The gorgeous Gorges
Trip Start Aug 24, 2009
15Trip End Oct 07, 2009
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After leaving Alice Springs late, we travelled west around Larapinta Drive to the West Macdonnell Ranges, the gorgeous land of the gorges. Every few kilometers there is another impressive rock formation to visit!!! After 24kms we arrived at Simpson's Gap around 2.00 pm. This was formed from a rock fault developing into the gap.
A further 30 kms along Larapinta Drive we arrived at Standley's Chasm. This gap was caused by the Finke River (the oldest river in the world?) wearing a narrow cleft through the sandstone, leaving walls of 80 metres high. At the narrowest point the girls and I were able to touch the sides.
Next we continued down Namatjira Drive for a further 100 kms until we arrived at Glen Helen Resort around 4.00 pm.
Today was the first time that we have had to camp, which meant that we needed to set things up. Firstly we organised a grass patch to enable us to pitch our dome tent, with an adjoining gravel section suitable for parking the 4WD to open up the roof tent. Getting both the tents up for the first time was a little taxing but not too bad. A cool beer or two were needed at the end. We had a good evening dinner at the homestead, which had a comfy country feel.
After a quick breakfast of cereal, we were ready to go. Firstly We needed to develop our travelling routine. Everytime we wanted to drive somewhere we have to pack up the 4WD roof tent. Luckily as we were returning to Glen Helen this night, so we could dump the bags into the land tent before heading back 15 kms to Ormiston Gorge.
We completed the gentle one hour "Ghost Gum" walk involving staying high along the ridge before descending to a cool gorge and returning along the dry river bed. All the water holes around central Australia are very cold, with only our children able to bare them.
The on to the Ochre Pits, were the local Arrerente people mined the clays for use in body painting and artwork.
Up early to leave for Palm Valley, this will require real four wheel driving.
Where I stayed