Over the four day Easter break, I jumped in the car with my crazy friend, and we hit the road bound for Kings Canyon. I know Uluru gets most of the attention, but Kings Canyon really is one of the most scenic, peaceful and magical places in the Red Centre. And if it’s not on your bucket-list, then it definitely should be.
We didn’t take the highway, rather we opted for the Mereenie Loop (the scenic route) which requires 4WD access. During the drive we saw lots of wild horses, kangaroos, a dingo…and LOTS of red dirt. All up, it took us about 5+ hours to get to our destination because we kept making little stops along the way.
Where to Stay
A couple of days prior to starting our adventure, we decided that we wouldn’t stay at the King’s Canyon Resort because it was a little too expensive. Instead, we opted to stay at Kings Creek Station, located about 36 kilometres from Kings Canyon. This turned out to be a great idea. The station provides three types of accommodation: camping, safari cabins and glamping cabins. We chose to say in the safari cabins which come with air con and heating, a fan and two single beds. From our cabin we had a great view of the canyon in the distance, and it was quite an experience to watch it change colours as the sun set.
Another great thing about Kings Creek Station is that it offers a number of additional activities such as camel rides, a swimming pool and helicopter rides. Unfortunately, the camel rides weren’t running for whatever reasons while I was visiting. Can’t cross that off my list yet!
What to Do
Upon arriving at the canyon on the second day, I was feeling pretty excited to do the Rim Walk. When I first did it I was 13, and I remember it being very challenging, but also very beautiful, so you can just imagine my disappointment when we arrived at the canyon and discovered that it was closed due to “extreme temperatures.”
[As a Red Centre local just let me get this off my chest: 36 Degrees Celsius is NOT hot. It’s a walk in the park, an everyday occurrence. In fact, anything below about 28 degrees sees me pulling out my winter clothing!]
Anyway, because I couldn’t do the Rim Walk, I chose to do the Valley Walk which leads you through the centre of the canyon. It was a nice walk, though it did take a little while to settle down from my earlier disappointment. If you take your time while doing this walk, and take a moment to admire your surroundings, you’d be surprised at what you will see. For instance, along with seeing a number of really cool geological features including fossilised water, you could also see native wild life including lizards, kangaroos and rock wallabies. Apparently there are also honey ants in the area but I didn’t find any.
The Valley Walk ends about two thirds of the way through at a little look out. You can’t go any further given the very end of the canyon is a sacred Aboriginal site used for men’s business. On this note, one thing that I noticed during my walk through the valley was that there were trees covered in hessian material. It was only upon coming across a sign stating that these trees had been deformed by visitors that I understood, and it made me mad. I just can’t understand how people could so obviously set out to destroy something that is so sacred to another culture. The people who did this can’t even plead ignorance as there are signs everywhere telling visitors that this is a sacred place to the Luritja people. It was extremely maddening.
Despite my initially disappointment and little bursts of anger, I really enjoyed my visit to Kings Canyon and the drive home (we took the Ernest Giles road, another scenic route). However, I think I will make a point of heading back soon as I feel like I can’t properly cross this off my bucket list until I have done the Rim Walk; so until next time, this will have to do.
Is seeing Kings Canyon in Australia on your bucket-list?