Published: July 11th 2012July 5th 2012
Day 6 – Thursday July 5th
– Uluru to Kings Canyon
It has been a nice treat to stay for more than one night in the same place. The facilities at Ayers Rock Campground (apart from in the overflow section) are excellent. Despite the literally freezing temperatures the water was lovely and hot and the showers were top notch. Rested and almost clean (that red dust gets everywhere) we packed up the camper trailer after a leisurely breakfast prepared to hit the Red Centre Way again en route to Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park.
However, we could not leave Ayers Rock resort without a camel ride for the kids and stopped off at Uluru Camel Tours for a quick encounter with some “ships of the desert”. Anna mounted on Lazy Daisy. Lazy Daisy was leading Luke’s camel, Trevor. According to the camelhand, Lazy Daisy is the fastest camel in Australia, is actually a male camel and was named Lazy Daisy by its owner to trick the camel racing bookies into thinking it was a slow old thing! Before he retired to the relaxed life of camel tours in Ayers Rock, he was unbeaten in his
career as a racing camel and his speed record still stands.
Hoping to avoid the scrum of accessing a campsite at the only campground in the park we called ahead to enquire about availability. Powered sites were all booked out and we were advised to arrive before 4pm to make sure we got an unpowered site. People had been turned away for the last couple of nights!
Even though we arrived at Kings Canyon Resort at around 2.30 there was not much space left. As usual, on a mission to make sure we fit everything in, we gave ourselves 15 mins to set up the tent before making our way into the Kings Canyon. We were keen to do the famous Rim Walk (6km, recommended time 3 -4 hours) before watching the sunset. As the park notices tell you, it really is one of the most spectacular walks you can do in Australia. Not that Anna and Luke noticed much as they marched along the trail in a whirl of pink and green (in a time of 1 hour and 25 mins).
Nights remained very cold, verging on freezing but gradually the daytime temperatures are increasing and
for the Kings Canyon walk we dusted off our shorts and t-shirts for the first time in the trip.
Imagine our surprise when we spotted 2 Bayside coaches parked up in the campsite next to a gaggle of 2 man tents. One of the adult leaders told us that they are a school group from Padua college in Mornington on a school holiday trip up “through the guts” of Australia. We thought we were covering ground quickly but this school group was seriously motoring! They had been “expressing” (driving pretty much non-stop day and night) until they got to the Red Centre and finally unpacked the tents at Ayers Rock the day before. The teacher we spoke to was from Beaumaris, living on Balcombe Road. It’s a small world!
We watched the sunset at the special resort boardwalk, together with a busload of ATT Kings tourists. Not one second after the sun had disappeared behind the horizon they were all shepherded back onto the coach and we had the viewing area to ourselves. After the evening ritual of putting almost all our clothes on to keep warm, we cooked dinner of chicken skewers, wall paper paste style mashed
potato and tinned sweetcorn. Angry Birds was played outside tonight and we managed not to lose the dice. More hot water bottles (kids) and whiskey (grown ups). Anna washed her grey leggings which had turned a dusty red colour and we had our first dingo sighting of the trip, as a couple of the dogs roamed around the campsite looking for food to scavenge.
There are more photos below