Stunning 6 km Kings Canyon Walk

Kings Canyon Walk

We arrived at Yulara caravan park in the early afternoon and tomorrow we wanted to do Kings Canyon walk. Yulara is a small town located outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The main purpose of this township is to serve tourists visiting Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

An impressive Ayers Rock Resort provides all essential services to the visitors, having shops, art galleries, conference facilities and an outdoor day spa.

Uluru still hidden behind the smoke

Uluru was still hidden behind the smoke so we drove to Kings Canyon
Uluru was still hidden behind the smoke so we drove to Kings Canyon

It turns out that the bad visibility was caused by the smoke from fires that raged in this area a few weeks ago. Therefore, Uluru does not have this characteristic red appearance – the smoke spoils the whole effect. 

We had to add Uluru to our bucket list and wait for a good opportunity to visit this place again.

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Kings Canyon Holiday Park

The next day in the morning we left Yulara and drove to Kings Canyon Holiday Park. That was our base for the next day adventure – the Kings Canyon walk. 

While driving, halfway through, we felt that the weather was changing. It was very hot (42 degrees), with no wind, but we could see storm clouds in the distance. To make matters worse, it soon turned out that we were going straight into the rain. As a result, the car and trailer were washed.

Kings Canyon Holiday Park
Kings Canyon Holiday Park

Kings Canyon Holiday Park is situated, very picturesquely at the foot of Watarrka National Park. Our spot was among eucalyptus trees that smell stunning at this temperature. We were ready to go on the trail immediately as the views attracted us magnetically.  

Unfortunately, we dragged the storm with us and it was impossible to do it. The visibility dropped by almost half and the ridges of the mountains we admired before were only barely visible.

Neighbours from Sydney

Fortunately, our camp was next to very nice people from Sydney. They are on the second lap of Australia. They made their first go around the block 23 years ago (I hope we can do it, but sooner). 

We started talking, exchanging some travel anecdotes, sharing places worth visiting. We took out photos. They had a brilliant photo of how a big crocodile eats a smaller one. 

Thanks to this, the evening passed in a pleasant atmosphere, despite the unfavourable weather outside the window.

Start of Kings Canyon Walk
Start of Kings Canyon Walk

Kings Canyon Walk

The next day, the weather wasn’t perfect, but at least it wasn’t raining. The temperature in the morning was not very hot so we decided it is time to hit the trail! 

Today we were carried to the main attraction of this region, that is, we went for Kings Canyon walk. 

Kings Canyon walk started from the car park and it did not seem to be encouraging for us at the beginning. The canyon was hidden by nearby rocks so we did not know what to expect. The first part of the walk was a steep climbing 500 stone stairs.

The first part of Kings Canyon Walk was a steep hill
The first part of Kings Canyon Walk was a steep hill

Nell was complaining as in the last three weeks we did not do much walking and she was not used to it anymore. However, once we got up to the top, the walk had eased and was better and better later on. 

I shoot hundreds of photos because I have never seen such views before. It is a pity that there was not even one ray of the sun. The rocks were beige, and they should glow gold in the sun.

Kings Canyon is amazing
Kings Canyon is amazing

Wandering around the mountain peaks and domes was fascinating. Below, instead of the river flowing here millions of years ago, now a river of trees ‘flows’. 

Again, we had the impression that the dinosaurs were about to come out from behind the rocks. Nell was just peeking around the bushes, hoping that a dino would be lurking somewhere there.

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon

The rocks among which we walked were once desert dunes. The wind was moving the sand in different directions for a long time. Eventually, however, everything turned into rocks. 

We could appreciate different rock formations and not far later, the canyon had revealed its magnificence. The views were really spectacular as the canyon walls were high and straight with many abysses. 

It was not difficult up there to fall off the cliff…

Kings Canyon - Garden of Eden
Kings Canyon – Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

Somewhere in the middle of Kings Canyon walk, we took a small deviation down the gorge to a place called the ‘Garden of Eden’. It ends at the waterhole where we could have our lunch surrounded by the canyon. The best part of the walk was climbing up on wooden stairs to get to the other side of the canyon.

Kings Canyon - Garden of Eden
Kings Canyon – Garden of Eden

After that we could still see the canyon wall but this time from the other side. Later on, the path was going slowly down and after 4 hours we were down at the car park. 

Kings Canyon walk was perhaps around 6 km, but there was a little deviation from its main path here and there, so it took us that much time to finish. Generally, it was an easy walk with the exception of its first part where we had to climb up.

Definitely, it was worth going there. We had a great time again! 

Western MacDonnells

We set off early in the morning to conquer the West MacDonnell Ranges. We chose a 177 km Mereenie Road which is a dirt road leading through picturesque and less frequented areas. 

We heard that this loop road was badly corrugated and difficult to drive. We couldn’t agree, because the road was good and the drive exciting. We passed a mountainous country and could see beautiful landscapes.

On the way to Western MacDonnells
On the way to Western MacDonnells

On the right, we had a view of the mountains almost all the way, on the left empty spaces. We also had the opportunity to spot wild horses. 

They were so beautiful that it was almost unreal. They grazed peacefully at the foot of the mountains. I started to come closer, but then one of them began to watch me closely, and that weakened my eagerness to get too close to them.

Beautiful wild horses next to the road
Beautiful wild horses next to the road

After that, we met wild horses twice and each time they gave me a feeling of unrestrained freedom. Cool. We wanted to spend the night in the Aboriginal town of Hermannsburg. 

It used to be a former settlement of German missionaries. Unfortunately, this place was not in its best shape and we decided not to stop there for the night and go directly to Alice Springs.

Standley Chasm

On the way through Western MacDonnells, we stopped at Standley Chasm. I wanted to see it and compare it with Echidna Chasm from Bungle Bungles. 

There was a small, 30 minutes return walk. The chasm’s best viewing time is around noon when the sun shines on the walls creating magnificent contrasts.

Standley Chasm
Standley Chasm

We were there around 3 pm and all rocks were in shade already. The chasm was short, maybe 50 metres, so in comparison to Echidna Chasm was not so spectacular. It was beautiful, but we were expecting more.

Alice Springs again – this time a shortstop

Doing Kings Canyon walk the day before and then a long drive through Western MacDonnells made us really tired.

After arriving at Alice Springs we decided to rest after the hardships of the journey. 

This time we experienced Alice Springs from a different perspective. It was hot and temperatures were over 30 degrees every day. 

We also got in touch with the guys from the Great Central Road who we helped. Coincidentally, the next day there was a rugby World Cup final and they were from New Zealand so Marius said they could watch it together.

Alice Springs - Celebrating the All Blacks win!
Alice Springs – Celebrating the All Blacks win!

So, the next night they went to the pub and had a ‘couple’ of beers while watching rugby. New Zealand won, so everyone was happy. It was a different experience for Marius as, so far, he was not interested in this sport, but now this could change. 

On Sunday we got pancakes for breakfast served by the caravan park staff. 

We also planned to go to Anzac Hill to see the sunset but I think we were all tired so ended up not going. 

On top of that, the weather got hot and very lazy. We lounged and watched the birds. Nell socialized with whom she fell into, so by now everyone knows her by name. 

The next day our plan was to continue our longest Australia shortcut and hit the dirt again. Plenty Highway was a dirt road and the quickest way to get to Mount Isa. We had 830 km to drive.

The plan was to reach Mount Isa in two days. We checked on the internet and Plenty Highway was open. Although there were severe fires two weeks ago, everything was already under control.

Beginning of Plenty Highway
Beginning of Plenty Highway

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4WD Equipment Checklist

GPS Navigator or compass

Maxtrax – if you get bogged, you can use it for additional traction

Tire Deflator – deflate tires quickly when going on dirt or 4WD

Air Compressor – inflate tires quickly after going back on bitumen (we use MM)

Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)

UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency

Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road

High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks

Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking

Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places

Additional fuel canisters

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