Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is the location of a world-renowned sandstone monolith, which stands 348 metres in height and bears various inscriptions made by ancestral indigenous peoples, located in Northern Territory of Australia. It is located 1431 kilometres south of Darwin by road and 440 kilometres (270 mi) south-west of Alice Springs along the Stuart and Lasseter Highways.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru is Australia's most recognizable natural icon and has become a focal point for Australia and the world's acknowledgement of Australian Indigenous culture. The sandstone monolith stands 348 metres high with most of its bulk below the ground. To Anangu, Uluru is a place name and this "Rock" has a number of different landmarks where many Ancestral beings have interacted with the landscape and/or each other, some even believed to still reside here.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Kata Tjuta, meaning 'many heads', is a sacred place relating to knowledge that is considered very powerful and dangerous, only suitable for initiated men. It is made up of a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes that date back 500 million years.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Anangu are the traditional Aboriginal owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They believe that their culture was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings. Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period. They often lead walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories of the area.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru is composed of hard sandstone which has been exposed as a result of folding, faulting and the erosion of surrounding rock. The monolith has a base circumference of 9.4 km, smooth sloping sides of up to 80° gradient and a relatively flat top. Major surface features of the rock include sheet erosion with layers 1-3 m thick, parallel to the existing surface, breaking away; deep parallel fissures which extend from the top and down the sides of the monolith; and a number of caves, inlets and overhangs at the base formed by chemical degradation and sand blast erosion.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Kata Tjuta comprises 36 steep-sided rock domes of gently dipping Mount Currie conglomerate consisting of phenocrysts of fine-grained acid and basic rocks, granite and gneiss in an epidote-rich matrix. Kata Tjuta tends to have hemispherical summits, near-vertical sides, steep-sided intervening valleys and has been exposed by the same process as Uluru.

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