More or less between Kings Canyon Resort and Kings Creek Station (our accommodation) is a turnoff from the sealed Luritja Road. After about 500 metres dirt road we reached the car park and we were surprised there were just two other cars.
Here starts a walkway into the gorge with absolutely ‘crazy’ rock formations of red and almost orange rocks. Further along the walkway were some information boards, explaining the Aboriginal culture and the recent cattle industry in this part of the desert. Unbelievable to realise that cattle could live in this harsh landscape.
After 1300 metres the walk ended at the spring fed waterhole: Kathleen Springs. This waterhole was surrounded by reed and other vegetation and surrounded by red coloured rock walls. It would have been a fantastic place to stay a little bit longer, but as always the flies …..
Kings Canyon Walk
One of our main destinations while visiting the Red Centre was Kings Canyon. The only way to see its beauty is to walk around in the Watarrka National Park and in spite of the expected heat we decided to give it a try.
From our accommodation (Kings Creek Station) we had to drive 35 km’s, but succeeded to reach the car park at 8.30 am. And a lot of other visitors intended to do the same as we: start as early as possible, although the temperature was already 35 degrees Celsius !!
The Canyon Walk starts with a very steep climb through a kind of staircase with about 500 steps. On the other side of the canyon we had great view of the so called ‘domes’ of the Lost City. After we reached the first rim the track became a little bit easier, although it went up and down over bare rocks, all absolutely red coloured. Sometimes we passed apparently water holes, because in the middle of this harsh landscape we saw trees, palms and other lush vegetation. Almost unbelievable.
In 1 hour we reached the famous rim of Kings Canyon and we stood a little while completely speechless. This is an absolutely breathtaking and overwhelming scenery. Sheer walls of rock on the other side of the canyon and the green valley far beneath us.
Because a part of the track was closed (we couldn’t visit the Garden of Eden and the Lost City) we to return along the same track. But with different views and going down it was again a fantastic walk.
All together it took 2 hours to reach the car park and we were happy being back, because it was getting warmer and warmer. Temperature was already 40 degrees Celsius !! But without any doubt this was one of the highlights of our Australia trip.
Be aware: this walk can be very difficult, you need steady walking shoes, sunscreen 30+, a hat or cap, if possible a fly net, something to eat and lots and lots of water !!!
(The Creek Walk is much easier and follows the valley for 1,5 km's)
Kings Creek Station – Curtin Springs Station
Angus Downs - 'desert oak country'
by vtveen , 2 more photos
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After visiting Kings Canyon we continued our trip through the Red Centre on the sealed Luritja Road. Being sealed, meant less adventurous and besides the scenery became less hilly and more flat. Right and left of the road we saw only the same desert landscape with lots of desert oaks and red sand dunes.
After 150 km’s we made a stop at a rest area near 'Angus Downs'. Again desert oaks with some shadow during our stop. It was funny to see how first big birds and later smaller ones came to a tin of water, which we filled from a water tank. It was for us a miracle that they could live here at all.
Along the Lasseter Highway (with an average of 1 oncoming car in 15 minutes) we made a stop at a salt lake, before we caught sight of Mount Conner (Artilla). This is the most unknown monolith in the Red Centre, even bigger than Uluru. There was a turnoff and we tried to come closer to get a better view, but this road was so bad that we had to turn round after 10 minutes (in spite of having a 4WD).
It is possible to visit Mount Conner from Curtin Springs Station (www.curtinsprings.com), our accommodation that evening. This leg of our trip (about 180 km’s) was by far the less interesting and scenic part in the Red Centre.
Base for 2010 VT Survivor Camp and Meet
"2010 - Now Green Center Instead of Red Center"
Alice Springs is located in the dry Red Center of Australia; however, in 2010 it was raining and everywhere we went was green and the plants were blooming. It was a perfect time to have the 2010 VT survivor camp and meeting in that area. Here is what we did:
9 - Visited Alice Springs Old Ghan Museum; bought camping supplies at Cole's
10 - Visited Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Oak Valley, and Stuart's Well/Jim's Place; camped at Rainbow Valley
11 - Visited Henbury Meteor Craters; stopped Stuart's Well/Jim's Place; traveled Ernest Giles Road; camped at Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara; went to Sound of Silence dinner and show, or watched Uluru sunset from Imalung Lookout
12 - Visited Uluru (sunset viewing area, Cultural Center, Kantju Gorge walk); visited Olgas' Valley of the Winds and watched sunset; camped at Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara
13 - Visited Uluru Waterhole and sunrise viewing area; stopped at Mount Conner Lookout; camped at Kings Creek Station
14 - Walked Kings Creek Trail and Kathleen Springs Trail; watched sunset from Tank Hill; camped at Kings Creek Station
15 - Stopped at Kings Canyon Resort, Morris Pass Scenic Lookout, and Albert Namatjiras House; camped at Palm Valley; visited Cycad Gorge and did Arankaia Walk
16 - Watched Palm Valley sunrise; did partial Mpulungkinya walk and survived eastern brown snake; visited "I-caves" canyon; walked to Kalarranga Lookout; camped at Palm Valley
17 - Visited Hermannsburg and Gosse Bluff Craters; went through Tyler's Pass; stopped at Glen Helen Gorge; camped at Ellery Creek Big Hole
18 - Visited Redbank Gorge, Mount Sonder Lookout, Finke 2 Mile, Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits, and Standley Chasm; arrived in Alice Springs
19 - Visited Simpson Gap, Flynn's Grave, and Alice Springs Desert Park; had VT meet and greet at Desert Palms Resort
20 - Built Seabiscuit boat frame; took tour of Alice Springs (Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum, Royal Flying Doctors Service, School of Air, Old Telegraph Station, Anzac Hill); went to Sounds of Starlight dinner and didgeridoo show
21 - Attended Henley-on-Todd Regatta (Todd Mall parade, Seabiscuit race, sand shoveling, team skateboard races, tug-of-wars, and pirate ship battle); partied at Bojangles
Because it was very unusual to have so many plants blooming, I took lots of pictures. I put them in two albums on my Northern Territory Shutterfly web page. One has 854 pictures of flowers in the Alice Springs area and the other 210 pictures of the flowers along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Darwin.
Booking in advance???
I'm going to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock/ Uluru in october and I've got a few questions. First my plans:
I'm planning on getting there (from Adelaide) with the backpackersbus, it takes 2 days with a overnight stay in Coober Pedy. And I want to stay there for a few days, thinking of a hostel or a camping (if they've got the tents already there.. I'm not carrying on). The way back to Adelaide I'll probebly take the Greyhound.
Now the questions:
Should I book any of these things in advance?
Anybody any experience on the backpackersbus??
Any recommendations for Alice Springs and Ayers Rock/Uluru?
RE: Booking in advance???
Hmm.. correction! I want to stay a few days in Alice Springs/ Ayers Rock surroundings that is, not Coober Pedy..
RE: RE: Booking in advance???
If you are going to stay in Alice then you will probably have no problem. Staying near Uluru (on your own) is not an easy or cheap thing--there is only one resort to go to, and the accommodations are extremely expensive even in the "hostel" category. It is much easier to get a camping trip booked from Alice Springs. You can arrive and then book the trip once you get there, or else book in advance over the internet. (Do a Google search for "uluru safari" and you will find plenty of choices.) They generally do 3-day trips, with two nights of camping, in a loop that includes Uluru, the Olgas, and Kings Canyon. I just did one of these last month.
RE: RE: Booking in advance???
Between Alice and Uluru are 2 other accommodations at farm houses:
- Kings Creek Station: www.kingscreekstation.com.au
- Curtin Springs Station: www.curtinsprings.com
(another is Glen helen Resort, more expensive, www.glenhelen.com.au)
But you need car to travel and I don't know if you intend to do. Otherwise the best thing to do is a 'safari tour' from Alice.
ps: don't forget to buy a 'fly net' when you go to the Red Centre
RE: Booking in advance???
Not sure if they are any helpful but you're welcome to take a look at my VT Alice Springs and Uluru pages to see if the tips are useful.
RE: RE: Booking in advance???
I have recently stayed at the backpackers named Annies. This is in Alice Springs and is great.
They have good facilities and the staff were friendly.
At Uluru we stayed at the Outback Pioneer accommodation. Here we had a 4 bedroom dorm. From here you have access to all of the Uluru village.
I would book both places if you know the dates.
Also Annies backpackers had a trip to Uluru via Kings Canyon available. This was approX $200Aus.