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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Precious Moment In The Mountain : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#22) : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

Kata Tjuta is a group of large dome rock formations which located near In Uluru and Alice Springs. It was mentioned that there are 36 domes. This site like Ayers Rock is a sacred to Aboriginal people in Australia. The photo above is one of the valley in between dome rock formation we saw after we did a short trek on one of top area inside Kata Tjuta. As per Wikipedia, Mount Olga is the highest point and name came from Queen Olga of Wurttemberg (grand-daughter of Russia, wife of King  Charles I). Photo above captured last March 2013.

Chromatic Outlook : Tampines West Community Club

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Chromatic Outlook (Post#9) : Tampines West Community Club

I remembered that during my almost a year work in Singapore, one of the activities that I replaced for traveling in a city-island country was Badminton. I saw that Community Club is one way of the government to make people active since no mountains to trek in Singapore. And climbing a mountain was just one of the things that I really missed in my own country. Photo above was Tampines West Community Club which captured last March 2010.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Black and White View – May 16, 2016
Black and White Wednesday – May 18, 2016
The Weekend in Black and White – May 20, 2016

Walking and Trekking at MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir

Year 2008 was the year that reminded me or let say reawakened in my self that I love nature. I love greens and forest and that led me to love mountains. When I moved to Singapore for work I knew that I am sacrificing one thing that I love that is climbing a mountain.

Singapore is a city, though it tried to maintain itself as being green city still it does not have mountains to climb. I remembered that there is one mountain that I know and that is Mount Faber where one end of Sentosa cable car is located. Aside from that mountain, I know nothing else.

When I started working in Singapore I thought that things will get excited because living in another country different from what I used to be might be an adventure. I started working in Singapore last December 2009 and to my surprised less than a month or exactly after a month, I felt bored. My colleagues at work started to feel the same way, in another two months all of us felt home sick.

I belong to a batch of IT Filipinos who was hired to work through third-party company for an investment bank in Singapore. It was the first time that I worked abroad and it’s different compared if I was sent or assigned by my company to another country.

One thing that I never thought to experienced in Singapore was trekking. My colleague at work decided to visit MacRitchie Reservoir and I joined them.

Some of us met at MacRitchie, some met at the train station. Since I was coming from Sengkang area, I took purple line from Buangkok to Serangoon station and transferred to yellow line from Serangoon to Marymount (at that time, yellow line was still half-completed). From Marymount, we took bus to MacRitchie.

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–Amenities Centre

When we arrived at MacRitchie Reservoir, I already like its nature ambiance. We walked to the park’s lobby where some cafe are located. At the lobby there are shower rooms and wash rooms as well. We also found information of the park such as board map and walking trails.

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–Amenities Centre

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–Amenities Centre

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We don’t have walking guide, when we started the walk near from the lobby or park amenities centre but before we begin we decided to follow the Yellow trail as it will return to the amenities center where we started. We just followed the trail as we see it. First, we turned left as we face the centre and then we turned right on our way to the Paddle Lodge, Fishing Ground and Kayak Platform.

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After passing the Dam trail and Kayak Platform, we entered the natures trail. When we were inside the forest I felt that I felt great as I reminisce the experience of climbing mountain. Walking in the trail under tall trees and surrounded by different plants and vines made me fell that I was really close with nature.

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–Inside the Forest

From the start of the trail we saw post telling how far we already walk so far. And in every post that we saw we rest a while and took our chances to take some photos. We had fun during the walk, we talked about a lot of things. Along the way, we saw resting huts and the huts has its name which was nice. There is part of the trail that we walk along the ground and some has wooden path and stairs. It made me felt that I was trekking some hills and the trail was easy to medium level. During our walk we also experienced a bit of rain.

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–HSBC Treetop Walk

We already reached the 3.5 km post. After half an hour we saw the post of HSBC Treetop Walk, and in few minutes we arrived at the front of it. Treetop Walk as per the park information that it is a free-standing suspension bridge that connects two highest point which is Bukit Pierce and Bukit Kalang in MacRitchie. We did enjoy the bridge when we crossed it. The bridge gave us a chance to have a different perspective to appreciate the forest and the park.

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–Inside the Forest

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–Jelutong Tower Top

After the Treetop Walk, we continued our trek in the forest and follow the trail we intended to finish. We climb Jelutong Tower Top as we were curious what to see. We also passed a trail part where the side itself was the reservoir. Then some part of The Singapore Island Country Club which is left side of the reservoir. One of the cool things we saw along the way was the small turtle at the side of the water reservoir.

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–The Singapore Island Country Club

Before we reached the promenade, we saw the Zigzag bridge and the Bandstand beside it.

We finished the trail same where we started which means that we took the trail that go around the MacRitchie Reservoir. Though we were quiet tired in waking and trekking, I really enjoyed what we did because I had been the similar activity back to my country.

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–Little Turtle we saw near the side of the reservoir

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–Inside the Forest

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–On the way to Promenade

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–Bandstand and Zigzag BridgeIMG_1317

–One of the cafe at the Amenities Centre