Kings Canyon sits in the heart of Australia’s famed Red Centre close to the iconic landmark of Uluru. Here, vast sandstone landscapes mingle with ancient rock formations and gorges to create a surreal scene like nowhere else in the country.
As part of the Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon is an important conservation area and home to more than 600 native species of plant and animals – many of which are completely unique to the area between Alice Springs and Uluru.
The Kings Canyon is renowned for its jutting sandstone walls, which have been created over millions of years. The national park itself is home to the Luritja Aboriginal people, who have resided in the region for over 20,000 years and named it after the Aboriginal word for the umbrella bush that is so common there.
The Garden of Eden
Because of its location in the Red Centre and its surrounding plethora of ancient, rocky scenery, the Garden of Eden stands out as a unique and prominent part of Kings Canyon. This permanent waterhole brings abundant life to the area; the lush greenery of which casts a stark contrast against the orange rock formations.
To get to the top of Kings Canyon and begin your journey to the Garden of Eden, you have to climb 500 steps. Once at the peak, you join a 6km long circuit that passes through arid “bee-hive” rock formations that languish around the top of the canyon. From there, it’s down into the hidden Garden of Eden to explore everything it has to offer.
You’ll leave behind the heat of the domes and descend into a shady oasis characterised by the lush watering hole. The traditional owners of the area consider this an important men’s sacred place where their dreamtime stories can be shared in private. The sacredness of the watering hole means no swimming is allowed so that the hundreds of species that rely on it do not get endangered.
While in the Garden of Eden, you can discover the incredible selection of plant life and unusual rock formations known as the Lost City that provide an unusual backdrop to the proceedings.
From the Canyon’s base you can begin the Kings Creek Walk, which takes in the lush ferns and eucalyptus plants and leads you to a platform where you can marvel at the stunning views over the surrounding scenery.
As well as hiking through the area, you can explore Kings Canyon and the Garden of Eden from the back of a camel on a safari, or enjoy the surroundings from Kings Creek Station, a real working cattle station located in the heart of the outback.