ORMISTON GORGE, WEST MACDON­NELL NA­TIONAL PARK, NT

Australian Traveller - - The 100 -

One of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s most spec­tac­u­lar swim­ming spots has to be at Ormiston Gorge, 135 kilo­me­tres west of Alice Springs on the way to Kings Canyon. The gorge forms part of the Lara­p­inta Trail, which runs the length of the West MacDon­nell Na­tional Park. Camp­ing here means you can take a few days to en­joy swim­ming in the wa­ter­hole, sur­rounded by cliffs of strik­ing red rock lined with white sand beaches. Brace your­self though, even on a hot day the water is very cold. From Ormiston Gorge camp­site you can also take off into the bush on the 2.4-kilo­me­tre Ghost Gum Walk; keep an eye out for the me­tre-long Mertens’ water mon­i­tor and din­goes, which will be af­ter a sand­wich or two from your pack. Se­cret tip: the kiosk here serves great cof­fee seven days a week – the camper’s medicine.

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