Just when we thought Uluru couldn’t be topped, along comes the Kings Canyon to blow Uluru clear out of contention!
We drove 300km from Uluru to Kings Canyon, with the view to doing the Kings Canyon Rim walk early the next morning, before the heat of the day. As luck would have it, a chilly south-easterly wind hit the region on the afternoon we arrived, plunging the apparent temperature down to 10 C. While still sunny, the cool breeze made for great hiking weather (and kept the flies to a minimum – Bonus!).
The Kings Canyon Rim walk is a 6km loop walk, starting at ground level and quickly ascending a steep set of steps to the top of the canyon. Several websites put the number of steps at between 500 and 1,000. Suffice to say, we were too preoccupied puffing, wheezing and cramping our way up to bother counting!
The 6km walk then literally follows the full rim around the canyon.
The NT government leaflet notes that this 3-4 hour “walk is suitable for fit, experienced walkers”. They forgot to mention it’s particular suitability for mountain goats! The ‘track’ took us up, over and along rocks of every imaginable shape and size, with frequent little arrows to indicate which direction to follow.
We noticed about four portable defibrillators (with emergency radio call equipment) scattered around the walk, and at least as many helicopter landing sites with huge emergency first aid boxes – all signifying that this walk was not without risks.
But the risks, mountain-goat jokes and squillions of rocky ups and downs throughout the entire walk were worth it! The Kings Canyon Rim walk would have to be one of the most magnificent, exhilarating and awe-inspiring walks we have ever done. This walk took us through rocky ‘beehive’ shaped domes and the lush ‘Garden of Eden, all the while providing jaw-dropping views over the escarpment. Trees and ferns appeared to grow straight out of the sandstone … there was little soil to be seen.
Part of the walk around the Garden of Eden in the Kings Canyon included descending LOTS of steep steps (across the canyon in the image below) …
… then across the bridge and all the way back up again on the other side of the canyon …
A large section of the face of the canyon appears to have sheared off in recent times, revealing a relatively fresh sandstone finish which goes on for several hundred metres …
This walk was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, and we are so thrilled to have done it.
Kings Canyon is truly a magnificent and beautiful natural wonder.