Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Canyon Fit For A King

Our first visit to the Red Center was back in April of 2009. Our first stop was Kings Canyon which is part of the mighty George Gill Range and is located in Watarrka National Park,  323 km southwest of Alice Springs. The drive though the desolate, isolated bush took us over 4 hours, but it didn't take too long for us to understand why the area is called the Red Center--it is as though the the ruthless sun has burned the surrounding landscape to a deep red crust.

For many, the highlight of the park is the 6 km Kings Canyon Rim walk, where hikers are treated to rugged rocky sandstone formations. After an initial steep climb hikers follow a flat path along the rim of the canyon. The trail showcases the weathered sandstone walls of the magnificent 270 meter chasm. The trail eventually descends to the canyon floor where hikers enter "The Garden of Eden." The permanent natural spring water hole is an oasis in the desert, and it is here that hikers can take a respite among gum trees and prehistoric ferns.
The trail then leads hikers back out of the canyon and along the opposite canyon rim where once again visitors are treated to a panoramic view of their surroundings and are able to appreciate the contrast of the arid land and the lush valley  before returning to the car park.

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