Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ormiston Gorge (West MacDonnell Ranges) 29 – 30 June 2006

Peter still had his cold hanging on, so we had yet another quiet day. In the morning we saw the Ochre Pits which were actually very beautiful and inspiring. The kaolin is in multiple vertical layers (getting used to the fact that the earth has pushed every thing side ways in Australia!) and the array of coloured ochres available was considered significant enough that Aboriginals traded them all over Australia. They feel beautiful to touch and it is easy to understand why you would want to make dot paintings. Peter left with a few coloured spots on his face to ward off his cold. Surprisingly, this is not a sacred site. Settled at Ormiston Gorge in the National Park in a cute little spot amongst the trees and the birds with quite a few other people. Fitted in a short walk in the afternoon to a lookout. There we could see the massive folds of quartzite that had been eroded away to form the gorge. Everywhere we go, we are amazed at the rock formations – makes you wish you had paid more attention during geology lessons! The height of the gorge is very impressive with the mottle of the brightest orange and white cliffs spotted with yellow and green shrubs and the amazing white ghost gums seemingly glued onto the rock wall! Next day we went to Glen Helen Gorge, all set for a long hike, only to find that the water was still high and that we couldn’t see the Organ Pipes we had heard so much about. However it was great just to see a large body of water with fish and water birds on it. A new experience was to see dead fish in these water holes. Explanation involves bacteria, cold winter temperature, low level of water and low oxygen. It is “yuk” though! Saw (and smelt) this again in upper area of Ormiston. In the afternoon we went along Ormiston Gorge to a large water hole and we were lucky enough to see the rock wallabies coming down for a drink. They impressed us with their rock hopping ability!


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