Northern Territory

The first brief stop in the Northern Territory was a visit to Uluru and Kata Tjuta
back in 94. A second trip to Australia brought us to Darwin and a visit of Litchfield
National Park in 95, and finally a major stop in the central deserts region
was undertaken in 99. This is also where the journey is starting,
leaving Alice Springs, or Alice as called by the locals, in a 4 WD camper
heading towards the West MacDonnell Ranges. The first stops are Simpsons Gap
and Standley Chasm.

Simpsons Gap   Standley Chasm   Simpsons Gap   Lizard   Standley Chasm   Standley Chasm

Simpsons Gap, a narrow gorge, is about 20 km from Alice and a popular place for a picnic.
The red vertical walls of Standley Chasm offer spectacular sights.
Continuing westward, the next major stop on Namatjira Drive are Ellery creek big hole,
Serpentine gorge and the Ochre pits before arriving at Ormiston gorge
to stop for the night.

Hugh River     Ochre pits     Ochre pits     Ochre pits

Sunset at Ormiston gorge     Rock Wallaby     Ormiston gorge     Rock Wallaby

Ellery creek big hole as well as Serpentine gorge offer good opportunities
for a cold swim during summer. The Ochre pits are an important place for the
Aborigines, who still use the yellow ochre found here.
Ormiston gorge with its cliffs, gum trees and a water hole is an excellent
place to discover this part of the MacDonnells and the wildlife.
The next stops enroute to the Mereenie Loop road is Glen Helen gorge
and the homestead. The sealed road ends here so be prepared and ensure to
have obtained the necessary permit to drive on Mereenie Loop road opened in 94 only.

Overlook  Glen Helen Gorge  West of Glen Helen Homestead  West of Glen helen Homestead  Leaving sealed road

About 20 km further west, you reach the turn off to Red Bank Gorge. The gorge itself
is about a 30 minutes walk from the car park through a creek bed. As the water pool in the
narrow gorge, surrounded by high rock walls, is rather cold, an air mattress or similar
is a good alternative to get through it and enjoy the magnificent colors and atmosphere.
Continuing the way, you pass Gosse Bluff, a huge crater caused by a comet millions of
years ago. Tnorala as the Aborigines call this place, is a sacred place and only
limited access is possible. The road towards Tnorala is for 4 WD only.
If Finke Gorge Ntl Park is the next stop (again 4 WD only), ensure to fill up
your car in Hermannsburg.

Redbank Gorge   Cold pool   Redbang Gorge walls   Cold swim   Goanna

Goanna   Goanna   View from Tylers Pass   Goose Bluff - Tnorala from Tylers Pass   Inside Tnorala

If continuing to Finke Gorge Ntl Park, ensure to fill up your car in Hermannsburg.
Finke Gorge is popular for its rare palms and is one of Central Australia's
most beautiful wilderness areas. Palm valley is a narrow gorge where rare palms
grow up to 25 meters high. This Ntl park can only be acceeded by 4 WD.
Early morning or late afternoon offer the best views.

Finke Gorge Ntl Park     Palm valley     Red cabbage palms     Palm Valley

Palm valley          Driving in Finke Gorge Ntl Park          Palm valley overview

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