ORMISTON GORGE, WEST MACDONNELL NATIONAL PARK, NT
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.