Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).
On the way to Uluru tour groups often do Kata Tjuta first – even though it’s 50kms further on.
Due to its significance as an aboriginal male initiation centre, Kata Tjuta is more sacred than Uluru. You cannot climb Kata Tjuta.
Uluru was chosen as Central Australia’s tourist target in the 50’s because Kata Tjuta was 50kms further away from civilisation (a long way, there and back, in the days of slow, unreliable vehicles) and 200m higher (tougher to climb).
The Valley of the Winds walk, about 7kms (4. 3mls) is impressive and should take about three hours to complete if the flies don’t drive you crazy first. The Red Centre is usually extremely hot so walks are best tackled very early. On particularly hot days parts of the Olgas walk will be closed from 11am.
p. s. there is another bigger rock about 50kms before Uluru, Mt Conner, also sacred but on private land – a huge cattle station and not monolithic – it’s in three layers.
Red Centre Downsides
Flies, flies, flies!
Heat, heat, heat. Try to go in Australia’s winter.
Crowds. Pretty well all year round but mid winter will be worst.
Best time to go to The Red Centre
Winter, but outside the holiday season, so May, June, September.