The Centre of Australia

10 09 2014
Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon

I’m so glad we decided to leave Central Australia as our last “big destination”!  It’s been roughly eight weeks we’ve spent in the Alice region and it’s one of the best places we visited.  It is so grand and peaceful, so vast and colourful, so cold and hot…. I think Alice has to be the coldest we’ve been on the trip (and that says a lot considering we’ve been to Tasmania) and now we’re back to some of the hottest days too – although it will never have the humidity factor of Broome.

Alice itself is a lovely town, but it’s surroundings are just something else!  The MacDonalds ranges are all together beautiful, with the drive out towards the west a stunning venture in itself.  We decided upon heading out to the Finke River at a free camp called Two Mile, opposite Glen Helen Gorge.  What a quiet gem of a place!  Well worth every effort of setting up the port-a-loo (as there are no facilities) and the small 4WD track out.  The river was VERY cold – even the kids said it was cold, so that’s saying something!  They still took a quick swim and we also did the short drive into Ormiston Gorge, which was just as cold – but pretty.

From Two Mile we travelled on for a brief stop at Hermensburg to refuel and then into Palm Valley.  The road into Palm Valley suggests it’s serious 4WD and the 18km can take you 3 hours.  In actual fact the road into the camp ground is just a dirt road and took just under an hour.  From the camp ground it is a further 4km to Palm Valley.  That 4km took us 1/2 hour and yes it is definitely 4WD ONLY.  We did the ranger talk at Palm Valley, which is always interesting and adds to the experience of the National Parks.  The camp ground here is also very comfortable with hot showers, flush toilets and communal fire pits.

From Palm Valley we took the Mereenie Loop Road, which is all off road and requires a permit.  It’s quite corrugated in places but again the scenery is nice with brumbies along the way.  We were hoping to see some wild camels but even though they are said to be in plague proportions out here, causing considerable damage there were none to be seen from the road.  Arriving at Kings Canyon was different to other places as we’d entered big business tourism.  The “resort” has camping for a steep price with a swimming pool, playground, bar, restaurant and even sells drinks at their mobile bar on the sunset viewing platform.  Our chocolate supplies were getting low and I’d looked at a block at Hermensburg for $5.50 and thought… nah too expensive.  Well – Kings Canyon shop had the same block for $10.40.  Let me say we’re not THAT addicted to chocolate – no sale from us!

This is only a portion of what you can see and do out in this part of the world.  Central Australia really has so much to offer the traveler and of course Uluru being my absolute highlight… but I will blog that one separately as it deserves a stand alone blog post I feel :-).

The Finke River facing Glen Helen Gorge

The Finke River facing Glen Helen Gorge

Finke River facing the other way

Finke River facing the other way

Setting up an experiment to get fresh water from the salty river water - it didn't work :-(

Setting up an experiment to get fresh water from the salty river water – it didn’t work 😦

The men cooking at Two Mile

The men cooking at Two Mile

Our camp at Two Mile

Our camp at Two Mile

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

Rock textures at Ormiston Gorge

Rock textures at Ormiston Gorge

Lookout above our camp

Lookout above our camp

Ranger talk at Palm Valley

Ranger talk at Palm Valley

Our camp at Palm Valley with the sun setting on the rocks behind

Our camp at Palm Valley with the sun setting on the rocks behind

The red cabbage palms of Palm Valley

The red cabbage palms of Palm Valley

Flowers and a butterfly at Palm Valley

Flowers and a butterfly at Palm Valley

Dan just hanging out… after giving the rangers a cracker of a double whip demonstration!

Dan just hanging out… after giving the rangers a cracker of a double whip demonstration!

Cooking apple cinnamon cake at Palm Valley :-)

Cooking apple cinnamon cake at Palm Valley 🙂

Finke National Park

Finke National Park

Kings Canyon Creek walk in the late afternoon light

Kings Canyon Creek walk in the late afternoon light

Mum & Dad at the lookout at the end of the walk

Mum & Dad at the lookout at the end of the walk

Native flowers (yes I don't know what they are called)

Native flowers (yes I don’t know what they are called)

More pretty native flowers that I don't know the name of

More pretty native flowers that I don’t know the name of

 

Advertisements

Actions

Information

2 responses

11 09 2014
Prue

Love that area. Looking back, it was the cycads and palm trees in Palm Valley that first got me interested in plants and eventually led me to become a botanist. 🙂

11 09 2014
Hit the Track

That’s awesome Prue – Palm Valley must hold special memories for you. Hope you get there again one day with your family 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: