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Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

Details & Facilities

Web: Visit website
Phone: 08 8951 8250

Watarrka National Park encloses Kings Canyon, with its 300-metre-high sandstone walls, walking trails, lush forests and permanent waterholes. The most impressive of these is the Garden of Eden waterhole, a worth while detour located half way through the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. It offers a peaceful and pristine place to enjoy a break from the hike. Swimming is forbidden due to the environmental impacts and cultural sensitivities.

The sheer red rock walls of the canyon soar above dense forests of Ghost Gums, Cycads and Ferns, sheltering them from the harsh desert sun and providing refuge for many native animals.

Description

The Park has been home to the Luritja people for around 30,000 years and its flora, fauna and rock formations are best seen on foot.

Try the gentle, shaded Kings Creek Walk trail which meanders one kilometre along the canyon floor and creek bed. Or, for those looking for more of a challenge, the best way to discover Kings Canyon is on the Kings Canyon rim walk. Get up early to beat the heat and walk the six kilometres around the canyon's upper escarpments to take in magnificent views across the desert or into the lush valley below. This walk requires a good level of fitness and during summer heat management strategies are enforced for the safety of visitors. A partial walk, The South Wall Return Walk offers a slightly softer option. In addition the 2.6-kilometre walk to Kathleen Springs takes you to historical sites, and a spring-fed waterhole.

Fit and experienced hikers will love the Giles Track, a 22-kilometre walk between Kings Canyon and Kathleen Springs.


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Map & Directions

Directions

The Watarrka National Park is about 470km from Alice Springs via the Staurt Hwy and Lasster Hwy (sealed roads)and is accessed from the Luritja Road. It can be reached from Uluru in around 3 1/2 hours. Those with a four-wheel drive can then take the unsealed Mereenie Loop (permit required) which is an extension of Larapinta Drive, West of Alice Springs.

Tours depart from Alice Springs or Yulara (Ayers Rock resort).