I’m flying to Darwin tomorrow as a guest of Tourism Northern Territory (Tourism NT) with a group of other journalists and that reminded me of my backpacking trip through the Red Centre of Australia in the Northern Territory a few years ago.
Checking back through this Road Less Traveled website I realised that I hadn’t published photo highlights of the “Red Centre” Northern Territory of Australia section of the roadtrip so here are a selection of the photos below.
The Red Centre of Australia is a beautiful place to drive around. Don’t listen to people who say there’s nothing to see via Alice Springs except Uluru (Ayers Rock), Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Some of the highlights off the beaten track include Ewaninga Australian Aboriginal Rock Carvings, Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley.
Ewaninga Aboriginal Rock Carvings
The rock carvings (petroglyphs) of Ewaninga represent one of central Australia’s earliet and richest art sites. This reserve is an important sacred site for the Arrente Aboriginal people.
In the Aboriginal Dreamtime it is said the Gecko ancestor Itirkawara left the Finke River and journeyed north east. As he travelled he grew into a huge and powerfully built man of super human strength and with an extremely violent temper. On the way home to his birthplace he challenged and killed, with his stone knife, a number of ancestors.
Flushed with the ease of his success, he then disregarded the strict marriage code and took a wife from the wrong skin group. His enraged relatives banished him and the girl.
The two retreated into the desert, Itirkawara raging in fury, the girl shrinking from him in deep shame. Among the dunes they rested and turned into prominent rocky formations – Itirkawara into the Pillar, and the girl, still turning her face away from him in shame, into Castle Rock, around 500 metres away.
– Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve fact sheet
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.
– Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve factsheet