Letho's Blog

Mount Remarkable and Port Germein

by on Nov.26, 2010, under Traveling Australia

Having returned to Port Augusta prematurely from our first attempt to go into the Outback, we prepared ourselves one more time for our bog Outback adventure: we topped up our supplies, checked the weather forecast thouroughly and planned the upcoming days. As we learned at the Wadlata Outback Centre our plans to ride along the famous Oodnadatta track were severely restrained by the fact that floods in the previous days had made the route partially impassable, therefore some of the roads were closed. Floods – in the desert? Yes, the weather’s really unusual this year. Sigh.

So we decided to pay more attention to the Mount Remarkable National Park that we had passed only a few days earlier. We left Port Augusta in the evening of Nov 25, 2010, observing an epic thunderstorm in the distance over the Flinders Ranges and found a good campground near the Mambray Creek.

In the next morning we were awakened by the light of a great sunrise:

Sunrise at Mambray Creek

Sunrise at Mambray Creek

After a detailed breakfast we quickly explored the area around the campground and found a few impressive trees near the dry, rocky riverbed:

You can clearly see the signs of former bushfires. The flora has developed an astonishing ability not only to cope, but to adapt to harsh conditions like fire and drought which is an integral element to their survival.

Our next stop on our way into the Mount Remarkable NP was Hancocks Lookout on top of the historical Horrocks Pass. Enjoy another fine panorama view over the Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta area:

View from Hancock Lookout over Spencer Gulf / Port Augusta area

View from Hancock Lookout over Spencer Gulf / Port Augusta area

We finally made our way into the Alligator Gorge whose name is actually not derived from alligators living there. So we were told. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the view from the two lookouts into the gorge ..

.. and walked down the trail directly into the bottom of the gorge where some climbing and jumping over rocks was involved. No swimming this time, however. 😉

After wandering along the small river like that for quite a while we arrived at the narrowest part of the gorge. Surprisingly it’s called „The Narrows“:

Actually there is a circuit walk, but we returned after a while and went into the other direction to find „The Terraces“:

Examine the ripple marks closely – these are the remaining, petrified sediments of waves of an ancient sea that lay over the area hundreds of millions of years ago. Over time wind and water eroded the rocks, and the ripple marks came to the surface again! We saw some beautiful dragonflies as well..

In Melrose we decided not to take the walk up to Mount Remarkable, since the weather was sunny and hot, and we were already quite exhausted. Instead we took a nice scenic drive to Port Germein – on a gravel road, the natural habitat for our LandCruiser . 🙂 On our way we suddenly noticed a long and thin thing in front of our car .. uh, a branch? A stick? A hose? All hypotheses were proven wrong when the thing spontaneously jumped onto a tree. With our curiosity aroused, we investigated the thing in more detail:

It was a goanna, and not a small one, its length was at least 1.2 meters. After a few minutes of adoration we continued to Port Germein to walk on its well-known landmark: a 1532 meters long wooden jetty that supposedly is the longest timber jetty in the Southern hemisphere. It was even quite a few meters longer, but part of it was destroyed in a storm.

You can even recognize the jetty on satellite photos – cool, huh?

Größere Kartenansicht

We strolled back to the car very relaxed ..

In the evening we returned to the Mambray Creek campground for another night. Sadly, it started to rain heavily during the night, but we stayed warm and dry in our tent. In the morning, however, we packed all our stuff together in a wet condition and headed back to Port Augusta, closer to the Outback. Will we ever get there?

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