Posts Tagged With: West MacDonnell Ranges

West MacDonnell Ranges – Part 2

Ok, prepare to be Gorge’d out!  There are sooooo many beautiful gorges in the West Mac’s!!

So – we will work through them from the Westernmost ones through to those closest to Alice Springs, starting with Roma Gorge (kids thought it was cool that this Gorge was the same name as their cousin!  Hello Roma!!).

Roma Gorge was a pretty long drive in and only accessible by 4wd.  Here we got to see some Aboriginal Petroglyphs which are carved into the rocks in the gorge.  It was 8km’s in along quite a corrugated and rocky creek bed track.  We enjoyed it as we had the whole place to ourselves but you do need a good couple of hours!  The walk into the gorge is only about 250metres from the car park, so not far once you have made the drive in.

Roma Gorge

Roma Gorge

Aboriginal Petroglyphs

Aboriginal Petroglyphs

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Short walk in to the gorge

Short walk in to the gorge

Toby getting creative inspired by Roma Gorge

Toby getting creative inspired by Roma Gorge

The next gorge you come to is Redbank Gorge and this was my favourite.  It was only a 2km walk in but was quite slow going for us with Toby and Lex and their little legs walking over rocks – definitely worth the walk though and we think the National Park campground here was the pick of them with quite secluded sites with your own fire pit, table and plenty of pit toilets around.

Walk in to Redbank Gorge

Walk in to Redbank Gorge

Still walking in to Redbank Gorge

Still walking in to Redbank Gorge

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

Beautiful Redbank Gorge

Beautiful Redbank Gorge

Photographer in action

Photographer in action

Family potrait done using the camera timer as we had the gorge to ourselves up until just before we left

Family potrait done using the camera timer as we had the gorge to ourselves up until just before we left

Next is Glen Helen Gorge and this was the gorge closest to our campsite at Finke 2-mile – pretty much just over the road from where we were camped.  There is a resort/pub and campground there so one night we splashed out and spent some of our treat money on dinner and a shower there.  It was such a great night!  We couldn’t believe how much cleaner we all looked after a shower – we hadn’t realised how dirty we had gotten in 3 days bush camping!  We had crocodile and kangaroo spring rolls to share to start with and then Matt had the Kangaroo steaks which really were very delicious!!  The kids were in heaven to choose their own dinners from the kids menu and it was an extra special night as Lexi had gone her first whole day without sucking her fingers (a habit she has had since she was born and we are aiming to break on this trip!) so the whole family was rewarded with icecreams for dessert! Matt and I had a wine each and there was a lovely roaring fire going in the bar along with an entertainer who was fantastic!  It was the best night we have had so far – we all really enjoyed the treat!  And Trice – check out Matt on the spoons – I took the video just for you hehehehe!

Glen Helen Gorge

Glen Helen Gorge

The view from the back deck of the Glen Helen Resort Pub

The view from the back deck of the Glen Helen Resort Pub

Our 'treat' dinner - soooooooo yum!

Our ‘treat’ dinner – soooooooo yum!

A fire - so lovely and warm as a change from our freezing camper at night!

A fire – so lovely and warm as a change from our freezing camper at night!

Lex with her hard earned icecream for not sucking her fingers for the whole day!

Lex with her hard earned icecream for not sucking her fingers for the whole day!

Tobes just got tuckered out - so we put him on the floor with a pillow from one of the lounges and he was happy!

Tobes just got tuckered out – so we put him on the floor with a pillow from one of the lounges and he was happy!

Ormiston Gorge is the largest of the gorges in the West Mac’s and one of the most popular, so it was quite busy here.  We managed to be there for a Ranger talk which the kids loved as he showed them how to identifiy animals from their tracks and scat (poo!).  He had heaps of cool things for the kids to touch and look at as well – the Northern Territory National Parks are fantastic with their facilities and ranger information sessions.  We also did the Ghost Gum walk here which is about a 3km walk around the rim of the Gorge – pretty easy walk and lots of amazing views!

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

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View down into Gorge from lookout

View down into Gorge from lookout

View from Rim Walk

View from Rim Walk

Great ranger talk

Great ranger talk

We did do a drive in to the ruins of the old Serpentine Lodge chalets which was quite interesting.  The track in is only short but quite rough (4wd recommended) and we enjoyed reading about the lodge being the halfway point for tourists to stopover in the West Mac’s in the days before comfortable 4wd’s were invented!  Unfortunately it closed due to water shortage problems and there looked to be an interesting walk in to a dam that was put in there, but the kids were done with walking by the time we got here!

The final gorge we visited was Matt’s favourite, Serpentine Gorge.  It is the least touristy of all the gorges and no camping is allowed there.  It was any easy 1.5km walk in to the gorge (although we did have to bribe the kids with freddo frogs to get them to do this one) and Matt and Jack also did the short but very steep scramble/climb to the lookout which has spectacular views over the ranges.

Serpentine Gorge

Serpentine Gorge

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View from the lookout at Serpentine Gorge

View from the lookout at Serpentine Gorge

Jack at the lookout

Jack at the lookout

Matt at the lookout - photo by Jacko!

Matt at the lookout – photo by Jacko!

Family pic - Serpentine Gorge

Family Pic – Serpentine Gorge

A beautiful, beautiful part of Australia, we loved our time in the West Mac’s!

Categories: Camping, NT Camping, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

West MacDonnell Ranges – Part 1

 

Our campsite at 2-Mile on the banks of the Finke River

Our campsite at 2-Mile on the banks of the Finke River

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!

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Dingos everywhere at the campground at Palm Valley

Hermannsburg Mission

Hermannsburg Mission

Albert Namitjira's House

Albert Namitjira’s House

Donkey's on Mereenie Loop drive

Donkey’s on Mereenie Loop drive

Gosses Bluff Crater formed by the impact of an asteriod millions of years ago

Gosses Bluff Crater formed by the impact of an asteriod millions of years ago

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!!

Entering the West MacDonnell Ranges

Entering the West MacDonnell Ranges

Our lovely campsite at Finke 2-Mile

Our lovely campsite at Finke 2-Mile

Matt repairing the mudflap again

Matt repairing the mudflap again

Kids were soooo happy to play in the sand!

Kids were soooo happy to play in the sand!

Oh the shame - getting snatched out of the sand!

Oh the shame – getting snatched out of the sand!

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!

Kids were entertained the whole time we were there playing in the sand!

Kids were entertained the whole time we were there playing in the sand!

And we got the Kayak out for the first time!

And we got the Kayak out for the first time!

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Happy Kids!

Happy Kids!

And finally started to relax and slow our pace down a little!

And finally started to relax and slow our pace down a little!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Best Spot!

Best Spot!

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!

The 'Ochre Pits'

The ‘Ochre Pits’

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Ellery Creek Big Hole was beautiful!

Ellery Creek Big Hole was beautiful!

Really, really beautiful!  Wish it wasn't freezing cold as it would have been lovely for a swim!

Really, really beautiful! Wish it wasn’t freezing cold as it would have been lovely for a swim!

Fealy Family at Ellery Creek Big Hole

Fealy Family at Ellery Creek Big Hole

 

Categories: Camping, NT Camping | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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