Kings Canyon in our own back yard


As we approached the check-in counter at Kings Canyon Resort I was comforted by the globally recognised symbols, assuring us that WIFI was available.

It was after we’d been through the formalities with the receptionist that we learned not only was there no internet, there was also no mobile service. “We are very isolated here at Kings Canyon, you know” piped the bright young thing, “and you’ll enjoy not being connected”.

By this stage we’d been on the road a couple of weeks and had experienced only brief patches where there was no mobile service at all. In fact throughout the Ayers Rock resort we had pretty strong internet the whole time.

And anyway, why would we even need or want internet for goodness sake? But like it or not we did feel strange not having any mobile phone service *just in case* we needed to be contacted in some kind of emergency in the next 5 days!

Isolation was actually one of the most wonderful aspects of being at Kings Canyon and really allowed us appreciate the immense beauty and space.

Kings Canyon Resort offers simple accommodation options at extremely high prices. There is a camping/caravan site, shared/backpacker options and then our choice of resort style room complete with a spa bath overlooking rocks and bush. I have to say it felt a bit weird having no blinds across the bath window, although we were sure no one would be interested in peeking in to our room.

Arriving at the starting point of the Kings Canyon hikes we wondered why there were so many people hanging around the covered seating area until we saw that ubiquitous sign – “free wifi”. So then of course we joined the rest of the connected crowd and logged on to our various social media platforms until we realised how ridiculous we were.

Every report I’d read about hiking Kings Canyon described a “bit of a climb”, and “not too tough”, to get up to walk the rim of the canyon.

Let me tell you those people are liars. Yes, once you’re up there you can look down and feel rightly smug for not having that heart attack, but by crikey there really are so many steep uneven stones to get to the top.

I really shouldn’t complain because just as we arrived at the top we came across a man slowly making his way step by step with a couple of walking poles. We stopped to chat for a while and talk about the beauty and challenges of the place.

We checked that he was ok and he said sure, he reckons he does this all the time. He said he was 87, and he was walking on his own. We were a bit worried for him because he really did seem a bit wobbly on his legs.

After we bid our farewells and safe travels we then continued along the walk and kept meeting people who had also stopped to look out for this intrepid old gentleman. So it felt a bit like the Rim Walk community was keeping a caring eye on him.

Honestly, I don’t know how he made it to the top. It was a challenge for us so it must have been a real effort for him.

It is impossible to explain the feelings of freedom and exhilaration hiking around the canyon. Not too many other walkers out that day, though enough to not feel totally isolated.

Mostly the walking tracks were easily traversed though you really do have to keep your wits about you as it wouldn’t be too hard to trip and take the biggest tumble of your life.

The colours are magnificent and the views go on forever.

By far the most exhilarating experience was going up in a little chopper for a half hour flight right along the canyon. It was the first time in a helicopter for us both, and I admit to initially feeling a bit anxious although our very capable pilot Alex put us at ease in no time at all.

This place is just so vast!

Apart from the main Kings Canyon Rim walk there are a few less strenuous, though no less fascinating, easy hikes.

We learned so much from our walks into the various entry points, mostly around the history of the indigenous communities that have lived and cared for these lands for thousands of generations, and still do today.

One of the greatest aspects of our nomadic lifestyle is the ability to meet interesting fellow travelers. Every sunset at Kings Canyon resort is celebrated in great style with happy hour at the main lookout near the campground. People from all walks of life congregate in a mass of excitement and wait for the brilliance of the sun to slowly sink below the canyon cliffs.

It is a magical experience. So beautiful and peaceful.

We’ll never forget our Kings Canyon experience. Some people have told us that they’ve been to Uluru and Kata Tjuta but didn’t make it to Kings Canyon.

If you ever have the opportunity to make it out there, do yourself the greatest favour and take a few extra days and stay at Kings Canyon. You really do have a greater experience by visiting Kings Canyon to top off a Red Center visit



This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Andrew

    Such a great account Sue and so good to re-live our visit there eight years ago. And totally agree that a trip to the ‘Red Centre’ is not complete without a trip to Kings Canyon.

    1. whereverarewe

      Thanks Andrew. Its hard to decide which part is the favourite, so yes, it is best to try and include Kings Canyon in a Red Centre trip as they’re all so different.

  2. vivienne kincaid

    A great trip and such a wonderful place, I could not read the nocturnal insect eating mouse’ name but will forgive him that for eating insects 🙂 The weathered rocks were amazing but with my back issues I do not think I would have got far on them. Another ticked box xx

    1. whereverarewe

      Thanks Vivienne. Maybe on your next trip over this way you can take a mild approach and still be part of the splendour!

  3. Joe

    What a beautiful place. The colors are magnificent. The cross bedded sandstone reminds me of the geology of southern Utah in the American southwest. Your helicopter ride must have been very exciting. For work, I used to travel out to oil rigs by helicopter. I was always happy to get back down to earth.

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