Simpson Desert Australia
The Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, South Australia.
The dry expanse of Australia can really be understood with a trip to the Simpson Desert, which occupies about 200,000 square kilometers of the continent. Many attractions are located on the edges, and are an easy distance from Alice Springs. This includes locations that are perfect for four-wheel driving, camping and hiking, although it is important to note that the park is closed during December, January and February due to the intense summer heat.
A short trip off Explorers Way (the Stuart Highway) in the James Ranges is Rainbow Valley, a stunning rocky landscape of sandstone cliffs and bluffs best seen in the setting sun. The Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve protects several sites of sacred rock art created by the Arrente people. Visitors can come and explore these beautiful samples of early indigenous art, as well as enjoy hiking and picnicking in the reserve. Further down Explorers Way is Chambers Pillar, a large sandstone rock formation with 19th Century markings by European explorers.