Ilparpa Valley ~ Snapshots from the Northern Territory

One of the lesser known Alice Springs attractions located approximately 15 km south east of town on the south side of the West MacDonnell Ranges, is the Ilparpa Claypans.

Located at the western end of the Ilparpa Valley, there are twelve interconnected ephemeral claypans that form part of the Roe Creek catchment.

It is a scenic locale and is home to a fragile ecosystem that provides 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.

Whilst the claypans are usually dry, a wonderous change happens during periods of significant rainfall. During times of rain and flood, the area becomes a wonderland as the claypans fill with water. The water itself takes on a soft chocolate brown colour, as a result of the red clay and silt. For the photographer, certain times of the day, the water appear to become clearer and reflect the mirror image of the surrounding landscape.

Check out our page on the Ilparpa Claypans.