The ancient formation that is Kings Canyon sits just a 3-hour drive from Uluru in the red centre. This majestic destination was created over 440 million years ago and is 270 metres above sea level, giving spectacular desert views. This canyon has 300 metres of sandstone layered walls with crevices that lead down to an oasis of rock pools, flora, and fauna.
You can see the beauty of this sandstone formation by doing the famous Rim Walk or taking a stroll through the Watarrka National Park. Kings Canyon is often a forgotten destination of the red centre, as it is 450 kilometres from Alice Springs and is on the way to Uluru. But Kings Canyon is an unforgettable outback adventure that is worth a visit.
This epic adventure heads into the heart of the Red Centre starts with 1 night in Adelaide before travelling overnight in Gold Service onboard the mighty Ghan. Enjoy a night in Alice Springs visiting the West MacDonnell Ranges, then see the wonders of Uluru with 3 nights at Yulara including the stunning Sounds of Silence dinner. Re-board the Ghan for another night before finishing with 1 night in Darwin.
Fly into the heart of the nation for stays in Yulara (Uluru) and Alice Springs. Enjoy sunrise and sunset over the Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), trek with camels through Uluru, take a view from above with breathtaking views and enjoy a once in a lifetime dining experience at Sounds of Silence under the Southern night skies. We then make our way into Kings Canyon where we enjoy cultural experiences, stop at Kings Creek Station before heading into Alice Springs to visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Finish off the tour with a bush style true outback style BBQ with a visit to Standley Chasm, driving via West Macdonnell Ranges and heading into Ormiston Gorge before flying home.
With ancient sandstone walls, gorges, rock ranges, and over 600 species of native plants and animals, visiting Kings Canyon is a nature lover’s dream.
The highlight of Kings Canyon is the Rim Walk. This 6 km walk goes around the top of the canyon and leads you down to the ‘Garden of Eden’, which features a stunning rock hole with various rare plant life. At the top of the walk, you’ll see 360° views over the canyon’s red dunes. This walk takes between 3-4 hours to complete and is best started before sunrise. The first 500 steps of the walk are the most challenging and dangerous, so stay five metres away from the edge at all times.
For a shorter and easier walk, try the Kings Creek Walk that leads you through the base of the canyon and is only 2 km which takes about an hour.
If you want to see the canyon from a different view, consider taking a Kings Canyon Scenic Helicopter Tour. Get a stunning view from the sky of Kings Canyon, George Gill Range and the Watarraka National Park.
Back on the ground, you can visit Kings Creek Station and partake in a host of activities like a buggy tour where you can experience what it’s like in the outback working on the station. This off-road adventure drive is great for families, groups and couples wanting to explore the stunning landscape and learn about the canyon’s history.
With accommodation options ranging from resort-style rooms to glamping, caravanning and camping, there’s a place for everyone at Kings Canyon. Consider adding a Kings Canyon day tour to your next outback holiday along with Alice Springs and Uluru.
The best way to see Kings Canyon is by exploring the Watarrka National Park. This park is jointly managed by the local Traditional Owners and the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, who work together to share knowledge and culture of this ancient sandstone canyon. At Watarrka National Park, there’s endless walking trails, camel tours, 4X4 trails and ranger-guided activities to keep you busy.
You can learn about the local culture on a Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour. This one-hour experience is led by members of the local Indigenous community who will guide you through their ancient culture. Learn about the meaning of their native language and their medicines, bush tucker, musical instruments, and weapons.
The best time of year to visit the canyon is between the months of May and October, when the weather is a bit cooler in the red centre.
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