Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park is spectacular. The park protects one of Australia’s most stunning natural environments. Kings Canyon is south west of Alice Springs between Alice Springs and Uluru. It can be accessed by turning off the Lasseter Highway (sealed road) or from Alice Springs (part is unsealed).
The ancient upheaval of the landscape left verical sandstone walls forming Kings Canyon. The walls are over 100 metres high, with the Kings Creek at the bottom. The sandstone is porous and collects water like a sponge which filters through to the canyon floor where it collects in moist crevices. Stairs and a bridge provide access into the valley.
There are two walking trails. The 2 km (return) and approximately 1 hour Kings Creek Walk traces along the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the walk is a platform, with views of the canyon walls above. The 6 km (loop) and 3-4 hour Kings Canyon Rim Walk traces along the top of the canyon. A steep climb at the beginning of the walk, which locals call "Heartbreak Hill" (or "Heart Attack Hill", due to its steepness), takes visitors up to the top, with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape. About half way during the walk, a detour descends to Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life. The last half of the walk passes through a large maze of weathered sandstone domes, reminiscent of the Bungle Bungles. A slow descent brings the visitor back to the starting point. Part of the gorge is a sacred Aboriginal site and visitors are discouraged from walking off the walking tracks.
The 22 km Giles Track connects Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs and is popular with more adventurous hikers.
Garden of Eden
A lush garden of feathery cycad ferns is found deep in the gorge of the canyon.There are over 600 plant speciies, some are rare relics of a bygone area.
The Lost City
Time has carved great buttresses out of ancient sandstone over millions of years. The weathered beehive shaped rock formations are appropriately called the Lost City.