Saturday, 30 June 2012

Kings Canyon - Kings Creek Walk

Today we left Yulara to drive to Kings Canyon 314km away. 
Watarrka National Park is home to Kings Canyon, with it's sheer walls carved from the sandstone by water and time. The canyon was opened to tourist in 1961, and in that year, only 600 people visited the site as it was a 3 day return trip from Alice Springs. 

On the way we passed Mt Conner. Also known as Attila located in the south west corner of the northern territory. It reaches 2,818 feet above sea level.

We travel along the Red Centre Way which navagites through Uluru, Kata Tjuta Nationa Park, Kings Canyon, The West McDonnell ranges and Alice Springs.

On the way we called into Kathleen Springs. We walked through mulga flats and riverine woodland to shrublands on the slopes and sparsely vegetated  ranges. The permanent waterhole was crucial to the nomadic Luritja people. The Luritja women would use grindstones like this one to make flour from seed of some of the grasses and shrubs.

Kathleen Springs was one of three natural watering points for the cattle industry, these cattle yards were built in 1962 using local timbers. Cattle were introduced in 1896. 

The permanent water supplied pumped from Kathleen Springs by windmill and stored in the tank here ensured that the cattle returned each day. During the cool of the night they could graze up to 16km before returning for water.

Kathleen Springs

After the springs we then drove onto Kings Creek a very special place to the Luritja people they know it as Watarrka Karru a ceremonial place on the cat (quoll) dreaming track. In the dreaming native cat man Kuningka traveled from the southwest along the creek and had important ceremonies at the foot of the waterfall. 

Kevin has fallen in love with the white gum trees.

We then checked in to Kings Canyon Resort and went to the Outback BBQ for dinner and a show by The Roadies and Kevin became part of the show.

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