Walking through Ormiston Gorge

Life on the Road – Week 5

There is so much to see in the Western MacDonnell Ranges and we planned on spending a bit more time there than we actually did.

Ormiston Gorge and Other Amazing Sights.

We left Ellery Creek big hole and had a look at Serpentine Gorge. Another early morning walk and a bit of a trek up a steep hill to check out the view. Lala whined the whole way and we had to coax her up step by step. Awesome.

Then we went to the Ochre Pits which totally blew my mind. All those colours in the rocks are amazing. There is another 4km walk there that we decided to skip because I just couldn’t deal with another 2 hours of Lala’s sooking.

colours of the ochre pits

Then we arrived at our camp for the day. Ormiston Gorge had a shower, which we had gone without for 3 days, so that was the first thing we did. Lala screamed through the whole shower and while I brushed her hair.

Yep, the whole campsite heard her. Traveling with kids is HARD sometimes.

The People You Meet

You meet all sorts of people when you are doing a trip like this. The tourist beat is pretty beaten and most people are heading to the same places, seeing the same sights, so you see them over and over.

As we drove into the MacDonnell Ranges National Park, we overtook a couple riding bikes. Their bikes were stacked with bags and I gave a thumbs up out the window as we passed them, I saw the lady’s red face. What a legend, riding a fully stacked bike in a place like that.

We got to meet them later on and they told us that they were at the end of a 3 year trip. They had ridden their bikes from London, all over the world, and were now on the homeward leg back to their new home in Melbourne.

Wow. We were impressed. What an adventure. I must admit a few little seeds were planted in my mind.

Give me a few years to work on El Enrique…..

Cold Weather Sucks

The weather in general has been nice and sunny during the day and freezing cold over night – often down to 2 degrees Celsius. While we were at Ormiston Gorge, another particularly cold snap started. The winds came in, and it was cold during the day as well as overnight.

As we set off to do another 2.6km walk through the gorge in the morning, we expected that we would soon heat up.

the walk trail in Ormiston Gorge

We didn’t. I really wasn’t enjoying the walk, I was far too cold and clutching onto Lala’s hand most of the time as we were walking close to steep edges.

The walk went up hill until you arrived at a lookout over the gorge. The path then followed the rim of the gorge, until you finally started to descend to the dry creek bed below, which took you back to the waterhole and the end of the walk.

Walking through Ormiston Gorge
Beginning the walk back down to the creek bed

Once you were in the creek, the dry sandy creek bed, quickly turned into huge boulders of various colours.

I hadn’t enjoyed the walk until then, but from then on we were scrambling over boulders. All three of us, having the time of our lives.

different coloured rocks of the dry creek bed

When I look back at the photos, it looks pretty incredible. I can’t believe we didn’t enjoy it at the time!

Losing Photos

While we were at Ormiston Gorge I decided to transfer some music from my hard drive to my phone. My phone was pretty full of photos from the last few years, so I decided to delete a couple of folders of photos that I had already transferred to my hard drive.

Oh shit. I hit the wrong button.

Oh shit. I hit the confirm delete button.

Oh shit. I just deleted my recent photos.


Luckily I had uploaded my photos 5 days ago, but I had just lost everything from the MacDonnell Ranges and the last day or two we spent in Alice.

I was pretty annoyed with myself. We talked about retracing our steps and going back just so I could take some more photos but decided against it. I will just make do with the few photos that El Enrique has taken on his phone.

colours of the ochre pits
Proof I took photos…

Change of Plans

We left Ormiston Gorge and started heading to Palm Valley which we had decided was our next camp site. We were in the car, on our way there and I said, ‘Maybe we should just skip Palm Valley and head back to Alice.’ Lala started chanting in the back seat, ‘Alice, Alice, Alice’. (She loves Alice Springs for some reason).

I think the cold cold walk got me thinking about heading North, where it would be a bit warmer. El Enrique agreed and we hung a U-ey and headed back to Alice.

‘Since we’re heading back that way,’ I said, ‘Maybe we can stop again at Ellery Creek so I can take another photo.’….

Ellery Creek in the West Macs
El Enrique and Lala stayed in the car while I ran out to get another photo of Ellery Creek.

Big City Errands

Big City Errands generally consists of going to the supermarket, back in range phone calls, Bunnings, and computer stuff, so we got all that stuff done. After we had done all of that we only had time to get to the Museum, to finally see that piece of Meteorite and a have a bit of a walk around the Botanic Gardens.

Then we were off again. Heading to Eastern MacDonnell Ranges for a few days so check out the other side of the ranges.

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