The lead characters in Australian box-office hit movie “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” went over the top, physically as well as literally, when they donned chiffon and ostrich feathers to climb Kings Canyon. Standard walking attire is a safe and more comfortable, if less fun and flamboyant, option for getting to know this Northern Territory bushwalking headline act.
Centrepiece of Watarrka National Park, home to the Luritja aboriginal people for more than 20,000 years, Kings Canyon is a dramatic chasm sliced 270m into the red-rock George Gill Range by water and time. The 6km circuit walk (3-4 hours) starts with a steep, rocky climb up the canyon wall – in costume for those who fancy! Then it works around to the opposite wall, a super-size slab of honeycombed red rock, via striped beehive domes and “The Garden of Eden”, a treed gorge ending in a waterhole.
You get frequent stomach-dropping views along, and straight down, vertiginous cliffs plunging hundreds of metres; views bettered only by a wedge tailed eagle’s perspective from a scenic helicopter flight.