Kata Tjuta 20

( Subtitle: It’s a marvellous night for a moondance. )

Kata Tjuta – Northern Territory June 2016 (12 photos)

On my recent trip to the Northern Territory, one of our photoshoots was at Kata Tjuta. Arriving about an hour before sunset allows plenty of time to reconnoitre a viewing spot. With only sand dunes and trees behind, the rock face catches the sunset full on.

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a group of large ancient rock formations approximately 30 kilometres away from Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre. The 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta are spread over an area of more than 20 kilometres. Kata Tjuta is sacred to the Anangu people, who have inhabited the area for more than 22,000 years. The sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta are believed to be around 500 million years old.

Kata Tjuta 2

The shadows lengthen as sunset comes and goes. The glow of Kata Tjuta is both intense and beautiful at once.

Kata Tjuta is a Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe word meaning ‘many heads’. There are many Pitjantjatjara legends associated with Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta is a sacred site for men in the Anangu Aboriginal culture and many of the legends surrounding the site are kept secret.

Kata Tjuta 3

The highest dome is approximately 546 m (1,791 ft) above the surrounding plain (198 m (650 ft) higher than Uluru).

Being a dedicated landscape photography tour, you may have surmised we didn’t come on any old evening …

Kata Tjuta 4

Here she comes. The cherry on the top!

Kata Tjuta 5

This visit was one night before the full moon and coincided closely with the sunset. A spectacular sight to see.

No prizes for guessing where we spent the night of the full moon. πŸ˜‰

Kata Tjuta 7

The moon dances as she rises above the peaks of Kata Tjuta.

Kata Tjuta 8

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies

…Moondance. Van Morrison.

Kata Tjuta 9

Kata Tjuta 12

We stay until after the first stars begin to shine behind the intensity of the moon. Quite the show, don’t you think?

Kata Tjuta 13

These are the 3 domes that characteristically form the most commonly known view of Kata Tjuta.

However, I did mention there are 36 domes…

Kata Tjuta 14

In a future post, “You will BELIEVE a dragon can fly.”

This is the second of my posts about my Uluru 2016 trip. The previous post was about the Field of Light. I guess that means this is a series. Not sure if it will be consecutive posts or not. But definitely more to come from the Northern Territory.

And related to the Northern Territory:

Vivid Songlines 25-8

My yearly review of Vivid is now completed. 137 photos in 8 posts. All of my photography from this year and previous years of VIVID Sydney going back to 2012 can be found here:
VIVID Sydney page

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

An Evening at Kata Tjuta


88 thoughts on “An Evening at Kata Tjuta

  1. Fantastic shots! You got they cherry on top very nicely!! I loved our visit there this time last year, it’s such a special place. Great reminders for me, thanks.

  2. Bravo, Dragon. Well timed visit and that is a great moon rise you caught there. I was really hoping you’d show us some stars in the skies… But these shots are absolutely stunning and what a wonderful dedication to the First Peoples πŸ™‚

    • Thanks. Shooting straight into the (full) moon masks the background stars, but there are 2 stars in the final night shot. I do have star shots for a later post. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Mic. The Uluru region had some very good rainfall in the weeks before I arrived. There was a very great cover of greenery over the red earth, unusual for the region.

      • When I saw your reply, I thought of course, it is winter there…the rainy season! But I looked up the climatology for the region and found that it is not that simple. Just another reason I really like your work, Draco! Thank you for the continuing tour… πŸ™‚

  3. What a way to spend an evening! Everyone should be treated to a little down time like this, don’t you think? πŸ™‚
    I was tapping my toes from the outset. Wonderful! πŸ™‚

      • This should be posted on a major travel website and/or travel magazine cover.
        I was wondering how cold it was up there. Is winter a good time for photographers to visit there?

        • You’re too kind, Amy. National Geographic must have misplaced my phone number. πŸ˜‰

          The climate in this region is extreme. In winter, daytime temperatures can be pleasant but clear nights can see the temperature drop below 0. In summer on the other hand, the temperature can get very hot peaking as high as 45C. Normally its around 30 -35C. The late Australian Autumn to the mid Australian Spring is probably the best time. You can always keep warm but can’t always stay cool.

        • Had NG kept your phone #, we’d never seen your post/photos again. πŸ™‚ You guys are diligent photographers. A photographer who groups people for photo trips to Colorado, twice a year, all booked to 2017. Crazy! πŸ™‚

    • The land is essentially flat here and there are 3 large rock outcrops visible for miles around. Uluru and Kata tout are the two most accessible. Both catch the light in magical ways. Many thanks, as always.

  4. Surely there are not enough superlatives to describe this beauty, Lignum!
    How fortunate you were to be able to photograph this.
    THANK YOU for sharing it here.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.

    • If you can get away from the tourist crowds, there’s an incredible sense of just being alone, as you would have experienced.

      The sunset light was simply magical. It’s a beautiful place.

  5. Oh Draco, going through these photos and slowly seeing the light change and dance over Kata Tjuta really is intense and amazing. I particularly love the photo where there appears to be a slight glow on the Kata Tjuta. Truly magical πŸ™‚

  6. Beautiful, especially the cherry on top!! πŸ˜€ These must be the most photographed rocks in the world?!! I can see the attraction to those shadows and the changing of the colour of the rock. Your aerial view is very good too – I had no idea there were so many of them. I thought it was just a little collection of huge rocks.

    • It’s probably less well known compared to Uluru but it is nearby and just as impressive. Both are visible from miles away due to the flat land and catch the light from all angles. In essence, it is a collection of rocks, on a huge scale. πŸ™‚

  7. what incredibly beautiful photos, and wonderful interpretation of the ‘cherry on top’ photo challenge. Kata Tjuka certainly is a magical place, and the moonrise photos are stunning. Another of my favourite songs, and what a great place for a moon dance!

  8. ho visto films e documentari affascinata da questo luogo magico così carico di leggende e millenni di storia, ma questo tuo servizio fotografico complice la luna mi ha letteralmente stregata! posso immaginare la grande emozione che avrai provato nel fotografare
    grazie, mille volte grazie!

  9. A mind blowing place flawlessly captured Mr Dragon!..Fantastic shots! You got they cherry on top pleasantly!! I cherished our visit there this time a year ago, it’s such an extraordinary spot. Extraordinary updates for me, much obliged…

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