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Ochre Pits

Head out into the West MacDonnell Ranges to see the vivid colours of the mineral Ochre Pits, which have been mined for generations by the local Aboriginal people.

Located 110km west of Alice Springs, the pits are a colourful outcrop of ochre on the banks of a sandy creek. An information shelter at the site provides information about how, why and when the Ochre Pits were used. After browsing this historic site, sit down in the scenic surrounds and enjoy a barbecue lunch.

Ochre occurs in a range of earthy colours ranging from white, yellow, orange, red and browns. It’s an important part of Aboriginal culture and is used in everyday life. It’s the raw material for paintings and ceremonial body decoration.

Weapons were painted with ochre to increase the success of hunting and to protect the wooden weapons from termites. Red ochre was mixed into an ointment to relieve decongestion, and white ochre used as a magical charm.

Sunrise over Katherine Gorge


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