Watarrka National Park

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Curtain Springs Wayside Inn and Cattle Station

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kings Canyon is probably the next most visited site in the centre of Australia after the Uluru-Kata Juta region. It's a very impressive gorge in one of the regions many sandstone ranges. The rim walk is a 3 hour trek that starts from the mouth of the gorge, and as the name suggests takes you up a pretty steep incline to the top and then follows the edge of the canyon all the way around and back to the mouth. This gives you constantly changing views of the gorge and the landscape around it. It’s quite surreal as the expanse of the strange coloured rock and landscape makes you feel at times like you are on another planet.  It’s extremely beautiful though and surprisingly it was very empty so we got to wander around for most of it on our own and feel like we were the only people for miles around.   

This walk was our first real run in with the red centre flies and feck me they are aggressive. The second you get out the car about 3 or 4 will almost immediately land on your face and begin to try and crawl up your nose, in your mouth and of course your eyes. And they’re pretty hardy too. A wave of the hand is often not enough to move them and you have to nearly make direct contact to get the buggers to p*ss off. But of course they’re back in seconds so you spend most of your time just waving your hands around like a lunatic. Consequently most people opt to buy a head net which unfortunately blocks some of the views, makes your head a lot hotter and makes you look fairly stupid. Pulling it off and posing for pictures is an ordeal and you literally have to grin and bear it.

At lunch it was good to see everyone at our picnic spot was sticking to national stereotypes. The Irish and British had sandwiches, the Italian couple beside us had cooked up pasta and made some espresso, three Chinese guys were having noodles and two German girls had what looked like (I really hope) fried courgette and sauerkraut!

On the way back we stopped at Kathleen Springs which was used by the Aborigines as a hunting spot as it was an easy area to trap animals thanks to a watering hole.  Later it was used by the Europeans to herd cows in a similar way. After a quick walk in and out of here it was time to get back in the van as we needed to get a close as possible to Uluru to make sure we could get there for sunrise the next day.
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