There’s something about Harry, an eagerness to do things differently. That’s why he prefers exploring east of Alice Springs rather than head west.
But Harry Osborn would much rather take his guests into the East Macdonnell Ranges and not simply because fewer tourists go there but also because, out east lies Harry’s ‘hidden jewel’ – the remote and aptly-named Ruby Gap.
Ruby Gap Nature Park lies 150 kilometres east of the Alice and it takes several hours of careful driving over rugged terrain to get there, the last bit of the journey along the dried-up bed of the Hale River.
“Most people say I’m crazy to come way out here on a day trip,” says Harry, “but I get out here as often as possible. Even for a few hours it’s worth it.”
Harry says he rarely sees other visitors out here. Camping is allowed but much of the terrain is too rugged for most vehicles to negotiate.
At this ghost town I see old mining works and the remains of a post office, blacksmith shop and the 1912 police station and jail with it’s rusted iron door hanging off its hinges.
We also pause beside the grave of stockman George King, buried 9 September, 1916, after falling from his horse. His remote resting place seems a fitting emblem of the tough and solitary life endured by pioneers in such unforgiving country.