Kings Canyon (Watarrka) National Park is a stunning place, 4hrs drive from Alice Springs in the middle of Outback Australia. It also happens to be 4hrs drive from Uluru (Ayers Rock) You can include it as part of a loop, driving west along the Macdonnell ranges from Alice Springs on Larapinta Drive, then heading to Uluru from Kings Canyon, which is what I did. (4wd recommended)
There are 2 main walks at Kings Canyon, a short walk along the valley floor at the foot of the canyon walls. It’s about 500m (1600ft) and takes 30mins at a leisurely pace. Near the end is a beautiful rock pool, depending on the season/rain.
The 2nd walk is a much more serious affair of 5.5km (3.5miles) which takes around 3.5hrs to complete. Seeing as this is in outback Australia, which is a HOT place, it’s best to start this walk very early in the morning… or perhaps later in the day.
The walk beings with a killer uphill slog, known as heartbreak hill. By the time you reach the top your legs are jelly & your heart pounding. Interestingly this used to be the end of the walk, but lots of people injured themselves coming down the steep hill after walking for 3+hrs. So the park rangers reversed the track to make the hill the start & now have virtually zero injuries.
After spending 4hrs shooting virtual tours on the track, my legs really were jelly coming down the gentle slope on the other side of the canyon, I was VERY glad to not be coming down heartbreak hill.