Meandering At Kings Canyon’s Wilderness

My second day was mixed of Kata Tjuta, a bit of Uluru and Mount Conner. So far I was floating in satisfaction and fantastic scenery and experiences. At first, I thought that the group’s next destination was just nearby until we spent more than two hours in the road. It was like the same feeling during my Day 1 trip, I felt the time passed was too long but in reality it was not. Before arriving to Kings Creek Station we passed a beautiful scenery of George Gill Ranges located at our right side while we were on our way to Wattarka National Park from Lasseter Highway. I really enjoyed the scenic views for some time since it is a long mountain range. At that very moment while enjoying the scenery, I felt that part of the world like heaven in a sense that it was a peaceful moment of my life.

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At Kings Creek Station

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Our Tour Bus

 

Camels found at Kings Creek Station

We reached our destination, the Kings Creek Station and Kings Canyon was just around the corner. I remembered, our tour guide mentioned that our second and last night accommodation was an upgrade from the first one. He told us that from swag, we were upgraded to tent, a tent with bed. With that thought in mind, I expected that the tent is not the same tent I used in my hiking adventure, because a bed will not fit on it. We got off the bus and noticed that we stopped in a gas station, we walked around the area and familiarize ourselves in the place.

The good thing about the place, it has store that you can buy basic things needed in the outback and even gifts or souvenirs. Then we passed the shower rooms and bathrooms. We walked to the area and found the version of the tent that I was thinking. Then, I realized that the tent that our tour guide was referring to, was called safari cabin. Two single bed are fit in a cabin. Therefore we have to find our partners for each cabin and I found mine but apologies as I can’t recall her name right now.

After we took our stuff from the bus, we arranged ourselves at the cabin and made ourselves comfortable. I arranged my bed and my stuff, then, I went out to help the group for our dinner. That night, all of us in the group were helping out. Another thing that I noticed was that our tour guide knows a lot about food. Even we have members in the group that are vegetarians, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner were not been an issue to him. I learned something about food wrapping. Learned that having stuff to fill in the wrap, you are ready to fill in yourself without really cooking. Another thing that I discovered was cooking using charred wood. There was a bonfire area just near from our cabin which also used for cooking. I was familiar with cookware, pans or pots used for cooking but the new stuff for me was pots where it’s lid has a portion on its top area where you can  place burned wood wherein the heat was not only coming from the bottom of the pot but also on its top to make cooking easier and faster. It was an amazing stuff that I discovered and a very important cooking pots or basins when you wanted try to live in the outback.

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Bonfire

 

Cooking Basins

That night, we prepared a lot of food. Maybe because it was our second and last night together in the outback. I snapped the idea because it made my feelings gloomy. We still have the next day for the last adventure. We cleaned-up the kitchen and the dishes we used in preparing and cooking our food.

Maybe because it was our last night together, most of our group did not sleep immediately after the dinner. We sat around the bonfire we used in cooking for our dinner and we started talking together. At that moment in my life in front of bonfire at the outback together with the people I had been with for the past two days feel like a familiar feeling, though we’re all still strangers personally but I felt it was like home. I knew that it may not or may take longer that moment to happen again, and every bit of it, I treasured the moment in my heart and my mind. We spent hours in front of bonfire and then, one by one were saying good nights. I was one of the last person to stand away from bonfire and went to the cabin.

I felt relaxed when I returned to the cabin and in a matter of minutes I was dreaming. I walked up early in the morning, had our breakfast, cleanup the dishes and ready for the last day adventure. For our third and last adventure, I was still excited because we were scheduled to walk and trek around Kings Canyon. One of the canyon I saw was a long time ago and that time I was inside the rocky mountaineer train which was Cheakamus Canyon in Canada. I felt excited and inspired to see and experience Kings Canyon.

All of us jumped into the bus and drove towards the canyon. From Kings Creek Station we reached the parking area. Our main activity was to walk within the canyon. We followed the Canyon Rim Walk track with estimated of 3 to 4 hours of walk and trek. Our tour guide gave us a warning that the initial part of the trail is called a “heart attack” hill because we have to climb a steep and rugged steps (stairs) which he mentioned as 45 degrees. This means the climbed in that stairs will be a bit of exhausting.

 

Scenery enjoyed while resting after the heart attack trail

We walked a bit until we reached the uneven stairs. I saw the trail and I saw that it was a bit of steep climb. I knew it was a quite challenging climb because even though there’s a rugged steps, for me it’s more challenging to climb a stair than climbing with your own steps. When I did the climbed, I remembered that I was catching my breath. I looked-up and checked if the last step of the stair was almost near. I rejoiced when I saw that I was almost at the top of the stairs. The warning given by our guide was right, it was a heart attack climbed. It was not that really difficult like my other climbs that I had, it’s just that everyone were pushed to follow the steps of the stairs. So there’s a bit of time than I rested to recover my breathing. When we reached the top, we stopped a bit so everyone in the group will be gathered again. What I saw at the top excites me because I knew that we were exploring a canyon in the red center of Australia.

 

Our tour guide explaining something about sand dunes and rocks

When everyone were at the top area after the heart attack trail, our tour guide started to tell something about the canyon and its sand dunes. He mentioned that there were other trails available in the canyon and we were taking the trail that will finished just after lunch time. Next, we enjoyed the walk within the canyon wherein I just realized we were actually walking in the weathered sandstone domes that looks like the Lost City when we were at the other side of the canyon.

 

Snapshots while walking in between of weathered sandstone domes  which called Lost City of the canyon and while resting a bit not that far from the heart attack trail

We walked, ascended, then we repeated the process until we reached the famous lookout within the Canyon – Cotterrils Lookout. The said lookout gave us a chance to see 365 degrees of the canyon. We had a wide view of the Kings Creek and the overall scenery of weathered sandstone domes. In the said lookout we spent time here for photos and funny posts that our guide suggested us to do as our memories of the canyon.

 

Around or near Cotterrils Lookout

 

Cotterrils Lookout

 

While at Cotterrils Lookout

 

Lost City like scenery from Cotterrils Lookout

 

Kings Creek

Our walk in the canyon allowed us to discover the area of the canyon where there was a spot that was similar to Bungle Bungle (included in my list to see in Western Australia – I hope I will got a chance to tour around that state).

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The Little Bungle Bungle within the Kings Canyon

After enjoying the scenery of the sandstone domes, our trek within the canyon continued. We reached the wooden stairs and we descended and followed the track. Next we crossed the bridge. Then, we reached a gorge between cliff. While following the track after the stairs we saw what they called Garden of Eden because it serves as oasis where there are natural spring waterholes and has different plants around the area.

 

The Wooden Stairs and Bridges

 

Garden of Eden

 

Before we climbed up at the other side cliff we rested at the Garden of Eden near the oasis. Aside from us, other visitors stopped there too and there were few young male teenagers who jumped off in the oasis and enjoyed their swimming. While we’re resting our tour guide gave us some snacks that the whole group shared.

After resting we returned in our track and we climbed up the wooden stairs. When we reached the other side of the canyon, it gave us a chance to see the canyon in a different outlook or perspective. The part of the canyon that we just walked by and passed by, we were able to see it from the other end what it looks like. The rock domes are more notable compared to when we were walking along with it.

 

While climbing at the other side of the cliff

 

Rock Domes

 

In between Rock Domes

 

Waterhole

At the top we saw the oasis in a different angle even and the same with Kings Creek. Our walk continued. After sometime, we saw the part of the canyon that showcase another view of weathered sandstone. That weathered sandstone from a far looks similar to Old Aztec City that is why it is being called as Lost City.

 

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Kings Creek

 

The other side of the wall of the Kings Creek in Kings Canyon

 

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Lost City in Kings Canyon

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At the top, we spent more time for photos, selfies, groupies with the wonderful scenery that surrounds us. And then, our tour guide announced that we will start descending the canyon. We started our walk and followed our guide. With that moment, I know that once we reached the ground, that’s the last moment that I will have with the canyon. Probably with other people it’s just another canyon to see and visit, but for me the outback as a whole was another world for me that I may not be seeing again, but the place gave me a lot of memories because I was given a chance to discover and explore them in a short period of time. I somehow thinking that if I am not an IT (Information Technology) by profession I maybe a geologist. It may be an interesting profession.

When we touched the ground, we had our pack lunch and we headed straight back to Alice Springs where we started our 3 days adventure in the outback. I spent another night in Alice Springs and returned to Melbourne the next day.

Below are some photos that I still have after reaching Alice Springs and on my way back to Melbourne.

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Back to Alice Srings

 

With Wallabies

 

Alice Springs Airport

Note:
This is the 3rd or last part of my travel post and the continuation of my adventure of the Red Center in Australia. It takes a while for me to finish the post as I am overwhelmed with so many places that I traveled to and half of the post was done last year and now I got a chance to finish it up as I also tried to remember everything not only from photos and but also from all the experiences that are still in my memory.

Here are the other 2 posts from Australia’s Red Center which already published.
Uluru / Ayers Rock
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

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Hahndorf – Australia’s Oldest Surviving German Settlement Town

After coming from Mount Lofty Summit, we drove straight to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. The town is located at Adelaide Hills which part of Mount Lofty Ranges. After I heard that Handorf is a German Town, I was really curious, as myself coming from an asian country such as mine, wondering what it looks like and what it feels like to be in a German Town. In less than half an hour after we left “The Summit”, we arrived in Hanhdorf.

First thing to noticed before we parked our tour bus were the trees along the Main St. The atmosphere that struck me was like a classic town with the touch of being a farm village. We got off the bus and I joined other tourists which I guessed the age gap was probably not that big compare to mine. They were three whom traveling solo, but in Hahndorf, we looked like friends that traveled together. As of this writing I can’t remember their names anymore. But I had a great time being with them. One of them was German, that was why she’s quite familiar in the ambiance of the place. She’s the one who mentioned to us that German Sausage is typical in a German town.

— Hahndorf Inn

We walked along the Main Street, from the parking area, we started our experience in one of the restaurants where we tasted their cakes. When we entered in the restaurant named Hahndorf Inn, I had this impression that its like a cowboy cafe because of the interior design of the restaurant, some parts seems made from wood and the other parts were concrete. Hahndorf Inn has a long history in the place and I guessed that the inn had been witnessed to a lot of people’s live in the area and even the lives of the visitors that happened there.

— Hahndorf Inn

After we finished our cakes we left Hahndorf Inn. We tried to explore most of the shops and stores along the Main Street. We stopped a little bit in Hahndorf Candle Barn where we found different kinds of candles, scented and crafted candles with additional artistic accessories. Then, it followed by German Village Shop where we saw traditional clocks which famous in old days such as cuckoo clocks and complimented by other hand-made crafts.

— Hahndorf Candle Barn

— German Village Shop

After reading stuff (from the official site of Hahhdorf) about this German town, I came to learn that the place is one of the historical place not only in Australia but also in Germany. Hahndorf name was came from the name of the ship’s captain that brought the German people in South Australia named Dirk Hahn, a Danes. These German immigrants were Lutherans who experienced great persecution in their faith from the King of Prussia whom got a chance to migrate in this part of Adelaide Hills.

Other places or establishments we passed were Leathersmith and Bush Gallery which we saw displaying leather made good products, Cafe 1839 (which closed that time), Hahndorf Academy which is one of historical building in the town as it used in different purposes from the time it was built last 1857, The German Arms Hotel which marked as historical, significant hotel in the town and serves local German beers, The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel, The Stables Inn and Pioneer Memorial Gardens.

— Leathersmith and Bush Gallery

— Cafe 1839

— Hahndorf Academy

— The German Arms Hotel

— The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel

— The Stables Inn

— Pioneer Memorial Gardens

Something To Look At : Jack’s Ridge

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Something To Look At (Post#3) : Jack’s Ridge

Jack’s Ridge is located at Shrine Hill in Matina, Davao City. The place was the last stand of Japanese in Davao during their invasion time in Philippines. American soldier successfully won over Japanese and retreat on this place after they lost the fight. I like the area because there are lots of restaurants around it and the place is great for Davao Gulf lookout view.  Photo captured last March 2009.

Mount Lofty Summit – South Australia’s Majestic Summit

Morning day tour was over and our bus returned to the coach terminal where we came from that day in the morning. And because of that, I got a chance to stroll in the nearby market for lunch, the market is called Adelaide Central Market. After a quick walk, I select Chinese restaurant and ate comfortably with Asian menu. As I observed the place, the market was jam pack with people who common in such kind of place. Caucasian, asian and other races were flocked together in one place.

When the time was up, I returned to the terminal for my afternoon tour and in just few minutes, we were ready to go. The afternoon adventure focused on highland areas near Adelaide. Our first stop was Mount Lofty Summit which considered as the highest point in southern Mount Lofty Ranges. We passed city centre as we drove towards Adelaide Hills. I can’t remember which road we took to the summit but we drove almost half an hour before we reached the place.

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–Mount Lofty Summit Lookout Area with Flinders Column

 

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–Some information to be found and worth reading it

When we arrived at the location, I was really excited because highlands or lets say mountains or hills is my most favourite place to visit whether it’s an adventure climb or a simple tour. From the bus, we walked a little until we reached the lookout area. Mount Lofty Summit is also called as “The Summit” which considered as majestic peak in South Australia, I’m not sure what does it mean but for my own opinion maybe because of the panoramic views that will be witness in the place like Adelaide City Centre and Adelaide Airport which all within the vicinity of vast and wide Adelaide Plains.

 

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–Adelaide Plains

 

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–Adelaide Plains

When we were in the lookout area, I grabbed all my chances to take photos of the scenery. And it was amazing because at the time we were at the summit, it was obvious that the clouds was heavier and darker, these clouds had been visible to most of the photos. While strolling around the place, I learned that the summit was named by famous Matthew Flinders who an English man from Britain whom navigated Australia. “The Summit” also offers restaurants and cafes where people can indulge with great foods while watching panoramic views, a truly relaxing place to be.

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–Adelaide City Centre

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–Adelaide Airport

Mount Lofty Summit reminded me again how I really missed mountains, seeing places which can only be appreciated or discovered at the top together with nature is one of the main reason I love to be in highlands.

At the top, I can see beyond my imagination and started to think things in good ways and view the world again as liveable place to stay on.

Colors : Jurong Bird Park Entrance Garden

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Colors (Post#1) : Jurong Bird Park Entrance Garden

Photo above was captured near the Entrance of Jurong Bird Park which displayed colourful flowers and some used to creatively display a bird shape which the park is all about bird. I visited this place when I was still working in Singapore and went there together with my nephew which just 3 years old as a way to introduce to him different kinds of birds. Snapshot captured last February 2010.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Horse Hill Snow Play Park

IMG_2209 Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#21) : Horse Hill Snow Play Park

When I got a chance to visit Mount Buller together with friends in Melbourne. One of the areas we did enjoy was Horse Hill Snow Play Park where we had fun of tobogganing activities. At first I was hesitant to try it out but when I saw a lot of people trying and enjoying it, I decided to try it as well. The first time I did it I really nervous because I was thinking what if something happen? And then some of my friends pushed me and there it goes, I passed the first time experience and then I climb back to the top to do it again, I did it many times until we decided to go to Mount Buller which just nearby. Moment captured last August 2013.

Arthurs Seat – Highest Viewpoint at Mornington Peninsula

I stayed in Australia for more than a year now, I remembered the first time I went to Arthurs Seat in Mornington Peninsula which was a year ago, I visited the area as part of my Mornington Peninsula tour last March 2013. The said tour  was one of the earlier tours that I had in Victoria since the time I arrived in Australia last February 2013.

The story that I am going to tell was about my second visit in the area this year last March. My visit was different from the first time because I was not only passing the area just to visit the lookout area, I visited beautiful and seems magical garden around the area together with friends that I made while staying in Australia.

I knew that we were going for a picnic but I didn’t know that it will be around Arthurs Seat. When were on our way to the place, I heard it was in Red Hill in Mornington, until I realized that Arthurs Seat was actually near in Red Hill. We went to Enchanted Adventure Garden. I went there with friends together with their own family,  the basic thing we were going to do were having fun and family bonding. Analyzing the people went with us, I just realized I was one of the few people who are still single in the group and that made me felt awkward at first until I felt that I belong to a huge family.

Everyone waited for each other and gathered all of us at the entrance of the garden near at secondary car park (not the main entrance), we bought ticket and once we entered the garden we looked for a nice spot for picnic. Seeing group of families preparing food for their family and family alike seems felt so great and wonderful and somehow I thought that this was kind of view with a family having fun together. While my friends preparing foods, my friends children started playing around since the garden is not just a garden for picnic, it has other facilities to enjoy and play around (that’s what I saw in the map that I got while buying ticket).

Before looking around the garden, we had our lunch first. In this kind of gathering, I got a chance to eat food from my home country. I am not expert in cooking and honestly I am starting to learn how to cook, and having friends same with my race and nationality, it felt great eating food that I missed for so long.

After lunch, I walked together with my friends while their husbands were doing their own thing and while their children were playing. The picnic area we chose were just near the entrance gate and parking lot for the main reason, it’s quite difficult to bring food stuff if the picnic spot was far. Our first stop was Spooky 3D Maze. We went inside and follow the maze, it’s quite scary because of the background sounds, we saw some scary paintings and sculptures with lively colors with the help of neon lights effect and tunnel that seems moving, I felt a bit dizzy when I got out the maze because of the effects of colors but in the end we had great time inside the maze.

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Some shots inside the 3D Maze (courtesy of my friend Vicki)

We moved to the main part of the garden, but before that, we passed tracks where we found different sculptures and here most of us stopped to take pictures, we had a great time in the area. Then, we passed Spring Maze, Junior Obstacle Course, and Tree Surfing (which requires additional fee, never tried since no one wants to try it aside from me) until we found one of the main garden with unique shape The Parterre. The said garden is located at the front of Lolly Shop and Cafe. Most people did not miss to take opportunities to get pictures around the area. We found beside the Parterre the Hedge Maze. This Hedge Maze was the second maze garden that I saw while staying in Australia (the first one was the Ashcombe Maze near in Red Hill Road). We did try to walk inside the maze but unfortunately we were not able to reached the center of the maze, we got confused and got lost, all of us just laughing while inside the maze.

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10003264_1475983365950964_376130692_nThe Parterre (courtesy of my friend Vicki)

IMG_4282The Parterre

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1150896_1475982805951020_1646085278_nGoing to the one of the entrance of Hedge Maze (courtesy of my friend Vicki)

After we got out from the maze, we went to the other garden area namely: Pottage Garden, Cottage Garden and Beach Box. We took time photos around the area until we reached the Enchanted Lake with fountain in the middle of it. Beside the lake, we found a unique dinosaur sculpture (Enchantosaur) that no one will miss because you will hear its dinosaur sounds near in the lake. After enjoying the lake view, we went to the other garden area and enjoyed the view as well as photo shots.

1922254_1475984005950900_150251069_nCottage Garden (courtesy of my friend Vicki)

IMG_4319Cottage Garden

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Marble Sculpture

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IMG_4332Enchanted Lake

IMG_4333Enchatosaur

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Some view from other gardens

Next adventure we took was tube sliding. The first time I remembered that I used tubing was for water tubing when I was in Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur Philippines. That time, I tried tube sliding and it was like tobogganing  during winter season. We tried few more times and it was really fun, I did not stop screaming while sliding. It was a great adventure.

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Tube Sliding (photo courtesy of my friend Alma)

When we got tired from playing around in tube sliding, we tried to walked-in to the lolly shop to see what we can buy and then from there, we realized that the main entrance of the garden was not the entrance we used to enter the park. We went out the door of the lolly shop and we took our time to take photos at the main entrance.

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IMG_4348Main Entrance

We returned in our picnic spot and we had our snacks before we left the garden. Before leaving Arthurs Seat area, we went to the same lookout that I visited a year ago. We arrived at Murray Lookout to see Port Philip Bay and the surrounding area of Mornington Peninsula. All of us in the group spent sometime here for solo and group photos.

1920122_1475985019284132_728824585_nMornington Peninsula View (courtesy of my friend Vicki)

IMG_4362Port Philip Bay and Mornington Peninsula View from Murray Lookout