Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. It is located 323 km southwest of Alice Springs and 1,316 km south of Darwin. It was about 3 hours drive from the Ayers Rock resort, which we came from.
The walls of Kings Canyon are over 100 m 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.
There are three different type of walks at Kings Canyon:
1) The 2 km (return) and around 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.
2) The 6 km (loop) Kings Canyon Rim Walk traces the top of the canyon and takes approximately 3–4 hours to complete. This is the walk that I took!
3) The 22 km Giles Track that connects Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs. This is popular for the more adventurous hikers. Although, the tour guide, Nick, explained that this track might be physically impossible to do. For the 6 km Rim Walk, we had to carry at least 1.5 L of water (more during warmer weather). If you do the math, to do a 22 km walk, one should carry around 5 L of water to stay hydrated. It sounds physically draining carrying 5 L of water on a 22 km walk!
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
The walk began with a steep climb, which locals call it the ‘Heartbreak Hill’ or ‘Heart Attack Hill, due to its steepness. This steep climb takes visitors up to the top, with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape. These 500 steps were challenging to climb as there is no handrail or anything to hold on to. I recommend a good fitness level for visitors doing the Rim Walk.
Endurance and perseverance had paid off! I got to the top! Feeling so happy and a sense of achievement! YAY! The views at the top were indeed spectacular. It was such an amazing experience walking along the rim at the top and observing the surrounding landscape.
We took a detour around half-way during the walk, which descended into the Garden of Eden. This is a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life.
The last half of the walk passed through a large maze of weathered sandstone domes. Then, it was a slow descent that brought us back to the starting point. The loop can also be done in reverse (anti-clockwise) direction, but the National Park Rangers encourage visitors to walk in one direction. Access to the walk may also be restricted during hot weather.
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk was quite difficult and tiring for me but it is such a rewarding experience. The views and terrains were amazing along the way. It is one of those activities that need to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. I am glad I chose the Rim Walk and got to the top of Kings Canyon. Now I can say I have conquered Kings Canyon! If you ever visit Northern Territory, go to Kings Canyon and do the Rim Walk! You will love it!
All photos were taken using:
Camera: Nikon D800.
Lens: Tamron 24-70 mm F/2.8.
Post-processing: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.
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