Watarrka National Park encloses Kings Canyon, with its 300-metre-high sandstone walls, walking trails, lush forests and permanent waterholes. The sheer red rock face of the canyon soars above dense forests of palms, ferns and cycads, sheltering them from the harsh desert, and providing refuge for many native animals.
The Park has been home to the Luritja people for more than 20,000 years, and its flora, fauna and rock formations are best seen on foot. Try the gentle shady Kings Creek Walk trail one kilometre along the valley floor. Get up early to see the sunrise and walk the six kilometres around the Canyon rim to take in magnificent views across the desert or into the lush valley below. The 2.6-kilometre walk to Kathleen Springs takes you to historical sites, and a spring-fed water hole. Fit and experienced hikers will love the Giles Track, a 22-kilometre walk between Kings Canyon and Kathleen Springs.
The park can be reached from Uluru in around four hours by taking the Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road. Those with a four-wheel drive can then take the unsealed Mereenie Loop on to Alice Springs.