we couldn’t help but exclaim in awe even though we were hardly catching our breath. This was one of the views:
Other than its natural beauty, Kata Tjuta is also a significant setting for Pitjantjajara’s Dreamtime stories or the animist myths of creation. One of those myths is that there is a giant snake living on top of Mount Olga. It’s a beautiful paradox. In a desert and harsh environment like Kata Tjuta, the original Australians were moved by stories of creation. This worldview gives places like this a meaning more abundant than the life it contains.