The Giles Track - Watarrka National Park
The Giles Track, named after the first European to explore the George Gill Range in 1872, is a 22km walking track located within Watarrka National Park.
The track begins at Kings Canyon and finishes at Kathleen Springs, but can be walked in either direction. Alternatively, access from the Lilla carpark via Tjintjit Tjintjit Spur allows for a day walk in either direction. Doing the Giles Track as an overnight walk is strongly recommended.
The Giles Track is graded 'Medium' - Suitable for experienced walkers of average fitness, capable and equipped to carry adequate food, water and sleeping requirements in a remote area. Orange arrows mark the track at intervals of approximately 500 metres. It is essential to carry the Fact Sheet and map (available below) to avoid straying from the marked route.
Fact Sheets and Maps
Download a copy of the Fact Sheet (pdf 1.13Mb)- including map and information about logistics and safety.
Download a copy of the Information Sheet (pdf 386Kb) - includes information on the geology, flora, fauna, history and culture of the Giles Track.
- Walk with at least two others so that in an emergency an injured person is not left alone
- Carry and drink plenty of water. A limited supply of water is provided at Kings Canyon day use area and the Kathleen Springs carpark. Surface water is rarely available and should not be relied upon.
- Carry some form of emergency communication such as a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB). Mobile phone access is not available.
- Do not attempt to walk the Giles Track in hot weather (generally November to March but can also occur either side of these months). The terrain is very exposed with minimal shade.
- Take warm clothing, a sleeping bag and shelter if you are camping during the freezing winter nights.
- Inform a reliable person of your walk plans and arrange return transport before you depart. Ensure your emergency contact person knows to contact the police if you fail to return by the nominated time.
- Fill out the logbook provided at Reedy Creek so that Rangers can track your movement in an emergency.
Camping and Accommodation
Camping is not permitted in the park except for those walking the Giles Track. Walkers can camp anywhere between the 3km and 20km markers, however the recommended place to camp is Reedy Creek.
Accommodation is available at:
- Kings Canyon Resort: (08) 8956 7442
- Kings Creek Station: (08) 8956 7474
- Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge : 1800 891 121
Looking after Watarrka National Park
The Giles Track is located within Watarrka National Park and all plant and animal species are protected. Watarrka is a cultural landscape and Traditional Owners maintain strong connections to their country and culture by living on or close to the Park. Please respect the cultural, spiritual and historical significance of Watarrka.
- There are many sites of cultural importance within and around Watarrka. Do not interfere with cultural sites or artefacts.
- Firewood collection is not permitted within the Park and it is recommended all walkers adopt a 'fuel stove only' policy.
- Avoid breaking the fragile sandstone by keeping to the Track.
- Use a scourer instead of detergent and do all washing at least 100 metres from watercourses.
- Pack it in, pack it out! No bins are provided and all rubbish should be carried out with you. This includes cigarette butts, foil and food scraps.
- Bury toilet waste in a 15cm deep hole, 100 metres away from all watercourses (even if they are dry) and burn your toilet paper.
- Be weed aware – remove Buffel Grass and Mossman River Grass seeds from your boots and socks.
For more information about the Giles Track contact:
- The Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Office in Alice Springs (08) 8951 8250
- Watarrka National Park Ranger Station (08) 8956 7460
- Tourism Central Australia: 1800 645 199
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org