Alice Springs – StanDley Chasm – Big Hole – Glen Helen – Ormiston Gorge (180kms)
Engaged in the usual last minute preparations for a road trip: packed trailer and car; gave the trailer a much needed wash; refilled a gas bottle; and had an excellent coffee at the Watertank Cafe.
Headed west on Larapinta Drive, and stopped at the John Flynn memorial. He was the man that conceived of the idea of bringing much needed medical services to remote communities and stations, and is credited with the establishment of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Our first proper stop for the day was Standley Chasm, and we took the advice of one guidebook, and did a small bit of Stage 3 of the Larapinta Trail. The trial goes uphill steeply, and takes you above the chasm/gorge for excellent views of it, and the surrounding countryside. Pete was clearly suffering from his cold/flu as he puffed his way up the hill. Afterwards, we walked into the chasm itself, with its striking sheer red/orange wall. Taught a few people how to use the Panorama feature on their camera phones!
It was evident there had been recent fires throughout the area, and yet many native species had managed to regenerate after the fires.
Next stop was 50kms up the road at the Ellery Creek Big Hole, a local swimming place for Alice Springians. It was lovely to look at, but very cold and somewhat murky, so we didn’t bother.
We camped at Ormiston Gorge, and managed to snag the last spot. The campsite was very good with a simple toilets and showers, and very swish push-button gas hobs and plates. We drove over to Glen Helen for sundowners on the terrace, and enjoyed the spectacular colours of the setting sun on the surrounding hills.
Spent the night listening to Peter “cough and splat” as my father used to say.
(I offer this as a source of the term “Alice Springians; read at your peril: https://mirror.uncyc.org/wiki/Alice_Springs).