KINGS CANYON -REMOTE & STUNNING
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
SUNDAY JUNE 20 2010
MILEAGE: 18557 @ Yulara
WEATHER: 6 degrees at 8am
JOURNEY: Yulara to Kings Canyon Resort – 314 kms
OVERNIGHT: Kings Canyon Resort; $25 pn no power.
This was a journey of retracing steps (can you say route?) along Lasseter Hwy to Luritja Road and we laughed at the tree of underpants at the Red Centre junction. We were heading for Kings Canyon Resort and the desert started to turn into light forest and ranges appeared alongside us. An upturned car here and there, a herd of camels and so many eagles and goshawks grabbed our attention.
"Resort" was stretching the imagination but there was a pool, restaurant, bar and some upmarket accommodation at Kings Canyon Resort.
Allan directed us to a grassy spot away from the caravan ghetto that was the powered area. He was a happy fellow, just completing a three month stint as resident handyman and explained that the “resort” description of the job's location kind of tricked him! It is a remote location with not a lot of stimulation for the workers, mostly Korean according to Allan.
We hurried along with the crowd to the viewing area to witness the sun set colours high light the ranges. Beautiful and then it was a yummy dinner under the stars.
Our purpose in travelling here was the Kings Canyon, 10 kms away in the Watarrka National Park- one very special place. The Luritja people have lived here for 20,000 years with a great respect for the land. In 1874 explorer Giles was granted a pastoral lease covering 1000 square miles of this land which much later became Angus Down Station.
On Monday we set off early to tackle the King Canyon Rim Walk, a walk with a beautiful reputation. There is a steep climb on rocky uneven steps to reach the top of the canyon and this climb is rather strenuous. Then it’s through diverse environments and geographical features that you witness from many different angles as you trek along. There are stunning views of red cliffs, ripple rocks and beehive domes, lovely flowers and ancient cypress pines curling their trunks in twisted forms. The “garden of Eden” is a luscious surprise, way down in the gorge- an oasis of ancient cycads and ferns and pools of water. Other hikers exclaim their joy in being here and one brave, unfit lady going really slow, keeps telling everyone she is so happy to have made the effort. The mighty chasms and sheer tall red rock walls are impressive. Apparently there are 600 species of plants in and around the canyon; no we did not see them all.
It is a magnificent walk and we were very satisfied when we got back to the van. We were also happy to get the coffee and sandwiches into hungry stomachs. We caught up with Robyn and Graham again to compare notes and planned to meet again when we reached Alice Springs. We felt special in our spacious spot when people were lining up to catch powered sites as others left- the joy of solar panels!!
That night we were thrilled to have a female dingo come by our camp, pee and then howl hypnotically until her mate joined her and then they were off together into the dark night. Wow that howl is amazing! They keep their distance but still manage to check out the camp ground for unprotected food.
Kings Canyon had been a special experience and we were glad we made the effort to drive the extra kilometres.