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Wurre / Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve

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Wurre / Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve ~ Images of Australia

Good times
During the good times, heavy rain fills the claypan, providing a stunning mirror reflecting the cliffs of Rainbow Valley. Although flooding rains is a rare event, when it happens, the desert moves into top gear. Plants spring in to frantic growth, flower and then set seed before the soil dries out again. During this time, insect, birds, reptiles and mammals go into feeding and breeding frenzy, whilst the bounty lasts.

There are some stunning photographs available of Rainbow Valley reflected in the water laden claypans. For those not so fortunate, the late afternoon and early mornings are some of the best time to view the ‘rainbow band’ colours of Rainbow Valley.

Hard times
Drought of course is the normal state of affairs here in the valley. During the hard times, desert life adapts as the conditions become drier. Many plants such as desert oaks and spinifex simply slow right down to conserve precious water. The soft grasses and herbs wither and blow away, their seeds remaining dormant in the sand for years until the right conditions return again. Many of the wildlife either move on or die off as the food shortages become critical. Others survive by slipping into hibernations as they await the next rains.

Things to do
You can walk to the arch-shaped formation known as ‘Mushroom Rock’. Allow one hour for the return walk.

There are a number of other short walks in the planning stage at the time of writing.

There is a recommended cultural guided tour with the Rainbow Valley Cultural Tours. Experience the landscape with traditional Aboriginal custodian of the land, where you will learn about the cultural significance of the region and taken on a tour of the land revealing bush food and medicine, rock art and ancient tools.

Access to other areas of the Reserve is by permit only.

Late afternoon in winter provides some of the best times to be in Rainbow Valley, as you can photograph it glowing in the setting sun. In summer, the sun is too far south, and the main rock face is in shadow at sunset.

Camping is permitted in designated areas only with facilities including gas, wood barbecues, picnic tables and pit toilet. It is advisable to bring in your own firewood and water.

For those who want to stay until sunset, but don’t want to drive the 99 km back to Alice Springs, Stuarts Well Roadhouse on the Stuart Highway has fuel, camp sites, motel rooms and meals. Turn left at the highway, and Stuarts Well is approximately 15 km further on. The adjoining Camel Farm also provides the opportunity for visitors to get up close with camels and also have a camel ride.

Care should be taken on all roads at night, as you may encounter a variety of wildlife including kangaroos, camels, donkeys, horses, and cows.

Source: Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission

More information on Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve.

Wurre / Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve - Snapshots from Australia

Sunset over Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Sunset over Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Cultural Tour at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Cultural Tour at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Dreamtime story on the Cultural Tour at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Dreamtime story on the Cultural Tour
Cultural Tour at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
Cheerful tour guide at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve
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