Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kata-Tjuta - Valley of the Winds Hike

So for all of you that are following on Facebook, you should be receiving these photos as they come through, but then it takes time for me to sit down and write a blog post about them. But for those dedicated blog readers who are still hanging on, here's a little bit about my hike which I took on the third day of being in the Kata-Tjuta National Park. This hike was called "the Valley of the Winds" and its the second of the hikes (and the longest) that you can take in the Kata-Tjuta area and they only recommend doing the hike if you are of moderate to high level of fitness - not because of the kind of hike, but the sheer heat stress that can occur. This is because, in some places during the hike, you are in between massive walls of sandstone which can raise the temperature to over 20 degrees celcius MORE than what the temperature already is.

Interestingly, on the way to the hike, I saw this sign! W.A border only 190km away! Amazing!

Welcome to Kata-Tjuta.

Kata Tjuta in the distance.

Having walked the first 700m, it was time to take the 7.4km loop option!

The terrain was quite easy at the start.

But got very steep to get up to the 2nd Lookout.

Karingana, the second lookout.

The amazing view from the second lookout - well worth the climb up through Kata-Tjuta.

The rest of the 8km walk was out in the open, sun burning, undulating hills with magnificent views.

The rock from which Kata-Tjuta is made. Sandstone stained with iron oxide.

The types of wildflowers seen along the way.

And the wildlife, including a BlackSilver Shrike and a Rock Wallaby, or "Euro".

More beautiful scenery.

The end of a long 3.5 hour hike! Well worth it!


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