Can you find the way to Scarborough Beach?

Around the early 1870’s the first Europeans started venturing into Central Australia, primarily to find a route to those fantastic West Coast beaches … (all right, not the beaches but they were trying to find a route west). In 1872 Ernest Giles first came to the area and, while heading south-west from Watarrka (Kings Canyon), sighted Kata Tjuta in the distance. As he was trying to get closer to Kata Tjuta he kept running into a giant salt pan which he later named Lake Amadeus.

As much as he kept trying to go around it, the bloody thing kept going. In the end he was far from water, his horses were tired and so he had to turn back. As Giles notes in his writings in ‘Australia Twice Traversed’, “I named this eminence Mount Olga and the great salt feature which obstructed me Lake Amadeus, in honour of two enlightened royal patrons of science”.

Russians, Italians, Germans, Spanish … they’re all the same!

There are a few conflicting stories on the subject of ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Olga’ being in reference to the King and Queen of Spain. Lake Amadeus was named after the King of Spain, Amadeo I, although he was an Italian. Olga was a Russian that married a German Crown Prince and so became Queen Olga of W