To the west of Alice Springs between the ridges of the MacDonnell Ranges lies Gosses Bluff: a huge crater, the origin of which has two fascinating explanations.
Stretching five kilometres in diameter with a rim reaching 180 metres high, the crater is a distinctive scar on the desert landscape.
Scientists think the most likely explanation for Gosses Bluff is that it is a meteor impact crater, created by a 600 metre-wide comet crashing to Earth some 142 million years ago.
The crater is thought to have stretched more than 20 kilometres across at the time of impact, but millennia of erosion and weathering have worn it down to its current size.
The Aboriginal people who have lived in the region for around 50,000 years have a different explanation for how the crater came to be.
Known to the Arrernte people as Tnorala, the crater is said to have been formed in the creation time, or Dreaming, during a dance by a group of women in the stars.
It is said that one of the women placed her baby in a wooden basket while she danced, but the basket fell to Earth and was transformed into the circular rock walls of the crater.
Tnorala is a sacred place for the Arrernte (pronounced a-run-da), who live in the outback west of Alice Springs.
The Arrernte use the Dreaming to explain how their world was formed by ancestral beings that moved across the land, creating life and geographical features.
Sacred places include trees that take the form of warriors engaged in battle or rocks that represent objects discarded by the ancestors.
Dreaming stories describe how the MacDonnell Ranges were formed by three caterpillars, Yeperenye, Utnerrengatye and Ntyarlke, who are some of the most important ancestral beings to the Arrernte.
Many of the gorges and gaps surrounding Gosses Bluff and Alice Springs are covered in rock paintings by the Arrernte that depict their Dreaming stories in vivid ochre colours.