Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

The 3rd Natural Wonder - King's Canyon...

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This entry was posted on 6/22/2007 6:30 AM and is filed under Australia.

King's Canyon was a magnificent canyon that we were glad we didn't miss. It's located in the Northern Territories in Watarrka National Park.  It's a mini Grand Canyon and reminded us also of the red canyon walls we've seen in Utah.  It's located about 330 km (205 miles) southwest of Alice Springs.

We left Uluru on a 5am bus and arrived in just over 3 hours after an early morning stop at a camel farm/breakfast stop.

The Canyon is made up of ancient sandstone walls which rise up 328 feet to a plateau of rocky domes.  It's a very scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rockholes and gorges filled with water pools and plants.  It's home to more than 600 plant species, 100 bird species and 60 kinds of reptiles.  It is also a sacred Aboriginal site.

Our hike started with a climb of 550 steps...

To the top...

Watch this movie (with Joss singing and playing all instrumentals) and see the gorgeous canyon for yourself - you can also get a sense of how fun and fabulous our guide Jayson was...

Our guide was very knowledgeable about the formation of these domes...

They were magnificent to look upon...

And there were many varieties of "gum trees" - we know them as eucalyptus trees.  This one is phosphorus and known as a "ghost tree".  The Aboriginals used to rub off the phosphorus coating from these trees and apply it to their bodies.  Then at night they would stand on the tops of the cliffs and dance.  They looked like ghosts, all lit up, and their wild dancing kept wandering tribes from penetrating their territory, so they could keep this lush area to themselves.  It's one of the few areas with such abundant animal life and vegetation that the resident tribe of the canyon did not need to be nomadic.

Notice how a few of the branches are black.  During drought periods (like now!), the tree conserves its energy by cutting off the water supply to some of its branches.  These dead limbs will just break off.  When the drought is over, it just puts out new branches.  People are warned not to take naps under these trees for obvious reasons.

Here are some more shots of the Canyon Walls...

We climbed down here to "The Garden of Eden"...

It was a true oasis with this lovely water hole and surrounding plants.  The cycads were about 500 years old.

The walls were sheer straight down falls, and there were no restraining chains to keep you safe.

It was a beautiful day here.  The bus ride back to Alice Springs was over 6 hours and we were entertained by many (too many!) hours of Aussie country songs.

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    • 6/24/2007 10:20 PM Nancy wrote:
      Hope you brought home some of Joss's music, I loved it. (pods: Glad you love it - we totally do too - and not just 'cuz he's our kid (-: We'll post iTunes and CD ordering info soon)
      Reply to this
    • 6/25/2007 10:44 AM Shelley wrote:
      Hey Poddies, I guess you will be back "home" today--oh my! What a journey. Don't think we'll be keeping you down on the farm in future.

      This aree looks so similar to places we go to in Southern Utah, same crossbedded sandstone, same minerals, same colors. But with cycads! Wow. Familiar yet exotic. Makes me itch to put on those hiking boots.

      See you soon, safe journey!
      Reply to this
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