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Kings Canyon & Watarrka National Park

Alice Springs Darwin Katherine Ulu r u Kings Canyon

Go on a drive out to Watarrka National Park, home of Kings Canyon. Walk along the red rock cliffs and take in views of the forest of palms below.

Only 3 hours from Uluru, Kings Canyon is a majestic destination featuring 100 m-high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices and views that stretch across the desert. More than just a day trip destination, why not explore the walking trails, four-wheel drive tracks, and camel tours and accommodation options ranging from camping to resort-style rooms.

Lace up your walking boots and explore the 6km Rim Walk – a must for those seeking magnificent views of the Canyon rim, the weathered domes of ‘The Lost City’ and the ‘Garden of Eden’. There are options to suit all fitness levels.

Boasting some of the best views of the night sky you can only get in the Outback, enjoy a unique outback dining experience offered by Kings Canyon Resort – Under a Desert Moon. Enjoy a world class, four course dinner with wine, that focuses on using fresh locally sourced produce.

Now you have explored Kings Canyon by foot, the next option is to take in the grandeur and true beauty by air! Kings Canyon Resort offers Helicopter Tours with transfers to and from the resort.

Things to see & do around Kings Canyon

  • Information

    Activities

    • National Parks and Reserves

    Opening times

    Daily, 24 hours

    Entry cost

    Free entry

    Facilities

    • Barbeque
    • Carpark
    • Interpretive Centre
    • Picnic Area
    • Public Toilet

    Activities

    • Birdwatching
    • Walk
    • Hiking
  • Map

    Map

    What's nearby

    What's nearby

    Explore the NT
    Road tripsFlight paths
  • FAQS

    Can Kings Canyon be done as a day trip?

    While it's possible to visit the region as a day trip from Yulara or Alice Springs, we recommend staying at least one night so that you can wake up early and complete the Kings Canyon rim walk for breathtaking views.

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    Do I need any passes or permits to visit Kings Canyon & Watarrka National Park?

    Entry into Watarrka National Park is free. If you're travelling via the Mereenie loop (4WD only) you'll be travelling on Aboriginal Land Trusts and will need to purchase a permit. Permits cost only $5 and can be purchased at Kings Canyon Resort, Hermannsburg or the Visitor Centre in Alice Springs.

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    How do I get around Kings Canyon?

    The two most popular walking trails are the Kings Creek walk,which takes you into the canyon, and the famous Kings Canyon rim walk. You can explore the trails yourself or via a guided tour. The rim walk requires a moderate level of fitness due to the sharp incline. The Kings Creek walk is suitable for all able travellers. Be sure to stick to the designated tracks, both for your safety and to protect the environment. It's also hard to beat seeing the canyon from a helicopter, with regular flights available throughout the day.

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    How do I get to Kings Canyon & Watarrka National Park?

    Kings Canyon lies between Alice Springs and Yulara / Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It's a 3-hour drive (306 km) from Yulara to Kings Canyon. From Alice Springs, you can take the Lasseter Highway (5 hours) or the Mereenie Loop, an unsealed 4WD track which takes around 4 hours depending on the condition of the road. There are also a number of tour operators that can take you to Kings Canyon from Uluru or Alice Springs.

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    How far is Kings Canyon from Alice Springs and Uluru?

    Kings Canyon is 5 hours' drive from Alice Springs (474 km) along the sealed Lasseter and Stuart Highways. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take the 4WD-only Mereenie Loop, which takes approximately 4 hours depending on the road conditions (permit required). Kings Canyon is 3 hours' drive (306 km) from Uluru.

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    What are the major attractions at Kings Canyon?

    The most popular way to explore Kings Canyon is to hike the 6 km Kings Canyon rim walk. There are a number of shorter walks such as the Kings Creek hike, a 2.6 km trail filled with stunning scenery. Be sure to check out the sunset or sunrise from a high vantage point.

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    What should I bring with me to Kings Canyon?

    If you're taking the Mereenie Loop, bring extra fuel, a satellite phone and plenty of water, and be sure to tell someone where you're going. When hiking the Kings Canyon rim walk, bring drinking water, a hat, camera, sturdy walking shoes and sunscreen.

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    When is the best time to visit Kings Canyon?

    Kings Canyon is impressive at any time of the year. The most popular time to visit is from May to October when the weather is cooler. The temperature increases from October to April, so if you want to complete the Kings Canyon rim walk, make sure you start the climb in the early hours of the morning, as the track closes from 9am during these months.

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    Where should I go next from Kings Canyon?

    If visiting from Uluru, continue on towards Alice Springs. Visit the West MacDonnell Ranges via the Mereenie Loop (you'll need a 4WD) and stop at Hermannsburg and Glen Helen.

    If you've come from Alice, then a visit to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is an absolute must!

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