Conditions Around Kings Canyon NT??

Submitted: Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 19:40
ThreadID: 57705 Views:3272 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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We're doing a trip to Ayres Rock in late June and plan on heading to Kings Canyon afterwards.

The plan is to take the Luritja Road loop to Kings Canyon then follow the Larapinta and Namatjira Roads through to the McDonnell National Park and onto Alice Springs.

I was curious to know about the conditions of these roads and what we can expect to come across?

Any info re this region would be great - thanks.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 20:21

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 20:21
Don't know of the "Luritja loop".

Usually, you take the Lasseter highway (bitumen) from Ayres Rock back toward Eridunda and turn off to your left about half way onto the Luritja Road, then on to Kings Canyon.

Pretty straightforward road from memory.

Allow plenty of time at Kings Canyon. It will be one of the highlights of your trip. Plan to do the cliff walk around the canyon rim.

From Kings Canyon you can then take the Mereenie Loop road (unsealed) through to Hermannsburg and along the Larapinta Drive to the Alice. Permits are required to travel this "loop" and can be purchased at the kiosk at the Kings Canyon campground, or resort. You can spend a couple of days on this trek if you wish to visit some of the attractions, such as the Albert Namatjira centre at Hermannsburg, or Palm Valley along the way. The Mereenie Loop track is usually OK but can become cut up and corrugated in parts following rain and road train traffic.

There is another option to travel along the Namatjira Drive which is sort of parallel to and higher up than Larapinta Drive. This will take you past places like Glen Helen Gorge, (great pub) Ormiston Gorge and Standley Chasm.

A great part of our country and lots to see and do.



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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 13:10

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 13:10
Last time I was at the Canyon the roadies (not the singers) were preparing to bitchemise the road up to the lookout. I think they have reached the National Park border, not sure how far further they have got.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 19:58

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 19:58
We're going up there in July. Interested in your thoughts. I was planning to travel along Namatjira Dve, then Hermannsburg, Boggy Hole to Ernest Giles Rd, and then back to Kings Canyon. What do you think of this choice to Mereenie Loop Rd. Will be on own own with trailer.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 13:07

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 13:07

I assume you are referring to the track south from Hermmansburg through the Finke National Park to Ernest Giles Road as shown on the referenced map?

If so, I haven't driven this route but I would say it's quite doable in dry weather conditions.

As you can see from the Map title, the Mereenie Loop has now been renamed and is to be part of the Red Centre Way.

Buggered if I know why these bloody politicians insist on wiping out established bush names. On the other hand, perhaps us whiteys won't have to pay a permit fee any more:-))

Red Centre Way


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Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 16:50

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 16:50
thanks Bill
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Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 21:18

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 21:18
we did the same just in reverse nearly 2 yrs ago. Namatjira Dr past Simpsons Gap and all those is pretty normal dirt road travelling because tourists will go there and not much further. After Glen Helen Lodge it got worse with corrigations and is just plain nasty.

Heading towards Hermannsberg and Palm valley is usually attrotious....we couldnt find a speed that made the drive easier!

The closer we got to Kings Canyon the better the road got and evenwent to tar I think from memory....

Mereenie loop needs a pass but were told htat they are never checked out there.....we got one anyway....

there is heaps to see....especially the huge Gosse Bluff Crator from the lookout....Palm Valley is well worth the long hike in....good camping.....most places cost around $7.70 per adult a night....After leaving alice we camped at red Bank Gorge, then Palm Valley, Kings Creek Station and then into Ayres Rock......and that was with sightseeing almost everything!!!!!

Good luck with your plans....!

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Reply By: Greg - Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 22:06

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 22:06
Gidday Hilux03,

It is like all dirt roads, you drive according to the conditions. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately to many have not driven according to conditions and have paid the penalty. Just recently another roll over on the loop.
You won't have a problem on any of these roads if you do the above.
Conditions out this way are just about b***** perfect. Don,t forget to pack your long pj's and your hot water bottles!!
Take your time and enjoy.


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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 12:52

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 12:52
Gday Greg,
"Conditions out this way are just about b***** perfect."
What!!!!! For friggin eskimos!

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 09:21

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 09:21
G'day, we did a similar trip last April & offer the following for your digestion..........
Fuel was cheaper at AR than on the Stuart HWY.
Both AR & KK campgrounds are exe but little option.
You will pay $25 a head to get into the NP...3 day pass.
Walk around the Rock.
Do Valley of the Winds Walk at Olgas.
Do canyon rim walk at KK.....go early to avoid crowd.
Mereenie RD loop was stoney, rough & corrugated in parts but,
hey, your'e in the outback, just slow down & enjoy. Not hard.
Easily make Alice in a day, two would be better.
Suggest Hermansburg & Palm Valley make good day trip from Alice
rather than towing, if indeed you are towing. If you have any interest in transport dont miss Trucking Hall of Fame in Alice.
Have a great trip.......oldbaz.
AnswerID: 304438

Reply By: motor_head - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 15:03

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 15:03
Hey hilux03, we will be there about the same time, my plan is to return to stuarts highway after kings canyon and get to palm valley via owen springs, i have only heard horror stories about the mereenie loop (very bad corrugations).
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Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 21:53

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 21:53
Traveled theMereenie loop today from Kings Canyon resort camp ground to Alice Springs ,,, blacktop finishes at the grid round 7klm from the resort , 17klm of the roughest corrugations you will find [ worse than anything that we have encountered on this trip ,, Cordillo downs , Innaminka , Strezleki and Oodnadatta Tracks] then 5klm blacktop to the lookout ,, then its another 167 klm of dirt rough as you get to Hermansberg ,, took 3 hrs for the 167 klm , part can cruise at 80 , other parts crawling at 20/25 ,,, a "pass " is required , $2.20 from the Kings Canyon Resort or the Mobil servo ,,,
AnswerID: 304595

Reply By: balko - Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 18:14

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 18:14
have to agree went yesterday for 50ks out of kings canyon is the worst road ive seen in a while poor caravan copped a hiding Cheers tony
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