Note: indicated routes are approximate. Use official topographic maps
I arranged transport out to Ellery Creek for the afternoon of my arrival in
Alice Springs. After catching up with a mate for coffee, doing some last minute
shopping and obtaining the all-important food-drop key, I got a ride with
Sandrifter Safaris to the trailhead.
They also deposited my food drop at Ormiston Gorge.
Wildfires burnt a significant part of the Larapinta Trail in early 2019. By
June, some of the vegetation had started to recover, but many parts were sill
As seen from the lookout about a kilometre or so from the campsite.
From Serpentine Gorge the trail heads up to a ridge and then back down again to
Serpentine Chalet Dam. Normally that's a one-day walk, but I had a few spare
days up my sleeve, so I decided to split that into two short days and camp on
top at Counts Point.
Pretty much everybody who camps at Counts Point takes this photo, so it's not
going to win a Pulitzer. Still…
Ah, the serenity.
Note that there's only one really good tent site at Counts Point, so be
prepared to walk on in case there are no so suitable sites left.
At Counts Point looking north from the tent in the morning.
While some of the burnt areas were completely devoid of folliage, other areas
had started to bounce back by June 2019.
An unscathed section in the middle of a burnt patch near Serpentine Chalet Dam.
Yes, that's "chalet" and "dam".
In the 1950s an ill-fated tourism venture was built just a few kilometres
down the road from this location, and in the 1960s this dam was built in a
small gorge to supply it with water. The "chalet" is now just a concrete slab,
the dam is silted up with sand and rubble, and this rusty pipe has seen better
The quality of light in the gorges is often pretty bad. It's usually either
direct sunlight or shade with a noticeable blue cast. Sometimes though for a
short period you get really great light as the sun hits the opposite wall and
lights your subject with buckets of diffuse, warm-toned light.
From the campsite at Waterfall Gorge. Couldn't resist.