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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 02:52 PM
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Hello all,

If we arrive at Alice Springs (from Darwin) at 8:40 AM can we drive to Uluru via Watarrka/Kings Canyon in the same day w/ time to walk abit around Watarrka/Kings Canyon?

Thanks, Andrew David
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 05:31 PM
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The walk around the rim of Kings Canyon takes about 3 hours. The drive from Alice to Kings Canyon will take about 4 hours (about 420km). The drive from Kings Canyon to Yulara is roughly another 4 hours (400km). So really the answer is no.
You can do a short walk along the canyon floor in 30 minutes but it's not worth going all the way to Kings Canyon and not doing the rim walk which is quite spectacular. There is a campground and motel near the canyon so much better to stop overnight and drive to Yulara the next day. If time allows, do the walk through the Valley of the Winds at the Olgas.
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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I agree with marg. The Kings Canyon rim walk is best done at sunrise, so I would drive to the Kings Canyon Resort campground, complete the rim walk by 9am, then have plenty of time to head over to Uluru/Kata Tjuta.

There are a number of things you could do on the way to Watarrka that would make the extra day worthwhile. You could visit the MacDonnel Range, including a short walk into Standley Chasm; or the Alice Springs Desert Park. If you are into astronomy, you could stop at the Henbury Craters Meteorite Conservation Area, where several meteorites created a small set of craters - topped off by an evening Sky Talk at the Kings Canyon Resort campground (most nights).
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Thanks marg and ALF,

We'll spend the night at Kings Canyon on your reccomendations. Can we do the Mereenie Loop Road to Kings Canyon from Hermannnsburg w/ regular rental car w/ 2 wheel drive or should we take the longer paved route. I don't think we have need of 4 wheel drive for anything else.

Thanks, AndrewDavid
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Old Aug 28th, 2003, 11:02 PM
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The Mereenie Loop Road is only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Stick to the bitumen - it's a long way to get help if you have problems.
We were in Kings Canyon last year and asked about that road as we thought it would be a good short cut but were told by the locals not to use it. They laughed about the tourists taking their rental cars on it and how the cars looked when they arrived at Kings Canyon. If fact, one wrecked vehicle was parked at the roadhouse.
The roadhouse at Erldunda (where you turn off the main highway onto the Yulura road) is a good place for a meal stop - also has good motel units.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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I took the Mereenie Loop in a 2WD van - BIG MISTAKE! On a map, it looks very attractive, but it is a very rough unsealed road that will bounce out all your dental fillings and possibly ruin your vehicle's suspension.
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Old Sep 1st, 2003, 03:17 AM
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G'day Andrew,
should you decide to take a 4WD along the Mereenie Loop and if you have the time you may like to also visit Palm Valley.
The turnoff is just out of Hermannsburg and you drive for part of the way along in the Finke River.
There are unique palms, the Livinstonia Marie, which have been growing there 'forever' and are found nowhere else, and the scenery is spectacular.
Cheers,
Mike
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