Broadening Our Range

Spending too much time in the hangar can be stressful.  To maintain some perspective, we try to take one day off a week.  Today, we used our rest day for a Tour of the HebridesEast MacDonnell Ranges.  We piled in our vehicles around noon and headed east on the Ross Highway.  The weather was comfortably warm and the skies were clear, making for a pleasant day to travel.  Fly nets, however, were de rigueur throughout the day…

Our first stop, a mere 16 km out of town, was the Emily Gap.  On its sheer rock faces were well-preserved Aboriginal paintings.  With the recent rains, we found to our surprise that wading was part of the order of the day.

Fording the stream.

Emily Gap.

Aboriginal paintings.

Big rocks!

Alan is impressed.

Heading back out.

Not far up the road was Jessie’s Gap, a similar cut through the range.  (This one left me humming, though.)

Jessie Gap

Looking through.

I'm guessing this is often much drier...

Incredible rock layering.

Further afield, we stopped at Corroboree Rock, a strange outcropping sacred to the Aboriginal people.  Frequently we found ourselves wishing we knew more about geology!

Coroboree Rock.

Taking it in.

As we neared our final destination, the road became increasingly interesting.  The two-lane sealed road became a single lane.  (When encountering oncoming traffic, you have to drive with one wheel on the gravel shoulder, taking care that thrown rocks don’t break your windshield!)  After the turnoff to Trephina Gorge Park, the road was mostly gravel, and we had to ford a couple of (very low) streams!

The payoff was immense, though, as the hike through the gorge was magnificent.  After some initial confusion about trailheads, we established that the trail led right through the shallow river.  We once again peeled off our boots and waded in.  We took our time savoring the beautiful red and purple rock faces and the cool water before turning and heading back for home–only an hour’s drive!  Really, it was a spectacular experience of the Red Centre.

Trephina Gorge.

Gorge, us.


4 responses to “Broadening Our Range

  1. Fantastic photos well done, glad that you are enjoying the Red Centre. Good luck with your project. Jim in Adelaide.

  2. Your life and work in Alice Springs is more interesting than mine at ESTEC. I do wish I can be there with you all.