Letho's Blog

MacDonnell Ranges / Alice Springs – Trephina Gorge and John Hayes Rock Hole

by on Dez.15, 2010, under The Outback

Dec 15, 2010

After a little rest we were refreshed to go adventure hunting again on the next day. This time we took Clara & Julien with us, a nice French couple, living in Alice’s Secret as well. And this time we went to the East MacDonnell Ranges, all the previous sites so far were located in the West MacDonnells.

Our first spot today was Trephina Gorge. It was pretty hard to find any meaningful signs here that clearly lead the way on the walking trail. Hence we just followed our nose and went straight in, accompanied by the humming of countless bees in hives all around us.

We wandered along the sandy creek for some time ..

.. until we decided to having seen enough – or having fallen into the mud enough, to be honest. 😉

One false step ..

One false step ..

A local had advised us to visit John Hayes Rock Hole, a chain of ponds where the water flows from one pond to the next like a cascade. The way there was strictly signed as „4 wheel drive only“, and that was no exaggeration.

Despite being only 4 kilometers long, the track can appropriately only be described as a rocky riverbed filled with holes, dirt and mud. It took us approximately 30 minutes to get to the Rock Hole, and the same time back. But the drive was real fun, we enjoyed it totally and at the end the John Hayes Rock Hole waited for us, of course.

John Hayes Rock Hole - entrance to the Chain of Ponds

John Hayes Rock Hole - entrance to the Chain of Ponds

On the way into the Chain of Ponds normally some swimming and some climbing has to be exercised. We tried to give it a try climbing up there only.

Now the problem is – if anything happens to you around here, you’re really out of luck. There’s nothing like a predefined climbing trail. The Rock Hole generally is not thought to be a place for climbing around. No network reception, no stable cliffs, no one else to help out, and the only way in and out of the Rock Hole is the hardly passable track. You better watch your steps very carefully around here… nevertheless, some fearless adventurers cannot be held back by such negligible obstacles!

And a real explorer always knows his way around to some alternative route – obviously I took the other route. How could this photo have been taken, if not? 😉

In reward you get a view that most probably not too many other people have enjoyed ..

Take a look at these amazing ponds from top to bottom – actually, there are even more ponds in the back covered behind the rocks:

This was a fantastic climb, although being pretty steep and unstable here and there. The way back was not really easier ..

The way back - careful ..

The way back - careful ..

After so much fun we cruised back to Alice Springs in the dark, listening to some music .. and trying to avoid hitting any cattle that stood on the street here and there. 🙂


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