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Rainbow Valley

An easy day trip from Alice Springs, Rainbow Valley’s coloured rocks light up in the early morning and late afternoon, offering spectacular viewing.

Rainbow Valley is renowned for its sandstone bluffs and cliffs with bands of different coloured rock. An easy day trip from Alice Springs, it’s at its most spectacular in the early morning light or late afternoon sun when it changes from ochre red to orange and purple, or after heavy rainfall, when the whole scene is reflected in the claypans.

The Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is located about 75 kilometres south of Alice Springs and best accessed by four-wheel drive. You can join a tour departing from Alice Springs, many of which provide insight into the Aboriginal cultural significance of the area.

Explore on foot

The road to Rainbow Valley is lined with stands of majestic Desert Oak. Walk through the valley along the base of the cliffs and you will see large chunks of fallen rock, some of them weathered and pockmarked like coral. Take the short walk that skirts the claypan and winds around the foot of the bluff to Mushroom Rock – an unusual formation with a natural tunnel formed by millions of years of wind and rain erosion.

Things to see & do around Rainbow Valley

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Sunrise over Katherine Gorge


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