Benhams go Walkabout WEEK 18 - THE RED CENTRE WAY, ORMISTON GORGE TO KINGS CANYON

COLLECTING SPECIMENS FOR MY BOTANICAL SURVEY

Quote of Week - Eddie “Fresh clothes? But we have worn these ones for ages yet”. I guess he has adapted to our new lowered cleanliness standards then.


Before heading off into “The Red Centre” we had one last day in Alice Springs so what do you do? The drag races of course! I think I was most excited. The boys were amazed but the novelty wore off. Since then we have had endless questions such as “can a horse go as fast as a drag car?” “Does a drag car have the biggest engine in the world?” “how can a drag car go that fast?” so many questions, so few answers. Time for google again.

ALWAYS THE LAST TO BE LOADED

Heading into the West Macdonnell Ranges I realised that I had unconsciously assumed there were no major mountain ranges other than the Great Dividing Range and those associated with snow. Forget the boys’ education. I am learning new things daily! We were flanked by large, rugged ranges to the north and gently undulating ‘Pilbara-esque’ slopes to the south. We made Ormiston Gorge our headquarters for a few days. Another spot that tops the Gibb River Rd and its gorges. Antique river redgums lining the wide, dry riverbed and waterhole that slices into the towering red escarpment. The oxidised red rock face disguises the true identity of the geology that caught my eye with a myriad of patterns and textures in mauves, lilacs, blues, gold, amber and charcoal. I spent a morning trying to capture these patterns while the boys were obsessed with poking all the dead fish that had run out of oxygen in the shrinking waterways.

ORMISTON GORGE LOOKOUT

   DEAD FISH DIAGNOSTICS                             VEHICULAR MAINTENANCE

We explored more lookouts and gorges of the area that Albert Namatjira captured in his beautiful watercolours that I would now have a more personal connection with.

 READY FOR CORROBOREE

More brutally corrugated roads on the way to Kings Canyon. This is an unusual walk in that you scale a severely steep, rocky hillside and then continue around the top edge of the rim of a canyon. More stressed mama moments with 2 energetic boys and no sense of danger. Their highlight was yelling “Banana!” across the canyon to hear it yell back at them. Duke was convinced the people on the other side were yelling back to him. Passers-by were extremely impressed with the boys’ accomplishment and then mine when they realised there was another rugrat on my back.

STEEPER THAN IT LOOKSKINGS CANYON RIM WALK

> Go to Week 19