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Dawn at the Arckaringa Hills (Painted Desert)

by Jan
(Alice Springs)

Why it is aka The Painted Desert - beautiful

Why it is aka The Painted Desert - beautiful

Why it is aka The Painted Desert - beautiful Early morning in the Arckaringa Hills From the lookout further on in the hills

Early last month I headed off solo on a three week "rellie run" from Alice Springs, first overnight stop, Cadney Park Homestead on the Stuart Highway.

Next morning I woke early and armed with a mud map from a lovely lady at Cadney (and of course my charged up camera and 4-w-d), I took the 250k unsealed roads detour to Coober Pedy in order to see dawn break over the Arckaringa Hills (aka The Painted Desert).

I was within camera range of the hills, driving straight into the sun as it rose, so I had to stop and wait for it to clear the horizon. It was an incredibly uplifting experience. Not at all lonely although I had the hills to myself. The gully between the car park and the hills was busy with chirping birds and the wildflowers, growing around the gully at the car park and the lookout overlooking the hills 15k further on, looked as though they had been raised in a botanic garden ... beautiful!

Apart from the bone chilling cold (if you go, be prepared), the early morning sun striking the incredibly colourful hills is an amazing experience ... well worth the detour! The Arckaringa Hills at and after dawn, an unforgettably magic Outback moment.

Comments for Dawn at the Arckaringa Hills (Painted Desert)

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Aug 08, 2011
Earth and Sky
by: Rita

Hi Terry,

I have added you wonderful photo "Earth and Sky" to your Painted Desert page.

There is no provision for readers to add photos in the comment section. I have to have the photo, upload it to my website's graphic library, to add it to a comment.

Thanks for sharing another photo to show the Outback's natural beauty.


Aug 08, 2011
Stunning Photos
by: Rita

Hi Jan,

Thank you so much for the beautiful photos and you descriptions. I have put them all right here in one place.

The painted desert is such an amazing place, next time I am going there at dawn.

Thanks for sharing.


Aug 08, 2011
Arckaringa Hills at dawn panorama
by: Jan

arckaringa hills panorama

I made this panorama photo (four photos) of the Hills taken from the black mica road section leading to the hills. The sun is just about to peep over the horizon in front.

When you look at this panorama from below it is a silhouette, but when you look from above some detail of the hills and the plain can be seen, including the road ahead.

I drove on until I had to stop on the western shadowy side of the hills till the sun rose (I was driving directly into it). Then into the eastern side that was strikingly catching that intense very early rising sun ... beautiful.

Aug 08, 2011
Another image of The Painted Desert
by: Terry Everson

HI Rita, just read Jan`s account of her experience in the Arkaringa Hills. Thought you and Jan may like to see another image I took there. Regards from Terry.

Aug 07, 2011
It was a beautiful experience
by: Jan

Golly Rita, Thank you. I had attached a photo resized to specifications, but I don't know what happened to it. I'll try again.

Aug 07, 2011
Arckaringa Hills
by: Rita

Hi Jan,

Thank you so much for your wonderful description. That's what I missed, to see the painted desert at dusk or dawn.

If you don't mind, I would be happy if you could share a photo with us. Just load it up in a new entry, and I will add it here to your report.

I only have a couple of photos, and they were all taken before the digital age, hence I added the same old pic again.

Here is a nice one taken by Terry Everson.


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