25 January 2012

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

"Naaaaaw... Why didn't we come here last night?!"
That's what the three explorers exclaimed in unison when they arrived at Ellery Creek Big Hole in the West MacDonnell Ranges this morning.

We could have been the only campers in this beautiful camp ground just a stone throw away from the waterhole last night. We could have enjoyed the tranquillity of this remote place without any generator noise, sewerage smells or whizz-banging neighbours. And we would have been about $20.00 better off for the night as well.

From Glen Helen it's only a short 43km drive on sealed road towards the Alice on Namatjira Drive (or 88km from Alice Springs). From the car park it's only a short walk on a paved path (wheelchair accessible) down to the creek.

Ellery Creek is yet another important tributary of the Finke River. Even during dry spells there's water in this big waterhole. This ancient river cut right through the red rocks of the West Macs, shaping a picturesque gorge, creating this beautiful deep pool.
What a sight for sore eyes and weary walkers – and an important lifeline for native wildlife!
A flock of about a dozen of Black Cormorants (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) took off from a nearby gum tree to settle on a few rocks on the other side of the gap.

The water was clear and pleasantly warm – Flip jumped in without further ado!
An Australasian Grebe (Tachybabtus novaehollandiae) took little notice of the visitors and kept diving for food only a few metres away from where the exploring party was soaking up the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Too hot to even consider walking a section of the Larapinta Trail (once again, excellent information provided by NT Parks & Wildlife), we had a very enjoyable time down by the water.

On completion of our loop through the West Macs we returned to 'G'Day Mate' and booked in for another 2 nights. We were still keen on exploring the East MacDonnell Ranges the next day, leaving the camper trailer in the caravan park.

Tonight we went across the road to the Heavitree Gap Tavern for a few cold drinks and a bite to eat. We nearly missed out on the yummy beef casserole (they serve very decent $10.00 meals down here, daily) as we caught up with the manager of Heavitree Gap, an old mate from Darwin. Many yarns from the olden days and a few cold drinks were shared before we eventually decided we needed a feed, minutes before the kitchen closed for the night. That was lucky!

Boh boh!

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