The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the highlight of Watarrka National Park. It truly is a beautiful and varied walk, that takes you through ancient red sandstones cliffs overlooking a deep gorge surrounded by red striped domes like the ones you can see in the Purnululu National Park.
How to best experience the Kings Canyon Rim Walk
The walk starts at the main car park and it can be done only clockwise for safety reasons. After a short steep climb takes you 150 meters uphill to reach the rim level of the canyon. That’s the only strenuous part of the walk, it takes less than 10 minutes to reach the rocky plateau, which is visibly eroded and fragile. I recommend starting early, around 7.00 am or even earlier if you can. The heat around midday will be unbearable up on the top plateau, so the earlier you start the better.
Peer over the Kings Canyon fragile edge
You will be walking over rocks and uneven terrain, go through a large gap to reach a first lookout, from there you can enjoy a beautiful view from the edge. It is a very fragile environment and rock climbing is not allowed, indigenous people also fear there will be a new rockfall.
The view is simply spectacular and you can also look across the other side and clearly see the sandstone structure. The walls of kings canyon are made of various layers, on top the Mereenie sandstone with in between a layer of Charmichael sandstones, both are estimated to be over 350millions years old.
A little further there is the North Wall Lookout and a 600meters side-track named Cotterill’s lookout, also overlooking the deep Kings Canyon Gorge. This is in my opinion the best viewing point for looking across the opposite site of the canyon.
Rest at the shady Garden of Eden
After this beautiful views from the Kings Canyon edge overlooking the gorge the walk leads towards the Garden of Eden, which is regarded as the highlight of the KIngs Canyon Rim Walk.
A wooden staircase leads down into the gorge and a shady pool where walkers rave to stop for a break or a swim. It is not allowed to swim in here though, however the place is inviting.
This area is such a peaceful oasis surrounded by river red gums and lush green vegetation that are hundreds of years old. The place is a haven for birds and wildlife that come here to drink and also to eat your food. Such a lovely place to rest in the shadow after a few hours walking in the sunshine!
Soak up the magic of the lost city
When you walk back to the staircase you will go through a different landscape with a spectacular lost city of striped domes. This is also a very beautiful part of the walk where you can fully embrace the solitude of the Kings Canyon landscape.
On the last part of the walk you will walk past the Kestrel Falls, a waterfall filled with water during the wet season. A path of stone steps takes you back to your starting point, the car park.
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is one of the most beautiful, varied and easy walk I have experienced in the Australian outback. I can highly recommend when you plan your trip to Uluru.