Where is best to stay in Kings Canyon?

Submitted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 13:48
ThreadID: 86446 Views:3784 Replies:12 FollowUps:8
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We will be travelling around the Red Centre in July this year and are planning on spending 2 nights at Kings Canyon. Just wondering which would be more suitable to a family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 10, 8 and 5 yrs - Kings Canyon Resort or Kings Creek Station. We are travelling in a camper trailer. Also, is 2 nights enough or should we make it 3 nights? We will be heading to Kings Canyon after spending 3 nights at Ayers Rock Resort.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 13:59

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 13:59
Was lot's cheaper at Kings Creek when we were there in 2007.

Nice environment too.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:00

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:00
I think we stayed 3, but if you get there early maybe 2 is enough.
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Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:01

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:01
I stayed at Kings Canyon Resort, & was happy with my decision to pay the bit extra. I found the two nights enough & agree with the three nights at Yulara. Enjoy Your trip to a very special part of the world.
AnswerID: 455032

Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:20

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:20
We were at Kings Creek Station last year, have now stayed there twice and its fine.
Suggest you try and get there early in the AM as it's popular, and you have a better chance of getting a good spot.
We found Kings Canyon more inspiring than The Rock.
Make sure you do the walk around the top, but keep the kids away from the edge.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 15:27

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 15:27
We were heading in the opposite direction to you. We stayed at the Kings Canyon Resort in the village and at the time the cost was similar to Kings Creek Station, with the resort being closer. It was a lovely environment with sunset views to the Range. We stayed two nights, to enable an early start on the climb to the top before it got hot, and to relax after the long walk. It was the best of the central Australia walks. We also wanted to see Kathleen Gorge which is a short and easy walk, so did that the next morning after booking out. Both in one day would have been at bit much, with further travel needed to find a camp site. No real need for a third night, but we are set up for bush camping which is our preferred option. We bush camped one night before spending three nights at Yulara.

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Follow Up By: Member - Niss42 - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 15:46

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 15:46
We were advised to stay at Kings Creek Station, as all profits from the "Resort" go to the good old USA.
Support the Aussies !

No connection etc, just happy campers.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:33

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:33
Hi Barry; what a good reason. We just stayed where it was convenient for us, and the resort was owned by Voyages at that time, as was Yulara and El Questro. All under different ownership now, with Kings Canyon owned by Delware North Australia Parks and Resorts, but the Delaware group of companies does have interests in NZ and UK as well as Australia.


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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 16:21

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 16:21
was over there in April and went to KC Station on popular recommendation. Very disappointed. $50 for 2 adults 2 kids. Coachloads swarming in and out with hordes leaving the amenities a mess and bus engines roaring into action at dawn. They put us on what they called a large site (we have a medium van) and there wasn't room to put out the awning. Save your money - go to Kathleen Springs, which I think is free, and certainly quieter and nearer the Canyon. The lower walk is a stroll but the climb is obviously more challenging. There were plenty of young families doing it but although you'll do it in a morning if you start early - you'll probably feel like a rest in the arvo. Maybe go back the next day and do the easy lower walk and drive off to your next stop. 2 nights is enough if you arrive, stay the night, do main walk, stay another night and do the easy walk on the 2nd day and move on. Funny, but after a fair bit of negativity we liked Yulara. We'd probably been "primed" for the coach parties by then, having been to KC 1st but facilities are excellent and we thought much better value than KC. I suppose you can easily pull up at KC Station and have a sticky around the place & see what you think but we'd deffo go to Kathleen Springs if we went there again - facilities were clean long drops but no showers, I don't think.

Seeing the rock and the Olgas for the 1st time was awesome.

Enjoyed our 1st trip to the "Green centre" immensely - good luck

AnswerID: 455043

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:50

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:50
We came from the north last year and had a look at the Resort and decided to stay as it was close to the Canyon. Had a great time - parked the Tvan up against some virgin bush (not a pokey site), very good facilities, and a very short walk to the pub/restaurant where we had a couple of good meals. Did the walk one day, then the following day did the helicopter flight from the resort which was spectacular. The cost (for 2 adults) was fine.

It was a great walk back in time - I had been to Kings Canyon in 1978 and again in 1979 when it was a simple mudmap job - no resort, just a dirt road up from Wallara Ranch and find your own way to the canyon. Last year was the first time I'd been back and the place was still awesome!

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:57

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:57
Like you we were a bit undecided, but elected to stay at the Station, turned out to be the equal highlight of our central Oz tour, We had a look at the resort and could not fault it, it was just like a smaller scale Yulara resort which we had just come from.

What we liked about the Ck over the resort was that it is owned by 2nd or 3rd generation locals (in the case of Ian Conway perhaps 200 generations). They also had staff who had far more experience in the local area than the resort which was staffed by charming European backpackers and managed to a corporate formula.
The Ck will give you an appreciation of the local Pastoral Industries, how locals see the area and issues facing the local communities. The owners of the Station are genuinely giving back to the local community. We went in July and did not strike coaches and their hordes.

If you want 4.5 stars over 3.5 stars go to the resort. If you want to actually learn about the local area/ environment/ communities, go to the Station. The Station does not take bookings, they guaranteed everyone a spot, but needless to say the earlier you get there the better the spot. Nothing wrong with the resort.

Personally I can not understand why people do 7000km trips to stay in locations (resorts) just like those 300km up the road. To me it's like going overseas and eating only at McDonald's/ KFC.

I concur that Kathleen Springs is well worth the look at.
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Reply By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 18:45

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 18:45
Hi, we stayed at the so called resort. We had a great time there, even with the bus loads of school kids that were there. We were there on the AFL Grand Final day and after doing the rim walk that day we went to the pub for dinner (a bit expensive) but what the heck ! It was a great night with a FREE show for the young, but just watching them having a good time was worth the extra expense for your alcohol.(we even joined in with their dancing) I would say yes to staying there. The Sun Sets are as good or better that Ayers Rock (old School)
AnswerID: 455052

Reply By: Jacaluke - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 07:57

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 07:57
Thanks everybody for your comments - I'm still not sure which way to go but you have certainly given me food for thought. My only thought was the distance from the canyon with the resort being closer than the station - does that make a big difference or not really in the scheme of things? Pricewise I think they are similar - it will cost us $55 for a powered site at the resort and similar I think at the station.

Another idea that I would like some advice on please - we are travelling across the Plenty Hwy from Boulia, allowing ourselves 2 nights on the Plenty (11th and 12th July). We were originally going to go straight to Alice Springs and spend 4 nights there before heading off to Yulara. I was thinking though of going straight to Yulara and then working our way back to Alice Springs from the south doing Kings Canyon and West McDonnell Ranges on the way back and spending 4 nights at Alice at the end. The reason for this is that I thought it would be nice to be at Yulara for the full moon which is on the 15th of July. What are your thoughts on this?
AnswerID: 455098

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 09:18

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 09:18
Are you planning to do the Mareenie Loop? Yulara, Kings Canyon, Mareenie Loop, Western MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs would make a lot of sense. You need a permit for the Mareenie Loop as far as I know.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 10:56

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 10:56
I know our kids enjoyed being in Alice afer 12 days of roughing it, some tastes of civilisation and a bit of a recharge from being on the road. The idea does have merit.
I can only presume you are going back via the Plenty?
I don't know what the road is like now, but 3 years ago we comfortably did Alice-Boulia in 1.5 days towing our CT, but we didn't stop at any features.
Can't comment on the Full moon caper, the Resort and Yulara is very well illuminated from the street lights, we didn't venture out at night
Alice is a good place to base yourself for day trips in the region. There is a lot you can see 1.5 hours either side of Alice. Our kids thought they "had done Alice town" after 2 days. As adults we could have stayed a bit longer if it wasn't for the "I'm Bored" from our teenagers.
Alice does have markets some weekends, may be worthwhile trying to find out if they will coincide with your stay
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Follow Up By: Member - jlAU (SA) - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 12:26

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 12:26
Stayed at Resort (October 2010 with KKamper and 3 girls 11,13,15) after having a good look as station, camel ride at station for the kids but no comparison to resort for accommodation. no room and poky at station open clean at resort and no difference in price between both. easy choice for me then and next time.
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Reply By: Jacaluke - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 18:13

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 18:13
We won't be going back via the Plenty as we are heading north up to Katherine and Litchfield after Alice Springs. We will return home through Mt Isa, timing our stay to coincide with the Mt Isa Rodeo - we have lots of friends in Mt Isa having lived there for 15 years.

We might go straight to Ayres Rock after doing the Plenty and then work our way back to Alice Springs. We hope to be able to do the Mereenie Loop - just have to check on road conditions. We will be in a Ford Territory AWD towing an off-road Goldstream Storm camper and the people we are travelling with are in a Mitsubishi Triton dual cab towing an A-Van cruiseliner.
AnswerID: 455142

Follow Up By: MarkSom - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 21:13

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 21:13
Hi Marksom from Ballina here, Me, the wife, 2 bys 16 & 14 going out that way in late june thru july. We too got awd Territory towing Jayco OB Dove. We leave Balllina June23 go to Dalby, Charleville,Mt Isa,Tennant Crk, Alice, Ayers, KC, the loop, Alice, sth to Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Silverton, Bourke, Moree home... quick trip of 3 weeks. Would love to email you with further questions....marksom@optusnet.com.au
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Reply By: GrumpyOldFart - Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 21:12

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 21:12
we have just left the Kings Canyon Resort and are now at Yalara camp ground.

Thought the resort was great, hot showers, lots of grassed areas, 3 (I think) amenities blocks. Dingo serenade in the wee morning hours and watching the dingos cleaning up the camp BBQ plate after sunup.

We rolled up lateish without booking so missed out on a powered site. But with our TrakShak that was no problems. This time of the year it is cold even during the day so a late morning Canyon walk was no worries. Still need water, sunscreen and hats though.

Dropped in at Kings Creek Station for lunch on the way to Yulara and thought it was friendly & OK. Still had europeans in the kitchen just not as many as the Resort. Seemed all dirt and 3 tour coaches in the hour we spent there Saturday.

We are spending a few days here at Yulara before heading home to Papulankutja about 600km or so westish from here.

Whatever you do be flexible, it's all an adventure

OH and Diesel fuel at Kings Canyon Resort was $2.19 and Kings Creek Station was $2.21 looks like I'll have to put the price of fuel at Papulankutja up!!!

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Reply By: Jacaluke - Monday, May 23, 2011 at 08:42

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 08:42
Keep the advice coming - I love it! Marksom sounds like you are doing a trip very similar to ours - have you considered going across to Alice Springs via the Plenty Hwy rather than going through Mt Isa? We are hoping that our vehicle will go OK on the Plenty and the road conditions are favourable. We decided to go that way so we didn't have to do the long drive from Mt Isa to Tenant Creek twice - it would be great to be doing it in a loop like you are.

Can anybody give any advice on the Mereenie Loop? We are looking at going to Glen Helen Resort after Kings Canyon and I have noticed that there is a shortcut from the Mereenie Loop through to a dirt road west of Glen Helen Resort - any feedback on this road would be great.
AnswerID: 455199

Follow Up By: MarkSom - Monday, May 23, 2011 at 13:44

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 13:44
Hi again Jac & Luke?...Mark here, thought about Plenty, though have you seen posting for Plenty Hwy..av speed 52km,not alot to see( apparently), did want to go to Mt Isa & Tennant Crk... We have no real plans, except average 330km per day, include a few big km days, a few 2 day stays, some free camping if required, max 24 days. Getting great notes from EO members. Will post on Forum soon, see if can team up with other travellers.
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