Monday, May 01, 2006

King's Canyon

Tracie and I both enjoyed King's Canyon very much. It is about 150km from Ayer's Rock. If you don't plan on taking the gravel road short cut back to Alice Springs it will add about 100km to the lenth of your trip.

King's Canyon is amazing. There are two walks. One straight up the canyon for about a kilometer and one around the rim of the canyon. We did the rim walk first. About halfway through the walk, you have to cross to the other side of the Canyon. At the bottom of the cross over, there is a short side hike to a portion of the canyon that has water year round.
We saw a tour group of backpakers going for a swim in the waterhole from the top of the cliff and decided to follow suit when we arrived at the bottom.
King's Canyon has steep cliffs as you can see in the photo, but on top, there are rock domes 10-15feet high all over the place. It is really amazing.
During wetter times, the whole valley floods with water and the eucalyptus trees have to endure flooding up to 10feet deep.
The rock is pourous and water seaps into it during wet times, then makes it's way into the canyon which is why it is so much greener down there and why there is water for most of the year.
King's Canyon also has way fewer tourists than either Ayer's Rock or the Olgas because fewer backpacker tours and "See OZ and Die" tours come here.
There is a nice resort only 10km away that has a hotel, bungalows, and tent camping, but it is much smaller than the one outside of the park near Uluru.
Stopping at King's Canyon was well worth the time and effort of driving there, particularly if you are traveling to and from Alice Springs on the train and have an entire week that needs to be filled.
I guess that makes it sound like filler, but it really isn't. It's just not an iconic thing like the other two attractions only 150km away.

-Gary Milner

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