There’s more than one rock in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park worth marvelling at…

In fact, there are 36 of them. Formerly known as ‘The Olgas’, Kata Tjuta’s towering collection of rock formations stands 546 metres high, covers more than 20 square kilometres and will undoubtedly leave you with a lasting impression of the Red Centre’s natural beauty. Meaning ‘many heads’ in Pitjantjatjara language, Kata Tjuta was, and remains, a sacred site to the Anangu people - a gathering place for men’s business. And you can feel this importance as you stand between the domes on your way to Walpa Gorge or trek the Valley of the Winds in search of views no camera will ever do justice. But charge it anyway, you’ll want to remember this. 

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Highlights of Kata Tjuta

Two female travellers posing for a photo in Walpa Gorge, Kata Tjuta

Wander through Walpa Gorge

A haven for nature lovers (and anyone who can appreciate natural beauty when they see it), the Walpa Gorge walk is actually more of a gentle wander as the trail leads you between two of Kata Tjuta’s largest domes towards an observation deck over a narrow creek valley. Along the way, see if you can spot wallabies foraging for food and stop to admire the wildflowers blooming out of the rock itself.  

The ochre-coloured domes of Kata Tjuta under a beautiful blue sky in Yulara.

Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view

Watching the sun’s rays bounce off the textured surface of Uluru at either sunrise or sunset might grace the top spot of bucket lists everywhere, but enjoying a freshly packed lunch with a view of Kata Tjuta has to be a close second. Admire the shadows as they flit across the ochre-coloured domes and relive the memories you’ve created over the past couple of days with your new friends. 

Two travellers walking over the red dirt at the base of Kata Tjuta

Walk the Valley of the Winds

If the ‘Valley of the Winds’ sounds like it’s straight out of a fairytale set in a foreign land, that’s because it is. This 3–4 hour, grade 4 walk will transport you to another world; a world where you can get up close and personal with the Mars-like landscape of Kata Tjuta and catch views you won’t believe are real from two lookout spots along the way. Wear your hiking boots though, this track is steep but oh-so-worth it. 

Kata Tjuta tour reviews

Kata Tjuta FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

All of our Kata Tjuta trips start in Yulara (a resort town on the outskirts of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park) or Alice Springs. The quickest way to get to Kata Tjuta is to fly to Yulara. You can fly direct from a few Australian cities including Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

You can fly direct to Alice Springs from most major Australian cities including Brisbane, Darwin and Adelaide (flights are generally more frequent from Alice than Yulara). From here, it's a 465 km (5.5 hours) drive to Kata Tjuta.

If your tour finishes in Yulara, we can drop you off in Alice Springs (at no additional cost), with an arrival back in town at around 6:30 pm.

Technically you can visit Kata Tjuta at any time of the year but if you want to enjoy blue skies and warm but comfortable temperatures, the best time to visit is between April and September. Kata Tjuta sits in a semi-arid desert climate zone, so summer is staggeringly hot with occasional storms (the amount of rainfall varies yearly), while winter is warm and dry during the day with cold nighttime temps that often plummet below zero.

It's best to pack heaps of layers when you're adventuring through the Aussie Outback as temperatures can often be quite warm during the day and plummet to freezing levels at nighttime. Pack things like shirts, shorts, pants, t-shirts and singlet tops, which you can then layer with jumpers and thicker long-sleeve tops once the sun sets. You should also pack comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots as our Northern Territory trips include walks you won't want to miss. A camera (or a good quality phone), a backpack, and a reusable drink bottle are also must-haves. 

Cell phone and data signal within Ayers Rock Resort (Ayers Rock Resort also offers free Wi-Fi) and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is pretty good. However, there are some regions within the park where you won't have any signal at all. This is likely to be the case when you're driving to and from Kata Tjuta or walking around the base of Kata Tjuta. Don't worry though, your network service should come back the closer you get to Yulara. 

Yes, drinking tap water is safe throughout the Red Centre. Ensure you bring a 1-2 litre reusable water bottle to refill at the water station in the Kings Canyon car park. Staying hydrated is important as the Outback sun is intense and you'll be doing many outdoor activities.

The Anangu (pronounced arn-ung-oo) people are the traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and other regions of the Central Western desert. They've been custodians of the land for over 60,000 years and are one of the world's oldest living cultures. For the Anangu people, Uluru and Kata Tjuta are places of deep spiritual connection; they are physical evidence of Tjukurpa (the creation period) and the ancestral spirits who reside in the land.

Along with not photographing culturally sensitive sites, don't go searching for creation stories and stories of ancestral beings at Kata Tjuta. The domes at Kata Tjuta remain an important men’s business site and regular ceremonies are still held throughout the year. For this reason, knowledge of the Tjukurpa stories and cultural activities that go on here is restricted to initiated Anangu men and are not to be shared with travellers to the area.

Learn more about what you can't do at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about accessible travel with Intrepid

Read more about the Northern Territory