The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

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The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

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Maruku Retail Gallery, Uluru Area, Northern Territory, Australia

Maruku Retail Gallery

Cultural Centre, Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, Yulara, Northern Territory, 0872
Email: punu@maruku.com.au
Website: www.maruku.com.au
9000739 Phone Number: 61 08 8956 2153
Fax Number: 61 08 8956 2410

Enjoy the handcrafted work direct from the desert country of Central Australia. The beautifully displayed gallery gives you the perfect opportunity to meet, understand the culture and purchase works from the artists, knowing that all funds are return to the Anangu people. There's no better reason or place to buy art work than at the base of Uluru / Ayers Rock. Maruku Arts and Crafts was established in 1984 by and for Aboriginal people in response to a growing need for effective co-ordination of marketing and support services to Aboriginal craftspeople living within the Central Desert Lands. Maruku Retail Gallery, 'Punuku Ngurra' is located at the Cultural Centre within Uluru Kata -Tjuta National Park, providing a service to some 800 craftsperson's living in communities and homelands. Items are sold through the Maruku Retail Gallery and wholesale to shops and galleries throughout the world and through prestige exhibitions. To enjoy Maruku Retails Gallery you must enter Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park. An entry fee of AUD25.00, per person over the age of 16 years, for a consecutive three day pass is required.

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve

97 kilometres south of Alice Springs, via Stuart Highway, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/find/rainbowvalley
9000653 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8259

Marvel at the ancient landscape of the aptly named Rainbow Valley - sandstone bluffs and cliffs with exposed bands of coloured rock. These free standing cliffs form part of the James Range, and are a favourite subject of photographers who capture their varied shapes and colours at dawn or dusk when the rainbow-like rock bands are highlighted. There are unmarked trails for bushwalking around the bluff area and to other locations along the range The reserve is also rich in evidence of Aboriginal occupation. You will see rock engravings or petroglyphs and paintings as well as grinding stones and stone tool chips, especially around the hills and ridges. The coloured rock bands in the sandstone cliffs were caused by water. The red iron of sandstone dissolved and was drawn to the surface during the dry season. This dark red capping is hard and weathers slowly, whereas the softer white sandstone below erodes quickly into loose sand. Weathering and erosion are also responsible for the valley shape, where sandstone blocks have been eroded into rock faces and squared towers. Access is for four-wheel drive vehicles only.
A camping and picnic area is provided.

Araluen Mountain Bike Trails, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Araluen Mountain Bike Trails

Alice Springs Kampari Scout Hall, off Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: visinfo@tourismca.com.au
9134579 Phone Number: 61 08 8952 5800

Araluen Mountain Bike Trails includes more than 15 kilometres of dedicated single mountain bike track and an extensive network of fire trail set amongst the West MacDonnell Ranges. The trails are unlike any other in Australia due to the arid rangeland terrain, ideal for mountain biking. The trails are managed by the Central Australian Rough Rider Mountain Bike Club, who are dedicated local mountain bike rider with a strong commitment to social, recreational riding, trail development and junior rider development. Regular social rides depart from the Alice Springs Scout Hall at the corner of Larapinta and Lovegrove Drives on Wednesday nights. Trails are suitable for a range of riders, with loops available for juniors and novice riders. Trail use is free for all Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) members and members are cover by the MTBA insurance policy while riding on the trail network. Non members are not covered, but can participate in social rides for a AUD5.00 a day license. For information, a map and times, contact the Tourism Central Australia or visit the facebook group, Alice Springs Mountain Bike Trails.

Mulga Camp, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Mulga Camp

38 kilometres along the Larapinta Trail, starting from the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, West Macdonnell Ranges, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/walks/larapinta
9104234 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Mulga Camp is located along Section 2 of the Larapinta Trail, a 223 kilometres walking trail that follows the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs west to Mt Sonder. Mulga Camp is a good place to take a break or pitch a tent and stay the night. Mulga Camp is located about 13 kilometres west of Simpsons Gap, and is only accessible on foot. About a kilometre before you walk into Mulga Camp, the trail passes a low rise where small dykes of whitish pegmatite outcrop from the brown schist. The camp is located on an alluvial creek flat and gets its name from the grove of tall mulga trees that shade the site. Further along the trail, west of Mulga Camp, you will cross a ridgeline with spectacular panoramic views of Mount Lloyd.

Giles Track, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia

Giles Track

Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, 0872
Email: larapinta.trail@nt.gov.au
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/walks/gilestrack
9105643 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

The Giles Track is a 22-kilometre walking track located within Watarrka National Park. This two-day hike offers the chance to experience impressive natural landscape and wildlife, indigenous history and culture, and the heritage of Central Australia. The rewards of this walk include dramatic views across wilderness that remains virtually unchanged since first described by Ernest Giles. Trek through beautiful valleys, beehive-shaped sandstone formations, and across rocky watercourses. Scattered across the range and just waiting to be discovered are many grinding stones, stone blades, stencilled art and petroglyphs, as the flat, rocky plateau made for relatively easy and safe travelling for Aboriginal people. Native wildlife to spot includes spinifex pigeons, rock-wallabies, euros, goannas and pythons. The Giles Track is named after the first European to explore the George Gill Range in 1872. It follows the southern rim of the range from Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs, although it can be walked in either direction. It is recommended as an overnight hike for experienced bushwalkers of average fitness. Alternatively, access from the Lilla car park via Tjintjit Tjintjit Spur allows those on a tighter schedule the chance of a day walk in either direction.

Wallaby Gap, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Wallaby Gap

14 kilometres along the Larapinta Trail, starting from the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, West Macdonnell Ranges, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/walks/larapinta
9104233 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Wallaby Gap is a sandy creek bed shaded by walls of red rock in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Named after its population of Black-footed rock wallabies, it is also located along Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail, a 223 kilometre walking track through the ranges. The gap is also a rewarding place to sit and watch for birds - a temporary pool inside the gap commonly attracts White-plumed honeyeaters, Zebra finches, Pied butcherbirds and Crested pigeons. The deep, narrow passage was created by a small watercourse carving through the tough gneiss before draining into Roe Creek. The campground is located about 300 metres south of Wallaby Gap, but camping is permitted only for walkers on the Larapinta Trail. Vehicle access is also for Larapinta Trail walkers only - a key is available for the locked gate from the Visitor Information Centre on Gregory Terrace in Alice Springs.

Central Craft, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Central Craft

Araluen Cultural Precinct, Corner Larapinta Drive and Memorial Avenue, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: info@centralcraft.org.au
Website: www.centralcraft.org.au
9000708 Phone Number: 61 08 8952 4417
Fax Number: 61 08 8953 5465

Watch artists at work printing silk, creating jewellery, pottery, and woodwork, and buy souvenirs from the shop at Central Craft in Alice Springs. Head to the studio where you can watch and talk to the artists at work, before exploring the shop where local art and craft is sold. There's a diverse range of crafts including jewellery, ceramics, weaving, watercolour paintings, felted wraps, enamel work, woodwork, knitted and crocheted beanies, printed fabric, 'sustainable couture' recycled clothing and more. Find a unique memento of your visit to Alice Springs or the perfect handcrafted gift. Central Craft is a not-for-profit member-based organisation located in a building that was the former Connellan Airways mess at the Araluen Cultural Precinct on Larapinta Drive in Alice Springs.

Ruby Cap Nature reserve - Alice Springs Area - Northern Territory

Ruby Gap Nature Park

Ross Highway, via Arltunga, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/find/rubygap
9000671 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Ruby Gap Nature Park is a remote spot located on the most eastern side of the East MacDonnell Ranges. Located 150 kilometres from Alice Springs, it was the site of Central Australia's first mining rush in 1886 after 'rubies' were found in the riverbed. Today Ruby Gap is a popular place for camping and bushwalking. Much of the park's terrain is extremely rugged and is only suitable for the experienced walker. Follow the riverbed and tracks upstream to Glen Annie Gorge. In 1886 explorer David Lindsay found what he thought were rubies in the sandy bed of the Hale River. A rush ensued with buyers from European snapping them up. As the market was flooded, the quality of the rubies found was questioned and, 18 months into the rush, it was found that the gems were merely high-grade garnets. Central Australia's ruby boom quickly collapsed. Access to this little-visited and remote park is via the Arltunga Historical Reserve. A high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is essential, but is well worth the effort to get here. There are several campgrounds in the park (fees apply).

Museum of Central Australia, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Museum of Central Australia

Araluen Cultural Precinct, Corner of Larapinta Drive and Memorial Avenue, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: araluen@nt.gov.au
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/arts-and-museums/ascp
9000706 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 1120
Fax Number: 61 08 8953 0259

Central Australia's unique natural and geological history is explained at the Museum of Central Australia in Alice Springs. In the exhibitions that describe the evolution of the landscape and the fascinating creatures that inhabited it you will see meteorite fragments, fossils and interpretive displays as well as a replica of the ancient Alcoota waterhole. At this internationally significant fossil site a giant freshwater crocodile and the largest bird that ever lived were discovered. Contemporary Central Australia is explained in a display about the birds, mammals, reptiles and insects you will see as you tour the outback. The Museum of Central Australia also houses the Strehlow Research Centre, an important collection of film, sound, archival records and museum objects relating to Indigenous ceremonial life. The Strehlow Collection was accumulated by the Lutheran Pastor Carl Strehlow and his son Professor TGH Strehlow over two generations of anthropological research with the Aboriginal people of central Australia. The collection is on display in exhibitions and permanent installations. The Museum of Central Australia is part of the Araluen Cultural Precinct.

Serpentine Chalet Dam, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Serpentine Chalet Dam

Namatjira Drive, 110 kilometres west of Alice Springs, West Macdonnell Ranges, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/walks/larapinta
9104238 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Serpentine Chalet Dam is part of the ruins of an early tourism venture that was built in the remote West MacDonnell Ranges. It is a refuge to rare and protected plants and wildlife, and the Trailhead for Sections 8 and 9 of the 223 kilometre Larapinta Trail walk. As you walk into Serpentine Chalet Dam from Counts Point (Section 8), you come to a stand of bushes and trees that are more varied than those in the nearby dolomite hills. This diversity is due to the shelter from fires given by the creek bed, trees and cliff, the better soil and water supply. The diverse plants means that most of the time at least one species is flowering, giving nectar-eating animals a food supply and shelter. This is one of a few sites where the Common Brushtail Possum is found in Central Australia. Access to Serpentine Chalet is via four-wheel drive only. There is no vehicle access to Serpentine Chalet Dam - only to the bush camp, chalet ruins and the gate.

Information provided by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse