On the Road – West McDonnell Ranges
We stayed 3 days at the Heritage Caravan Park, during the time there we visited Vickie’s brother Alan & his wife Curls. We went to the Camel Races which was interesting but soon became boring sitting in the sun and after seeing the camels race having a 30 minute wait untill the next race, we stayed untill the feature race and left. Alan likes to cook and he made us a lovely dinner that evening. The next day we did some more shopping and spent the day relaxing, we went and visited Peter & Von for Happy Hour and during i received a phone call from friends Gary & Lynne Wittick, they were in Alice along with some other Bushtracker owners after making the treck across the Simpson Desert. They had left their vans at Birdsville and were returning the next day so we only had that evening to get togther, so it was decided to meet at BoJangles a local pub / restuarant for tea.
We had a lovely evening and met up with Stella & Jack, Keith & Sue, Peter [Motley] Spring & Mr’s Motley along with Garry & Lynne, they had an early start so we didn’t stay out late and we also intended breaking camp and heading to the West McDonnell Ranges for some bush camping untill it was time for Vickie to fly to Adelaide. With fuel & water tanks full we headed out to Ellery Creek Big Hole # 36 CWA, but before getting there we came across a track with a sign stating camping along Hugh River so we drove on in, we spoke to some people coming out towing a Coromal poptop who had seen us in town and liked the number plates. Approx 5 klm in we chose a nice spot to set up camp, we had intended to stop for lunch but it was so peaceful and abundance of firewood we stayed two nights. We had a delicious camp oven roast pork with perfect crackling, Vickie even made up some apple sauce which was very yummy.
Leaving camp we drove to Ellery Creek Big Hole, we were glad we chose to stay where we did, this was typical camping National Park style with the camp bays all too small for a large vehicle & van. We had a cuppa and walked to the water hole, this was one of the places our daughter had camped and swam at when she lived in Alice so it was nice feeling to know we had that connection.
Next spot along the road was Serpentine Gorge, here we walked down to the gorge and then did the lookout walk which was a steep rocky climb to the top and overlooking the gorge. It was worth the effort and Vickie made it all the way up and down with just a couple of rest stops along the way. Ormiston Gorge was next and we had thoughts of camping here but the camp area was already crowded and the only available places we could get our rig into was next to the toilets and the smell of the septic tanks turned us off that. We did meet some other BT owners ‘Lost & Frowned’ and had a quick chat before they set off on a walk. We did the same but Vickie piked out of the climb to the lookout so i did that by myself, more beautiful views that the camera will have a hard time trying to copy with what we can see with our own eyes.
We decided not to stay and set off in search of a private bush camp and came across Woodland Campground, another National Park camp ground but fairly spacious and only another two campers in the area so we decided to stay. Beautiful sunny days, clear blue sky’s but come late afternoon the temperature plummets, we had another night of around 2 degree’s and even at 7.30am it was still the same temp inside the van, we can’t wait till we get our Webasto Diesel heater fitted in 4 weeks time. Today we walked to the Redbank Gorge, it was a 8klm return trip but worth it especially as we only saw 2 other walkers on our ‘journey’.