Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley is remote but beautiful.

It is an amazingly spectacular area in remote Australia, south of Alice Springs, east of Stuart Highway in the outback Northern Territory.

The sandstone cliffs formed by erosion don’t only have some impressive shapes, they also have stunning colours which change depending of the time of the day – during the midday they are orange and as the sun sets they get deeper and deeper red.
But not all that rock is red - some of it is white. Because red rocks are the result of the chemical weathering of iron oxides, the redder rocks are from times when the climate in the area was wet. The sediments that turned into the white rocks have been laid during the times when the climate was dry. The red rocks are more resistant to erosion which is why the tops of the rocks are red – too hard to erode away, while the white parts of the rocks are more eroded.

Rainbow Valley, Australia
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Vegetation and Aboriginal Rock Painting
The area is on clay and sand plains with Spinifex grasslands. There are also some examples of Aboriginal rock painting and engravings in the rocks, and the area is a sacred site for Aboriginal people.

Arid Landscape with Desert Flowers in the Sand, South Australia, Australia, Pacific
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How to Get Here
You can get here by turning off Stuart Highway some 80km south of Alice Springs. It is an unsealed road that first takes you to the park entrance, and then to the camping area where there is a car park, picnic tables, barbeques and toilets.

Road Sign Pointing to Rainbow Valley Road, Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve, Australia
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Mushroom Rock and Grassland Birds
At the camping area, there is the start of a short walk to the Mushroom Rock – a beautiful sandstone formation with Fairy Martin nests. There are other grassland birds around too, and make sure you bring your camera, you’ll get some impressive photos. Camping fees are payable at the camping site, and you will have to bring your own food. Rainbow Valley is one of the real secret spots in the Australia outback and well worth a visit.

Moloch or Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus) Crossing Cracked Mud, Australia
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Here's a map of Rainbow Valley area, - you can double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

View Larger Map

Been to Rainbow Valley?

Been to Rainbow Valley?

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