Letho's Blog

MacDonnell Ranges / Alice Springs – Serpentine Gorge and Ellery Creek Big Hole

by on Dez.11, 2010, under The Outback

Dec 14, 2010

After spending the night at Ormiston Gorge campground we discovered the great facilities it offers, i.e. the gas stoves! In the middle of nowhere, and you get free gas on a perfectly working gas stove. Now that’s the right time for pancakes, isn’t it? 🙂

Beefed up after a great breakfast we were prepared for a full day ..

First stop was Serpentine Gorge, back in the direction of Alice Springs on the Larapinta Drive. Again .. different from all other gorges around and very unique in its views.

We walked to the top of the Serpentine Gorge – it was already quite hot and exhausting.

The landscape from the top of the gorge is just breathtaking as you can see a fair amount of the MacDonnell Ranges from east to west:

Hoping to find refreshment at the bottom, we went there as well, but weren’t quite up for a swim already .. it’s still a beautiful place.

After Serpentine Gorge we stopped at the Ochre Pits. This site stands out a bit from the rest of the other sites in the MacDonnell Ranges as it is a place with a special meaning to the Aboriginal people. They came here for thousands of years to harvest the rich-colored ochre from the pit. It was then used for trade or in ceremonies as a particular body paint.

From here we rushed to Ellery Creek Big Hole, a big waterhole back on the way to Alice Springs. There was quite a crowd around, swimming and frolicing in the sun. Well-prepared we joined in our swimwear and took a refreshing bath .. we observed a few teens jumping off the cliffs from 12-14 meters high, wondering if we could do the same. There were a lot of rocky formations present just below the water surface, but it seemed fairly possible. I climped up first .. and ..

.. jumped down. After the first second or so during the free fall I suddenly thought, this might not be such a good idea after all. Too late, anyway .. you can hear me scream in this video:

We made a short, last stop to visit the Standley Chasm. We saw something that you will probably not find on postcards – water at the bottom. As previously mentioned, it had rained a lot during the last weeks ..

Back in Alice Springs we checked in in Alice’s Secret again and had a well-earned rest.


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