The Kata Tjuta are a series of unusual rock formations in Australia. They have been treated as a sacred site by the Pitjantjatjara Aborigines for thousands of years, and they continue to be used for the purpose of sacred ceremonies and other events. The Pitjantjatjara, who refer to themselves as the Anangu, are the custodians of the Kata Tjuta and neighboring Uluru, another sacred site. Both sites are of interest to visitors to Australia, who often make time to see them.
The highest formation in the Kata Tjuta is Mount Olga, and the rock formations are also known as The Olgas. By convention, many people use a dual name, Kata Tjuta/Mount Olga, recognizing the European name for the formation while also honoring the Aboriginal name. These formations are roughly dome-shaped, and made from sedimentary rock with a high concentration of sandstone. There are 36 domes, spread out across the environment of the Australian desert.
The Kata Tjuta are quite remarkable to look at, both overhead and from the ground. The name "Kata Tjuta" means "many heads," a reference to the unusual appearance of these rock formations. The Anangu who take care of the Kata Tjuta and Uluru/Ayer's Rock have been designated the custodians of these sites in a desire to respect Aboriginal heritage and beliefs, and because their extensive connection with the site makes them a natural choice for guardians.
Visitors to Australia who are interested in seeing this sight can book tours, or travel by private car. The Australian desert can be a difficult environment to get around in, and it's important for visitors to be adequately prepared if traveling by car. Travelers should carry ample supplies of water, including reserve supplies in case the car breaks down or there is a problem.
Visitors should also be aware that the Kata Tjuta and Uluru are both sacred sites in addition to tourist attractions, and they should comply with signage in the area and treat these sites with respect. Much as one would not treat a priest rudely when visiting a church or dress inappropriately for a visit to a Buddhist temple in Thailand, visitors should treat the Anangu and their religious sites with respect so that members of the public can continue to enjoy them. Certain areas may be closed to the public for religious reasons, and at times, access to the Kata Tjuta may be restricted so that people can conduct religious ceremonies in a controlled environment.