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Kings Canyon

Thursday, February 12, 2004
Catriona feels like she's standing on top of the world at the jewel of the Red Centre.

Kings Canyon, a breathtaking sandstone chasm plunging 270m, is one of Australia's most beautiful places, one of the jewels in the red centre's crown. It was created by water and wind erosion over 300,000,000 years, probably starting out as a tiny fracture in the stone.

Hidden deep in Watarrka National Park, it has two walks, Canyon and Creek, which allow visitors to enjoy its beauty.

Creek Walk is about 1.5km and meanders through the centre of the canyon to a lookout point with a view of the sheer cliff face at the end.

Canyon Walk was designed to deter all but the most committed. The first 300-400m are straight up a steep incline at the canyon's edge. The rim walk is around 6km, with cliffs plunging dramatically from its escarpment. There are no railings or safety measures and walkers are encouraged to be extra cautious.

The rim of the canyon is eerily beautiful, with red rock formations creating a magnificent landscape.

Three Aboriginal communities live in the park. The original custodians are the Luritja people. They still have a presence and live, hunt and collect food there. Rockpools, gullies, flora and fauna have been most important to them for more than 20,000 years.

Professional Helicopter Services have five helicopters based at Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon. They offer a range of flights, including collecting you after your four-hour walk to the rim.

An aerial tour is the very best way to appreciate the scale and grandeur of the spectacular canyon and the rugged surrounding region. You fly over Kings Canyon, the domes of the Lost City and the Garden of Eden before heading along Kings Creek and Carmichael Crag.

A longer flight takes in Watarrka Lookout, Kings Creek, Back Canyon and the spectacular cliffs of the George Gill Range, over to Carmichael Crag and Hidden Valley.

Kings Canyon Resort is seven kilometres from Watarrka National Park. The subtle design of the building sensitively blends in with its surrounds, with single-storey buildings nestling discreetly amongst rock faces and trees.

The resort is a self-contained oasis, with restaurant, café, bar, tennis courts, pools, supermarket, sunset-viewing platform, barbecue area, laundry and tour desk.

The Sounds of Firelight dinner is not to be missed. Six tables are beautifully set around an open fire and bush balladeers and poets provide entertainment.

A variety of accommodation choices is offered, from camping grounds to deluxe suites. The camping grounds are amongst the Territory's most beautiful, with plenty of shade and lush green grass.

Kings Canyon Lodge provides shared twin or quad budget rooms, with communal kitchen and shared bathroom, fully air-conditioned in a magnificent national park setting.

First-class and standard rooms are spacious and well appointed, with private facilities. Range-view rooms are perfect for watching the sunlight creeping across the red desert and give excellent relaxation after a day's touring.

Kings Canyon Resort's premier deluxe spa rooms are spacious and stylishly furnished. They have spa facilities and views across the beautiful bushland.


Three hours northeast of Uluru in the Red Centre of Australia


Kings Canyon Resort rooms start at $230 a night. Sounds of Firelight dinner costs $125 per person.
Professional Helicopter Services flights over Kings Canyon start at $200 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Kings Canyon Resort
Watarrka National Park
Luritja Road Kings Canyon
Ph: (08) 8956 7442, Fax: (08) 8956 7410

Professional Helicopter Services
PO Box 348 Ayers Rock 0872
Ph: (08) 8956 2003, Fax: (08) 8956 2788

Qantas: 13 13 13

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