The first trip out with the new 4wd had to be Chambers Pillar, unfortunately we weren’t in for great weather but we are from Europe so a bit of rain never stopped us. The drive is a strange one, you follow the Old Ghan Track and the Finke Race track, which I spoke about in my previous post about The Finke Desert Race, from Alice Springs. You then get to some extremely corrugated roads.
The corrugations were not heavily mentioned on any sites that we had researched and I feel that they deserve a special mention on my blog. For the most part the drive was teeth shattering, what would have been a fairly quick and enjoyable 160km ride turned into a 30kmph trek over the bumpiest roads I have driven in a while, I think a special thank you to Wonderbra is in order. The Great Central Road was corrugated however we were able to drive it at 100kmph which means you kind of glide over. For those of you who aren’t used to desert roads I have included an image below.
There are two available spots to camp, right next to the pillar and also at the bush campsite. The new car is luckily equipped with a bed in the back so when It started to pour down after dinner we retired to the car where we quite comfortable sank a bottle of wine. It was such a change from sleeping in swag especially after our especially wet and cold sleep at the Finke Desert Race.
The pillar is such a strange phenomenon to behold, wind and rain erosion over 350 million years has caused the sandstone to become a pillar and it rises 50 metres above the surrounding plain that is the Simpson Desert. It was named by an explorer who passed by in 1860 however the local Aboriginal people believe that the pillar is the Gecko ancestor Itirkawara. Like a lot of rocks in Australia I felt a significant feeling of awe and respect for such an old and unusual formation standing alone in his vast desert.
On the way back we encountered several camels however there was one in particular who insisted on running away from our car along the road in a state of panic instead of just heading into the bush, he was amazingly clumsy and by far the largest camel I have ever seen.
If you are ever in the Northern Territory I highly recommend the trip over, just to see the rock in person is breathtaking and there are many other stunning rock formations on the way, not to mention the wildlife. I would love to hear about your experiences here and see pictures, it was such a shame that we didn’t have the clear blue skies Alice Springs is famous for (around 300 days of sunshine a year), of course the blue skies came the following day.