Fascinating rock formations in the Northern Territory’s Gulf Country are a unique tourist attraction that Sandra Schleter has been showing off via helicopter for the past 20 years.

Story By Tim Bowden

Sandstone rock spires rear up in crazy formations, some leaning towards each other, some slender, others chunky and eerily reminiscent of the Egyptian Sphinx – two of them, in fact, side by side. Several columns are splendidly phallic, all combining in a unique landscape that inspires wonder and awe.
Welcome to The Lost City, in the Abner Range of the Northern Territory’s Gulf Country, accessible only by helicopter and the domain of guide Sandra Schleter, who has been taking tourists to marvel at its sculptured, twisted wonders for the past 20 years.
The take-off point is just across the road from the quaintly named Heartbreak Hotel, at Cape Crawford on the Carpentaria Highway, south-west of Borroloola. In just a few minutes the shiny blue Robinson Astro R44 helicopter transports three passengers over the rocky escarpment, and into the strange environment of The Lost City. Sandra has instructed the first visitors to wait near a flat rock while the chopper, piloted by Luke Cameron, returns to base to collect Sandra and two more tourists.

This story excerpt is from Issue #93

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2014