This Australian road trip has opened my eyes to the strength and resilience of my daughters.
I’m sure if we were living a normal life; we’d not have the opportunity, or be open to testing their limits of capability.
The helicopter parenting instead takes over, and we impose the limits onto our children based on our fears and conditions.
“You’re too young for that. You’re not strong enough to do it. You might fall and hurt yourself.”
But, out here on the road, in the Red Centre of Australia, you’re plonked into adventures that force you to redefine what’s possible. (I’m reading a fantastic book at the moment, which dives into this more “What we want for our children” by Wayne Dyer.)
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk
“Let’s just try it and see how we go. We can always turn back.”
That’s what we said on the morning we set out early to do the Kings Canyon rim walk, in the Watarrka National Park. Other people told us the girls couldn’t do it, but we knew we could try first and then discover the real answer instead of just assuming.
Craig and I were prepared to carry the girls at some stage. It was a 5.5 kilometre loop walk, without counting the extra side trails we took to Cotterill’s Lookout and the Garden of Eden.
We’d done a lot of small walks and hikes with the girls so we were fairly confident we could do it. Only a few days earlier we had walked 10 kilometres around the base of Uluru. Granted I had to carry Savannah a lot of the way.
I had a feeling King’s Canyon would be different. As we suggested in this post on how to hike with kids, you need to keep them entertained. Rocks and steep climbs do it every time.
From the minute we started, they took control of their legs. It was just on sun up, so it was cool, and there were no flies.
They made it to the top of the only steep part of the walk, took a rest and admired the views over the sheer 100-metre high sandstone walls and the sun rising above the deep gorge.
It was lovely to walk amongst the dome shapes and see the colours change as the sun continued its journey up.
Then the remainder of the time they sang, played games and scrambled over the rocks. There are plenty of places to stop for a break and to take in the views of the gorge below. Just be careful of going too close to the edge – stay well back!
It was a beautiful walk, and I was so happy to enjoy it carrying only a small backpack.
Rumour has it the Garden of Eden is not to be missed. It’s a little diversion off the main track along the creek past 400-year-old cycads to a large waterhole in between the high cliff walls of the north rim.
With its high cliff walls, it was a picturesque, green refuge from the hot sun and the perfect place for a snack break of banana chips and vegemite sandwiches.
No swimming is encouraged due to it being an Aboriginal sacred spot for men’s business.
Three-year-old Savannah started to waver after this and the whines of being tired started to appear.
We’d encourage her to walk just that little bit further until she found her limit. She appreciated the views out over the ‘Lost City’ – a mini-Purnululu of striped stone domes – on our shoulders instead.
Soon enough, we’d come across some more rocks to scramble over, and she’d demand to get off our shoulders.
Doing the rim walk of Kings Canyon was another of those memorable moments with our girls. They tend to come the most when were out walking in nature.
I remember them, not just because of the breathtaking scenery and the adventurous walk but for the strength of spirit I see in my girls. They inspire me to dig a little deeper and find my strength. And to skip a little more with the joy that comes with something as simple as scrambling over a rock.
The walk tired me; I can only imagine how their little bodies felt. How strong and capable they’ll be when they grow up. I love that these days are helping them understand the healing effects of nature and the goodness it gives to mind, body and spirit.
I’m incredibly proud of them and so grateful we get to share this journey together.
Kings Canyon Resort
After the walk, we highly suggest grabbing a couple of cold drinks and sitting at the outside sunset bar at the King’s Canyon Resort to watch the sun set over the mountain ranges.
It was stunning, especially with the full moon rising. Perfect end to a perfect day!
Rim Walk Facts
Distance: 5.5 kilometres
Time: 3-4 hours.
Start/Finish: Kings Canyon car park.
Warning: You must start your walk early, especially in summer as it gets very hot here. Wear appropriate footwear, a hat, sunscreen and take lots of water and snacks.
From Uluru, Kings Canyon is a three-hour drive along the Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road. Kings Canyon is along the Red Centre Way loop road which starts and ends in Alice Springs and links the Red Centre’s main landmarks, including Uluru and Kata-Tjuta.
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