Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

General Information | Trips that go here

Kata Tjuta, sometimes written Tjuṯa (Kata Joota), and also known as Mount Olga (or colloquially as The Olgas), are a group of large domed rock formations located about 365 km southwest of Alice Springs. Uluru, 25 km to the east, and Kata Tjuta form the two major landmarks within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta cover an area of 21.68 km2, are composed of conglomerate, a sedimentary rockconsisting of cobbles and boulders of varying rock types including granite and basalt, cemented by a matrix of sandstone.

The highest point, Mount Olga, is 1,066m above sea level, or approximately 546m above the surrounding plain (198m higher than Uluru).

The alternative name, The Olgas, comes from the tallest peak, Mt. Olga. At the behest of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Mt. Olga was named in 1872 by Ernest Giles, in honour of Queen Olga of Württemberg (born Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas I). She and her husband King Charles I of Württemberg had marked their 25th wedding anniversary the previous year by, amongst other things, naming Mueller a Freiherr (baron), making him Ferdinand von Mueller; this was his way of repaying the compliment.[2]

On 15 December 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names consisting of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. As a result, Mount Olga was renamed Mount Olga / Kata Tjuta. On 6 November 2002, following a request from the regional Tourism Association, the order of the dual names was officially reversed to Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga.[3]