To The South

To The SouthMaking Alice Springs your base provides for tavelling south via the Old South Road or the Stuart Highway. Travelling the Old South Road (4x4) includes the Ewaninga Rock Carvings, Chambers Pillar, Mac Clark Reserve and the edge of the Simpson Desert. Travelling the Stuart Highway you can take in Rainbow Valley, Henbury Metorites, Kings Canyon and Ayers Rock. Make Alice your base!

Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation ReserveEwaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve

39 kms south of Alice Springs on the unsealed Old South Road. This small six hectare Reserve protects rock engravings (petroglyphs) which are a valuable link to the activities of early Arrernte Aboriginal people. Here outcrops of soft sandstone beside a small claypan form natural galleries for petroglyphs featuring a great variety of symbols or motifs. Much of the meaning of the petroglyphs, according to senior Arrernte custodians, is sacred and too dangerous to reveal to people not initiated into Aboriginal law. The road is generally suitable for conventional 2WD vehicles, however it can become impassable after rain. Photo courtesy - Tourism NT.

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Chambers Pillar Historical ReserveChambers Pillar Historical Reserve
Now this is a rock! Located 160km south of Alice Springs, along the Old South Road on a turnoff to the west of Maryvale Station. The road is unsealed and may be closed after rain. After the Maryvale turnoff, a 4WD is required to negotiate the deep sand drifts and steep jump ups. The main feature of this 340 hectare Reserve is the pillar of sandstone which towers 50 metres above the surrounding plain. Sandstone deposits were laid down in the area 350 millions years ago. Since then, wind and rain have eroded away the softer material, leaving this solitary column of pebbly sandstone.

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Mac Clark Conservation ReserveMac Clark Conservation Reserve
From Alice Springs, the Reserve can be reached via Santa Teresa or from Kulgera, on the Stuart Highway. Access is by 4WD vehicles only and roads may become impassible after heavy rain. Acacia peuce, or waddywood is one of the rarest and most striking trees of the Australian arid zone. It grows in this Reserve on a stony wind-swept plain in one of the driest places in Australia. The average annual rainfall is only 150mm. Daily maximum temperatures average almost 40 degrees celcius in January.

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Rainbow ValleyRainbow Valley
The turn-off to the Reserve is 75 km south from Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway. From here it is a 22 km stretch east, along an unsealed road which has some sandy patches. For this reason, access is recommended for 4WD vehicles only. The main features of the Rainbow Valley area are the scenic sandstone bluffs and cliffs. These free standing cliffs form part of the James Range, and are particularly attractive in the early morning and late afternoon when the rainbow-like rock bands are highlighted.

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Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve
Located 145 kms south west of Alice Springs, the Reserve can be reached in a conventional 2WD vehicle. Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve contains 12 crators which were formed when a meteor hit the earth's surface 4,700 years ago. The Henbury Meteor, weighing several tonnes and accelerating to over 40,000 km per hour, disintegrated before impact and the fragments formed the crators.

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Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)
The Park is located about 450 kms southwest of Alice Springs and can be reached by 2WD vehicle via Luritja Road from Yulara and Lasseters Highway (sealed road). It can also be reached: via Larapinta Drive, through the West MacDonnell National Park, linking into the new gravel Mereenie Loop Road (4WD recommended). Watarrka National Park contains the western end of the George Gill Range. This scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rockholes and gorges acts as a refuge for many plants and animals, making the Park an important conservation area and major attraction of central Australia. Kings Canyon features ancient sandstone walls, sculptured by the elements, rising up 100m to a plateau of rocky domes.

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Accommodation and Tours
Kings Creek Station
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Located 440 kms from Alice Springs. Daily flights from Alice Springs take only 45 minutes. By road it is at least 4.5 hours but allows you to take in sighseeing of the region. Uluru rises 348 metres from the desert and has a girth of 9.4 kilometres. With Aboriginal ownership there is a rare opportunity to discover a unique part of arid Australia through the eyes of two cultures, both working side by side to look after the land. To the west of Uluru lies Mt Olga/Kata Tjuta. Mt Olga/Kata Tjuta is a collection of weathered red domes, the tallest of which stands 200 metres taller than Uluru

Information provided courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts.

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