Guide to Kings Canyon

Feel inspired by the soaring sandstone walls of Kings Canyon in Australia's Red Centre. Guide to Kings Canyon
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Guide to Kings Canyon

Feel inspired by the soaring sandstone walls of Kings Canyon in Australia's Red Centre.


By Jennifer Ennion

Scale the towering Kings Canyon to catch the sunrise across Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory. Watarrka National Park covers 71,000 hectares (274 square miles) and has been home to the Luritja Aboriginal people for more than 20,000 years. Learn about their role in shaping the area and the more than 600 species of native plants and animals that live here, on one of many guided tours.

HOW TO GET THERE

Kings Canyon is part of Watarrka National Park, in the southwestern corner of the Northern Territory. The park is 450 kilometres (280 miles) from Alice Springs and the best way to get there is by car along the Stuart or Lasseter Highways or Luritja Road, all of which are sealed.

DON'T MISS

  • Catch the sunrise from atop Kings Canyon
  • Dine under the stars at Kings Canyon Resort
  • Take a helicopter flight over Watarrka National Park

 

Kings Canyon highlights

TOP THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND KINGS CANYON

Dust off your hiking boots
Rise before the heat and watch the sun come up from the top of Kings Canyon. Allow at least four hours to tackle the challenging six kilometre (3.7 mile) Kings Canyon Rim Walk, with its spectacular views of the gorge and surrounding landscape below. Opt for a guided walk with an Aboriginal elder and learn about the significance of the area to its traditional owners. Nearby Kings Canyon Resort offers guided tours, and AAT Kings runs a day tour out of nearby Ayers Rock Resort. Experienced hikers will relish the challenge of the self-guided 22 kilometre (13.7 mile) Giles Track that leads from Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs.

Sleep in the Outback
There are a handful of great properties where you can rest your head not far from Kings Canyon. Kings Creek Station, an operational camel and cattle station, has camping, glamping and safari cabins, and you can request dinner under the stars. You can also enjoy a romantic five-course dinner under moonlight while staying at Kings Canyon Resort. The resort's Under a Desert Moon experience is held four nights a week between April and October. Kings Canyon Resort has standard and spa rooms in the hotel, as well as caravan and camp sites in a holiday park.

Fill up your tank and go on tour
The Northern Territory is a popular self-drive destination and, as a result, there are some great touring routes. The Red Centre Way takes about five days to drive, with stops at Alice Springs, Uluru and Kings Canyon. Make time to swim in Glen Helen Gorge and look for rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges. If you don't want to drive, Wayoutback Australian Safaris has multi-day, four-wheel-drive Red Centre tours that include Kings Canyon, as well as some lesser-known attractions. World Expeditions also has a two-day Uluru and Kings Canyon tour, which includes a stop at Kata Tjuta.

Fly high
Enjoy a bird's eye view of Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park on a scenic helicopter flight out of Kings Creek Station. The flight takes in breathtaking mountain Carmichael Crag, as well as the Garden of Eden and Kathleen Springs. Kings Creek Station also runs quad bike tours over the red sand dunes. If you prefer to fly high in a light plane instead of a helicopter, check out Australian Explorer which has flights that soar over Lake Amadeus (a large salt lake), Kings Canyon and Gosses Bluff (a crater that's five kilometres [three miles] in diameter). 

Latest articles about the Red Centre

Guide to Kata Tjuta

Guide to Kata Tjuta

The ancient red rock formations of Kata Tjuta rise from the dusty land to make an incredible sight in Central Australia. Witness the spectacular rocks as they appear to change colour, especially at sunrise and sunset, and immerse yourself in the Aboriginal stories of this special place, 500 million years in the making.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite
7 Amazing things to do around Alice Springs

7 Amazing things to do around Alice Springs

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

Guide to the Red Centre

Guide to the Red Centre

Experience Aboriginal culture, desert adventures and the changing colours of Uluru in Australia's Red Centre.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite
Three Great Days in Alice Springs

Three Great Days in Alice Springs

Connect to rich Aboriginal traditions, awe-inspiring landscapes and pioneer history in Alice Springs, which sits just south of Australia's geographic centre. Learn about the area's first inhabitants - the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people - in the Araluen Cultural Precinct and in the vibrant art lining Todd Mall. Find out how plucky pioneers shaped the modern town in the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air. Experience an outback adventure on a camel trek or hot air balloon ride. On your final day, 4WD through the prehistoric terrain of Finke Gorge National Park, visit a huge comet crater and see where acclaimed Aboriginal painter Albert Namatjira grew up.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite
Red Centre Way

Red Centre Way

Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuṯa. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area's Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don't miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia's ancient centre.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite
Uluru

Uluru

World Heritage-listed Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. Located in the heart of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru is an ancient landscape, rich in Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. There are many ways to experience the majesty of Uluru and the beauty of this unique desert landscape. Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime. See it from the skies by helicopter or hot air balloon. Ride across the ochre coloured desert on a Harley Davidson motorcycle or on the back of a camel.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite
Guide to Alice Springs

Guide to Alice Springs

In the heart of Australia lies Alice Springs, an oasis in the true sense of the word.

View more information

Add to your dream trip Add to your favourites add favourite

MAKE YOUR TRIP HAPPEN

Property Type
Hotel Class
Price Range
Type
Main Course

Prices are indicative

Liquor Licence
OOPS! The search results for your query are currently unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please try again later.
loading