Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 29(1):24–27, December 2006

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe

Kata Tjuta: an astonishing story


From Yulara tourist resort in the middle of Australia, the mysterious silhouette of Kata Tjuta looms in the west, rising 546 m (1,790 ft) above the flat, sandy horizon. These domed shaped rock outcrops, just 30 km (20 miles) west of Uluru (Ayers Rock), were once known as the Olgas, but now they have the indigenous name of ‘many heads’, or Kata Tjuta.

Photos by Tas and Lorraine Walker4928-kata-tjuta1

The alluring faces of Kata Tjuta intrigue tourists, drawn from many countries around the world to the mysterious land ‘down under’. Rising from the bushy plains in central Australia, these fascinating domes first caught the interest of the indigenous Australians who live in the area. They point to a time when the world was very different.

Lots of water

Circle south around the outcrops and you can see the tilted layers of sediment (left top). These were deposited when water once flowed across the area. We are told that a depression formed in the earth’s crust about 900 million years ago, a length of time we cannot imagine. But was it really so long ago? We need to remind ourselves that these dates are not measured facts but based on beliefs about the past. And what we see at Kata Tjuta shows us that these rocks did not form over millions and millions of years.

Surprise. When we arrive at Kata Tjuta and walk between the massive domes, we discover it is a huge heap of boulders. Here (left bottom) I’m sitting by an outcrop pointing to an oblong rock lying almost flat. These boulders indicate the way the water was flowing when they were so rapidly deposited.

All the tourists I met expressed amazement at these rocks. During my visit I spoke to many people and often asked this question: ‘How do you think these rocks were deposited? Was it by a little bit of water over a long time, or a huge flow of water over a short time?’ Everyone I asked would chuckle and say, ‘A lot of water, of course!’

The domes of Kata Tjuta are crammed full of rounded rocks and their steep walls extend for hundreds of metres overhead. The bouldery deposit also extends many hundreds of metres under the ground.1

Some of the rocks exposed in the walls are huge. One that I noted was about 2 m (6 ft) long and 0.5 m (1.5 ft) wide, and angular in shape, rather than rounded. Such massive chunks of rock are common, and illustrate the power of the water that carried them along and deposited them in place.

Deposited during Noah’s Flood

The boulders demonstrate the im­mense power of the currents that ripped up the rocks and carried them to a new location as it flowed across the land. It was fast and vast. The belief that these rocks were deposited in rivers over millions of years does not match the evidence. No wonder the multitudes of tourists who visit Kata Tjuta each year are astonished by what they see. Kata Tjuta is dramatic evidence of the huge watery catastrophe that engulfed this globe about 4,500 years ago.

Photo by Tas and Lorraine Walker4928-kata-tjuta3

Where did all the eroded material go?

Although the Olgas stand so tall above the plain, much of the original deposit has been eroded away. Only the spectacular domes are left. We are told that erosion happened slowly over millions of years, but did it really take that long?

If erosion happened so slowly, where has all the material gone? Those boulders would hardly be carried away by the wind. Look at how little we find at the base of the rocks (left).

If erosion had been happening over millions of years we would expect to find the eroded rock material all around. Near the wall we would find it very thick, virtually the same height as the domes. Further away the debris would taper away to nothing in the distance.

Photo by Tas and Lorraine Walker4928-kata-tjuta4

But when we inspect the area, all we find is a thin apron of debris around the base. Notice the large boulders scattered on the apron.

I would not want to be around when one of these boulders tumbled down, but there are only a few of them on the apron. Close up (right) they are massive, and give a good indication of how well the rock is cemented together. When they fell, they did not smash into pieces but stayed in one lump. Clearly it would take a long time for these to weaken and disintegrate in the weather.

Eroded during Noah’s Flood

The effects of Noah’s Flood easily explain how Kata Tjuta was eroded. As the floodwaters were receding off the continent of Australia, during the Recessive stage,2 the basic shape of the Olgas was eroded by the fast flowing energetic waters. These waters carried the eroded material out of the area.

In the 4,500 years since the Flood, the sharp edges of the Olgas have been rounded by heat, cold, wind and water. The relatively small amount of material eroded since the Flood remains where it has fallen, at the base of the domes. And occasionally some large rocks fall off and these are scattered on the ground.

If it wasn’t for the millions of years

Photo by Tas and Lorraine Walker4928-glows
Kata Tjuta now glows orange under the hot desert sun, but once it was covered with raging waters.

It is only the big picture framework of world history recorded in the Bible that explains the astonishing domes of Kata Tjuta. If it wasn’t for the millions-of-years mantra in all the interpretive literature and posted on billboards around the site, people would be more likely to make the connection between the rocks in the desert and Noah’s Flood.

Yes, Kata Tjuta tells an amazing story, one that conflicts with the idea of millions of years, but one that is consistent with the true Australian history recorded in the Bible.

Posted on homepage: 9 July 2007

References and notes

  1. Sweet, I.P.S. and Crick, I.H., Uluru & Kata Tjuta: A Geological History, Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, Australia, 1992. Return to text.
  2. Walker, T., A biblical geologic model, 3rd ICC, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, pp. 581–592, 1994; www.biblicalgeology.net. Return to text.

Helpful Resources