Just south of the West MacDonnell Ranges, approximately 15 km south east of town is one of the lesser known Alice Springs attractions, the Ilparpa Claypans. Located at the western end of the Ilparpa Valley, the twelve interconnected ephemeral claypans form part of the Roe Creek catchment.
This very scenic locale is home to a fragile ecosystem and provides a sanctuary for local wildlife. The claypans are listed as a ‘Site of National Botanical Significance’ due to the presence of significant ephemeral plants and a wide diversity of plant species and communities. It is also registered as an Aboriginal Sacred Site, that is an important cultural place, especially for Arrernte Custodians.
Usually dry and sandy, during times of rain and flood, the area becomes a wonderland as the claypans fill with water. The water takes on a soft chocolate brown colour, as a result of the red clay and silt and Alice Springs beach is born…
Set against the backdrop of the ranges, and due to the close proximity to town, this area is popular with the locals, providing a great spot from where to enjoy the natural landscape, a great place to take photos, walking your dogs, and even horse riding. When there is enough water, maybe a bit of boating.
Due to its fragile nature visitors are asked to treat the area with care and respect, ensuring that they also take all rubbish with them when they leave.
Flora & Fauna of the Ilparpa Claypans
Listed as a ‘Site of National Botanical Significance’ due to the presence of significant ephemeral plants (flora) and a wide diversity of plant species and communities. The claypans is also home to a variety of wildlife (fauna) from tiny water creatures, that appear as if from nowhere during periods of significant rain, up to the larger red kangaroos.
Following images of the Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus sudellae formerly Neobatrachus centralis) and Shield Shrimp (Triops australiensis) at the Ilparpa Claypans. Check out our information on the Desert Trilling Frog and Shield Shrimp.
Following are some snapshots from the flora seen at the Ilparpa Claypans, check out some of the Ilparpa Claypans Flora sections.
More images in our Snapshot from Australia – Ilparpa Claypans.
On occasions there are some activities and events held in the Ilparpa Valley region and Ilparpa Claypans. These range from buffel busting land care to the one off Occasional Ilparpa Regatta (organised at the last minute in early February 2016 by Watch This Space gallery).
Footnote & References
- Alice Springs Landcare Inc – Ilparpa Valley, https://www.alicespringslandcare.com/local-groups/ilparpa-valley/
- eBird – Ilparpa Claypans Crown Land Reserve, https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1225550
- The Friends of the Ilparpa Claypans, https://www.facebook.com/IlparpaClaypansLovers/
- Homemade rafts tested in day of fun in second Ilparpa clay pan regatta, by Andrea Johnston, 2 February 2016, NT News,https://www.ntnews.com.au/news/centralian-advocate/homemade-rafts-tested-in-day-of-fun-in-second-ilparpa-clay-pan-regatta/news-story/d37cd8007106ba02cc1ff621765bb690
- Claypans full of water, by Emma Sleath with Alice Moldovan, ABC Local, https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/01/21/3929496.htm
- Ilparpa Valley, Alice Springs Landcare Inc, https://alicespringslandcare.com/local_groups/ilparpa-valley/
- Ilparpa, NT Places Name Register, https://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/placenames/view.jsp?id=22297
Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Mount Connor Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley