Part 7: Arltunga Historical Reserve
Located 110km east of Alice Springs, the Arltunga Historical Reserve preserves the substantial ruins and memorabilia of the 1887 gold rush that brought 300 people to this remote area and established the first town in Central Australia.
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North of the well-set-up and informative Visitor Centre, you’ll find the old police post and gaol and another road leading to the government works area, where a gold battery was established. The most significant ruins of the goldfields are found here, along with an old boiler and assorted machinery. Many of the first miners were Cornishmen, fresh from the famous mines in South Australia. Today, many of the buildings they built in this remote and dry region of Australia have been restored as a testimony and a monument to their skill and pioneering endeavour.
Just a short distance east at the ‘Cross Roads’, where there was once a store and hotel, you can continue east to the White Range Cemetery or take a walk to the old mining areas in the White Range itself.
Camping isn’t permitted on the reserve and pets aren’t allowed. The Arltunga Bush Hotel is closed, though some people camp in the adjoining camping area. There are no facilities. We’ve never had an issue finding a camping spot.
The nearby Trephina Gorge and N’Dhala Gorge both offer basic bush camps, while the Old Ambalindum HS on the Hale River offers pleasant camping and accommodation, as does the Ross River Resort.