Chambers Pillar

Heading south from Alice Springs towards the Simpson Desert, the 50-metre shaft of Chambers Pillar can appear as a bit of a surprise. Chambers Pillar is a remnant of a sandstone mountain range and has survived due to its hard capping. In 1860, John McDouall Stuart was the first European to sight the obelisk, describing it as a ‘locomotive engine with its funnel’. To the Arrernte people, it is Itirkawara, a mythical gecko ancestor, punished and turned to stone for his misdeeds. Early explorers used the pillar as a landmark and carved their names on the outcrop. After making the four-wheeldrive journey here, camp beneath the whistling desert oaks and wait for sunset or sunrise, when the hues of the yellow and red-streaked stone are highlighted.

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