Each time we have visited Rainbow Valley I have ached for more time to immerse myself in this extraordinary place. So now we have created just that: an opportunity to engage fully and connect deeply on many levels.
Not only is this an astonishingly beautiful area but it is a living cultural landscape, the traditional country of the Southern Arrernte people, who know this place as Wurre. We are hopeful that Traditional Owner Ricky Orr will lead us on his engaging and informative Cultural Tour, as he has done in the past*.
Beyond the iconic rock formation is a wealth of absorbing detail. The contrasts of cobalt sky, red rock and rich shade make for compelling compositions. The weather worn surfaces are fascinating with their multi-colour striations and deep time inference. After rain, wild flowers abound and if we are exceptionally lucky we may see the claypan full of water, creating an enchanted mirror in the landscape. The surrounding red sand country hosts classic desert oaks, eramophilas, spinifex, ghost gums and more rocky outcrops. This is true desert country that will nourish and inspire you whatever your medium or level of creative experience. Think Georgia O’Keefe, think Elizabeth Cummings and think too of Jo Bertini, the contemporary Australian artist who walked similar country with camels, endlessly sketching.
Jo Bertini said: “For an artist the desert is like the pot of gold. There is a sense of time, there is this sense of the enormity of space, you have a real understanding of Australia’s vastness as a continent, which you can’t comprehend when you are on the periphery, on the coast.” Sydney Morning Herald
On this camp you too can engage with camels. We intend to pay a visit to our friends at James Range Camels, just down the track, where you can meet the camels, draw them, take photos and even ride*, as well as learn about the part camels played in the complex history of central Australia. This foray beyond the valley will also provide an opportunity for us to refill our water drums and for you to have a real shower if you want to at Stuarts Well Roadhouse.
Our comfortable bush camp will be within the Conservation Reserve’s new campground, with all our usual infrastructure plus a good campground toilet nearby. Go to the Info page for a full description of our bush camp set up. We may have neighbours but this place, considering its beauty, does not boast high visitation rates. Some come just to watch the setting sun illuminate the rock face from the carpark. We will have the privilege of a separate viewing area for that purpose, close enough to our camp to carry a glass of wine, and time, ample time at last, to really absorb the depth of this timeless location.
* Your participation in the Camel riding experience or the Cultural Tour with TO Ricky Orr is voluntary. It will entail an additional cost. Prices to be advised soon.
James Range Camels: https://www.cameltoursnt.com.au
Rainbow Valley Cultural Tours: https://www.rainbowvalleyculturaltours.com