One of the major attractions in the Alice Springs region, after Uluru itself, is the Kings Canyon: a natural waterhole surrounded by a high ridge at the end of the George Gill Range. It’s a really lovely place to spend a day, with a couple of walks around and through the canyon and plenty of cool and shady places to stop for a picnic. The abundance and variety of flora is stunning, particularly as it’s not the sort of thing you expect to stumble upon in the middle of the Outback.
The primary entrance in to the Watarrka National Park is the Luritja road, off the Lasseter Highway, which takes you about 450 kilometers from Alice. Alternatively you can enter the Canyon via the Mereenie Loop Road, (part of the Red Centre Way direct from Alice), or the Ernest Giles Road; but both have large unsealed sections and are probably inadvisable without a 4-wheel drive and some good prep which, if you read my posts you will know, is not my forte.
For serious walkers, there’s a 22km track to Kathleen Springs. Kings Creek Station is another drawcard, lying a few kilometres out of the Canyon proper. Like other roadhouses in the area, it’s almost a small township in itself; apart from the campgrounds, café and petrol station you’ll find an airstrip, cattle and camel station and plenty of tourist facilities, including helicopter flights. Although it’s a bit out of the way, the Kings Canyon is definitely recommended by me.