Explore ancient canyons and discover a hidden 'Garden of Eden' before finishing the walking day with a campfire meal under the dazzling night sky.

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Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Explore ancient canyons, discover a hidden world of lush vegetation and cooling waterholes, and then end your day of walking with a campfire meal beneath the dazzling night sky.

Central Australia is home to some spectacular overnight walking trails, including the Giles Track in the Watarrka National Park. This 22-kilometre walk is graded medium and begins in the rugged beauty of Kings Canyon before arriving at the spring-fed waterhole of Kathleen Springs.

Wild things

Walk in peaceful surrounds through ancient weathered rock domes and pristine wilderness unchanged for millions of years. Discover over 600 species of plant life and spot a range of native wildlife including spinifex pigeons, rock-wallabies, euros (wallaroo), goannas and pythons.

The creeks and waterways that populate this arid region come as a surprise to many but, like the waterfall that greets walkers at Hill Mulga Creek, it's a welcome surprise. The steady supply of water feeds a range of vegetation including desert oaks, grevilleas, and native wildflowers.

Clearwater revival

The Giles track is easily covered in two days, punctuated halfway by the Reedy Creek campsite. Meander along the deep gully bed to reach the picturesque grounds and rest your weary bones in the waterhole.

Access points along the track make for shorter hiking options and you also can start from Kathleen Springs to make the mighty Kings Canyon a rewarding destination.

Stones and stencils

Traces of ancient Aboriginal culture, including axe heads, grinding stones and stenciled art can be sighted along the track, and signs on the Kathleen Springs Walk detail the story of the Luritja Aboriginal people who have called this land home for over 20,000 years.

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