Mulgas Adventures

Kata Tjuta Travel Guides & Facts

In this article, we cover a few key facts and about Kata Tjuta in this handy travel guide.

Kata Tjuta Travel Guide, Northern Territory

Nature

  • A group of large, domed rock formations located about 30 km away from Uluru.  The peak is Mt. Olga.
  • They are believed to be about 500 million years old.
  • Kata Tjuta is sacred to the Anangu Aboriginal people.
  • Elevation:-  1,066 m
  • Climate (August to September):-  Warm weather with steady warm winds

History

The Traditional Owners

  • The Aboriginal people of Anangu have lived here for at least 22,000 years.

1800s – Early European Exploration

  • 1872 – Earnest Giles first saw Kata Tjuta.  Botanist Baron Ferdinand von Mueller named it Mt. Olga.
  • 1894 – The Horn expedition brings a scientific team to study its geology, mineral resources, plants and animals.  
  • The land was found not suitable for farming.

1900s – Aboriginal Reserves

  • 1918 – 1920 – The area around Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was declared as an Aboriginal reserve (South-Western / Petermann Reserve)
  • Aboriginal people were herded into the reserve.
  • In the early 20th Century, Christian Lutheran missionaries visited and introduced Christianity to the Aboriginal people.

1930s – Late 1950s – Tourism in the Land

  • 1936 – 1957 – Brings many tourists, gold prospectors and a school group to the region.
  • 1948 – First vehicle track to Uluru was constructed.
  • 1950s – Tour bus services to Uluru started to operate.
  • 1958 – Became the Ayers Rock-Mt Olga National Park.
  • Motels, tour companies & tours, and an airstrip were established.

Early 1970s – Early 1980s – The Struggle for Land Rights and the Handback

  • 1970 – 1978 – The Anangu people go through many struggles and negotiations  and win back co-management of the National Park.
  • 1985 – The Anangu and Commonwealth agree to a 99-year lease with Anangu to receive an annual rent and a share of park revenue.
  • 26th October 1985 – Handback of deeds of grant to Anangu people.

1990s – A World Heritage

  • 1993 – Official name of the park was changed to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
  • 1994 – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park granted World Heritage listing.
  • 1995 – Winning the Picasso Gold Medal, the park is given the highest World Heritage Honour.

For historical information of Kata Tjuta please visit this website: uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/culture-and-history/history-park

Major Beliefs

  • The Aboriginal people of Anangu believe that the Central Australian landscape (including the Uluru and Kata Tjuta) was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings called Tjukuritja.
  • The Tjukuritja travelled widely, forming the world.  They created trees, rocks, caves, boulders and waterholes.  
  • They also believe that they are the direct descendants of the Tjukuritja as well as the local custodians of these ancestral lands.

Tradition / Customs

The Tjukurpa

  • The Tjukurpa is the spirituality, law, moral compass for day-to-day life and justice system of the Anangu people.
  • The Tjukurpa guides the Anangu relationships between people and their environment.
  • Everything the Anangu people do revolve around the Tjukurpa.
  • The Anangu people like tourists to learn about Tjukurpa and respect it.
  • The Tjukurpa is not memorized.  It is passed on to people who have inherited or earned the right to possess the knowledge.

Ceremonies

  • Their ceremonies play an important role in passing different sections of Tjukurpa knowledge to successors.

Art & Culture

Tjukurpa stories as well as the journeys taken by the ancestral beings (Iwara) are told through the following forms of art and culture;

  • “Inma” (songs and ceremonies)
  • Stories
  • Dances 
  • Art
  • Dot paintings:-  Sacred and restricted to specific groups of people

For more information on the culture of the ancestral Anangu people please visit this website: uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/culture-and-history/tjukurpa

Animals / Birdlife

Species

Places spotted

Birds:

 

Pied butcherbird

Uluru-Kata Tjuta cultural centre

Red-backed Kingfisher

Kata-Tjuta

Reptiles:

 

Blue-tongue lizard, three-lined knob-tailed gecko, water-holding frog, Woma python

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Animals:

 

Brush-tailed mulgara, dingo, mala (rufous hare-wallaby), red kangaroo, southern marsupial mole

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

For more information on the animal and birdlife of the region please visit this website: https://parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/discover/nature/animals/

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park Tours

Features of the tours:-

  • Visit to the Cultural Centre
  • Stunning sunsets and sunrises at Uluru and Kata-Tjuta
  • Tours of the park by camel, motorbike or scenic flight
  • Cultural tour and indigenous cultural experiences
  • Viewing of traditional activities such as boomerang-throwing
  • Valley of the Winds
  • Bush camping

Notes for traveller safety and comfort:-

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Travellers should have moderate physical fitness 
  • Please bring a torch, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, towel, insect repellent and water bottles
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes

For more information on tours to Kata Tjuta please visit this website: https://www.mulgasadventures.com.au/

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