West MacDonnell Ranges National Park

The West MacDonnell Ranges National Park features many gorges, waterholes and chasms. While staying at Alice Springs, we spent most of our time exploring these, including the ochre pits still used by the traditional owners, the Arrente. As we moved around we came by a couple of hikers walking the 223km Larapinta Trail. Our bike ride from the John Flynn grave site to Simpsons Gap was a real highlight, taking us past rocky landscapes, native birds and a roving dingo.

MacDonnell Ranges

West MacDonnell Ranges

John Flynn grave

Flynn of the Inland grave

Bike path

Bike path FG to SG

Simpsons Gap

Simpson Gap2

Standley Chasm

Standley Chasm

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Ellery Creek Big Hole (2)

Ochre pits

Ochre pits1

Ochre pits 3

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

 

Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park

Kings Canyon is a spiritual site of the Luritja people. It’s sandstone dunes protect tropical pools and provide great views for visitors. Our rim walk took us up and across the dune tops, over crevices and through a lush ‘Garden of Eden’.  The Kings Creek walk at the base of the canyon meandered along a dry, stony creek bed lined with coolibah trees and river red gums.  The nearby Kathleen Springs still has remnants of cattle trapping yards.

Kings Canyon

KC3

Rim walk

KC Top of canyon

KC emergency contact

KC rim walk

Crossing to lookout

KC gully

KC rim walkb

Kings Canyon Wall

Kings Creek walk

KC Creek Walk

Kathleen Springs

Kathleen Springs

Kathleen Springs Cattle Trapping Yard ruins

 

KC Wild budgies

KC Lizard

KC Dingo

 

Oodnadatta Track, William Creek, Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda)

Enjoyed warm hospitality and great outback access at William Creek, South Australia. Located on the Oodnadatta Track, William Creek offers close proximity to the remnants of the Ghan railway and overland telegraph, Sid Kidman’s Anna Creek and Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda). The traditional owners of the land, Arabunna co-manage the Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre National Park. A highlight of our visit was the William Creek flight over North Lake Eyre and the Anna Creek Painted Hills.

Oodnadatta Track

Oodnadata track

Oodnadata track cycling

William Creek

William Creek main

1 air strip sunrise

 

Wc by air

Dingo

The Anna Creek Painted Hills

3 Anna Ck Painted Hills (2)

4 Anna Ck Painted Hills

Lake Eyre North

LEN

LENb

Lake Eyre South

Lake Eyre South

Salt bed LES

Beresford ruins (and current residents)

OTk B Ruin

OT Beresford Ruins

OTk Galag Bere Ruins

Ruin Swallows

Zebra finch

Telegraph line

Overland telegraph pole

Stuart Creek

OTk Stuart Ck

Margaret Creek

OTk Margaret Creek

 

Pimba to Coober Pedy

After Port Pirie we travelled north along the Stuart Highway, passing the southern end of Andamooka Ranges before reaching the town of Pimba, the plains of the Woomera Protected Area and opal mining town, Coober Pedy. The highway was framed by mallee scrub, saltbush, saltlakes and distant horizons.  We stopped to look at Island Lagoon, Pimba. At Coober Pedy, the mining landscape and underground homes contrasted with a beautiful flush of seasonal wild flowers.

Island Lagoon

Island Lagoon, Pimba SA

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy entrance

dirt mounds

William Rd view Coober Pedy

Wildflowers near CP

 

Port Pirie, South Australia

Port Pirie, last stop before we head inland. Located at the top of the Spencer Gulf, Port Pirie enjoys stunning views of the Southern Flinders Ranges. It has enormous grain silos by the wharf and claims the world’s largest lead smelter, which I have photographed below at sunset. We experienced clear, sunny days and cool nights here. Port Pirie and surrounds are home to the Nukunu people.

Port Pirie jetty

Port Pirie view from our caravan

Above is the view from our caravan!

Port Pirie Wheat Silos

Port Pirie smelter view from caravan twilight