Damien Armstrong is descended from the Southern Arrernte people of Central Australia and is a Traditional Owner of Rainbow Valley. He is a musician, visual artist and works as a Park Guide at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Damien has travelled extensively throughout the region and has a great appreciation for plants, animals and the environment. Through his work at the Desert Park, Damien presents many talks including Aboriginal Survival in the Desert, Red Kangaroo and A Stroll through Sand Country. Damien’s hero is Jimi Hendrix, whom he believes was a creative genius that did not let race, culture or geography affect his will to create something new and unique to the world.
View some of Damien’s experiences in this short 30 second television commercial airing on Imparja, GO and GEM.
Get to know Damien in this extended 2 minute web version and learn about his adventure experiences in the Red Centre featuring quad biking in Alice Springs.
Local Park Guide Damien Armstrong Shares Top Adventure Experiences in the Red Centre
1. Listen to wind songs @ Rainbow Valley
This is the real Red Centre! Rolling red sand dunes, yellow spinifex grass and blue skies. The sandstone formation named Rainbow Valley will be familiar to many after being used as the image of Central Australia in many advertising campaigns for the last 50 years. Take a drive and get a photo of "that place" that everybody recognizes. A great place for spotting reptiles or spend time listening to the wind sing through the Desert Oaks.
2. The magic of Trephina Gorge
The hidden jewel of the East MacDonnell Ranges. Quiet, secluded and often overlooked by most visitors to Central Australia. Trephina Gorge is one of the most magical places in the desert after a big rain. Why? Waterfalls! If you are lucky enough to be there at the right time it will be an experience you'll never forget.
3. Cycling from Flynn’s Grave to Simpsons Gap
A casual bicycle ride from Flynn's Grave to Simpsons Gap is an amazing experience with plenty of picnic spots and interpretative signposts along the way. One of locals’ favourite experiences is to ride along this path when the moon is full – simply magical.
4. Take a road trip along North Stuart Highway
A short drive up North Stuart Highway takes you past Bond Springs Station (Glider Flights), the Tropic of Capricorn and Stuart's Marker. A little further up gets you to Aileron Roadhouse with the Big Man Walk. For those of us who are motoring enthusiasts there is a 200km stretch between Alice and Barrow Creek with an open speed limit (Please drive safely).
5. Stay overnight @ Glen Helen
Here is the place to be at any time of the year - Glen Helen. After a days’ worth of swimming or hiking the West Macs, treat yourself to an award-winning dinner at the homestead. Stay overnight and further explore the West Macs, where you can continue on the Mereenie Loop with your 4WD to Hermannsburg. If you don’t have a 4WD, you can easily hire one in Alice Springs. This road will take you up to Tyler’s Pass overlooking Tnorala (Gosse Bluff). The lookout is amazing and the picture is worth a thousand words.
6. Quad bike @ Undoolya Station
Combining the Bush + Machinery = Adventure! A great way to cover a lot of ground and get to know Central Australia in a way that many people will never know or experience. Seeing the East MacDonnell Range from the north puts a great perspective on how diverse our local landscape can be in such a close area.
7. Hike the Rim Walk @ Watarrka National Park
Accessible via bitumen or the Mereenie Loop Road for the more adventurous at heart - Watarrka National Park is a Red Centre must see and DO for locals and visitors. The Rim Walk is for the avid walkers and adventurers. The Canyon Walk is fantastic for families with little ones, or for those looking to take it easy and anyone who just wants to slow down on their break.
8. See the sunrise in a Hot Air Balloon
See the amazing landscape of the Red Centre from the sky. The outback ballooning experience is the most serene way to see the desert, the sunrise and wildlife. Photograph flocks of birds from above, see a family of kangaroos foraging for breakfast or just see the amazing MacDonnell Ranges and realise why you are in the Red Centre of Australia.
9. Cycle around Telegraph Station
The Alice Springs Telegraph Station has it all! It's close to town with fully paved trails so you can ride to and fro. For the avid mountain bikers, the unpaved rocky trails offer the best in rocky hilly terrain. The picnic grounds, café and historic reserve are perfect for families to enjoy. Trigg Hill is one of my favourite spots, it has an amazing lookout where you can watch a big storm come through from the west, especially in summer.
10. Gliding @ Bond Springs
I’ve always dreamed of flying in a glider and recently my dream came true! This experience is a combination of heart thumping mixed with beautiful silent serenity. When you’re about to take off your heart is thumping and you feel the rush as you’re ascending from the red dirt runway. Hoisted by a cable whipping across the ground like an angry snake, you’re then suddenly up in the air with the earth falling away and everything becomes incredibly quiet - until the glider turns and you can hear the sound of the wind rushing over the flaps! INCREDIBLE!