Valley of the Winds

After hearing I spent a few days near Uluru, most people are curious as to what I did exactly. After all, isn’t there just the big rock out there? However, even within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, there’s an entire rock formation even LARGER than Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), that you can hike and enjoy.

I would argue that Kata Tjuta is even more impressive than Uluru. However, like Kings Canyon (mentioned in this here post), it’s not well-known by us international tourists. I was actually told only 17% of the people who come to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park even visit Kata Tjuta – what a shame!

Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta from a distance.

We did a “Valley of the Winds sunrise” tour with AAT Kings (via Viator) for our Kata Tjuta experience. This was lovely for us because we did not have a car and the tour took us to the Kata Tjuta viewing area to watch the sunrise..and you could see both Kata Tjuta and Uluru from it. And the best part was, there really wasn’t that many people. Whereas, the Uluru viewing area will have hundreds and hundreds of people hoarding there to watch the sunrise.

Watching the sunrise over Uluru.

Watching the sunrise over Uluru.

Kata Tjuta at dawn

Kata Tjuta at dawn.

uluru sunrise

I also appreciated that our tour included a light breakfast to munch on while we watched the sunrise – as there isn’t anything open at 4 a.m. for breakfast! However, if you’re a “drip” coffee (a.k.a. regular, plain, black coffee) drinker, like myself, prepare yourself…as there will not be many options for you at sunrise. Haha. Get ready to drink tea or instant coffee for most of your Uluru trip! (Which will make these sunrise tours a little rough, haha.)

uluru sunrise

After watching the sunrise, we set off for Kata Tjuta to do the Valley of the Winds hike. Now, this hike wasn’t quite as challenging as Kings Canyon, as there weren’t any very steep inclines to hike. However, there is a lot of loose rocks, which makes it really easy to roll your ankle. On our way back we actually saw some girls who had sprained their ankles because of this. So, if you have proper hiking boots, this would be the time to break them out. (We did not, we were just very careful while we hiked.)

hiking Kata Tjuta

The Valley of the Winds hike.

With that being said, though, this would be a hike you would easily be able to do on your own. A guide was nice to have for explaining the history and culture surrounding the rock formation, as well as the plant life. But you aren’t going to get lost on this hike by any means, the paths are very clearly marked.

Kata Tjuta

These markers are everywhere pointing you in the correct direction.

And wow – were the views (from viewing point B – FYI) are AMAZING. I have never seen anything quite like it – I was astonished, to say the least. (It also kept bringing to mind images of “The Land Before Time.” So, I was half expecting a dinosaur to run through, haha.)

Valley of the winds

Valley of the winds

valley of the winds

After we took in the views, we made our way back the same way we came. Our tour had been moving at a pretty decent pace, and due to having some extra time, we were able to stop at the Uluru viewing area as well. Being there in the middle of the day meant you don’t get the colors of the sunrise or sunset – but we were the only ones there! So, that was pretty awesome.

Uluru

Uluru

While Uluru is a must-see and is an iconic Australian landmark, I would also urge anyone coming out here to visit Kata Tjuta as well! The views were amazing! And if you access to a car, I do think hiking it alone would be a wonderful experience (just bring at least 2 liters of water and try to wear proper shoes with ankle support). If a car is not something you will have access to either, click here to see the sunrise tour we took. (Which I highly recommend as well.) You also must have a park pass in order to enter Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. These can be bought for $25 (and are good for 3 days) from your tour guide, or at the hotel you are staying at, information booths, etc.

Had you heard of Kata Tjuta or seen images of Kata Tjuta before this post? (I hadn’t until I was looking to book this trip!) Let me know in the comments. And please feel free to click on the images in the photo gallery below to make them full-sized and to read any captions.

On a side note, if anyone was wondering what my tank top says, it’s, “Training to Ride Dragons.” Haha. A Game of Thrones reference. The color I’m wearing isn’t available anymore but it is still on Etsy, here.

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14 thoughts on “Kata Tjuta Valley of the Winds

  1. Bryony Angell

    What amazing photos! Just gorgeous, otherworldly scenery. Have you had a chance yet to watch the class 1970s movie “Picnic at Hanging Rock”? It will bring memories flooding back for you of the heat and buzz of insects, and the quiet and epic scale of these natural areas. Thank you for sharing your travels with such great images and succinct narrative. I am really enjoying it.

    Reply

    1. haveclotheswilltravel Post author

      Aw, thank you, Bryony! I really appreciate your kind words! I have not yet seen that movie, but I will definitely put it on my “to watch” list! I’m looking forward to seeing it! Thank you for the suggestion!

      Reply

  2. Lee (@leethrifts)

    Okay… every post of yours is making me want to come to Australia even more!!! What incredible photos! I had no idea this existed but now it is definitely on my list of places to visit.

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    Reply

  3. denisesplanet

    Kata Tjuta seems to be amazing, dear Lindsey, I really loved this post! Uluru was amazing, but I liked to know about this experience, and knowing that it’s understated, but so worth, is good! Also nice to see the markers and that not so many people are there, unlike the Uluru site. I don’t drink coffee, but the 2 liters of water tip was very good! Loooved the pictures! It feels like being there, too! Wishing you a great weekend!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    Reply

  4. miri

    I must say that Uluru, Kata Tjuta and The Valley of the Winds are truly impressive. And I am sure that in real life they must be even more memorable than on the photos. Thank you for sharing it. I am not surprised that only 17% of international tourists know about it. I did not.

    It is really beautiful.

    Hugs,
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

    Reply

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