Caranbirini Conservation Reserve

Top choice in Outback Northern Territory

Just off the Carpentaria Hwy, 46km south of Borroloola, this fine nature reserve is good for wildlife – including euros (wallaroos), agile wallabies and water goannas – and birdwatching (prize species include the Gouldian finch, Carpentaria grasswren and sandstone rock-thrush) and plays an important role in many Aboriginal Dreaming stories. But Caranbirini is also remarkable for the drama of its sandstone spires and pinnacles – this is the most accessible of all of the 'lost-city' rock formations for which the area is renowned.

A number of walks take you into the heart of the pinnacles and surrounding country. From the car park, a 150m trail goes to the waterhole where a bird hide overlooks the billabong. The Barrawulla Loop (2km, one to two hours, easy) gets you into the heart of the rocky outcrops, while the Jagududgu Loop (5km, three hours, easy to medium) ranges further afield with some good views before joining the Barrawulla Loop.

Nearby Outback Northern Territory attractions

1. Waralungku Arts Centre

20.47 MILES

This relaxed art centre on the main road through town showcases work by artists from the four different Indigenous-language groups in the area: the…

2. Borroloola Museum

20.79 MILES

About three-quarters of the population of Borroloola is Indigenous and the town’s colourful history is displayed at the Borroloola Museum, alongside…