A Little Payoff…Salvation in Kings Canyon Australia

Huddled under one lone awning in the middle of the Outback, as the rain poured down around us, we all looked forlornly at the broken down tour bus while Jess presented us with a choice:

  • admit defeat and return to the previous night’s campground near Uluru
  • head a couple hours down the road toward Kings Canyon in hopes that the river hadn’t overflowed – if it hadn’t we could hike the Canyon in the morning.Melb - Uluru 064

At this point it was a tough call. Although the our visit to Uluru was rained out, and the base walk and Kata Juta portions severely affected by the rain, nothing compared to the fact that one of the buses broke down in the middle of nowhere.

My tour bus was fine, but our company had two tours running that weekend and we couldn’t leave the other bus stranded. All 42 of us waited out the rain in a small shelter as the one working bus sped down the road, back to town, to (hopefully) pick up an alternative bus.

When Jess returned the sun was setting and we were hours away from our planned camp.

Naturally though we took option two – I mean, we really wanted to see King’s Canyon!

Day Three: Forging Another River and Kings Canyon

And also naturally, of course, just 20 minutes from our campground we encounter a deep river flooded across the road.

The poles measure depth and according to Jess, it was too deep to cross. Well, too deep to cross with people in the bus…

Wading through the water

That's the van headlights in the backgroud, waiting for us to cross...

Yes, we all hiked up our pants, doffed our socks and shoes, and waded across the stream while Jess put a plastic bag around something on the bus so that it wouldn’t flood (muffler maybe? I don’t profess to have a clue when it comes to that!).

We made it! And still in good spirits too. Because by this time we had all adapted the “us against the elements” mentality, and clearly we were winning.

In fact, by night time the rain cleared enough to sleep in swags under the stars and it was just about as spectacular as you could imagine. After so much rain, the sky was crystal clear and there wasn’t an ounce of light pollution for hundreds of miles to lessen the impact of thousands of bright, twinkling stars.

Claiming and Proclaiming

Our reward for two days of flooding and endless rain was a spotlessly clear and bakingly hot morning hike through Kings Canyon with a relieved dip in the bottom watering hole for good measure.

A Sunny Kings Canyon Kings Canyon

Melb - Uluru 172 Melb - Uluru 221

The Verdict on an Australian Outback Tour

A Little AdriftWhat a trip right?! When Outback Safaris promised an adventure, they weren’t kidding. As for the  company, I really liked them – they’re a classic budget backpacker option and just a tad more than the cheapest option (which I had heard horrible things about). And would I do it again? Yes, and I’d do it with Outback Safaris again too it’s not their fault it rained! So, in short, I recommend the company and the experience…while I’m not sure what a typical trip with them is like, they handled all of the craziness really well  :-)

Day One: Uluru’s Waterfalls and a Spectacular Waterfall
Day Two: A Flooded Base Walk and Kata Juta

Check out more photos of the Outback trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Juta, and Kings Canyon.

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8 Responses to A Little Payoff…Salvation in Kings Canyon Australia

  1. Akila December 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Wow. We were in the Outback for 7 days and never even saw the threat of rain. One of our guides had lived there for 10 months and he said that the most rain he had seen was a light drizzle one day. I can't believe that it rained so hard while you were there. Definitely an experience to remember.

    • ShannonOD December 15, 2009 at 2:24 am #

      I still don't know if you're the lucky one or me! :-) I would have loved to
      have seen it sunny and dry – but at the same time, the rain was certainly
      unique! Did you guys take a week long tour out there? (perhaps I should
      check the blog ;-)

  2. ShannonOD December 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    I still don't know if you're the lucky one or me! :-) I would have loved to
    have seen it sunny and dry – but at the same time, the rain was certainly
    unique! Did you guys take a week long tour out there? (perhaps I should
    check the blog ;-)

  3. ShannonOD December 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    I would have bet money against there being that much rain! Wouldn't have
    believed it if I hadn't been there. :-)

  4. Candice December 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Totally think all the flooding and outback madness made the experience one to remember. Somehow I just never imagined the Australian outback could possibly be drenched in rain. ;)

    • ShannonOD December 15, 2009 at 2:14 am #

      I would have bet money against there being that much rain! Wouldn't have
      believed it if I hadn't been there. :-)

  5. Akila December 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    Wow. We were in the Outback for 7 days and never even saw the threat of rain. One of our guides had lived there for 10 months and he said that the most rain he had seen was a light drizzle one day. I can't believe that it rained so hard while you were there. Definitely an experience to remember.

  6. Candice December 14, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    Totally think all the flooding and outback madness made the experience one to remember. Somehow I just never imagined the Australian outback could possibly be drenched in rain. ;)

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