Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ormiston Gorge West MacDonnell Ranges

The majestic MacDonell Ranges were once higher than the Himalayas. They were formed over 800 million years ago and over time the ancient peaks have been dramatically eroded so that what remains is a spectacular environment of rugged gorges and hidden waterholes.

Ormiston Gorge is considered the jewel of the MacDonnell ranges and one of the most beautiful gorges in the country. It was the subject of several paintings by Albert Namatjira.  The towering red walls of the gorge and the splendid waterhole provide some spectacular scenery. There are two lovely walks, a 7kms one around the rim of the gorge and around the Ormiston Pound and another of 2.5 kms to the lookout. We did both and enjoyed the views of the cliffs. The round walk takes one across the slopes and onto the floor of the Pound before returning along the gorge via the main waterhole. When the water is full, as it is at present, one has to cross the water.  This eventful happening is shown in the previous post.

These two photos show the waterhole which is just delightful.

Nikki walking in the gorge where there is little water.

The stunning colour of the cliffs.

Looking down at the glistening water.

The view of the gorge from the lookout.

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