Native Gap Conservation Reserve is a sacred site to Arrernte and Anmatyerr Aboriginal people. It also stands as a memorial to the Overland Telegraph Line, which was constructed on the site in the late 19th century, and enabled communications between Adelaide and Darwin. The small roadside reserve is located 120 kilometres north of Alice Springs.
The Reserve is at the intersection of several creation-time stories. The site’s name in the Arrernte language is Arurlte Artwatye. Arurlte translates as ‘the top of the shoulders across the neck’, Artwatye is ‘gap’. This name is probably inspired by the view of the profile of the 30 metre sandstone ridge that dominates the site. This ridge stands above the surrounding Burt Plain and protects an interesting variety of plant and animal species.
Pull off the Stuart Highway and stop at the picnic area, which is shaded by Ironwood and Desert Bloodwood and habitat to the Short-beaked Echidna, and enjoy the views of the Hann Range.
The Reserve is on the western side of the Stuart Highway. Access is via an unsealed service track to a nearby telecommunications tower on the Hann Range. The track within the Reserve forms a loop around the facilities area.
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