Watarrka National Park: Kings Canyon

I visited Kings Canyon today and was deeply impressed by the fact that it is 350 million years old. A large crack appeared through natural forces and the canyon was formed. Originally this place was covered by an inland sea and you can see the ripples etched into the rocks. Moreover, the sand crystalised and through natural forces appears as hard sandstone. When you pick up a rock it glitters in the sun.

I chose to walk the 6km through reddish crowning domes, pebbled tracks, climbing steep cliff faces and winding over the mountains. I was to discover the Garden of Eden as I climbed down to the mountain floor. Apparently there are 600 plant species, 100 bird species, and 60 species of reptiles. The reason they call it the Garden of Eden is that some of the plants are remnants of a tropical forest. Australia used to be connected to Antarctica 45 million years ago and separated and moved northward. At that time it was tropical forest.

As you walk through this place from another time, you can feel the power of nature and your own wonder as you realise you are part of nature. The walk was invigorating and felt so good for my body to move, to climb to sweat. I thought of people in offices and wondered at the many who will never see wonders such as this. I felt a sense of priviledge and gratitude that I had chosen another road.

Here is some information courtesy of Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kings_Canyon_%28Northern_Territory%29

Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in Northern Territory, Australia. Sitting at the western end of the George Gill Range, it is 323 km southwest of Alice Springs and 1,316 km south of Darwin.

The walls of Kings Canyon are over 300 metres high, with Kings Creek at the bottom. Part of the gorge is a sacred Aboriginal site and visitors are discouraged from walking off the walking tracks.

Two walks exists at Kings Canyon. The 2 km (return) and approximately 1 hour Kings Creek Walk traces the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the walk is a platform, with views of the canyon walls above. The 6 km (loop) and 3-4 hour Kings Canyon Rim Walk traces the top of the canyon. A steep climb at the beginning of the walk, which locals call “Heartbreak Hill” (or “Heart Attack Hill”, due to its steepness), takes visitors up to the top, with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape. About half way during the walk, a detour descends to Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life. The last half of the walk passes through a large maze of weathered sandstone domes, reminiscent of the Bungle Bungle. A slow descent brings the visitor back to the starting point. The loop can also be done in reverse (anti-clockwise), but the National Park Rangers encourage visitors to walk in one direction.

The 22 km Giles Track connects Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs and is popular with more adventurous hikers.


Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

Free entry

(Aboriginal Culture)
(Aboriginal Self Discovery)

Watarrka National Park, synonymous with its most famous landmark, Kings Canyon, is located 450 kilometres south west of Alice Springs in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta region of the Red Centre in the Northern Territory. The park encompasses the western end of the George Gill Range and is home to a variety of unique native flora and fauna, including over 600 different plant species.

Commercial accommodation is available at Kings Canyon Resort or at nearby Kings Creek Station and Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge. The area has also been home to the Luritja Aboriginal people for the last 20,000 years.

The word Watarrka refers to the umbrella bush that proliferates in this amazing landscape. The canyon’s 300 metre high sandstone walls are breathtaking, and the surrounding area is home to diverse flora and fauna.

Mohandas Gandhi

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”