Kings Canyon is located approximately halfway between Uluru and Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory and belongs to the Watarrka National Park.
The red rocky walls of Kings Canyon which are about 100 m tall were formed due to the erosion millions of years ago and together with the surrounding area were long time a home to the Luritja Indigenous people.
The lush palm forest within the below Kings Creek create a unique conservation area with many rare native animal and plant species.
Kings Canyon: How to get there
This extraordinary landmark is located more than 400 km southwest of Alice Springs and the best way to reach it is to take 2WD along the popular and sealed Luritja Road which detours little of the Lasseter Highway direction Uluru.
This is the longest but most comfortable route.
Another ways to get there include the unsealed Mereenie Loop Road going between Alice Springs and Uluru through some appealing sceneries; or the Ernest Giles Road, also unsealed, which is heading west off the famous Stuart Highway on the way from Alice Springs. Because of the of the terrain, both will require the 4WD thouh.
When to visit
Due to the high temperatures in the Australian Red Centre during summer months, the best time for a visit would be the cooler months, between May and September, when the winter season in Australia takes over.
Visitor facilities & accommodation
The Kings Canyon Resort nearby offers a perfect base for all explorers, offering wide range of accommodation from deluxe hotel to backpacker-style Holiday Park Caravan Park and Campground.
The Kings Creek Station located around 40 km far from the canyon also offers the Wilderness Lodge for those who want to enjoy the real outback experience.
Kings Canyon: Please remember
No accommodation facility is located directly within the park and camping there is prohibited.
Also, some of the kings canyon walking tracks have a restricted access during the summer months due to the extremely hot weather.
The temperature are often reaching 40°C and therefore the visitors need to undertake the Kings Canyon Walk need to start before 9am. For the South Wall Return Walk it is 11am.
Those restrictions are based on the forecast coming from the Bureau of Meteorology which is publicly accessible and are in place when the temperature forecast exceeds 35°C during the upcoming day.
For the walking itself, sufficient amount of drinking water, head protection, sunscreen and sturdy footwear are essential.
There are several walking tracks taking visitors along the canyon, all offering truly breathtaking and unforgettable views of the scenery and the below gorge.
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a 6 km loop skirting the the canyon’s rim takes around 4 hours to complete. It starts with a steep climb, continues along the rim and then leads down to the Garden of Eden, a permanent tranquil waterhole surrounded by lush vegetation.
The last part of the walk passes through the astonishing area with impressive giant sandstone domes, also known as the Lost City.
Another option is the Kings Creek Walk which is a 2 km return stroll to a raised platform at the canyon’s base with a view of canyon’s walls above.
This walk takes visitors through green sanctuary of ferns and eucalypts.
More adventurous and experience hikers can also choose the Giles Track which creates a 22 km long connection between Kings Canyon and Kathleen Springs leading along the massive George Gill Range.
Last but not last is the comfortable Kathleen Springs Walk, a 2.6 km long and slightly more than an hour lasting, wheelchair accessible, track leading to the head of the gorge ended up with a waterhole.