Hiking the Kings Canyon
Great times don’t last forever, and so here is the final part of my Australian backpacking trip. Continuing from my part 2 post, where we left off after 2 days adventuring around Uluru and the Kata Tjuta.
Today, me and Aurelie (a friend I met along the way) began our journey in a very early morning, where we (once again) were the last to arrive at the coach waiting for us (in our defense, it was 4:30 in the morning!). We took off on a trip I had been anticipating since the beginning, the Rim Walk of the Kings Canyon in the Wataka National Park near Alice Springs. What made this trip so special was that most of the tours I’ve seen seem to be catering for casual travelers, not adventurers. This tour, however, was different and you will see why.
Australia Travel Video
Day 1: Rim Walk Along the Kings Canyon
After a long 3 hours drive from Ayers Rock, we arrived first at the Kings Creek station where we freshen up, ate breakfast, prepared 3 liters of water each, and of course, play with the camels.
We were a group of 10 ranging from 20 to ~60 years old who opted in for the longer 3 hours rim walk. The group was small enough that we ended up knowing almost everyone and some even became friends afterward. The guide was, to say the least, an expert and made the whole trip quite entertaining and knowledgeable. We started off by ascending the stairs that will get us on top of the canyon.
At our first stop. It’s not easy carrying 3 liters of water in your backpack ascending a mountain in the raging sun, but nothing compared to the Himalayas. :)
The Kings Canyon is nothing like Uluru. The rock formations are much more complex. The variety of the surroundings was a welcome change to the smooth rocks of Uluru and the Kata Tjuta.
Overlooking the whole desert from the canyon’s rim really put the scale of the place in perspective.
In order to get great photos of the canyon, we always had to be at the back of the pack so we can avoid the crowds in our photos, hence why we were always late.
Beautiful sky makes everything looks even more isolated than it already is. Such beautiful sceneries can only be experienced in a desert.
The guide warned us not to jump on even grounds and so this what the only thing I could do.
This was my perspective when sitting at the rim of the Kings Canyon while hanging my foot out.
Me, Aurelie, and another Japanese guy were tasked by our guide to remove the “Graffiti” people left behind such as stacked stones ruining the scenery for everyone else. I took the opportunity to climb to the peek and took a photo of our group from afar.
As we are approaching our next stop at the Garden of Eden or an oasis in the middle of the Canyon.
The Garden of Eden. As we were being immersed by nature, we all decided without any consent to keep our conversation for another time and just sat in wonder for over 10 minutes. Everyone were quietly sitting, listening to the wind and the bird chirping away. It was truly the magical sound of silence I came here for.
Everyone spread out as they found their solitude within the desert.
As the shades were moving further away and the sun shinning right on top of our head, it was time for us to leave the Garden of Eden.
As we left the Garden of Eden, we had to cross the cracks between the canyons. The guide was awesome enough to let us jumped across so we can boast to our friends that we did it.
This is the most iconic perspective of the canyon. See! We did literally jumped across these 2 canyons :). In the photo is Aurelie doing what she does best, walked on the edge.
As we headed back to our exit point, I started to gasp the true size of the canyon. This photo wasn’t taken on the ground, this was taken atop the canyon still.
By this time, it was 12 and we had lunch over at the Kings Canyon Resort. On our way back to our lodge in Ayers Rock, we stopped at the Mount Conner and a gas station, doing silly poses on the road.
And here’s the infamous sign that caught my attention in an instant at the gas station. :D
After a 4 hours ride back to Ayers Rock, I was hoping I could rest for a few hours, but unfortunately, I booked a camel ride tour in the evening so as soon as I arrived, I had to get going again.
My first impression with the camels is that they were taller than I thought and I didn’t realize how horrible it would be to fall off a camel until they stood. Boy, the camel swung me up in the air and if I weren’t grabbing the rails I would have fall off horribly.
The route that our guide took us can oversee both the Kata Tjuta and the Uluru. While the journey was a little slow, I did spend time memorizing every tidbit of my about-to-end Australian experiences. I spent minutes, just looking at the Uluru from every angle so my memory of the trip will not fade away. Unfortunately, that is impossible, but I’m glad I spent that time appreciating what I was currently doing in the present.
I’m glad I spent that time appreciating what I was currently doing in the present
Meet Jack, my companion, who even though was a little slow, was behaving well the whole time.
The guide was cool enough to tolerate my stupid poses. Although, I know how irritated it must have been, she seems to be enjoying it. :)
The sun was about to set behind the Kata Tjuta.
I don’t usually take a selfie, but when I do, it’s usually in the middle of a dessert, riding a camel watching the sun setting over the Kata Tjuta in Australia.
Goodbye Uluru and the Outback of Australia. It was a hell of a ride, even though the flies were annoying, and the heat can sometimes be unbearable, I loved and enjoyed every moment of it.
Day 2: Saying Goodbye is the Worst
On my 6th day in Australia, it was time to say goodbye to the sand, the mountains, the animals that could have killed me, the overpriced food, the magnificent sunrise and sunset, and worst of all, saying goodbye to friends I met along the way. Aurelie, Laura, Nicole, Yoko, Caroline and many more who made this trip what it is. It was a sad moment but inevitable.
I flew out of Ayers Rock via Virgin Australia, and overnight back from Sydney to Bangkok. That concludes my backpacking trip in Australia, the seventh entry to my Solo Traveler’s Journal.
I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I did reliving it while writing all 3 parts of the journal. Stay tuned for more of my stories traveling solo around the world.
Now that you’ve read all the parts of my travel, are you interested in visiting Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon? Let us know your answer and the reason why in the comment section below.
Updated on 18 Dec 2018: Add a travel video to the article.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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