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Cross of Christ in the Red Centre

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The 20-metre-tall solar-lit cross on top of Memory Mountain in central Australia. Photo: Supplied

A 20-metre-tall solar-lit cross on top of a remote sacred mountain in central Australia has officially opened as a tourist attraction, with locals hoping it could soon join the bucket-list of must-see locations.

Bringing faith, culture, and social enterprise together, the giant cross sits atop Memory Mountain near Haasts Bluff, 230km west of Alice Springs and is a new Australian icon of unity and hope.

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Officially opened at Easter 2023, the lights on the huge steel monument can be seen for many kilometres and provide pilgrims with a deep encounter with God and nature.

The trek to the summit takes about 30-40 minutes, a climb of about 950 metres, from where spectacular sunrise and sunset views can be seen across the desert.

First proposed in 2009 with the backing of the nearby indigenous desert communities of the western MacDonnell Ranges, it is hoped the project will help create a prosperous future for locals.

Selina Hasham, CEO of Harvest Journeys who has been named the official pilgrimage operator, said the cross rising up out of the red earth “seems like God’s timing and design.”

“While Australians are deliberating over the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Voice, the Aboriginal people of Ikuntji have realised a decades-long dream, a vision of their elders for the cross of Jesus on their country,” she said.

“The cross is a cry in the desert, a cry erupting from the wilderness heart and soul of our land, from the lips of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

“It is time to listen to the people and to the land, and the message of this mysterious and beautiful symbol that now stands at the heart of Australia.

“I believe this will become a significant place of pilgrimage for all Australians in the years to come.”

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