Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Watarrka National Park

Take your time to absorb your surrounding as the steep climb takes you to the top of the Canyon, then follows the Canyon rim through the awesome domes of the Lost City and out to Cotterill's Bridge and Lookout, before dropping down into the lush surrounding and tranquillity of the Garden of Eden sacred waterholes. Climb back to the top and continue along the Southern Wall, with views to die for.

Heritage Sites
Picnic Facilities
Scrambling or Climbing
No Dogs Permitted
Arid or Desert
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

Watarrka National Park is located southwest of Alice Springs and can be reached via a number of routes:

Via the Stuart Highway, Lasseter Highway and onto Luritja Road.

Via Larapinta Drive through the West MacDonnell NP (Mereenie Loop requires a permit and is 4WD only) and onto Luritja Road.

Via the Stuart Highway, Ernest Giles Road (4WD only) and onto Luritja Road.

The 4km signposted road to the car park, is off Luritja Road, 5km south of Kings Canyon Resort.


Watarrka National Park - Kings Canyon

Route/Trail notes:

This walk must be done clockwise, due to the 'one way gate' at the end of the Southern Wall Walk.

From the car park and information covered area, head straight into the canyon proper (signposted and follow the blue arrows) and after 400m you take the steep 400m staircase climb on the left, to the top of the Canyon. Follow the track along the rim and through the domes, whilst taking the various detours, including Cotterill's Lookout. Then down the staircase to the Garden of Eden (no swimming allowed) and back up to continue through the 'one way gate' and along the Southern Wall and back down to the car park.



Other References/Comments:

There are plenty of information boards along the walk, as well as emergency rescue station, which contain water rations and medical supplies.

With the option to also complete the various walks in Kings Canyon area, both Kings Creek Station and Kings Canyon Resort provide a variety of accommodation for a stopover.

Flies come out about 11am, so have your fly mesh handy!


Fantastic hike with lots of diverse scenery. Most tours will take you there in the morning but afternoons are reportedly quieter if you don't want to contend with multiple groups.

JayWalker on 7 Jul, 2023

What a great experience!

Henry Lin on 23 May, 2023

hands down the best walk over the Olga's and Ayers rock Must do if you are near there i would defiantly make the detour to here spectacular views the first part is straight up but if you pace yourself and make it past that with a few stops you will be glad you did the highlight form my trip to Ayers rock

vlad on 8 Sep, 2019

The stairs up were a killer, but once you are at the top it is an easy walk around the rim. Beautiful scenery and interesting information along the way. Loved the Garden of Eden.

Sally on 13 Jul, 2019

The stairs up where a killer, but once you rench the top it is a nice easy walk. Beautiful scenery and Information with interesting facts. Loved the garden of Eden.

Sally on 12 Jul, 2019

Very much the highlight so far on this outback road trip. Dedicated the day to this one and we needed it, with so many areas to explore and pictures to take. Stupendous, with the tranquillity of the Garden of Eden something to savour and just sit there and take it all in.
So much great information on the flora and fauna, as well as the amazing geological history. Even named the Grey Shrike-thrush we had come across at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and here, but didn't know what it was.

F.A.B. on 6 Jun, 2019

Fabulous walk - especially from a geological and cultural perspective. The first 500 stairs are the hardest! There are majestic ghost gums and Cyads up to 800 years old. Look for the sea fossils and ripples etched into the rock from the ancient sea bed. We started at 5am and it was not long before we had company - people, Peregrin Falcons and Rock Wallabies. Check out the stunning water hole in the Garden of Eden to sit quietly and immerse yourself in the cultural significance of the site. No swimming allowed though.... respect. Don't rush this walk, take plenty of water and some snacks - it's worth every step. Camera is a must! AMAZING!!

Hobbitywalker on 7 Nov, 2018

WOW. What an amazing walk. The views and the rock formations are just sensational. I wasn't expecting much especially after coming from Uluru and Kata Tjuta but was incredibly surprised. Well worth the initial climb (which I thought would be much harder). It is a long walk and towards the end I thought it would never end but probably because by this time we had run out of water. Definitely not one that you would want to start late and in the warm weather. Even in the cooler months take LOTS of water, its windy up the top which dries you out as well.

Bronwyn Mitchell on 5 Apr, 2017

Fantastic walk with lots to see... big climb at the top, but amazing once up there...

Kelly on Aug, 2016

Awesome walk! Tops both Uluru and Kata Tjuta in scenicness.. Much more beautiful and serene.. Especially if you have the place to yourself and the wallabys in the morning..

Owie on Mar, 2016

Spectacular walk!!!!!

jskin11 on Jan, 2016

This was a very informative hike as we went with a group.

HelenR on 22 Mar, 2015

MHS Central Australia Excursion

Angus Small on 17 Jun, 2013

Loved the experience.

Deb on 26 Aug, 2012

Awesome walk and spectacular place. Highly recommended.

Anonymous on 18 Sep, 2010

Beautiful landscape & amazing colours. A must do when in the NT.

S K on Jul, 2010

Stunning scenery along this walk - some elements remind me of fudge being broken apart! Don’t forget to take you camera with your wide angle lens. We were thankful we did this walk in the cooler months. Highly recommended.

Anoogle on Jul, 2010

This is a truely stunning place. Don't miss it of you're in the area.

Nichola Wallace on Jul, 2007


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