Approximately 4,700 years ago, a meteor racing through the Earth’s atmosphere split into several pieces —most no larger than a 200-liter fuel drum—and slammed into the middle of Australia. The meteorite pieces, which reached speeds of 40,000 km per hour, created twelve craters that are still visible today. Though most of the craters have eroded and become lined with plant life, their footprints create an interesting diversion from the surrounding flat Australian desert landscape. A 1.5 km path winds around the largest craters, which are best viewed at sunset and sunrise.
Today, the area is a protected reserve, with rustic camping facilities available. Visitors can expect only long drop toilets and fire pits, and all water and firewood must be brought into the reserve. Most visitors will have the Australian desert to wander without interruption, as this piece of desert is visited by only a handful of guests each day. If you’re camping overnight, you will be rewarded with utter silence and a night sky filled with more stars than can be counted.
Know Before You Go
The Reserve is easily accessible by both 2WD and 4WD. Approximately 140km south of Alice Springs, turn west onto the Lasseter Highway (an unpaved road that connects the Sturt Highway to Kings Canyon) and bump along the road for 11km to reach the turnoff for the Reserve, which sits at the end of a 4km access road. Further travel along the Lasseter Highway past the Reserve turnoff is recommended for 4WD vehicles only.