Start: Watarrka National Park, Car Park
Distance: 6km return
Time: 3-4 hours
Closest Town: Yulara (306km away), Alice Springs (465 km away)
The Watarrka National Park is about a 3.5 hours drive from Yulara (the closest town to Uluru) and a 4.5 hour drive from Alice Springs- both on sealed roads, suitable for a 2WD. While the best time of the year to visit is from May to September (when it is a bit cooler), I visited in November and, while hot, it was breathtaking. This walk is also featured in the 1994 film, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
During the hotter months from May to September, visitors must begin the walk by 9am when the forecast temperate for the park is 36º C or above. Be sure to take enough water, sunscreen, a hat and fly net- especially for these hotter months.
This moderate walk follows a clockwise direction and begins with a steep climb up rock stairs (for approximately 20-30minutes) to the top of the Canyon. The walk then continues around the rim with expansive views of the canyon and beehive-like domes of red, iron-rich sandstone. Halfway along, you reach the ‘Garden of Eden’, a cool waterhole. The walk continues along the rim and descends towards the carpark.
To find out more visit: www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/parks/find/watarrka#.Vlk5KoQyMUU