Giles Track in Watarrka National Park

Heat warning

Temperatures across the Northern Territory can be very hot between October and April.

It can exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some locations. High humidity in the Top End can also make you tire easily.

Check forecast temperatures before you visit. Find out how to prepare and stay safe in the heat.

The Giles Track is a 22km walking track in Watarrka National Park - home of Kings Canyon.

The track begins at Kings Canyon and finishes at Kathleen Springs. It can be walked from either direction.

It is recommended to do the Giles Track as an overnight walk.

You can do a day walk from Lilla car park along Tjintjit Tjintjit Spur in either direction.

You shouldn't try walking the track in very hot weather.

On days the forecast temperature for Watarrka is 36 degrees Celsius or above, the Kings Canyon end of the track will close at 11am. You will not be able to start the walk after 11am.

You can start the walk from Lilla or Kathleen Springs at any time. We recommend you do not walk in hot weather.

Orange arrows mark the track every 50 to 100m.

The Giles Track is a grade 3 - moderate track. This means the track is suitable for experienced walkers of average fitness able to carry their own food, water and sleeping gear in a remote area. This walk is graded based on the walking track grading system.

Trail notes and map

Get the Giles Track trail notes and map PDF (1.3 MB).

Get the Giles Track notes and stories PDF (532.6 KB). This information matches with symbols along the walk so you can learn more about the environment and history of the area.


You should use all of the following advice to walk safely along the Giles Track:

  • walk with at least two others so that an injured person is not left alone in an emergency
  • carry and drink plenty of water - there is drinking water at Kings Canyon and Kathleen Springs trailhead. There is no water at Lilla. You should not rely on finding water on the trail as creeks and rockholes are usually dry
  • carry an emergency communication device such as a satellite phone or personal locator beacon as you will not have mobile phone reception
  • don't walk the Giles Track in hot weather - generally this is November to March, but hot weather can happen outside of these months
  • take warm clothing, a sleeping bag and shelter if you are camping in the winter
  • tell a reliable person of your plans and arrange return transport before you go - make sure your chosen contact person will call the police if you do not return by the expected time
  • fill out the logbook provided at Kings Canyon, Lilla and Kathleen Springs. It is important your details are correct so rangers can track you in an emergency - rangers may not check this book regularly so make sure you still tell a reliable person.

Camping and accommodation

Camping at Watarrka National Park is only permitted for people walking the Giles Track.

Walkers can camp anywhere between the 3km and 20km markers, but the best place to camp is Reedy Creek.

Accommodation near the park is available at the places listed in the table below.

Kings Canyon Resort 08 8956
Kings Creek Station 08 8956 7474

Look after Watarrka

All plants and animals in Watarrka National Park are protected.

The traditional owners are strongly connected to this country and live on or close to the park.

You should use the following advice to respect the cultural, spiritual and historical importance of Watarrka:

  • don't interfere with cultural sites or artefacts in the park
  • don't collect firewood in the park - take a gas stove to cook with
  • stay on the track so that you don't break the fragile sandstone
  • use a scourer instead of detergent and do all washing at least 100m from watercourses
  • carry all of your rubbish with you, including cigarette butts, foil and food scraps
  • bury toilet waste in a 15cm deep hole at least 100m from watercourses, even if they are dry
  • be aware of weeds and remove seeds from your boots and socks before travelling to the park.


For more information about the Giles Track, contact Parks and Wildlife in Alice Springs.

Last updated: 07 June 2022

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