Monday, July 4, 2011

The Larapinta Trail (Central Australia Outback)

(5/30/11-6/3/11) After soaking up the ambiance of Uluru (spectacular but crowded with adoring tourists), we flew to Alice Springs and drove two 4x4s into the outback for some solitude, backpacking a portion of the 225 km Larapinta Trail. While the days were sunny and warm, the crisp desert nights dropped below zero. The scenery was spectacular in a subtle way which was hard to capture with photos. Wildlife was everywhere and we heard the eerie cry of dingos warbling under the moonlight every night. Myriad songbirds, parrots and cockatoos flitted through the sparse forest canopy.
Leah, Kathy and Galen perch on the edge of Ormiston Gorge, where we started our trek.

Following the unusually high rainfall (which had flooded Queensland), the desert was surprisingly verdant and flowers  abounded. 

Leah hikes under splendid redrock scenery.

Our second camp was alongside the headwaters of the Finke River, largest watercourse in central Australia and commonly considered to be the oldest river in the world.

One day Kathy and I spent the day hiking by ourselves, starting with a visit to a billabong near Glen Helen (shown in this photo) then climbing over a small summit at dusk to rejoin the larger group. 

On the next morning, we had a fabulous view of the sunrise on Mt. Sonder.

The pale white bark of "Ghost Gums", a type of eucalyptus adapted to the desert environment, contrasts photogenically with the crimson rock and cobalt sky. 

We ended our trip at Redbank Gorge, which could only be fully explored by those brave enough to swim through extremely cold water.

Galen enjoys the walls of Standley Chasm.

Leah has found a comfy nest!

1 comment:

  1. love the color in these pics. what a beautiful spot. where's adam? ~steveT