Uluru may be the most popular rock in the Australian outback, but don't discard the Kata Tjuta (Mt Olgas) just yet. In fact, I actually found it a lot more interesting.
We decided to do the Valley of the Winds hike in Kata Tjuta on our second day in Uluru. It's a 7.4km circuit that takes you through the domes of the Olgas. We were up by 6:00AM hoping to avoid the scorching heat but it turns out, it was completely unnecessary. We woke up to a pounding rain, which was reminiscent of the day we were supposed to head out to Tongariro. Who would have thought that the rain would follow me all the way to desert?! But we weren't discouraged and it actually turned out to be a blessing. It stopped eventually, and the temperature hovered around low 20's (celcuis) all through out our hike. So much better than the 36 degree heat the previous day!
The walk started in the carpark (which is 50km from the resort), with the Karingana lookout 2.7km ahead. The track was moderately difficult as some parts were on loose rocks. Because of the rain, there were some water where the path should have been, which made it more difficult since the track wasn't clearly marked in the first place. We got off track a few times and we had to do a lot of manoeuvring just to stay on the path!
There was a bit of uphill climb just before the lookout and just when i was starting to think hiking was not for me, I was faced with a beautiful view of the valley, and the majestic domes of Kata Tjuta behind me. I felt like I was right in the middle of Jurassic Park. It truly was amazing, and worth all the effort.
The rest of the walk was mostly downhill, and easy. We finished it around 2 hours or so, leaving us with plenty of time to relax and explore the park :)
More photos here.