Located partway between Alice Springs and Uluru in Watarrka National Park is magnificent Kings Canyon, which boasts the Red Center's deepest gorge. Sandstone walls tower more than 100 meters above Kings Creek that meanders below, with sections of the gorge forming part of a sacred Aboriginal site to the Luritja people.
Perennial waterholes lie at the canyon's bottom, while lush ferns and palm forests comprise the Garden of Eden in the upper part of the gorge. Above the canyon lies the Lost City plateau, where red sandstone rocks have been weathered into what appears like ruined houses and streets. More than 600 different species of native plants and animals live within and around Kings Canyon, including zebra finch, peregrine falcon, and black-breasted buzzard.
King Canyon trails
There are three different walks to select from at King Canyon, including the challenging 6-kilometer-long Kings Canyon Rim Walk that takes around 3-4 hours. It follows the top of the canyon in a loop, with a steep climb at the beginning that is known as “Heart Attack Hill”. But the rewards are worth it, with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and down into the gorge below. The last section of the walk takes you through impressive landscapes of weathered sandstone domes, and there’s also an optional detour that descends to the Garden of Eden.
Alternatively, you can opt for the shorter, 2-kilometer-long Kings Creek Walk that traces the gorge's base and takes around one hour. Or tackle the 22-kilometer-long Giles Track that connects Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs.