Mac Clark Conservation Reserve protects acres of rare Acacia Peuce trees, which are found in only two other locations in the world. From Alice Springs, the Reserve can be reached via Santa Teresa or from Kulgera, on the Stuart Highway. Access is by four-wheel drive vehicles only.
Known for their extremely hard wood, Acacia Peuce or Waddywood was traditionally used to make digging tools by the local Aborigines.
One of the rarest and most striking trees of the Australian arid zone, it grows in the reserve on a stony windswept plain in one of the driest regions in Australia, where the average annual rainfall is 150 millimetres. In such a harsh environment the Acacia Peuce thrives, growing to heights of 17 metres and living up to 500 years. The trees have adapted to the environment, and have spiky needle-like leaves that ensure little moisture is lost through the leaves.
Acacia Peuce is found in only three places, in Queensland near Boulia and Birdsville and in the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve. In the early twentieth century many of the trees were cut down to build stockyards and shelters, even though the wood was so hard that nails could not be used.