The alarm sounds and I stir to hit the snooze button, then realising that it’s 3:30am on Sunday morning. I have to get up and make a coffee! There is a bus to catch at 4:00am and it will not wait for me if I am late.
We had gotten to bed late as we were out having dinner and drinks in the desert night with about a hundred or so other tourists at the “Field Of Lights” installation by international artist Bruce Munro. This installation is the largest one to date, with more than 50,000 stems topped with frosted-glass spheres blooming in the darkness across our spiritual heartland. Simply Stunning!
The coffee worked a charm and the walk to the bus was brief. The next three hours were spent sleeping intermittently in an uncomfortable chair in the middle of nowhere…….until we were woken suddenly by the coach slowing to avoid killing a beautiful wild brumby foal.
First stop was Kings Creek Station for a quick breakfast. Small property really! Its size is approx. 323748.5 hectares (800,000 acres). What you have to understand is that his is relatively small out here. We have cattle and sheep stations (ranches) the size of small countries. Back on the bus and we were on our way to Kings Canyon.
Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory. It sits at the western end of the George Gill Range. It was on our “Top 5” list of things to do while we were out here. The list was as follows: Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s), Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon, Field of Lights Dinner and see a Big Red Kangaroo. Unfortunately we did not see the latter…..sorry K.
We arrived at the car park and hopped off the coach. It was about 7:45am. We quickly sorted ourselves out and prepared for the Gorge Rim Guided Walk. 3.5 hours and considered difficult by normal standards. Well, off we went and the first twenty minutes were 500 stairs up to the top of the rim.
This place is truly amazing. The Luritja people have inhabited the land for more than 20,000 years. The formations and the erosion that is evident are just mind blowing. As you move across the rim there is a shift in the geological formations that date back 440 million years. It is very difficult to find a single word that captures the barren sand dunes and the tropical ferns that are present in the Garden of Eden.
Our day was drawing to a close and we had completed our rim walk. We were now off to the Kings Canyon “resort” for lunch and the long drive back to Yulara Resort and the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge. I have to say that I was definitely feeling tired and we were looking forward to a shower, but what a fabulous experience and I would recommend it to anyone with a good level of fitness.
Its a walk in the park, but its a tough and steep walk in a rugged and beautiful park…….you have been warned!
We finished off the tour with a quick stop at Mount Conner and one of the many salt lakes in the red centre.
Mount Conner is just enormous…..32 kilometres around the base. It will eventually erode from the bottom and collapse down on itself. As for the salt lake …..only the Dreamtime knows the real story. 🙂
A great man once said “Even castles made of sand….fall into the sea…..eventually.”
– Jimi Hendrix