Until this week, we had no idea just how beautiful the region surrounding Alice Springs was, but we are loving exploring the area.
The MacDonnell Ranges extend almost 650 km in length, spreading either side of Alice Springs.
We explored the East MacDonnell Ranges, which contains areas of rich cultural significance to the local Aboriginal people and numerous examples of traditional rock art. Note that, as visitors are asked not to photograph or reproduce the rock art, there are no images of the rock art to be shared here.
First stop was Emily Gap, a popular picnic spot just a few minutes drive out from Alice Springs.
Jessie Gap, another popular spot with locals, was just a short drive further. We continued to be amazed by the imposing ancient rock formations.
The short road in to the John Hayes Rockhole, a popular camping and swimming spot, was signposted as 4WD only. But we were up for the challenge! In truth, it was an interesting combination of rocks, ruts and sand, and the track was slow going. As there has been next to no rain for many months, the waterhole was almost dry. In short, probably not worth the effort of the drive in. Just the same, it was a bit of fun!
We stopped to view this magnificent ghost gum, which is 33m tall and, at an estimated age of more than 300 years old, the largest ghost gum in the country.
A quick stop to check out Corroboree Rock, an outcrop of dolomite …
Our final stop was yet another feast for the senses – Trephina Gorge. We took time out to walk up and around the gorge, before descending and walking through the gorge’s dry river bed. We saw evidence of camels in the gorge, including large holes dug in the sand in an apparent search for water.