My Top 7 Things to Do – Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

Mt Sonder from the Larapinta Trail, via Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

For a good time, spend a few nights at Central Australia’s Ormiston Gorge and surrounds – like we did for 6 fun-filled days (and nights) in June 2012! A geographer’s fantasy, the long line of Central Australia’s Western MacDonnell Ranges stretches out across the desert plains from Alice Springs full of spectacular scenery, gorges, rivers, mountains and rock formations. 135

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Walk the Pinnacle! Grampians National Park, Victoria

The Pinnacle Lookout with Lake Bellfield below, Grampians National Park, Victoria

WARNING: Do NOT attempt this walk if you don’t like A) heights; B) snakes; C) wildflowers; or D) looking uncool! Whether or not D) applies depends to a certain degree on physical fitness levels – and possibly hiking fashion sense! Although tragically that’s not a factor if you’re like me – red face, heaving chest and death-rattle puffing after ascending

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The Incredible “Icebergs” of Geikie Gorge!

Geikie Gorge, via Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia

‘Look out for the cat snakes on the rock ledges,’ our guide warned. ‘We saw one stalking a bird the other evening’. CAT Snakes? ‘But don’t take my word for it – I failed the snake identification exam!’ she laughed. Pilchard and I exchanged glances. The previous day a gaggle of grey nomads had shown us a photo of the

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Australia’s Scenic Public Toilets #29 – Crocodile Cruise Conveniences!

Victoria River Cruises Pontoon AND Scenic Loo! Via Timber Creek, Northern Territory

Maybe the multiple crocodile sightings did it. Or the 70 km (~45 miles) cruise from the Timber Creek landing to the middle of nowhere. Or perhaps the sunset drinks and snacks, taken incongruously in the middle of the crocodile-infested Victoria River were responsible. Whatever it was, the public amenities on the purpose-built pontoon where we took a break from crocodile

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The 5-Experiences-in-24-hours Victoria River Roadhouse Action Plan!

Victoria River Escarpment, Northern Territory

I don’t know what made us decide to stay overnight at the Victoria River Roadhouse as we pulled in for fuel, late on a Northern Territory July morning. Perhaps we took the Grey Nomad’s experimental driving technique involving an inexpertly executed U-turn directly in front of us without warning as a sign to stay off the roads that day.  

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Mind over Madness … Joffre Falls, Karijini National Park

Hikers at Joffre Gorge, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

The edge of the gorge was no place for a recovering acrophobic*. Despite its well-made viewing platform with solid handrails, the lookout overhung the sheer drop to the Joffre River far below, many more metres than I wanted to count**. I don’t think I’ll EVER get used to being on an overhang … But weirdly, the scare-factor just added to

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The Best Shots I Never Took … Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

Mt Sonder from Ormiston Gorge and Pound trail, West MacDonnell National Park, Central Australia

‘If it’s a choice between my camera and the family jewels, you know what to do,’ I instructed Pilchard as I plunged into the thigh-high frigid water flowing through Ormiston Gorge. Despite the hypothermia warnings on the Ormiston Gorge fact sheet, it was either that or return the seven km (~4.5 miles) we’d already come over a cross section of

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Walk Nelly Bay to Arcadia! Magnetic Island via Townsville, Queensland

Horseshoe Bay from the Nelly Bay to Arcadia Track, Magnetic Island, Queensland

‘What goes up must come down,’ she twanged, immediately identifying a) her astonishing originality and b) her country of origin. Suitably dressed for a dusty, rocky climb through clinging vines, a charred mountainside and tropical humidity in a white ‘resort’ dress and gold sandals, this gem fell from her pinkly glossed lips and dropped like pearls of wisdom before swine.

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