glamping and hiking at kings canyon, northern territory.
after we checked in, we had a 10 minute drive through some desert, and then past an escarpment to find the campgrounds. they have three private “rooms” and a communal area and pool. we were the only ones who had booked for the night though, so we had the whole place to ourselves. the tents are backed up against the escarpment and there is NOTHING for miles.
the facilities were really amazing though! comfy bed, temperature controlled room, and a fridge packed full of drinks!
we spent our afternoon just drinking and hanging out in the pool, staring out into the desert. it was perfect.
other than when someone drove down to bring us our food, we saw no one. they brought us everything we’d need until we checked out the next day all at once - a lovely fruit and cheese plate, salad, sides and a couple of steaks for dinner, and even all the makings for a huge breakfast the next morning. there was a griddle/grill and a stocked kitchen for us to cook our steak (and eggs and bacon in the morning). it was definitely a very luxurious camping situation.
quite possibly james’s favorite part of this whole thing was the fact that they had a huge telescope over in the communal area. not that you needed it.. the instant the sun went down, the sky lit up with stars in a way i have never ever seen before. it was completely awe-inspiring.
so this is kind of nerdy cool. while we were looking up at this perfectly clear, crazy star-filled sky, we noticed a cloud. and we thought it was very strange that in this otherwise cloud-less sky, there was just this cloud hanging out. it wasn’t until later that we learned that it was a magellanic cloud, and there are 2 of them that can only be seen from the southern hemisphere, and they are actually GALAXIES. MINDS. BLOWN. i obviously couldn’t get a great picture of it, but here it is, that little smudge in the middle left:
the next morning, we drove to watarrka national park to actually hike around kings canyon. it starts pretty strenuously (almost all uphill) then levels out with breathtaking views of the canyon and beehive-like rock formations.
in total, the hike was about 2.5-3 hours, though we skipped a few of the additional side trails/loops because we needed to get back on the road south towards uluru!