This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels June 15

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Another sunny, superb day.

We decided to tackle this end of the Ernest Giles Track. John was feeling up to it. For once, we managed to get a reasonably early start.

Drove to the Kings Canyon carpark. The first part of the walk is up the “down” part of the Canyon Rim walk track, for about a km. Then our track branched off to the right.

06-15-1999 01 from tk up view across to Giles Tk.jpg

That is where we are going – taken from the Rim Track

The track went through absolutely brilliant dome terrain, for about 3kms. This was even better than the similar country encountered on the Canyon Rim walk. The domes just seemed to go on and on. The track wound around between them. In places, it went along little ledges, with quite a drop below.

06-15-1999 02 lost city domes.jpg

The track can be seen, winding through the domes

06-15-1999 03 on Giles Track in domes.jpg

The track was clearly marked

06-15-1999 04 giles track in domes.jpg

Erosion into the side of a dome

The red sandstone of the domes was broken up by little ravines in which ghost gums and shrubbery grew, providing green contrast.

06-15-1999 05 domes on giles tk.jpg

Little ravines provide shelter and moisture for trees and shrubs

I could have spent all day in this dome section – and used up a ton of film!

We emerged out onto a flatter section of the plateau, into shrub and spinifex country.

Walked as far as the 6.5km point. We had intended to have lunch at Penny Springs, shown on the rather vague track guide we had. But somehow missed these. Decided they must be lower down and off the main track. We certainly did not see any sign – or a viable side track.

Instead, we lunched at a high point near Reedy Bluff, where we could see out over the plains, and also behind us to more range country. That looks pretty interesting, too. I can believe the Resort staff who told us they have been shown places “out the back” that are even better than Kings Canyon! Hmmm – maybe this would be a more interesting place to work than Yulara? But, being much smaller, there would not be as many job openings – or the mod cons of Yulara.

06-15-1999 08 Kings Canyon Resort from edge of range.jpg

The outlook from the track onto the plains. The Resort is in the centre of photo

06-15-1999 09 watarrka lo and rim tks

Outlook from Watarrka Lookout, showing the canton entrances

06-15-1999 10 the domes beyond Kings Canyon

From Watarrka Lookout showing the domes and the country beyond

This top country was open and a bit hot from the high afternoon sun.

We came across some unusual small rock features – other than domes! The sediments that eventually formed these sandstones were originally deposited under inland lakes. In one place we found the solidified remnants of what looked like the leavings of some aquatic snail or crab.

06-15-1999 11 Giles Tk interesting rock.jpg

Unusual and suggestive rock

In another place, erosion had created an ultra small scale version of domes.

06-15-1999 14 Giles Tk rock patterns.jpg

Tiny domes. The grass clump gives an idea of scale

John’s hip was hurting by the time we stopped for lunch. He’d had a scheme for walking on to the Lilla Spur and following that down, then going back to the car park on tracks that paralleled the main road. But I felt this would be too far – I calculated somewhere around 16+kms, whereas we had walked almost 7kms to where we were. John agreed – reluctantly – to retrace our steps, though he toyed with the idea of trying to go straight down the escarpment from Reedy Bluff. I would not agree to that – really prefer not to do mountain goat if I can help it.

I really enjoyed the walk back through the domes – the afternoon light was superb.

06-15-1999 13 Giles Tk ghost gums.jpg

Back in the domes section of the Giles Track

Part-way down the main Rim Track to the car park, we met a lady resting on her way up. She was a professional photographer (Bette Devine) going up to the top to get sunset shots. We told her about the domes we’d been through today. After some chat, it was discovered that she had taught at a suburban primary school with John, years ago. They had not gotten on too well then! She has a camper van and travels on her own, taking photos. What an interesting life style! I would have liked to talk photography with her, but John talked school stuff with her, and then it was time to move on.

06-15-1999 15 corner Giles and Rim tracks.jpg

The corner of the Rim Track and the Giles Track

We walked about 14kms today – and it was excellent.

At the Resort, refuelled Truck – $1 a litre. Ouch.

Tea was rissoles and mashed potato.

We packed up as much as we could.

I am so glad that we made the effort to come this way – has been a wonderful place to experience, and one that I will long remember.

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