Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
13 June 2009 - Erldunda to Kings Canyon
Weather in the morning was alright for travelling, sunny with increasing cloud and no wind. Traffic on Lasseter Highway running west from the Stuart Highway was light, mostly caravans and motor homes going in the other direction returning from Uluru and Kings Canyon. We stopped for a drink at a pleasant rest area with mature desert oaks on red sand with little undergrowth.

After 108 kilometres we turned right onto Luritja Road to Kings Canyon. Traffic remained light, mainly caravans returning from Kings Canyon. We began a gentle, steady climb which would take us up to 645 metres before reaching Kings Canyon. The road was generally good with a reasonable bitumen surface and full width lanes for most of the time although there were sections with sharp edged, narrow bitumen.

Vegetation beside the road varied but was mostly a matter of the same species dropping out of sight then reappearing after a while. Some areas were dominated by desert oak with mature trees and numerous juveniles spread over sand ridges. Mature desert oaks discourage other trees and shrubs from growing underneath them and so, over time, come to dominate stretches of country. They appeared to be doing very well indeed judging by the number of mature and juvenile trees we saw.
Desert Oak Desert Oak growing on red sand. Desert Oaks are widespread in the area between Uluru, Erldunda and Kings Canyon.

In other parts, desert oaks were absent (mature trees require access to deep water to thrive) and a variety of other plants, notably acacias, up to three metres high, flourished. From the car there was a sameness about the scenery. According to the topographic map in the GPS system the road runs parallel to a series of mountain ranges but we saw few signs of them from the road. There were no buildings or advertising until we were near Kings River Station on the edge of the national park and were approaching Kings Canyon Resort.

Arriving at the resort I checked in for three nights. Sites are covered in gravel (about 10 mm diameter pieces) with trees and shrubs between groups of four sites. Water to the sites was good quality and sites were neat and properly maintained. The information sheet was positive, sites were big enough to be comfortable, shower water was hot and unlimited.

Kings Canyon Resort caravan park is expensive at $18 per person per night, but running a good quality caravan park in such a remote place is expensive and has been well done.
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