Kings Canyon (Watarrka)
Should I visit Kings Canyon (Watarrka)?
Most definitely yes! Kings Canyon (Watarrka) is a major highlight for all of our visitors, and certainly underrated. Explore a 270m high sandstone canyon in the Watarrka National Park, about 450km from Alice Springs. This important conservation area protects plants and animals as well as providing visitors with access to trails and lookouts.
The main hike, the Kings Canyon Rim Walk passes through this rugged landscape and offers amazing experiences including the lush Garden of Eden and spectacular views.
What can I Experience at Kings Canyon?
- Kings Canyon Waterhole
- Garden of Eden
- Domes of the Lost City
- Prehistoric Fossils
- Prehistoric Flora
- Kestrel Falls
- Cliff lookouts
- Cotterills Lookout Loop
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
A 7-km clockwise circuit, called the Kings Canyon Rim Walk, traces the cliff tops of the canyon. It takes 3 to 5 hours to complete. The Rim Walk can be achieved by people with an average fitness level, particularly if you are taking that first hill at a reasonable pace, perhaps even with short rest stops.
The hike starts with a 500 step climb to the top of the rim which the locals call “Heartbreak Hill” or “Heart Attack Hill”. This is the most energy you will need on the walk,It takes you up to the cliff top, with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and the gorge below. You’ll get a real birds-eye view of the remote Australian Outback as you explore a maze of weathered sandstone domes, reminiscent of the Bungle Bungle in Western Australia. Along the walk, one can detour to Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life. The Rim Walk is truly an Outback Adventure of a Lifetime.
A prehistoric pocket of flora right in the middle of the desert – the Garden of Eden
Kings Creek Walk
A 2-km return walk along the Kings Creek Walk takes you through the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the walk is a platform, with views of the canyon walls above.
Extreme Temperatures require responsible planning for hikers. You need to be prepared with enough water to stay safe. Also see advice about flies and other insects.
Our Tours to Kings Canyon
Our 3-Day and 4-Day Tours allow for time to take a swim back at camp for lunch, or even a lay in the sun at your leisure. You can also take an optional helicopter flight, depending on your budget.
More about Kings Canyon
- Kings Canyon Rim Walk
- Geological History of Kings Canyon
- Article on unique Flora
- Watarrka National Park homepage