Camping at Kings Canyon

2012-07-25 09.39.21

Kings Canyon Camping Options

The aim of this page is to give you honest, local advice about Kings Canyon camping.

Kings Canyon Camping, Watarrka National Park

As Gary was the manager of Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park for three years, he knows a thing or two about camping at Watarrka.

And we can tell you that options for Kings Canyon camping are a lot more limited than they should be!

This will hopefully change now that the park is jointly managed by the NT Parks & Wildlife Service and Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

At present, however, it is illegal to camp in Watarrka National Park.

There are no camping areas or facilities, and bush camping is forbidden. Although some people do camp, they are risking a fine from the rangers if they are caught.

Please don’t upset the rangers who work very hard to keep people safe and the park clean and world class by camping in the park.

They have better things to do with their time than chase silly buggers in camper vans out of the sunset viewing area!

Basically, you have two options for Kings Canyon camping:

  • Camp legally and pay
  • Camp outside park in the road reserve

Legal Option #1: Camping at Kings Creek Station

The Kings Creek campground is located 30km (20 min drive) from Kings Canyon, and is set amongst natural bush with views of the George Gill Range.

Kings Canyon Camping

The Kings Creek campground has both grassed and un-grassed sites, with or without power. Toilet, shower and laundry facilities are provided; and don’t forget the swimming pool!

The campground also caters for caravans, campervans and swags.

Current campground prices:

  • $19 per adult – powered site per night
  • $17 per adult – unpowered site per night
  • Child (6-15 years) $8.50
  • $51 family powered site – 2 x adults & 3 kids under 16 (under 5 free) per night
  • $48 family unpowered site – 2 x adults & 3 kids under 16 (under 5 free) per night (extra children $8.50)

Legal Option #2: Camping at Kings Canyon Campground

The Kings Canyon Campground is located within Kings Canyon Resort.

Kings Canyon Camping, Watarrka National Park

It features grassed, shady camp spots and caravan sites nestled in amongst the Spinifex crested dunes of the surrounding National Park.

The scenery is great, with views of the western end of the George Gill Range, including Carmichael’s Crag.

What’s not so great about it, however, is that it can get busy in the peak times, and if you don’t like a lot of light at night, be warned! You may find it impossible to sleep here due to the floodlights.

Amanda refuses to stay here because the light problem at night is so bad. On the one occasion she did have to stay here, she slept with a bath towel over her head to block the ridiculous floodlights!

There are usually plenty of non-powered sites, so you don’t need to book in advance. We recommend you book powered sites in advance if you’re coming here between June-September

Rates are as follows:

Powered sites: $19 per person, per night ($17 non-powered), children (6-15 years) $7 per night.

Family rates – max 2 adults and 4 children: $45 per night ($40 non-powered).

Semi-legal Camping Outside Watarrka National Park

Hopefully the situation with Kings Canyon camping inside Watarrka National Park may change in the next couple of years. However, until then, as we said above, please don’t camp in the National Park.

What some people choose to do to avoid paying camping fees is to drive outside of the National Park and camp on the road reserve or on Aboriginal land.

Camping on Aboriginal land without a permit is illegal and will earn you a hefty fine if you’re caught.

Please don’t do it. It is disrespectful. What’s more Aboriginal people live on Watarrka National in several communities. If they see you, they will report you.

Camping within the road reserve that goes through Aboriginal land is a grey area. We haven’t heard of anyone being caught or fined, and we’ve seen plenty of people doing it.

We are not recommending you do this. It is a legal grey area. If you take the risk, please don’t say we told you to do it. Rather, we are providing you with information that this might be a possibility for Kings Canyon camping.

 

4 Comments

  • Allan & Bernie Charlesworth says:

    Hi, I am an Aussie, bringing my Canadian wife back to Aussie in January 24 2014. We are planning on doing two weeks from Alice thru ULuru to Oodnadatta and Cooberpedy to Adelaide. We have rented a Britz camper 4×4. My background was a tour bus driver for Australian Pacific tours back in the 70,s and early 80’s.We have 4×4 home here in Canada, so we know how to operate these vehicles. We love your Web sight, any further info you might have we would love to here about it. PS we are aware of the heat factor, that is why we are coming in January, landing in Alice 24th, from Sydney.

  • Hi, I’m looking to spend 12 days in isolation from Dec 10th to 22nd. Preferrably away from other people as I’m looking for complete isolation if possible for at least some of that time. I’m wondering if you can recommend any options for parking my car in / near wilderness where I won’t get fined.

    Would love to hear back from you with any ideas.

    Regards,
    Steve

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Steve,

      Try Owen Springs Reserve, free camping inside Lawrence Gorge. You can drive anywhere in there, and it will be VERY quiet. You will need a 4WD to get in. You do realise how hot it will be in December in Central Australia, don’t you?

      Cheers,

      Amanda

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