After a fun-filled but dusty and tiring day riding quad-bikes around Kings Creek Station and exploring the wondrous panoramas of Kings Canyon, the idea of camping in the middle of the outback may alarm some. However my Northern Territory Checklist itinerary listed glamorous camping or glamping (is that a horrible word or is it just me?) at Kings Creek Wilderness Lodge.
Any concerns are removed the instant I arrive. The raised tented cabins offer the ultimate in outback accommodation. All feature reverse-cycling air-conditioning, fly-screening, superbly appointed private ensuite bathrooms and elegant relaxing private decks to enjoy the late afternoon sunset. The lodge is impressively designed for low enivronmental impactmaking maximum usage of water and generating most of its power via a large bank of solar panels.
Rather than numbers, each Kings Creek Wilderness Lodge cabin (there are only ten) is named after a significant central Australian who is written up in a compendium in the room. Sinking into the balcony deck chair, I read that Len Tuit is considered the father of Central Australian Tourism. Running mail trucks on desert tracks in the early half of last century, Len envisioned a day when he could share the outback country he loved with other Australians and people from around the world.
Battling typical government intransigence, lack of vision and apathy (one response included “how could a a large lump of rock be sold as a tourist destination“, Len persisted and eventually convinced authorities and the area around Uluru (Ayers Rock) was opened with a small town and decent access roads. I can imagine Len would be in his resting place very contented with his vision seeing people experience the Red Centre in locations like Kings Creek Station.
The lodge includes a gourmet dinner in its offering. Tasty pre-dinner nibbles and drinksare enjoyed outdoors over a campfire in the serenity of outback evening – tasty treats including salmon, smoked kangaroo, cheeses, quandong (local fruit) and more all skilfully combined with local herbs such as pepperberry, wattleseed, lemon myrtle and mountain black pepper as the guests compare stories of their day’s adventures. A dazzling array of stars and the silky white stripe of the Milky Way sits overhead, unseen with such cosmic intensity in typical cities and towns.
The main dinner is served a simple lounge / dining area, the walls covered with historic photos highlighting the battles of pioneering families eking a living in the spectacular but harsh outback.
Dinner is communal and includes camel minced with thyme wrapped in prosciutto, succulent lamb with some local herbs and chicken along with generous servings of vegetables, followed by enticing desserts.
It doesn’t get any closer to the outback than Kings Creek Wilderness Lodge. Perched on the doorstep of Kings Canyon and sited among desert oak trees in a secluded part of Kings Creek Station, Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge is a truly unique Australian outback experience that will ensure that you enjoy your Red Centre experience without sacrificing any home comforts. And remember, raise a glass to thank Len Tuit, whose foresight pioneered tourism in Australia’s Red Centre.
The author travelled as a guest of Tourism NT and Plus7.