Owen Springs Reserve is popular with four-wheel drive visitors seeking a quiet bush camp. The Hugh River runs the length of the reserve and offers many great places for camping, picnicking, birdwatching and swimming. The reserve is a 30-40 minute drive south-west of Alice Springs.
Discover the rocky gorges and red sandy country surrounding the river with its stretches of broad sandy banks lined with shady River Red Gums and the large waterhole after which the reserve takes its name. Camping is allowed within Lawrence Gorge and near Redbank Waterhole.
The reserve is rich in explorer and pastoral history. Follow the main access track through the reserve and you are retracing John McDouall Stuart’s route through the MacDonnell Ranges in 1860, which opened Central Australia to white settlement.
The construction of the Overland Telegraph Line and the establishment of a cattle station followed. Wander around the ruins of the Old Owen Springs Homestead, the first station homestead built in Central Australia.
Access to the reserve is via Larapinta Drive, 50 kilometres west of Alice Springs, or via the Stuart Highway, 66 kilometres south of Alice Springs. A high clearance four-wheel drive is essential to negotiate the track into the reserve.