Day 7 - Australia 2014 - From Kings Greek Station to Glen Helen via Kings Canyon
After get up early like always the last days, I have experienced a wonderful sunrise like always with the colorful play of the nature in the outback again.
Our goals for today should be the Kings Canyon and Glen Helen in the MacDonnel Ranges.
The first stop after app. an hour drive was the famous Kings Canyon. We arrived it in the early morning I think at 8 O'clock. But it was a good time, then the Canyon Rim Walk will be closed in the afternoon often, because of the strong heat on the plateaus in the afternoon. So we were asked to take at least 1,5 l water with us.
The six km (loop) Kings Canyon Rim Walk traces the top of the canyon and takes three to four hours to complete.
A steep climb at the beginning of the walk, which locals call "Heartbreak Hill" (or "Heart Attack Hill", due to its steepness), takes visitors up to the top, with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape.
After passing a beautiful plateau we hat to go through a small crack, called the Priscilla Crack. Through this crack the three drag queens in the movie "Priscilla - Quenns of the desert" had to climb to achieve the top of the Kings Canyon.
About half way during the walk, a detour descends to Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life.
The last half of the walk passes through a large maze of weathered sandstone domes, reminiscent of the Bungle Bungle.
A slow descent brings the visitor back to the starting point.
After the Kings Canyon we had to drive over the 93 km long Mereenie Loop Road, which is the shortest way from Uluru to the Glen Helen in the MacDonnel Ranges.
It was a really amazing experience to drive with an 4WD car over a red colored wide runway over a so long distance.
The unsealed Mereenie Loop Road lets you drive directly from Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park) to the West MacDonnell Ranges - or the other way round - without backtracking.
It is a lovely drive through some beautiful desert country, certainly more appealing than the much longer detour along the sealed highway.
At the end we arrived the Glen Helen.
Glen Helen is surrounded by the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, and is a destination in its own right, with easy day trip access to the whole West MacDonnell National Park, including Palm Valley, Hermannsburg, Ormiston Gorge, Redbank Gorge and Mt Sonder.
Our tour guide cooked potato gratin, steak and salad for dinner.