Kings Canyon – Watarrka National Park

Another ‘bucket list’ stop and a rendezvous with Geoff and Sue. The ‘resort’ caravan park is the only accommodation option available, meaning it’s expensive and pretty tatty, although admittedly the pool was good. The days now are regularly hitting 40 C, so all walks are relegated to early morning or very late afternoon. After setting up and having a quick dip, we drove the 10 km or so to Kings Canyon and walked along the valley floor. Pretty with the towering cliffs rising sheer above the cycads in the afternoon light. A little lizard provide some free entertainment by jumping onto my hand to eat the free meal of flies. We coaxed it onto James’ hat with the temptation of more flies, but it seemed to tire of this game after a while.


Sam excitedly checking out some ancient sea floor.


These lizards were quite tame, especially with a free lunch on offer.

Next morning we were up at dawn to start the rim walk. This is closed after 11 am because of high temperatures (anything higher than a forecast of 36 C). This unfortunate nanny state is obviously a consequence of silly tourists attempting this fairly moderate 6.6 km walk blissfully, or perhaps even hazardously unprepared. We certainly saw our share of this. My favourites are the Europeans; shirts off, no hat and little or no water! I far prefer the approach we saw in WA, which is to ‘clearly advise the risks, therefore all care, no responsibility’. We were to encounter this almost extreme ‘nanny state’ again at Uluru.


What do you call a cliff that’s more than vertical? Extra scary!


Flies and baking heat could not take away from the incredible landscape.

The Rim Walk really is excellent. A short sharp 130 m climb takes you up to the rim of the canyon, then begins the walk around the rim, with various lookouts. The views are breath taking. We stopped at The Garden of Eden, a water hole at the far end of the Canyon. It still held water and would be spectacular after rain. The rest of the walk takes you across the top of an enormous cliff that is sheer well beyond vertical. Quite terrifying! The sandstone here reminded us all of mini Bungle Bungles! We were finished after about three hours, leaving time for a swim before heading off to Yulara at Uluru.

4 thoughts on “Kings Canyon – Watarrka National Park

  1. Lovely to see you enjoying the Centre. I am down in Alice Springs for work so I must have just missed you. It is hot even hotter than Darwin at the moment. Have fun

  2. Les and I were very glad that we were fitter and younger when we started the walk uphill. Ended up having to help other in our group to reach the top. It was a fabulous walk and we obviously were lucky enough to do it in a much lower temperature.