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Recent Rains Bring Dormant Outback Waterfalls To Life

ABC Alice Springs  By Emma Haskin 26 Nov 2021

Watarrka/Kings Canyon National Park, 300 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs, has been transformed into a watery wonderland thanks to a very wet start to November.  

The Bureau of Meteorology has recorded 218.2 millimetres in Alice Springs, making November one of the wettest on record.

Reg Ramsden has been a tour operator in the region for 30 years and said the region has had sporadic rain over the past three weeks.

Chris Hakanson for Remote Tours

"It's been amazing. It's like a big cleansing. Everything is starting to green up," he said.

"It's been a while since we've seen a major flow like that and you have to be lucky to see it — you've got to be in the right spot at the right time."

Not many tourists 

Mr Ramsden said thanks to COVID-19 there were very few tourists to witness the waterfalls.

"It's unique to see it as it doesn't happen all the time," he said.

"People should get out here. People from Alice Springs should get out to the Western Macdonnell [Ranges] and check out those waterholes as they've all flowed majorly."

Mr Ramsden specialised in school group tours and his business has been badly affected by the global pandemic and subsequent border closures.

"It is sad that we haven't got the tourism out here. We are coming into a traditionally quiet period," he said.

Mr Ramsden said the Northern Territory government attempt to support the industry in the form of tourism vouchers for residents was not fair.

"It's useless to my business," he said.

"I deal with groups and school groups. It's like having an ashtray on a motorbike. It just doesn't work.

"Every time they announce another one and say that they're spending millions of dollars, it just makes me cringe because it's not helping everybody."

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