West MacDonnell National Park

Namatjira Drive guided me along the West MacDonnell Ranges. The road has many turnoffs to admire sections of the park with plenty of gorges, chasms and waterholes to admire. The house of Albert Namatjira was just outside Hermannsburg. A simple rough rock 2 room construction that Albert built himself. Albert was a world famous Aboriginal artist known for his landscape paintings.

Also known as The Red Centre Way the mostly bitumen road provides easy access to all the sites and campgrounds. I took most turnoffs, unfortunately I can’t remember which ones were what so my photos will have to show my unfolding journey.

Gosse Bluff is a comet impact crater, one of many dotting the surrounding deserts. The mountains in the vicinity are actually the remains of the folded rock from the impact 142 million years ago. Most of the crater has eroded away.

The Redback Gorge was next and I completed the hike in to the waterhole and had a lovely refreshing swim. The water was very cold as the surrounding gorge kept most of the sunlight away. There were plenty of fish and other creatures all living in the water.

Glen Helen Gorge followed and this waterhole was much larger.

An ancient Aboriginal ochre mining site was just off the road. Here were various coloured rocks which are easy to smash down into powder. This powder was very valuable to the aboriginal people and was traded over long distances for use in body art and ceremonies. The colours in the rocks were quite beautiful.

Serpentine Gorge was very popular with another beautiful swimming opportunity.

I pulled up and camped the night at Ellery Creek Big Hole. Another swimming spot here so had an afternoon swim to cool off. Wonderful.

Towards the end of the road just before reaching Alice Springs is the grave and memorial to John Flynn who foundered the Flying Doctors Service.


About Brett

Brett is a film maker, hiker, adventurer and Defender owner. He loves the outdoors and feels most at home travelling remote outback places in Australia. The idea of waiting till retirement to begin exploring Australia is not the path Brett has chosen, instead choosing to live life now. Join him on his adventures.

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