Mereenie Loop Road

In the last year of my old dog’s life, we spent a lot of time sitting together on the front steps of our house, watching the world go by. She showed me the beauty of slowing down, of doing not much of anything. They are some of my favourite memories with her, just sitting.

The zen of Josie

I like travelling on dirt roads for the same reason: everything slows down. Taking the slow road clears your head while you savour the landscape. It gives time to do not much of anything except watch.

To get to Kings Canyon from Alice Springs, we shunned the bitumen in favour of the Mereenie Loop Road; a trip of approximately 322 kilometres with roughly 200 of those on dirt. This isn’t a rough 4WD trip, just one that gives a nice alternative to the highway.

To look at this road on a map it appears unremarkable; there are no landmarks apparent past the Finke Gorge turn off. The choice to drive this way, though, led us down a  road bordered by a colourful spinifex-dotted range. Many plants were in flower, adding purple, yellow and crimson to the red dirt, green spinifex and blue sky palette. It was a pretty way to zone out and empty my head. 

Just outside Kings Canyon is a beautiful rest area and free camp on a high lookout. Looking around, I could see a multitude of beautiful shots materialise in my mind’s eye and set out to capture as many as I could before we moved on. After taking a few shots, though, I thought better of it and put my camera aside. From my vantage point, I instead stood still and took in the grand view below, just like my old dog taught me.

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