Canyon Rim walking with little feet

Today was epic! One of the best family days we have had so far! But it could have been a recipe for disaster.

First, lets rewind a little…

Late yesterday afternoon we pulled into the Kings Canyon Resort and as we were checking in at reception, I enquired about the Kings Canyon Rim walk. I was told it was a six-kilometre walk with a steep 500-step climb at the start and would take between three and four hours. I was assured it was wonderful and well worth it. The lady went about checking me in, and she requested how many people were in my party. “Two adults and two children aged five and one,” I replied. She went on with the booking then abruptly stopped recalling our conversation just moments beforehand. “You know it’s not a very family friendly walk? You might prefer to do the paved walk at Mary Kathleen,” she offered.

I smiled and thanked her for her advice before grabbing a walks flyer to think more about what we would do tomorrow, before heading out to find our camp spot for the next couple of nights.

We were well-warned about the Kings Canyon Rim Walk.

It was a brilliant spot overlooking the rocky range of Watarrka National Park, and it made for a perfect place to watch the sunset as we finished off setting up the camper. On talking to our night’s neighbours, we also were met with cautionary tales about the hike with little ones. “There’s lots of steep rocky steps,” and “be careful near the edges as there are no rails,” were some of the comments from well-meaning travellers.

D-man attacks the steep steps with ease!

Of course, we took the advice seriously and did question if it was worth all the endless “are we there yets” or “my legs are sore” or “I’m hungry” and “I’m thirsty” that would be par for the cause.

Instead we decided to head there with the intention of doing the Rim Walk and see what eventuated.

So, first was to get D-Man up the 500 steep rocky steps. Our plan? Easy – get him to count the steps! And it was a winning plan too! He diligently counted out each step (okay, so he missed some), and collected a small stone at each 100 steps. He counted 441 in total – I did say he missed some!

Morning tea break on top of the world at Kings Canyon

Next we made sure we stopped at all the information boards along the way and read and learnt about what we were seeing. We paused to take in the most incredible views. We looked for everyday shapes objects in the rock formations. We talked about the rippled rocks we saw and wondered what could have formed the ripples. And, we stopped for morning tea for a rest about half way.

Walking to great heights at Kings Canyon

It was a winning combination – keep him thinking and talking, and take regular stops to rest and before you know it, six kilometres of rock hopping, stepping, climbing and walking are done and dusted.

And – all over in three hours!

Practicing some balancing and surfing skills on a surfboard like rock.

All of this aside – the Kings Canyon Rim Walk is absolutely one of the best walks I’ve ever done with so much variety in the landscapes and breathtaking views from, what seems like, the top of the world.

More rock-hopping on a detour to Cotterills Lookout

Add it to your bucket list and thank me later.


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