After a peaceful couple of days at Palm Valley in the Finke National Park, we then headed into Hermannsburg for a quick stop to update the blog while we had reception and to have a wander through the Hermannsburg Mission which was the first Aboriginal Mission in Australia. We also pulled over to check out the home of Albert Namitjira who was a very sucessful Aboriginal artist. We then finished the Mereenie Loop and headed into the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park and had the best five days exploring and walking through some beautiful gorges!
We camped at 2-mile on the recommendation of a Brisbane family who met at Palm Valley. It was a great tip and a spot we wouldn’t have found by ourselves! It was bush camping so no facilities at all but it was fantastic (and free!) and our favourite campsite of the trip so far. I’ll come straight out with our moment of shame – 2-mile is on the banks of the Finke River, camping in the sand, and we got bogged going in and out – yes – embarrassing! On the way in we thought we’d test and see if we can drive on the sand with our tyres at highway pressure – quickly discovered we couldn’t and went to reverse out and ripped the rear mudflap off Peter Prado again – grrrr! Some other campers came over to help but our pride resisted their offer and we dropped our tyre pressures and dug ourselves out of the sand and over to set up our campsite (and Matt again repaired the mudfap!). When we went to leave we again thought we would be fine not to drop our tyre pressure (I know – how silly are we??) and even sillier -Matt forgot to take the handbrake off after giving me a lesson on putting the car in four wheel drive (so of course it was my fault!) and we found ourselves bogged again! This time some other fellow campers came to our aid and told us their was no shame and it was all part of the fun – so we put our snatch strap to use and got a tug out of the sand! Our lesson has been learnt – we are now very respectful of our tyre pressures in all situations and have been giving our compressor a good workout!!
We loved our spot at 2-mile so much that we based ourselves there for four nights and spent our time day tripping out to the Gorges and being home in the afternoon in time to enjoy the view and let the kids have some fun! It was lovely – a toilet would have made it just perfect!
There is soooooo much to see in the West Mac’s – you could easily spend a couple of weeks there – we got to see most of the sights but only managed a few of the walks as the kids were well and truly done with walking by this stage! These are a few of the places we covered on the first day – more of the gorges to come!