Welcome to one of Australia's wildest, most wondrous landscapes
With 100-metre-tall walls that drop into palm-lined chasms, giant boulders that make you feel like an ant and sweeping views across the rust-coloured desert, Kings Canyon is a huge highlight of the Red Centre. Hiking up to the canyon rim is full of surprises — one minute you're weaving through a maze of beehive-shaped domes known as ‘The Lost City’, and the next you're blissing out by a waterhole in the Garden of Eden. Like Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon is highly sacred to the traditional owners, and you'll also have an opportunity to connect with Country and learn about Luritja and Pertame culture during a unique cultural experience.
Our Kings Canyon tours
Highlights of Kings Canyon
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Kings Canyon FAQs
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
All of our Red Centre trips start in Yulara (a resort town on the outskirts of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park) or Alice Springs.
Kings Canyon is located in Watarrka National Park in the Australian Outback. It’s a 3.5-hour drive from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and around five hours from Alice Springs. You can fly to Ayres Rock (Connellan) Airport in Yulara, 20 minutes outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There are regular flights to Yulara from Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.
You can also fly direct to Alice Springs – Qantas and Virgin operate multiple weekly flights from most major cities in Australia.
Kings Canyon is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is generally during the cooler months between late spring and early autumn (May–September). The days are warm and sunny, but not hot enough that you’ll melt in the sun. Summer in the Northern Territory can be stiflingly hot, but it’s doable if you're prepared with suitable clothing and set off early in the morning to beat the midday heat.
You'll be doing a fair bit of walking, so make sure you bring a comfy pair of walking boots or runners with good sole grip. In terms of what to wear, bring hiking pants, leggings or shorts, t-shirts and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn and pesky insect bites. It can get cold at night, particularly in winter, so you’ll also need a warm fleece and a jacket. Lastly, don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle, a small day bag and a sun hat to cover your head and neck.
Mobile phone and data signal in Kings Canyon resort is pretty good, although some network providers tend to be better than others. Expect the signal to be patchy or completely cut off on the Outback roads and within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). You can usually pick up a few bars of signal at the roadhouses if you need to send a message or make a call.
Yes, drinking tap water is safe throughout the Red Centre. Ensure you bring a 1-2 litre reusable water bottle to refill at the water station in the Kings Canyon car park. Staying hydrated is important as the Outback sun is intense and you'll be doing many outdoor activities.
The Luritja and Arrente people are the traditional owners of Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). As one of the world's oldest living cultures, they have lived on Watarrka for over 20,000 years and are deeply connected to the land and waters.
It depends on the trip style you choose. Our Basix and Original trips feature simple (but comfy) camping accommodation in permanent or semi-permanent tents with stretcher beds and shared facilities, or a mixture of camping and budget hotels.
If you choose a Comfort or Premium trip, you'll stay in 3-to-4-star hotels and resorts with private amenities.
The Red Centre covers a huge, very remote area of Central Australia. We'll spend many hours driving from A to B in an air-conditioned vehicle. Make sure you bring ample snacks and maybe a few podcasts to listen to – or use it as an opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers! With a comfortable, air-conditioned bus, sit back and enjoy the unique desert landscapes that you'd miss in any other form of travel.
You can use a credit or debit card for purchases in most roadhouses and at Kings Canyon Resort. However, it's always handy to have cash for smaller purchases. You can withdraw cash at a number of ATMs in Alice Springs or in the Town Square at Ayres Rock Resort in Yulara. Most of the highway roadhouses will also have an ATM or the option to get cashback.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.