April 2011

Kings Canyon, 

Watarrka National Park

Distance: 3.7 miles                          Time: 3 hours                         Type: Round trip
 

The road to Uluru, known more popularly as 'Ayer's Rock' by white people in times past, is long, hot, dusty and red. Australia' most iconic natural feature lies almost at the geographical centre of the country amidst miles and miles and miles of flat, barren and dry land.

Moro Rock is a granite dome near Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park which offers extensive views over the western half of the park and the Great Western Divide. A 400-step staircase leads from the car park to the summit of the rock. There are a number of signs, both at the start of the trail and on the rock itself, warning of the risks of hiking during a storm as several people have been killed by lightning strikes whilst exposed on the rock.

 

Nearby you can also visit (and drive through) Tunnel Log. This is a sequoia that fell down in 1937 as a result of natural causes. A tunnel was cut into the tree the following summer to create a tourist attraction, and many people still drive through it today. The most famous and most photographed tree tunnel was actually cut through Wawona Tree in Yosemite National Park but this fell down in 1969. It's fairly depressing to think that at one time our first instinct on seeing such unique and old trees was to cut a huge hole in them - with attitudes like that it's no wonder that the planet is in such a bad way.

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