Kings Canyon, Australia
It’s funny how six hours drive in the outback means little. If it was in Melbourme, we’d be heading over the border and almost at Dubbo! Here, it means endless plains of brush and red dirt.
We decided to break the trip up with a night at Erldunda (the real centre of Australia!). It had the worst flies I’ve ever experienced – and this was in moderate heat at the start of spring. The flies followed you everywhere. It was even worse at the Erldunda filling station and shop. Everyone stopped here, and the toilets seemed to hold half the fly population of the Northern Territory. I have no idea what summer would be like, or how the English backpackers working at the counter coped with it.
Kings Canyon was only a lazy four hours up the road from Erldunda. They was little between either place. No wonder Alice Springs is geographically the most isolated major town in the world. In the time we drove we’d have made London to Moscow.
The Kings Canyon Resort (everything is a resort here) was fully booked, so I was glad I paid well ahead. Everyone seemded to be from Melbourne, driving up for the school holidays in 4WD and caravans. We saw a sore looking dingo in between the caravans.
We took a mini walk along the Kings Creek Walk. Josefa and Aidan worse orange fly protectors, although there wasn’t many flies. It was good practice for the full Rim walk.
The Rim walk took around four hours, and it was coincidentally one of the warmest days of the trip, in the low 30s. It was a breaktaking walk around the surpringly green basin of the canyon. We broke off to take a look at the Garden of Eden where water feeds the ferms and gums and billabong. I even went back a second time after I realised I’d dropped the nib for my Camelbak canteen.
We definitely deserved the Magnum ice-creams, which we had to fork out around $8 each. The ice box had stopped working in the van, as had the air-conditioning, both temporarily. I don’t think we were charging the van properly at night. We got used to the cost of everything soon enough, from the $2 a litre petrol to the food and the water.
We even managed a swim in the busy pool. However it tipped just above freezing ( the nights here kill the water tempreature) so Aidan lasted about two minutes. I’d promised the kids a pool each day, but it looked increasingly likely our bathers would be underused.