The Red Centre Way
The Mereenie Loop Road was opened to the public in 1994 and connects
Alice Springs to Kings Canyon via Hermannsburg and the Gardiner Ranges.
The road, currently unsealed and described as 4WD recommended, was
originally built as a service road for the Mereenie Oil Field in the
late 1960’s and has now been renamed Larapinta Drive.
The areas accessed by this road are quite pristine having never seen commercial grazing or endured large population centres nearby.
The Mereenie Wilderness area is an exquisite collection of desert environments from small isolated mountains and water courses to extensive creek systems and ranges. The scenic landscapes invoke an emotional response not only from their vastness but the colours and ever changing light, the isolation and the peace. Each person who witnesses these landscapes are touched in a different way and for different reasons.
Wallace Rock Hole
Established in 1973 by the Abbott family Wallace Rock Hole is a fine example of the outstation movement. Which is where aboriginal family groups originally brought together by the Lutheran Missionaries at Hermannsburg have returned to their homelands and a more traditional life style. Wallace Rockhole is located on the Urana Land Trust approx 40kms east of Hermannsburg along the James Ranges and 90 kms to the west of Alice Springs. The Abbott family have established an idyllic village with workshops, community store as well as cattle grazing interests and tourism including an art centre for the sales of local artefacts and paintings, a camp ground and tour operation. Winning a Territory Tidy Town award regularly the community members are proud of their little town.
The rock art tour is approx 1 hr and includes a creek walk viewing bush tucker and medicine plants enroute to rock art sites and Wallace Rockhole, an important water resource for the Abbott ancestors. The Art Centre is a display area of local artrist’s works from traditional artefacts to water colour painting depicting the colourful landscapes surrounding Wallace displayed and available for sale direct from the artists. Wallace Rock Hole website.
Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) is the spectacular remnant crater from a comet impact approximately 130 million years ago.
The impact zone measuring roughly 25 kilometres in diameter, one of the largest impact structures in the world still, to this day stands proud of Missionary Plain 175kms west of Alice Springs. The site is best appreciated when viewed from the air, but a good vista is still afforded from Tyler's Pass. Much of the crater has been eroded away with the original bed of the crater now 2 kms below the surface and the highest point some 300 metres above the surrounding plain.
The reserve is of great cultural significance to the Western Arrernte people. According to their beliefs, Tnorala was formed in the creation time when a group of women danced across the sky as the Milky Way. During this dance, a mother put her baby aside, resting in its wooden baby carrier (turna). The carrier toppled over the edge of the dancing area and crashed to earth where it was transformed into the circular rock formation of Tnorala. Even today we can still see the mother and father (the morning and evening stars) still looking for their baby.