Kings Canyon (Northern Territory)

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Overview of Kings Canyon from the Rim Walk.
View from the Kings Canyon Gorge at sunset.
View of the sandstone domes at Kings Canyon.

Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in Northern Territory, Australia. Sitting at the western end of the George Gill Range, it is 323 km southwest of Alice Springs and 1,316 km south of Darwin.


A view from the upper edge of the canyon

The walls of Kings Canyon are over 100 metres high, with Kings Creek at the bottom. Part of the gorge is a sacred Aboriginal site and visitors are discouraged from walking off the walking tracks.

Three walks exist at Kings Canyon. The 2 km (return) and approximately 1 hour Kings Creek Walk traces 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 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 Bungle. A slow descent brings the visitor back to the starting point. The loop can also be done in reverse (anti-clockwise), but the National Park Rangers encourage visitors to walk in one direction.

The 22 km Giles Track connects Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs and is popular with more adventurous hikers.

Visitor information[edit]

As with many tracks in the central Australian desert, visitors are advised to avoid walking during the middle of the day when the temperature is the highest and the sun most direct. Sunscreen, a hat, water (at least 1 litre per hour at the hottest time), and a fly net (in the hotter months) are essential.

The Kings Canyon Resort operated by Delaware North 6 kilometres to the west offers camping, budget rooms, standard hotel rooms and deluxe spa rooms, as well as restaurants and swimming pools[1] Kings Creek Station, 38 kilometres to the east run and owned by Ian and Lyn Conway offers alternative accommodation, and also provides camel rides and quad bike tours.


Birds that can be seen on the Kings Canyon Rim walk include Spinifex Pigeon, Zebra Finch, Grey-headed Honeyeater, Dusky Grasswren, Black-breasted Buzzard and peregrine falcon.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ and