....ohh and pencils and paper

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Exploring the West Side

Yesterday we headed out to explore the west Macdonnell Ranges starting with Glen Helen about 130 kms west of Alice Springs. It was a very chilly day and definitely a 'beanie' wearing day. I am not going to wax lyrical about the beauty of this spot, I'll let you decide for yourself.
Large rock faces tower high above you.
Next on our little exploration was Ormiston Gorge and we decided to do a little training for our Kings Canyon walk by climbing to Ghost Gum Lookout which is only a mere 238 steps interspersed with long stretches of track. This is the lookout from down in the gorge.
So off we went battling strong winds as we went. The view from the top was breathtaking. I have a lot of phobias but heights are not among them but walking out on the steel grated platform above the gorge was a wee bit scary especially with the wind blowing a gale.
This is the Ghost gum you could see the branches of from the gorge.
We headed back down the steep steps to the car park and picnic area and had lunch amongst the trees.
Revived we headed off to Standley Chasm which even though it was late in the day and we didn't get the effect of the sunlight on the rock walls it was still an amazing and beautiful place. More walking. I have never walked so far and up and down and over so many rocks, boulders, fallen tree trunks and waterholes in my life in one day.
The rock walls of the chasm towered above on both sides and there was a bushfire not to far away and we could smell the smoke from it. This next photo is of Gary on the track on the way back from the chasm.

The above photo is me trying to be creative and capture the height and narrowness of the chasm.
The last stop for the day was Simpson's Gap. It was getting late and we were of two minds whether to go or not. We decided we would and there was no one about and we had it all to ourselves.
It was truly a special place. As we sat on one of the rocks absorbing it all one of the very special and endangered residents hopped out on to one of the rocky outcrops to begin his descent to forage for his dinner. You will probably have trouble picking him out as he is blends in so well with his home. He is on the left side of the flat rock. I am talking about one of the 20 remaining black-footed rock wallaby that call this place home. We felt so priviledged and watched him for ages. Can you pick him out?
Gary and I discussed which place we thought was the most spectacular and we came to the conclusion that each place had it's own energy and beauty and couldn't be compared. Even though it was a cold blustery day I wouldn't as they say have missed it for quids.
Today we visited the "Desert Park" and all I can say if you ever visit Alice Springs you have to visit. It is fantastic. I will only share a couple of photos as I feel as if I took thousands. Two stand outs for us was the bird show in the amphitheatre with wild birds....galahs, owls and birds of prey. They swooped low above our heads and soared high into the sky. Amazing!
The other was the talk about the tools and implements of both aboriginal men and women in the desert. It was given by a wonderful and talented young man by the name of Mat. He is 25 years old and flies around on his motorised scooter. He is so passionate about his work in the Park and it just goes to show that you are capable of anything if you love it enough. He imparted so much information to us. We loved the time he spent with us.
Gary checking out a Woomera used to assist in spear throwing faster, further and more accurate.
I am holding a gathering bowl made from a bloodwood tree which had been hollowed out. The outside is carved beautifully and Mat told us that every woman's bowl could be identified by her individual decoration and no one else would use it.
I shall leave you with this glade of pink everlasting daisies that were one amongst many gorgeous natives blooms throughout the park.
Tomorrow we set out for Kings Canyon and leave "The Alice". We will be travelling for a while so I shall leave you in peace.
Take care until then,
Blessings Michelle xxx


  1. oh i have so enjoyed these posts Michelle,beautiful pics,take care.xx

  2. More amazing memories for the two of you. I'm happy to tag along too! Enjoy :)

  3. Wow, amazing Michelle! All that walking-how are the legs today?sore? Beautiful photos.

  4. Great photos Michelle. They certainly all have their own beauty. You'll love Kings Canyon. Safe travelling. Watch out for the dingoes at the Kings Canyon caravan park!

  5. Mother Nature certainly knows how to put on a brilliant show doesn't she?

    It blows my mind that these wonderful places have been round for thousands of years. Imagine all the people who have enjoyed the beauty of them over that time.

  6. You have seen so many beautiful sites... safe travels...

  7. I have been following your travels with interest. Love being in that part of our country. I am really enjoying your pics. Keep having a great time.

  8. love your beanie pic!lOL
    You know there have to be a lot more of them now...
    Wonderful update on your travels. Looks like you are having a ball.

  9. Oops, I had got a bit behind with the traveller's diary, so have just been reading the last few posts. Gorgeous pics and gorgeous places. Makes me want to join you.
    Take care.
    Hugs xx

  10. Beautiful scenery, I have enjoyed seeing all your holiday spots.

  11. Great photos, loving reading your daily travels.

  12. I just love your photos and stories, it is so beautiful and you look like you are having a ball, boy you must be fit. Just bought Homespun to make these cute little christmas bags, great article, I am so proud!!!


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