Watarrka National Park “Kings Canyon”

Kings Canyon in the heart of the Watarrka National Park is a bucket list for both of us, so there was no way we were going past this one, regardless of the extreme temperature.

Departing the West MacDonnell National Park we chose to test the rig on the 160km Mereenie Loop the short cut to Watarrka National Park. The alternative sealed route would have involved a 560km road trip. Advice from locals it was corrugated rough and dusty, as it was the track wasn’t too bad. We managed to lose a tank full of water on the caravan due to a rock breaking a water pipe and also smashed our caravan foldout step, but that was more to do with my poor choice of off-off road excursions at Ginty’s Lookout, but that could be another story not worth telling.

Arriving at the Kings Canyon Resort we parked the van and jumped into the pool. Later on, at the sunset viewing platform we meet a friendly young traveller called Amanda from West Wyalong, who we found out knows our friend’s Fiona and Peter.

We were told the Kings Canyon rim walk you should get going early, the rangers shut the gate at 9am because of the heat and dangers of exposure this time of year at the top of the gorge. We intended to leave the Resort at 5am to drive the 12km to the start of the rim walk but one of my safety sensors had managed to deflate a tyres on the Dmax . So public apologies to all the caravaners who were still sleeping nearby, my compressor was a rather noisy while I reinflated the tyre at 5.30am on Christmas morning. Due to the delay we arrived to the start of the Kings Canyon rim walk much later than expected and unfortunately several tour busses unloaded just as we were starting the steep climb. Fortunately, for most of the 6km trek we managed to keep away from the nosier groups.

The walk lived up to our expectations, and as a bonus we saw a little rock wallaby as we crossed a footbridge near the Garden of Eden. At the halfway point we stopped for a refreshing break and also made time to ring home on the satellite phone to wish other family a Merry Christmas.

Back to Kings Canyon Resort before 9.30am we caught up with Amanda again, she was heading north the next day, we on the other hand were off to Uluru.

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