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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.

Central Australian Aviation Museum, Alice Springs Area, Northern Territory, Australia

Central Australian Aviation Museum

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/caam
9000710 Phone Number: 61 08 8953 8776
Fax Number: 61 08 8952 4241

Located in the original Connellan Airways hangar on the site of Alice Springs' first air strip, the museum houses early flying doctor planes, a restored DC3 and other historical aircraft and aviation memorabilia. View the remains of the 'Kookaburra', and learn the tragic story of its crew who perished in the Tanami Desert searching for Kingsford-Smith, the famous Australian Aviator. The Central Australian Aviation Museum is part of the Araluen Cultural Precinct.

Trephina Gorge Nature Park, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Trephina Gorge Nature Park

Ross Highway, 85 kilometres east of Alice Springs, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/find/trephinagorge
9000610 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Discover the rugged landscapes, wildlife, and Aboriginal and pastoral histories of the East MacDonnell Ranges at Trephina Gorge Nature Park. Located 85km east of Alice Springs, the park is a handy distance for a day or a longer trip, and is notable for its short walks, views, and natural beauty. Trephina Gorge has wide views and a sandy creek bed and can be explored via a network of short walking tracks. It is one of two gorges that intersect the East MacDonnell Ranges. The other is John Hayes Rock Hole. The two are connected via the Trephina Ridge Top Walk. As well as a good place for a cool dip, waterholes in this area attract abundant animals and birds. The largest Ghost Gum in Central Australia is set in the park, alone on a saltbush flat. The area is significant to the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people and contains sites that are part of the Wallaby dreaming trail. Once a part of the Garden Station, the park has strong historic links with the early settlement of Central Australia. Access to John Hayes Rockhole is four-wheel drive only.
Camping is available at three sites and (fees apply).

Tapatjatjaka Art and Crafts, Alice Springs Area, Northern Territory, Australia

Tapatjatjaka Art and Crafts

Lot 68, Maryvale Road, Titjikala Community, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: art@tapatjatjakaarts.com.au
Website: www.tapatjatjakaarts.com.au
9068930 Phone Number: 61 08 8956 0788

Tapatjatjaka Art and Craft is located in a small Aboriginal community, about 107 kilometres from Alice Springs. Inspired by their striking environment, characterised by red sand hills and desert oaks, the artists create colourful paintings and intriguing wire creations that include animal and bird representations. These inventive sculptures of wire, metal and discarded bits and pieces have been exhibited both nationally and Internationally. A purpose built gallery is an exciting addition to the art centre precinct in 2007. Displays include the painted works of both emerging and well known artists. View ceramics, jewellery, prints and punu (wooded artefacts) handicrafted by the local Arrente, Luritja, Pitjanjatjara and Yunkunyatjara artists. Visitors are welcome and no permit is required to visit Tapatjatjaka Arts.

Sounds of Starlight Theatre - Alice Springs Area, Northern Territory

Sounds of Starlight Theatre

40 Todd Mall, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: info@soundsofstarlight.com
Website: www.soundsofstarlight.com
9000627 Phone Number: 61 08 8953 0826
Fax Number: 61 08 8953 4502

Experience the pulse of Australia. The Didgeridoo Show Outback has earned a reputation as one of Central Australia's most memorable live shows. Internationally acclaimed didgeridoo player and story teller, Andrew Langford presents this ancient instrument with live percussion and spectacular sounds and visions at the Sounds of Starlight Theatre. You will be moved by the stirring renditions and spectacular imagery that captures Central Australia's unique natural, cultural and pioneering history. A spellbinding musical and visual journey, and a truly unique experience in the heart of the Alice. Free daily introductory Didgeridoo workshops are held Monday to Friday from 2.30pm to 3pm and additional workshops Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 1pm. Dinner and show packages are available. The retail shop is open from 9.30am to 6pm.

Ellery Creek Big Hole, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Namatjira Drive, 90 kilometres west of Alice Springs, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/find/westmacdonnell
9000735 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Ellery Creek Big Hole is one of the most popular and picturesque camping, walking, swimming and picnic spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park. The spectacular waterhole is fed by the West MacDonnell Ranges (Tyurretye) and surrounded by high red cliffs and sandy Ellery Creek. It is also at the trailhead for sections 6 and 7 of the 223 kilometre Larapinta Trail walk. Thousands of years of massive floods have carved out this waterhole, which is recognised as an internationally significant geological site. Take the 3 kilometre Dolomite walk to see the surrounding formations. The Aboriginal name for Ellery Big Hole is Udepata. The permanent water made it a special meeting place for the Arrernte people on the fish and honey ant dreaming trails. Camping is permitted (fees apply). Entry is via a gravel road suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles.

Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia

Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

330 kilometres via the Red Centre Way, 450 kilometres via the Stuart and Lasseter Highways and Luritja Road, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, 0872
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/find/watarrka
9000614 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Watarrka National Park encloses Kings Canyon, with its 300-metre-high sandstone walls, walking trails, lush forests and permanent waterholes. The sheer red rock face of the canyon soars above dense forests of palms, ferns and cycads, sheltering them from the harsh desert, and providing refuge for many native animals. The Park has been home to the Luritja people for more than 20,000 years, and its flora, fauna and rock formations are best seen on foot. Try the gentle shady Kings Creek Walk trail one kilometre along the valley floor. Get up early to see the sunrise and walk the six kilometres around the Canyon rim to take in magnificent views across the desert or into the lush valley below. The 2.6-kilometre walk to Kathleen Springs takes you to historical sites, and a spring-fed water hole. Fit and experienced hikers will love the Giles Track, a 22-kilometre walk between Kings Canyon and Kathleen Springs. The park can be reached from Uluru in around four hours by taking the Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road. Those with a four-wheel drive can then take the unsealed Mereenie Loop on to Alice Springs.

Larapinta Trail, Alice Springs Area, Northern Territory, Australia

Larapinta Trail

West MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Email: larapinta.trail@nt.gov.au
Website: www.nretas.nt.gov.au/national-parks-and-reserves/parks/walks/larapinta
9000737 Phone Number: 61 08 8951 8250
Fax Number: 61 08 8951 8290

Ranked as one of the planet's top 20 treks, the Larapinta Trail is a 223 kilometre path that follows the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount Sonder. Challenge yourself to hike the whole trail or tackle one of its 12 sections, all of which vary in difficulty and length. Each section can be reached by four-wheel drive, so you can join or leave the trail at any of the Tailheads. The Trail encompasses some of the key attractions of the ranges including Simpsons Gap, and the permanent waterholes at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen. It weaves past some of the world's most ancient metamorphic and igneous rock and nearly 600 species of rare flora. The Trail also links in with other walking tracks within the West MacDonnell National Park, allowing side trips to explore more of the Park. Along the way you camp under the stars. Most camp sites have picnic tables and tent sites. All Trailheads have a water supply and some have free gas barbecues. Fully guided tours are available, otherwise set off on your own ensuring you're well equipped and have notified the relevant authorities.

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Iwantja Arts and Crafts

Indulkana Community, 8 kilometres from the Stuart Highway, 120 kilometres south of Kulgera,, Kulgera, Northern Territory, 0872
Email: artcraft@iwantjaarts.com.au
Website: www.iwantjaarts.com.au
9111139 Phone Number: 61 08 8670 7722
Fax Number: 61 08 8970 7712

Visit Iwantja Arts and Crafts to buy authentic Aboriginal art and crafts and to watch artists at work. The centre is known for its colourful limited edition prints that include linocuts, woodblock prints, collagraphs, etchings and monotypes. The artists also paint in acrylic and make jewellery, weave and work with wood and leather. The Iwantja Community Gallery is housed within the art centre and has a large display of items, including woven baskets, leather goods, Punu (wooden artefact) and paintings. Call in to meet and observe the artists at work and to purchase one or more of these beautiful works of art. Iwantja Arts and Crafts is a self-supporting, not-for-profit Aboriginal corporation. No permit is required for short visits only. They are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, closed weekends and public holidays. The small Iwantja community of approximately 250 people is located on Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands on a rocky ridge called Indulkana.