King’s Canyon: Swag Bags

Before I made the trip to Australia, I was under the impression that ‘swag’ was something that belonged to Kanye and his other rapper contemporaries, a kind of cool arrogance that allows you to walk like you have soiled yourself. Imagine my confusion when our tour guide for the Northern Territory (NT), Zammit, told us as we arrived in Kings Canyon that we would be sleeping on a campsite in ‘swags’.


He later dropped into the conversation that we ought not to worry about the wild dingos that were lurking around the area as they – AND I QUOTE –  ‘probably only want your food’. This ‘probably’ didn’t exactly instil  confidence within us, especially when we figured out that a swag in the land of Aus, is in fact, a glorified sleeping bag with a foamy layer on the bottom. Needless to say, I hardly slept that night as two of the guys chased dingos away from the group approximately once every five minutes, hooting and running around waving sticks in their boxer shorts. However, that is not to say I did not enjoy myself. This was an unexpectedly hilarious night. It had all the features of your classic, childish, giggly sleepover – the traditional midnight feast (Iced Vovo’s – Australia’s answer to Party Rings), the cosy chat, the ghost stories, the feral dogs looking to eat you at regular intervals…

kings canyon

We were due up at 4am for a sunrise walk around the top of King’s Canyon. Seeing as we had all slept collectively for about 30 minutes, we were loaded and onto the coach with surprising ease. The walk was beautiful; it was really something else to be up at the top looking out over the vast expanse of red rock as the sun spilled over the horizon. We were beginning to get our first taste for the sheer, dry heat of Central Australia. By 7am, the sun was switched up to full blast and I had already chugged the recommended 2 litres of water. A few of us girls rounded off our stay at the campsite with an hour long session on the quad bike tracks, a very reasonably priced optional extra that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, those who had been quad-biking before were less impressed with the routes, so perhaps if you’re a seasoned pro, it’d make more sense to save your cash.

sunrise at kings canyon


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