Rainbow Valley

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesAlice Springs
FinishRainbow Valley
DifficultyDifficulty 1/5
Suitable for4WD AWD Caravan Camper Motorhome Bike 
Distance106.33 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed92.61 km/hr
Driving Time1 hr 8 mins
Page Updated: 9 May 2014

Description

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is accessed just 75km south of Alice Springs from a turn-off along the Stuart Highway. A 22km access road that is unsealed with sandy patches leads to the reserve, which offers vehicle access, camping and walking.

The area gets it name from the scenic sandstone bluffs and cliffs that show rainbow-coloured bands. These are particularly striking at dawn/dusk when the colours are enhanced.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

The coloured rock bands in the sandstone cliffs were caused by water. In earlier, wetter times the red iron of the sandstone layers were dissolved and drawn to the surface during the dry season. The red minerals formed a dark, iron rich surface layer with the leached white layers below. This dark red capping is hard, and weathers slowly, whereas the softer white sandstone below weathers quickly into loose sand. Weathering and erosion have also produced the valley shape, where sandstone blocks have eroded into rock faces and squared towers.

Surrounding the James Range are spinifex dominated sand plains and claypans.

History

The traditional owners (Upper Southern Arrernte people) call the area Wurre. The Reserve has important archaelogical sites and artefacts which are evidence of ancient Aboriginal occupation in the area. A spread of black rocks at the northern base of the main rock formation is significant as is a large rock massif, known as 'Ewerre' which is a registered scared site.

Preparation

Firewood collection is not permitted in the reserve. Fires are only permitted in designated firepits. Bins are not provided, please
take your rubbish with you. Pets are not permitted in this
reserve. Generators are not permitted.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 15 litres4cyl 17 litres4cyl 21 litres
6cyl 16 litres6cyl 19 litres6cyl 19 litres
8cyl 16 litres8cyl 18 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Open year round.

Closest Climatic Station

Alice Springs Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 27.73km NE
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C36.435.132.628.223.019.819.722.627.230.933.635.4
Mean Min. °C21.520.717.512.68.25.04.06.010.314.817.920.2
Mean Rain mm38.643.832.316.318.913.615.09.28.521.429.136.9
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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Embed Map
Embed this trek map directly into your website or page. It is easy and free, click the button to retreive the embed code and copy and paste it to your website or page.

What to See

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Camping, photography, and walking around the bluff area and to other locations along the James Range.

Showing 1 Places

Where to Stay

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Camping is permitted in the designated area with gas and wood bbqs, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Fees payable.

Showing 1 Places

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Alice Springs to Mt Polhill Rest Area65.16 kmSW216° 43 min
Mt Polhill Rest Area to Stuart Highway & Owen Springs Access Tk6.89 kmSW222° 3 min
Stuart Highway & Owen Springs Access Tk to Stuart Hwy & Rainbow Valley Access Rd10.55 kmSW213° 6 min
Stuart Hwy & Rainbow Valley Access Rd to Rainbow Valley23.73 kmSE122° 19 min
Alice Springs to Rainbow Valley106.33 km  1 hr 8 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

Related

Nearby ExplorOz Treks

Travel Journals

The following are links to Members' Blogs that contain the words Rainbow Valley. Creating Blogs is restricted to Members only. Not a Member? Join here.

Showing 5 blogs.

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