Kings Canyon

Wednesday 19 August

Left Alice after three days and without the new coupling. I have asked the Post Office to send it to Orford when it eventually arrives. Three days was not nearly enough time to see everything Alice and the surroundings has to offer. It really is a fantastic place, we shall certainly return. Because we had received information (incorrect as it turned out) that the Mereenie Loop Rd to Kings Canyon was in poor condition we missed seeing Hermansburg, Palm Valley etc.

Just a word on so called road advice. Everyone has an opinion on road conditions and they all vary. What may be a poor road to one person may be perfectly acceptable to another. For instance what was the persons experience of outback roads, was he an experienced traveller or towing a new Jayco caravan. Even people living in the area have wildly differing views. My advice is go and find out what the road is like for yourself, after all you can always turn around and go back. Otherwise you risk missing great places.

Went about 150 kilometres south of Alice on the Stuart H’way then west on the Ernest Giles Rd. This road had a warning about towing caravans and there where patches of corrugations and sand drifts on it before it meet the Luritja Rd at which point it was sealed and became a highway for the thousands of people who visit the canyon each day   

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As there was no camping near the canyon we camped at the Kings Canyon Resort. This is the best run camping/caravan resort I have seen. Big areas to camp on, about 30 sites for caravans and large areas with camp kitchens for bus loads of campers. As soon as the kitchen is vacated by one lot it is cleaned ready for the next. Even when a camper leaves, the area is watered. We even had green grass to camp on. I didn’t mind paying  the $16 per person.

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Next morning we set of to look at the canyon. We initially only where going to climb to the top of the first lookout but the walk was so spectacular we did the complete 6 kilometre walk around the rim. These few photos do not do the canyon justice – it is absolutely magnificent – something everyone should see. The photo opposite is taken after a very steep 600 metre climb. You can see the car park in the centre of the photo.

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The next photo is Vicki walking between two of the beehive formations. You can then see some of the stairs that have been erected to assist visitors complete the walk.

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The photo opposite is taken across the canyon and it is possible to see walkers on the opposite side of the canyon. These are in the top right of the photo. We finished the walk about 1:00PM by which time the heat in the canyon was pretty intense however there where still busloads of intrepid tourists arriving to go walking. In the car park there is a drinking water tap that has a slight leak and a number of spinifex pigeons and zebra finches have made themselves at home there.

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After the walk we availed ourselves of the pool back at the resort, very refreshing. Vicki spent most of the afternoon there. Whilst the resort has several restaurants and bars after seeing the price we cooked a camp meal. Stubbies where $9 each. It was just as well we took on essential supplies at Alice Springs.

Next morning after packing up we made for the fuel pumps/mini mart. There was a long line of cars waiting to fuel up. This was not helped by people fuelling up then going to do their shopping. The elderly gentleman in front of us disappeared into the shop, after about five minutes I sounded my horn and he reappeared only to proceed to take his gas bottle out for refilling. I asked him politely to move but he ignored me. The person behind me told him in no uncertain terms to move and he finally got the hint and moved. Some people have no consideration for others, it took us three quarters of an hour to fuel.

Whilst here our 12V fluro light that we use in the camper for reading of a night stopped working. We have had it for countless trips and it has always been great. I traced the fault to a blown transistor and if only it had happened a day earlier in Alice Springs I could have most likely repaired it. We do have another light we can use so it is not a major issue.

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