Napwerte / Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve protects petroglyphs - rock engravings made by the early Arrernte Aboriginal people.
The six-hectare reserve is 39 kilometres south of Alice Springs, and offers visitors a new understanding of an ancient culture.
Follow the marked walking track 680 metres to view the best petroglyph sites. Keen photographers should time their visit for early morning or late afternoon, when shadows make the shallow engravings more obvious. These are also the coolest times of the day for walking during the summer.
The petroglyphs feature a range of different symbols or motifs, the meanings of which are sacred. The exact age of the petroglyphs is not known.
The small claypan in which the petroglyphs were carved is a natural bowl that traps and holds scarce rains, making it a suitable site for longer stays by early nomads. After rain there would be water and game here, which meant time to tap a record of important beliefs into the soft sandstone.
Arrernte custodians ask visitors to respect the site - do not climb over the rocks, touch or interfere with the petroglyphs in any way. The Arrernte custodians ask that Arrernte women do not enter this site.
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