Friday, April 20, 2012

Western Macdonnell National Park and MacDonnell Ranges

Newhaven Station has many of the characteristics of the remote Great Sandy Desert and yet it is very accessible. The area is extensive, complex and intact. It is home to at least 15 nationally threatened species of animals and plants. It boasts ten vegetation communities and a wide array of landforms, none of which are well represented in existing reserves.

Whilst enjoying the Western Macdonnell National Park and Western MacDonnell Ranges, we will be bush camping at Redbank Gorge for three nights. Tents or swags are available - please advise the office of your choice. As this tour itinerary has consecutive nights of bush camping at Redbank Gorge, there will be glorious nights of relaxing camp fires and lots of starry nights guaranteed! It is considered a rigorous 4WD tour and therefore people that book on this tour need to be tolerant of remote outback conditions.

Alice Springs is an iconic Outback town, surrounded by a red desert the size of Europe and framed by the MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs played a critical role in the construction of Australia’s first overland telegraph line. Its history is populated by a colourful cast of characters that include gold-diggers, outback pioneers and Afghan cameleers. This is also the home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service the first aerial medical organisation of its type in the world.

To the east and west of Alice Springs are the MacDonnell Ranges. This japed and rocky spine stretches for hundreds of kilometres, harbouring gorges and permanent rock pools carved by prehistoric rivers. The Traditional owners of this area, The Arrernte people, believe Giant caterpillars called the Yeperenye became the MacDonnell Ranges – entering this world through one of the dramatic gaps in the escarpment.

The Larapinta Trail is a walking track that extends more than 220 kilometres along the West MacDonnell Ranges, crossing steep ranges and deep chasms. The Red Centre Way is a magnificent Outback drive that connects many of the Red Centre’s natural wonders. From the early 1900’s, fortune-seekers searched the Central Australia desert for rubies and gold. Natural riches of all kinds exist in this ancient landscape: you just have to know where to look.


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