Chambers Pillar

Northern Territory

The eerie, sandstone Chambers Pillar, southwest of Maryvale Station, towers 50m above the surrounding plain and is carved with the names and visit dates of early explorers − and, unfortunately, modern-day graffiti. To the Aboriginal people of the area, Chambers Pillar is the remains of Itirkawara, a powerful gecko ancestor. Most photogenic at sunset and sunrise, it's best to stay overnight at the camping ground.

Chambers Pillar is an important Dreaming site for the Indigenous Southern Arrernte people. To them, Itirkawara was a knob-tailed gecko ancestor with great strength and a violent temper. In one incident, he killed a number of other ancestors with his stone knife, then flouted the law by taking a girl of the wrong skin group to be his wife. The pair were banished to the desert where both turned to stone – Itirkawara became the pillar and his wife became Castle Rock, around 500m away.

It's 160km from Alice Springs and a 4WD is required for the last 44km from the turn-off at Maryvale Station.