Ilparpa Valley

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.

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.

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

More images coming soon, flora and fauna of the Ilparpa Claypans…

Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus centralis)
Desert Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus centralis) emerging from aestivation

Check out our information on the Desert Trilling Frog and Shield Shrimp.

Check out our information on Australian Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis).

More images in our Snapshot from Australia – Ilparpa Claypans.

Footnote & References

  1. Alice Springs Landcare Inc – Ilparpa Valley,
  2. eBird – Ilparpa Claypans Crown Land Reserve,
  3. The Friends of the Ilparpa Claypans,