Redbank Gorge

Thursday seven weeks ago I drove the short detour into palm valley, which was again more popular with tourists than the Finke gorge the day before. The first 20km or so where pretty nice until the campground. But the last 6km, until the end of the track, where really rocky and rough. Probably the roughest track I was driving so far. I guess I hit twice the rock underneath with my car. As I needed to slow down, you might have been not much faster than walking the last section of the track. But from the campground it’s quite a distance and not really much to see, so I didn’t really opt for that solution. I did the long Mpulungkinya walk, which was quite nice. As you first went over a small range, just to follow all the way back along the river. In that section some really rare palm trees are growing, and even scientists doesn’t have a clear clue yet, how these palm trees got there, as the closest neighbours are more than 1,000 km away. Apart from the palm trees there are some nice blooming flowers. In this section of the river there is always some water, so beside the plants it’s also attractive to animals, but these sometimes destroy the plants. Hence, the rangers try to keep them away. On my way out I stopped for the short Kalarranga loop to a lookout. Beside the view there were also two nice sandstone boulders ;)…unfortunately without crash pad or trad belaying devices, it’s not pretty safe to do some serious stuff. But at least I tried some moves. During afternoon I stopped in Hermannsburg (yes the community was founded as one of the first in the late 19th century by German missionars) for some supplies and compressed air. From now on the road will be sealed, except for some detours, so it’s better and more economical in terms of fuel consumption to drive with higher pressure. In the late afternoon I drove west for less than one hour along the Larapinta drive and then turned north to the Namatjira drive. I stopped at Tylers pass to have a view to the old eroded crater of Gosses Bluff, before I continued to the Redbank Gorge. After about 30 min walk from the car park I reached the billabong and had a nice swim in the Redbank Gorge during dusk, then time when the first rock Kangaroos getting out from their hidings and looking for food.

Approaching palm valley
Along the Mpulungkinya walk to the other side of the river bend
Blooming flowers at the cracked riverbed looking for some water deep underneath the soil
These rare palm trees are an endemic species to that patch of the river
White blooming bushes
Sandstone boulder along the Kalarranga loop
The old eroded crater Gosses Bluff seen from Tylers pass
Refreshing billabong at the Redbank Gorge

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