Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Kings Canyon = Awesome! – Oct 2011

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 13, 2011

Kings Canyon Panorama

Thunderstorm rolling in

View from caravan park

Easy Kathleen Springs walk

Hi Everyone,

We left Alice Springs in the rain and headed towards Kings Canyon down the Stuart then Lassiter Highways.  We took the left turn onto the Luritja Road and we stayed overnight at a free camp (#64 in the Camps 5 book), about 120kms out of Kings Canyon.  It was a big rest area, no toilets and if you really wanted to, you could drive over the sand dunes to a quieter place down the back.  Kids went for a bit of an explore about the place, then some

Kathleen Springs

Late arvo colours are nice

Start of KC Rim walk

schoolwork while I did some more blogging.  Daniel cooked up burgers with bacon and onions for dinner and they were delicious too. There was a good thunderstorm brewing and we watched the black clouds roll in and listened to the thunder. We got a little bit of rain but nothing like last night’s downpour.

Next day we headed into the Kings Canyon Resort and booked in for 3 nights at $48/night for a family, for a powered site.  We set up, had lunch and Daniel cooked up Joel’s chilli con carne for dinner later that night.  He really is enjoying all this cooking, I love it! There is a great pool here and plenty of ablution blocks.  After dinner was cooked we drove to Kathleen Springs and did the

Dan and Wade food stop

KC big drop off!

2.5km walk out to the Springs.  The walk is mostly a graded and bituminised path that has signs along the walk that tell stories of Aboriginal Culture and the cattle industry here. It leads to a

Rock formations are beautiful

spring-fed waterhole at the head of Kathleen Gorge.  The walk is very easy and quite pleasant with lots of trees and birds around.  Afterwards we went back to camp had a swim and some yummy chilli con carne.

Next day we were up early and off to do the 6km Kings Canyon Rim Walk.  The first part of the track begins with a strenuous and steep climb and it is only recommended for fit walkers. It is a bit of

Changing colours of the rocks

Bee-hive domes panorama

a hike and we stopped a few times on the way up to rest and appreciate the height and beauty of the place. The walk ascends to the top of the Canyon and then follows the canyon rim around.  The views from the western side showed a sheared, red, rock wall on the far side of the canyon. We walked through the “Lost City” which are beehive-shaped rock formations which resemble the

Edge of Canyon panorama

ruins of some ancient Aztec city carved over time by water and wind erosion. They reminded us of the Bungle Bungles in the

Kimberleys. The Garden of Eden is a little oasis at the base of the Canyon where there were heaps of cycads and greenery that contrasted sharply with the red rock canyon walls. We walked around to

Sheer red cliff from big rock fall

Small domes erosion

More rock colour changes

the other side of the Canyon and looked in awe at the sandstone chasm.  The colours were just amazing.  The red Meerenie sandstone is a thin, red veneer that covers the white rock underneath that is in fact compacted white beach and dune sand deposited 360 million years ago.  The light colour patches on the cliff walls mark the last known rock fall in the 1930s. The red, vertical colours are from rainwater that has filtered through the rock with iron oxide then evaporated leaving the red colouring.  The black and green colours are patches

Don't want to fall down that crack

Stairs to the Garden of Eden

GOE water up the back

Halfway round Rim walk

Sandstone cliff face

of algae.  Very cool! It’s hard to describe how beautiful this place is; it’s just magnificent! Even the kids loved it! The canyon is huge and when you first see it you just go “Wow!” Wade played a shocking trick on me and pretended to edge off the cliff only to stand up on a rock underneath saying “surprise!” I’ll give you surprise all right! When my heart beat returned to normal I could see the funny side of it at least! The walk down the canyon was much easier than the hike up, thank god, and we watched some more Spinifex pigeons come down to drink at the puddle near us.  They are so tame and don’t seem to

Remnant of an old sea bed-awesome

Rock domes and stairs

Ants on top are people

fear us at all! The male still seems to puff up and show off but it’s pretty cute really.  The walk was a bit tough to start with but the rest of the walk was okay and the views were so worth it too!  There were heaps of other people here too which is a novelty for us as when we do our long walks we don’t usually see many other people. Sometimes it’s a nice thing, sometimes not……. We went back to the van and had a late lunch and a swim as it is very hot today.  I did some more blogging notes and the kids some schoolwork (yeah we weren’t popular) in the

Sandstone leaching colours

Looking back into canyon

Follow the orange rock road

Down we go

On the way back now

afternoon then more swimming.

Next day was a relax day as we did some washing and “chores”.  Joel taught Daniel how to change the tyres properly and also rotated them on the car as well.  Wade and Daniel also cleaned out the car and vacuumed it as it really needed it! The rest of the day was filled with swims, movies and reading, oh and more blog notes! At this rate when we finally get internet service at Ayres Rock I will be up-to-date with the blog! Joel took me for a drive

Dan waiting for me taking more photos

Almost finished

Kings Canyon Pana

just

Wild camels

north of the resort and we had a drink and watched the sunset and the colours on the Canyon walls.  As we pulled up, 3 camels wandered across the road in

Sunset over KC

Mount Connor

front of us.  Unbelievable! They are big buggers too; I’d hate to run into one of those things at night! Chicken nachos were the order of the day for dinner and they were yummy.  At night while I was reading and everyone else asleep, a pack of dingoes started howling! It was a bit freaky so late at night and they sounded so close too!  They have been roaming around the campground and there are bolted gates

Aussie loos

to the toilets that help to keep them out of there.  We had a couple walk through the camp area but we just shooed them away.

Curtin Springs

Colourful parrots

We left the next morning, not because of the dingoes, and stopped for lunch at Mt Connor Lookout.  It is huge!  It’s three times the size of Ayres Rock and even with a bit of haze around it still looked fantastic.  The lookout rest area is very close to the road so we decided to push on and see what Curtin Springs was like.  They have an unpowered camping area with heaps of room so we pulled up here for the night.  The Cattle Station is lovely with green, green grass and a couple of aviaries full of cockatiels and different coloured parrots, some we’ve never seen before.  Wade and I got followed by the resident emu, Bruce! While we were stopped we watched a few wind willy willys.

Bruce the emu

Sun setting on Mt Connor

They were pretty strong and were picking up lots of loose tumble-weeds and we watched them dancing around in the sky! Some of them got up quite high too. Luckily it didn’t hit the van directly but you could follow the path easily as it picked up the red dirt! We went over later and have a drink in the beer garden and met an old couple who were travelling.  They had flown from Brisbane to Darwin, hired a vehicle and driven down to Ayres Rock and were on their way back to Darwin.  They had met some 40 odd years ago in Alice Springs and even though they had lived there for years, they never made it to the rock! There were a few people in the bar and quite a number were free camping too. Curtin Springs is a great set up, with toilet blocks and $3 for a shower if you wanted one.  It is mostly geared up for the tourist coaches that stop out the front but the campers can access it too. We watched the sun set over Mt Connor and also watched some “locals” push start an old Toyota after they had put in some fuel out the front.  Early to bed as we are heading off to Ayres Rock tomorrow.

Till Next time

Ciao`.

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