Often visited in a loop from Alice Springs, alongside Uluru and Kata Tjuta, King's Canyon is one of Australia's most spectacular natural landmarks. Unlike the cavernous swimming holes found in places such as Karinjini National Park in the Pilbara, King's Canyon is a site best explored by foot and air.
Located in the Watarrka National Park, it is easily accessibly with a 2WD and can be explored independently or with a group. We did the 'rim walk' which is the most popular and spectacular option. At a grade 4 walk, you will need to be fit, as your first challenge is a steep climb known locally as 'heart attack hill'. Don't worry, we lived to tell the tale and even had a 70 year old woman in our group who powered ahead of many of us younger folk.
Darwin is the northern most capital city of Australia and is situated in the Northern Territory. It is a gateway to areas of interest such as Kakadu and Litchfield National parks as well as Arnhem Land.
It is most easily reached by air and is both a domestic and international port. Alternatively you can drive, catch an interstate bus or take The Ghan from Adelaide or Alice Springs.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Most Australian's don't holiday here (they don't know what they're missing out on!), favouring Asia or the East Coast, so tourism wise its relatively quiet and bordering on remote if you head out to the right parts of the national parks. Sounds perfect huh?!
It is a little unusual for an Australian to go on a tour of Australia. So much so the tour guide suspected I may have been there to secretly review him! Due to its remote nature, Central Australia is a little harder to visit on your own as you need a lot of equipment and to know what you are doing. That in mind, I jumped on the tour bus and took to the road. Our first stop was. Around 5 hours north of Adelaide, it was my first taste of rural Australia and whet my appetite for the Outback that lay ahead.
Being a camping trip, we settled into the the Wilpena Pound Resort where we had a campsite for our group. It was then that everyone realised what camping in the outback really entails! Sleeping in swags (small rollaway beds) on an empty patch of land, with a small shelter for cooking and respite from the sun. This was certainly no glamping holiday, but we would certainly see the 'real' Australia.