4.Stand on the edge of Kings Canyon
“Somewhere in the never never, between Alice Springs and Uluru in the red desert plains of Australia’s centre, Kings Canyon invites individuals to a private audience with an ancient land.”*
The natural super steep 500 stairs at the beginning of the rim trail have you gasping for air by the time you finally place your foot on top of the canyon wall. On the other hand, it is satisfying to know that the hardest part is over.
From that point on you just stroll in your own pace, marvelling at the gawping hole next to you and giving in to the tricks that the variable landscape plays on your eyes. The other challenge that forms part of this 6 km walk is the “Garden of Eden. A descend to a lush green oasis hiding on the floor of the upper canyon which you’ll encounter about half way through your progress.
We loved lying down as close to the canyon wall edge as possible, enjoying the vertigo head spinning sensation while looking down the floor of the gorge.
* Source: Kings Canyon Resort
5.See an ancient meteor crater
The aboriginal people believe that a mother dancing across the sky carelessly left her cradle next to the sky edge. Toppling over, her baby hit the ground and formed this enormous crater.
An alternate theory is that the gawping hole named Gosses Bluff was created by a huge meteor, not a baby after all, that had crashed into the Earth. The collision, that is estimated to have happend 142 millions years ago, has left behind a dramatically altered landscape, soon taken over by a habitat that has adapted and become unique to this area.
4×4 is a must to access the centre of this crater which is several hundred kilometres from civilisation.
6.Explore a landscape of gorges and gaps
The ever changing climate and untamed physical forces are held responsible for the rugged beauty of West MacDonnell Ranges, an ancient landscape of scenic gorges, narrow gaps and life giving creeks.
The region covered by the West MacDonnell National Park is known to still provide refuge to rare relict plants and animals that are a living memory of the times when tropical forests covered this remote part of Australia.
When exploring ‘West Macs”, an affectionate name given by the locals, some noteworthy points of interest include the cool Simpson’s Gap, colourful Ochre Pits used by Aboriginal people for body paints, Glen Helen – a former cattle station turned into a resort, and Ellery Creek Big Hole – a great swimming spot.
Although you don’t need a 4×4 to experience the West Macs, it can help as many of the side tracks are rough dirt.