02 September 2018

West MacDonnell Ranges

Redbank Gorge to Alice Springs
Warning: a lot of photographs. Useful info for drive and day walks.
There is one overnight pack carrying to Brinkley Bluff (1209m) and return. 
Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder (solo walk 2013)
Length: 15.8km, Time: 7 hours return, Track Standar: Hard
Total Climbing: 710m, Total Descent: 710m
Access: Redbank Gorge
Facilities: Walk-In Camping, Water tank and Toilet. 
There are 2 Car Camping Areas before Redbank Gorge Carpark. DIY camping fee and BYO water.
This is my third time in the area and I am back here with one of my best friends.

Track to Mt Sonder Lookout
 Mt Sonder 1380m
Redbank Gorge Short Walk (2km, 1hour return, moderate) can be done after Mt Sonder Walk. If planning to do both, an early start is suggested. For great sunrise views, best time to start is 2.30am onwards. Get your head torch and breakfast ready for the big day.

My friend, Allan at Redbank Gorge
Sidetrip to Glen Helen Gorge  about 20km drive from Redbank Gorge
Facilities: powered and unpowered sites, pub meals, accommodation options, licenced bar.

Move on to Ormiston Gorge
Camping with showers (solar panels). Fee paid at Visitor centre, kiosk, bore water
Walks include: 3-4 hour Pound Loop, Ghost Gum Lookout and 5 mins Waterhole one way.

 Ormiston Pound Walk: Sidetrip to Lookout (L)
Continue through the Gorge to return to the carpark (about 2.0km)


No dingo was seen this time.

Waterhole Walk 


Ghost Gum Lookout 
Serpentine Chalet Bush Camp
 Campsite: Chalet Ruins located near the first carpark with signpost

Campsite: 2WD turning point
 Counts Point Walk: Chalet Ruins - Group campsite - 4WD campsites - Info Board - Gate - 
Chalet Dam Walk follows service track to Walkers Camp with a long drop toilet and two water tanks.
Mt Sonder from Counts Point 

Me at Counts Point Junction and Allan (R) follows the ridge back down 

Inarlanga Pass Walk (via Larapinta Trail Section 9):  
Length: 3.3km, Time: 1hour 35mins each way and Grade: Moderate
Campsite - Serpentine Chalet Dam: From here, we head west unlike the yesterday walk to Counts Point, we headed south-east. The track is marked with blue track markers.

Inarlanga Pass

Me back here. I had had lunch stop on this rock when walking the LT in 2013

 Going through the pass, continue on Larapinta Trail heading north and 
west en route to Waterfall Gorge, then return.


Serpentine Gorge Waterhole (1.4km, 30mins return) and 
Follow track to lookouts offering some fantastic views.
Comfortable stay (incl 3G charging station) is arranged for LT walkers these days. 
Tentsites were here in 2013 and sunset & sunrise was the offering.



Great view of the upper section of the gorge  
Ellery Creek
Dolomite short loop walk

 Van light powered with solar energy charged during the day. Worth an investment. 

Up early for sunrise and spent a freezing morning on catching up with these.

Swimable but freezing water.
Enjoyed a skinny dip just before dark when walking LT in 2013.

 Missed an overnight pack-carrying trip to Upper Hugh Gorge due to road conditions required a high clearance 4WD
Standley Chasm and an overnight pack-carrying to Brinkley Bluff
Facilities: Small tentsite area for LT walkers. Showers (+ laundry) are available for overnight campers. Food drop and pickup at Kiosk.  
BaseCamp 4 nights at carpark. There are a few short walks in the area.


 Best time to visit: 12pm - 2pm. The walls glow from reflected sunlight.
Just 10min walk from carpark. Entry fees apply to access the Standley Chasm walk.
Had dinner at kiosk on the first evening.
Next day, drive to Alice Springs, do the banking, fill up petrol, top up food and drinks, visit Telegraph Station, then back to Standley Chasm

Scenic views along Larapinta Drive 
Tour around Telegraph Station and have afternoon tea at kiosk
Walk up to Angkale Junction (via LT sectin 3) in late afternoon 
after arrival back from Telegraph Station - Alice Springs

Pack-carry from Standley Chasm to Brinkley Bluff and return (via LT Section 4)
Length: 10km, Time: 5hrs+, Track Standard: Hard, Climbing: 560m, Descent: 110m

 View south from Reveal Saddle
Rocky Cleft 

West MacDonnell NP 



Camping on top: there were about 8 tents and 15 walkers.

Sunset on Brinkley Bluff (1209m)

Set up tent here 5 years ago when doing Long Distance Walking - The LT

3G here
Follow LT on Chewings Range back down to Standley Chasm
 Leaving Standley Chasm, we drove to Simpsons Gap, where I had a minor fall on sand and my camera was damaged. Keep an eye out for rock wallabies.

  To be continued: Kings Canyon, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and Mt Olga - NT 2018
Larapinta Trail 2013; Larapinta Trail 2000