Monday, 2 July 2012

Ormiston Gorge - West McDonnell Ranges

Today is Kevin's 60th Birthday. We had another cold night at -4 degrees and woke to find the car covered in frost, even here in Central Australia.

Today we headed off to the West McDonnell Ranges which embraces more than 2,100 sq km. This photo is of Mt Sonder or Rwetyepme at 1380 metres is a landmark and icon of the West McDonnell Ranges. When you look at her it is an aboriginal pregnant lady lying down with her head to the right, breasts in the centre and then the pregnant stomach to the left.

Our first stop was Ormiston Gorge a beautiful gorge with sheer red walls raising 300 metres out of Ormiston Creek carved through quartzite, a near permanent waterhole estimated to be 14 metres deep at the southern end. The dreaming story of the waterhole tells of the adventures of a group of Emus who came to the waterhole from the east, and the man who hunted them whist they were there.We were going to head off on the Pound Walk a 3 hour  loop until we found out that a portion of the track would require wading through waist high water and after the cold night we thought this would not be good. So we headed off to the first lookout and then returned back the same way. This dingo came up whilst I was reading the notice, I didn't hear a thing and then I turn and he was beside me, he scared me to death.

Kevin stopped to do his laces up can you spot him?

I am still amazed that these beautiful wildflowers grow in this amazing harsh environment, they are absolutely gorgeous.

We then headed off in the opposite direction to see the other side of where the water was stopping our walk on the Ghost Gum Walk up to the Lookout.

Back down from the lookout and we walked along the creek bed for a while.

Our next stop was Tylers Pass lookout  to gaze over Tnorala Conservation Reserve or Gosse Bluff. According to aboriginal belief Tnorala was formed in the creation time when a group of women danced across the sky as the Milky Way. During this dance, a mother put her baby aside, resting in it's wooden baby-carrier or Turna. The carrier toppled over the edge of the dancing area and crashed to earth where it was transformed into the circular rock walls of Tnorala. The scientific interpretation of the Bluff says around 142 million years ago an object from space, crashed to earth, blasting a crater some 20km across. 

Next we stopped at Mt Sonder Lookout, with views of the Finke River one of the world's oldest watercourses the river flows south for 650km from here to be lost in the sands of the Simpson Desert. 

Glen Helen Gorge with red walls of sandstone shade a permanent waterhole in the Finke River. 

I fell in love with these tall grasses glowing in the sun.

Driving home the moon was rising and was almost translucent in her appearance, I had never seen the moon like this before. As she kept rising in the sky the body of the moon became solid to look at.

As we kept driving home the sun was setting and with each passing minute the colours of the ranges ahead of us changed and grew in vibrancy.

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