After our leisurely day yesterday, we got up and got going to explore the West Macdonnell Ranges. Mum, Dad, Heather, Frey, Georg, Bec and I piled in the Kluger and we were off by 9am. First stop was Flynn's grave, then onto Simpsons Gap. This was a beautiful spot with a dry creek bed and waterhole in a gap of the ranges. The funniest moment was when one of the school kids on an excursion looked at the sand in the creek and said "So this is where they get kitty litter from!"....Lol...and you know what? It did look like kitty litter! Picture of Simpsons Gap below.
After Simpsons, we drove for around 40km to Stanley Chasm. This incurred a fee of $8 but was really worth it. The walk up was magnificent, we the little creek flowing between cycads and red rocks. When we got to the Chasm we walked through it, marvelling at how close the walls are and how small you feel while inside. See picture below.
Next on the agenda was Ellery Creek Bighole. This was a fav. of mine! A huge deep waterhole full of fish....wedged between cliffs and surrounded by ghost gums. When I stood in the water, the water was so cold it hurt! No kidding! Absolute icicles!!!!! Even the s had trouble staying in and they love water. The hole was full of fish and many were dying....or ....apparently part of the natural cycle in desert waterholes. We sat down in the 22 degree sunshine and had a picnic lunch. Gee this is hard! Pictures below for you to enjoy....
After Ellery we went on to Serpentine Gorge. This was an extremely rough 5km dirt track in and then a 1.3km walk through long grass with grasshoppers and lizards everywhere. Bec got a little freaked out! But.....it was so worth it. Serpentine Gorge is beautiful...with a deep pool between two towering walls and a red cliff face beyond, glowing in the sunlight! The gorge was filled with the sound of zebra finch coming in to drink!
Next on the journey was The Ochre Pits....an ancient place where Aboriginals used to collect high quality ochre for their art and decoration. Dad, the s and I walked along the dry creek bed looking at the amazing colours on the wall. Dad and Georgia caught a little lizard too....and returned him to the wild after a little squiz.
Ormiston Gorge was next. This gorge is perhaps most well known and was absolutely beautiful. It was also full of water....stopping people from doing some of the longer walks, unless they wanted to wade through icy water! We were on limited time, so we looked around, talked to a backpacker who was washing (Heather told him to use soap) and got some nice pics for you to enjoy.
Finally we got to Glen Helen Gorge/resort, where we walked along the Finke River (the oldest river in the world) to the beautiful gorge...which was glowing in the arvo sun. By this stage Georg and Frey were totally over gorges....Lol! Our last stop was a lookout where you could see Mount Sonder....a mountain that famous Aboriginal Albert Namatjira used to paint. We had a long drive back in the twilight....red hills aglow!
After tea, Mum, Dad, Frey and I sat around 3 bonfires in the park and listened to a musician play. He was amazing and took requests....so I got in "Sweet Child of Mine", "Angel of Harlem", "Throw Your Arms Around Me" and "Patience". He was awesome.
After a great sleep, we were up and at them again....and off to the East Macdonnell Ranges. The weather was warmer too....24 degress...so out came the shorts and ts!
First stop was Emily Gap. A beautiful spot with a waterhole and some Aboriginal rock art. We took a shot of the sign for Aunty Em back home in Maryborough. Enjoy!
Next was Jessie Gap. Another beautiful spot with a waterhole and Aboriginal rock art, but not as good quality art. We took a shot of the sign for cousin/neice Jessie back in Cheltenham. Enjoy!
After a little drive, we came to Corroboree Rock. This was a dolomite outcrop of rock in the middle of nowhere...and really interesting. We really loved walking around the outcrop through the spinifex!
We went to Trephina Gorge next and enjoyed a clifftop walk, looking down into the gorge, that was flowing quite steadily with water. The views along the cliff were beautiful, with rust red rocks plunging onto white sand and ghost gums..... Once at the end of the walk, you got to walk back through the creek and gorge! Beautiful. We ate a banana and mandarin for a snack and returned to the car....before heading to Ross River Resort....should of listened Deb...not worth the drive!
Once back in Alice, we got lunch and stocked up on groceries ready for the next few days in isolated areas. We had pancakes after tea courtesy of the strawberry/pancake van that goes to Energy Breakthrough every year. They do the winter stint up here as it's good for business.... The rest of the night has been packing up and getting ready for the trip tomorrow.
To all of you reading back at school....or anyone reading that goes to school...enjoy the holidays. The Brook crew thoroughly deserve them...and Laura....if you are reading....have a fantastic trip to Europe with Adam. Can't wait to hear all about it!
Catch you guys again soon....