Kings Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, and I highly recommend you add this one to your Australian Bucket List! This is one of those hikes which took my breath away, and took me way longer than expected, as there is so much too see.
This blog post will give a quick run down of what it’s like to hike Kings Canyon, the best walks, what to expect and so much more.
Table of Contents
Where is it?
Kings Canyon is located roughly 3 hrs and 30mins from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory (332km). Alice Springs is the best place to start if you are flying into the Northern Territory, and want to see places like Kings Canyon and Uluru.
You can get to Kings Canyon via driving or a tour. I always recommend self driving in Australia, as you get more time to see places and complete your our itinerary – but the choice is yours! Tours usually take you via bus to Kings Canyon and Uluru.
You will not need a 4WD to access Kings Canyon as all of the roads are bitumen. It is still best to check the road conditions when travelling, as some roads can close due to flooding.
When to Visit?
The best time to visit Central Australia is in the dry season from May to October. The wet season runs from November to April, this national park is most likely to be closed during these times.
I recommend visiting just after the wet season in hopes that the spring fed pools will be full and waterfalls will be running!
Where to stay?
There are a few places to stay near Kings Canyon, each include accommodation options such as camping, cabins, units or luxury accommodation.
This is where I stayed when I visited Kings Canyon, because it is the closest accommodation option to all the main walking trails. The resorts offers many amenities such as a pool, helicopter rides, restaurant, cafe and small shop.
Accommodation options include:
- Deluxe Spa Rooms: Spacious rooms with private ensuite and spa – from $440 AUD per night
- Standard Resort Rooms: Spacious rooms with private ensuite – from $380 AUD per night
- Superior Glamping Tents: From $430 AUD per night
- Lodge Rooms: Simple rooms located on the campgrounds with linen, television, fridge and coffee facilities – $192 AUD per night
- Camping: Unpowered campsites – $40-$65 AUD, powered campsites – $80 AUD per night, ensuite sites – $110 AUD per night
This accomodation option is located roughly 20 mins from Kings Canyon or 30kms. This station is a privately owned cattle-come-tourism enterprise, offering a more down to earth experience than Kings Canyon Resort.
Kings Creek Station is a real cattle working farm, which means you will most likely see animals on the property. You can also book a camel safari, quad bike tour or even a helicopter ride from the station. The station also features a small cafe.
Accommodation options include:
- Drovers Dream (luxury): Glamping tents, including a self cook BBQ dinner and buffet breakfast – $650 AUD per night
- Camping: Powered – $31.50 AUD per person/night, unpowered – $26.50 AUD per person/night
- Bush Tents: Simple tents which include power, aircon and linen – $125 AUD per person/night
- Mort Conway Camp: Spacious Glamping tents in secluded area – $400 AUD per night
There is one hike which is the most popular in the Kings Canyon, the Rim Walk – which I will discuss later. However, there are a few other trails which I think are definitely worth checking out!
With all these hike it is best to complete them in the early morning before the heat sets in! Remember to always take enough water with you and don’t push yourself in extreme heat. Do not complete these hikes if the temperature is predicted to reach 36C.
The Rim Walk is a 6km circuit which travels clockwise to the top of Kings Canyon. This is by far the most popular and for good reason! A 6km walk would usually only take me about 1.5hrs to complete – this walk took me 4 hrs. There is so much to stop and see along the way, that you need to give yourself enough time. Also make sure your camera is in reach the whole time!
The hardest part of this hike is the first section, which requires climbing about 500 steep steps to the top – from here, the terrain flattens out and it becomes much easier. It is recommended that you have some sort of fitness when completing this hike. Along this hike you will see the sandstone domes (mini Purnululu), the Garden of Eden (highly recommend this detour!), south edge and several view points. I recommend you complete each detour to each look out.
The best time to experience this hike is during sunrise and take your time completing during early morning.
This is a great option if you don’t want to walk the whole 6km hike, but still get some incredible views. This 4.8km return hike takes up the last third of the Rim Walk, and will take you about 2 hrs to complete. You will still need to climb a few hundred steep steps at the start of this hike and also descend them, as there is a turn around point at a gate. You cannot go past this gate, so you will miss out on all the lookouts plus the Garden of Eden on this hike.
When I visited I was lucky enough to see a massive waterfall coming off the edge near the Garden of Eden! Perks of travelling just after the wet season.
This walk is about a 15min drive from Kings Canyon. It is a short 2.5km walk which should take you anywhere between 2-2.5hrs to complete. This walk is very easy as the entire path is paved.
Along the route there are heaps of signs which explain the areas indigenous culture and about the cattle industry. At the end of the hike is a spring feed watering hole.
I didn’t get to compete this walk but would absolutely love to! This track runs from Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs. It is a moderate to difficult, 22km return, 2 day hike. For more information on this hike, check out the NT national parks website.
Camping fees apply and must be booked prior to commencing this hike.
Kings Creek Walk
A grade 2, 2.6km return hike. This walk has a gentle slope which follows Kings Creek. It is wheelchair accessible for the first 700m. This is a great hike for families and small children. This walk starts at the same car park as the Rim walk and follows the bottom of Kings Canyon.
- Helicopter Flights: 8, 15 or 30 min scenic tours over Kings Canyon – from $115 to $320 AUD per person
- Cultural Experiences: From $99 AUD per person
- Dinning Experiences: Five Course meal under the moonlight – from $185 AUD per person
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