Kings Canyon

In October 2016, M and I made a brief trip to Uluru and surrounds. One of the major highlights was our walk around Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park (fact sheet and map). The rim walk is a 6km loop around the top of the caynon, affording fabulous views of the canyon itself, the moonscape landscape above and the lush interior. The walk is recommended to take at least 3 hours, but we took most of the day, pausing in the shade as the day heated up. It gets sufficiently hot that on days when the forecast is 36 degree Celsius, the walk must be started before 9am.

The sandstone walls of the canyon are over 100m high, with constantly changing textures and tones during the softer light of dawn and dusk.

This is M looking down from Cotterill’s Lookout at the view above.

Cotterill’s Lookout nearly had me fooled – if it weren’t for the sign that said ‘600m’, I’d have turned back after the the first peak (which is where the first image taken from). But the lookout goes back to give views of the other side of the canyon, and a stunning vantage point of the entire area.

The texture of the canyon walls is what intrigues me most about the western walls (on the left). They look to have been sheared off by some great circular saw. They’re very smooth, particularly in contrast to the moonscape around the canyon rim.

The weathered sandstone domes on the eastern part of the rim are referred to as ‘The Lost City’. The interplay of textures is amazing: softly waving grass over knarled, desiccated trunks; orange, weather-worn rocks sparsely populated with flowers, eking out a modest existence.

About half way around the rim walk is ‘The Garden of Eden’, a men’s sacred place.

I can recommend these two articles about Kings Canyon:
Louise Southerden for Australian Geographic
‘A Stairway to Heaven’ on Journey Jottings

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Posted on December 15, 2016

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