Uluru, Uluru, everybody talks about Uluru (me included , see my travel tips to plan your time there). However personally, I preferred the amazing 36 domes of Kata Tjuta (also know as the Olgas). Only 2 walks allow access to some sections between the domes. The Valley of the Wind is one of them.
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Valley of the Wind Walk
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS - Valley of the Wind Walk
Most sections of Kata Tjuta are not open to tourists as they play a special role in the aboriginal culture. Kata Tjuta means ‘many heads’ in the local language.
However they are allowing us to walk 2 paths:
- an easy short one called the Walpa Gorge walk (2.6km-1.6 miles). I just walked a little bit of it but Journey jottings has published a lot of great pictures about it
- The other one being the magnificent Valley of the wind walk (7.4km-4.6miles circuit), the subject of this post
This map was taken out of the brochures on the national park website (check it out, it contains a lot of great info & resources on landscape, fauna, flora, what to do, where to stay etc)
Fitness: how difficult is the Vally of the wind walk?
I believe, like for my hikes in Petra, a lot of you are wondering if you will be fit enough to be able to complete this 3 hour Valley of the wind walk.
Note that the trail takes you to 2 lookout points. 2 lookouts mean 2 higher points which means (as it is a single trail and then a loop) going up hill 3 times. It is graded level 4 – Difficult. It is NOT AN EASY WALK due to a couple of steep ascents and descents and a few rocky patches. This is why they close it at the first lookout if it gets too hot…
However, that being said, I was not at all in good fitness conditions and managed to complete it (although I really thought of turning around at one point). So my recommendations, for those worried about completing the walk, are:
- Start very early to avoid the hottest hours ( many sites say it, but please make the effort)
- Wear good hiking shoes (not the Australian way with flip-flops…)
- Bring a lot of water
- Go counter-clockwise (left-round). My personal opinion is that the second lookout was not the most amazing part of the walk. What I enjoyed the most was the trail in the vast area after (if you go clockwise). So if you start going left you will enjoy this area first and you can decide not to climb to the second lookout and just return to the first one.
Karu to Karingana Lookouts (anti-clockwise)
I actually completed this Valley of the wind walk with clouds and rain. And even in those conditions, the scenery was surprising at every corner and you could only feel very small in front of those giants. I think I was quite lucky and that it was a great way to see the place. The clouds gave the landscape an even more mystical aura. The only downfall was that I did not dare to take out my DSLR (it was brand new at the time), so I do not have many pictures to share.
Karingana to Karu Lookouts (anti-clockwise)
Som more travelers' experiences
The 3 following travel bloggers are sharing their experience of walking the Valley of the wind. This way you will see what it looks like when it is sunny!
- The inspiring Wild Junket exploring Kata Tjuta
- Journey jottings that I just discovered tells us all about her walk, step by step
- Adventures of a Ranga lets the pictures talk for themselves
I definitively recommend walking the Valley of the Wind Trail. This is so different from Uluru, you will not regret it.
Have you ever felt a place was even better in the clouds?
Hi Claire, thanks so much for featuring me in your blog post! I agree with you, I think that the Valley of the Wind walk also beats the Uluru walk, despite how impressive Uluru is up close. Just took a gander through a few more of your posts too, your photography is incredible! I look forward to seeing more from your travels 🙂 all the best for 2014!
Claire Robinson says
Thanks for your comment and kind words. I see that Canada is on your list for 2014, I am looking forward to seeing your posts about it.
Happy New Year!
Linda ~ Journey Jottings says
Thanks so much for sharing my posts on walking Kata Tjuta ~
The Valley of the Winds Walk is so stunning – Highly recommend it!
I think I enjoyed that walk even more than Uluru – which is saying something as when I first set eyes on Uluru in the flesh I couldn’t believe how much more stunning it was in real life than all those iconic sunset photos I’d seen a gazillion times before my visit 🙂
A visit to the Red Centre really is quite special!