Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

The Olgas or Kata Tjuta are made up of 36 dome shaped formations that were originally one huge piece of rock that has weathered over 600 million years. Both Uluru / Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga are made of sediment similar to granite. The bright orange-red hue, for which the rocks are noted, is due to an iron oxide coating.

The highest point is Mount Olga, rising to 546m above ground, some 200m higher than Ayers Rock. At the behest of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Mount Olga was named in 1872 by Ernest Giles, in honour of Queen Olga of Württemberg (born Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas I). She and her husband King Charles I of Wurttemberg had marked their 25th wedding anniversary the previous year by, among other things, naming Mueller a Freiherr (baron), making him Ferdinand von Mueller. This was his way of repaying the compliment.

In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names consisting of both the traditional aboriginal name and the English-language name. As a result, Mount Olga was renamed Mount Olga / Kata Tjuta. In 2002 the order of the dual names was officially reversed to Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga. And no doubt Mount Olga will be dropped as soon as possible.


The reports of the various trips, tours and travels on the Adventures website have a lot of information about place names – their naming and features – toponymy. More information.



© Kim Epton 2016-2024
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