Wallace Rockhole more accessible to tourists
15 July 2015
Tourists can now drive regular vehicles to experience the rock art and dot painting tours offered in the Wallace Rockhole community. This is now possible following the completion of the MacDonnell Regional Council’s upgrade of the access road linking Wallace Rockhole to Larapinta Drive.
Wallace Rockhole has a long established history as a friendly community and has been running its own tourism operations for several decades. The recently completed road upgrade will provide greater access for all tourists and operators. Situated approximately 120km from Alice Springs, Wallace Rockhole has long been the hidden gem of the West MacDonnell Ranges cultural tourism. As well as offering cultural tours Wallace Rockhole community runs an art centre featuring a pottery studio and a small general store offering souvenirs, food and refreshments.
The upgrade raised and reformed the road making it now safe for two-wheel-drive vehicles to access the cultural tourism opportunities provided by the community. As well as providing greater access for tourists the improved road conditions will also make for more convenient and safer travel for Wallace Rockhole residents.
Earlier this month the work passed all its Roughometer and Compaction Tests after all defects had been identified and corrected. Speed restriction signs, animal warning signs and drive to condition signs as well as with the community’s 4 Gold Star Tourism Award signage has since been installed, meaning Wallace Rockhole is open for business!
Following his announcement in April, that MacDonnell Regional Council was to invest $400,000 to upgrade the 18km dirt access road from Larapinta Drive to the Wallace Rockhole community, CEO Jeff MacLeod reflects with pride on Council’s decision:
“The completion of the 18km road upgrade is a significant milestone in a very rewarding twelve months for Wallace Rockhole”. MacDonnell Regional Council CEO Jeff MacLeod went on to acknowledge the Federal Government’s support of MacDonnell Regional Council’s road development program.
At the Territory Tidy Town awards in Darwin last year, the 4 Gold Star Tourism Award rating system was unveiled with Wallace Rockhole being announced the inaugural Northern Territory winner. The Tidy Town Gold Star Tourism Award rating system reflects the pride shown by residents of Wallace Rockhole in both the presentation of their community and their tourism infrastructure and services.
The Tidy Town Gold Star Tourism Award rating system offers a qualification for tourists looking to gain cultural experiences by visiting a community. Wallace Rockhole created and initiated the Gold Star Tourism Award rating concept and now leads the way for other Northern Territory communities to follow their lead by consistently maximising efforts to shine as an outstanding community to visit.
Within Wallace Rockhole community, accommodation is available as either self-contained cabins or in the serviced campgrounds. Visitors enjoy using the community as a base while they take day trips looking around the West MacDonnell Ranges, Palm Valley and Hermannsburg or exploring more locally through the tours Wallace Rockhole Tourist Park offers.
Wallace Rockhole Tourist Park is located in the community and regularly welcomes visitors coming and experiencing their culture, learning about bush tucker and bush medicine, seeing ancient rock art, breathtaking scenery and native animals through the tours they offer:
Guided Rock Art Tours – showing ancient Aboriginal petroglyphs and hand stencil rock art, demonstrations of bush medicine and bush tucker, and local history told by the Aranda people
Dot Painting Experience Tours – helping people to have a better understanding of Aboriginal art and culture as it dates back thousands of years
Working Cattle Station Tours – looking around a working station’s stockyards, cattle, bores and dams finishing up with billy tea and damper while taking in the MacDonnell Ranges
For more information about the Wallace Rockhole Tourist Park, pricing and booking details, please visit: www.wallacerockholetours.com.au
Last month the Federal Government announced that Wallace Rockhole would be one of five communities in the Northern Territory to have a mobile phone tower installed in the coming years as part of its Mobile Black Spot Program.
The announcement included three other MacDonnell Regional Council communities of Finke, Imanpa and Mount Liebig. Following the rollout of the mobile phone towers, the number of communities in the MacDonnell Regional Council with mobile reception will double from four to eight (out of thirteen) communities.
Currently the MacDonnell Regional Council’s diligent Civil Works team in Wallace Rockhole have undertaken works to improve traffic management and parking around the Wallace Rockhole Tourist Park that include installing bollards, improving toilet facilities and parking, and will include the covering of the fuel pump driveway with a shade structure.
Other services provided in Wallace Rockhole by the MacDonnell Regional Council include, internal community and access road maintenance, rubbish collection, maintenance of the tip, cemetery, sporting grounds, parks and open spaces. MacDonnell Regional Council is also contracted by Power Water Corporation to maintain water supply facilities, by Australia Post to provide postal services and by Centrelink to provide its services through an agency in the Council office.