When discussing things to do in Northern Territory, everyone always talks about Uluru (Ayers Rock). But for those who have been to Northern Territory and seen a bit more than just “the rock”, the one thing that everyone says is a must see is Kings Canyon. In fact, nearly everyone I spoke to who had been to both Uluru and Kings Canyon said that Kings Canyon was far better than Uluru. It was for that reason that I was super excited that it was the first stop on our 3 day camping trip. Also, I was excited because it took five hours to get there from Alice Springs and my ass was killing me from the excruciatingly uncomfortable seat on the bus. We could have stopped at a camel shit quarry and I would have been thrilled to be there and out of that vehicle even for just a little while.
In order to best see the canyon, you have to climb up to the rim. The steps were daunting. Notice the size of the people in the middle of the photo.
But it’s ok – I was just excited to be there!
See – I’m smiling! (Ok, this wasn’t taken too far up the trail… by the end I was no longer smiling and I had declared that I had done enough exercise to last for the remainder of the year). But the view at the top was pretty sweet.
After climbing all that way up, we took some steps down into the canyon…
… to find the Garden of Eden: a valley with permanent waterholes and lush vegetation.
We then climbed back up the other side for some more views from the top.
Even more striking than the canyon was some of the terrain surrounding the canyon:
I must’ve been a bit delirious from lack of sleep because I just had to giggle when I saw this sign:
Hehehehe! Cracks! Hehehehe! And when I saw this one, it just made it worse:
Rim! Hahahahaha! Rim!
Ok, so maybe I wasn’t delirious from exhaustion but rather immature as always. Some signs were helpful though – like this one which declared that the temperature today wouldn’t be hot enough to kill us all. Phew!
And this one which warns you of the dangers of straying too close to the edge of the cliff. Helpful? Yes. Did anyone care? Obviously not.
So, was everyone right about Kings Canyon? Was it better than Uluru?
Don’t get me wrong: Kings Canyon was fantastic. It just wasn’t as fantastic as I thought it would be. Maybe all the hype surrounding Kings Canyon built it up a bit too much. Or maybe it was our tour guide’s completely misinformed explanation of how canyons form (I wanted so badly to correct him but I didn’t want to be “that guy” a mere few hours into our tour…). Or maybe my slight lack of enthusiasm stemmed from me having been to the Grand Canyon before. So far, everything I had seen in Australia had impressed me – from the beaches, to the coastlines, to the harbours, the cities, the wine regions – you name it, I love it! But the US does have one thing over Australia: canyons. Well, at least one canyon. The Grand Canyon is bigger, longer, and deeper (oh baby!), and (as expected) far more grand than Kings Canyon. But Kings Canyon does have one thing that the Grand Canyon doesn’t: a cock in a frock on a rock.
Ok, so I’m not wearing a frock, but does this look familiar? If not, then you’re probably heterosexual. Scenes from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were filmed here at Kings Canyon and I’m standing in “Priscilla’s Gap” in the above photo. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Ah shit, Kei! We forgot our costumes!