Rainbow Valley- Alice Springs, NT, Australia
We took a day trip out to Rainbow Valley and had a great time! It is absolutely beautiful; we loved it!
To get there, you drive about an hour south of Alice, pull off the highway onto a curvy, corrugated road and follow that for 22k into Rainbow Valley- 4WD is recommended. Jon had a blast going 80-100k over the rocky road! Hah!
This was a perfect outing with Emmylou; she napped on the way out, we hiked around, had a picnic lunch and she slept on the ride home. It was a very manageable day-trip from Alice and was definitely worth the drive!
The reserve is stunning but walking access to the rocks and claypans is somewhat limited; there are walking paths for the 2 (short) hikes and all other areas are fenced off (to preserve the environment). This meant that it was an easy trip with a toddler (she could hike everything fairly independently) but there wasn’t ample room for bigger kids to play.
Emmylou was a determined little hiker and spent very little time being carried- she wanted to go!
The picnic and camping sites were also fairly compact, so camping here wouldn’t allow for tons of privacy or solitude. We do hope to camp out for a night, though, to experience the real feature of Rainbow Valley: sunset! In the winter, the sun sets on the rocks and the glow turns the rock different colors, like a rainbow. Arriving in the later afternoon, cooking dinner and then watching the sunset would be a perfect way to experience that!
We really enjoyed our trip out to Rainbow Valley and look forward to catching a sunset there, soon!
K, J, EL & P