We had no idea what or where Gosse Bluff was! We had never heard about it and only stumbled across it by accident. We took an unplanned turn (yes, a wrong turn… hahaha) and ended up having the most amazing day in the West Macdonnell Ranges during our Red Centre Adventure.
We took a few wrong turns on one of our adventures into the West Macdonnell Ranges. You know those days, when a wrong turn or unplanned tour takes you on an adventure that blows your mind…and at the end of the day you are left reflecting on the day and saying “It was meant to be”.
This was the day we discovered Gosse Bluff.
We headed along the Larapinta Drive (not planned for this day) and ended up in Hermannsberg. This road was not planned for this trip to Alice Springs, but we were so glad we went this way and did a huge loop.
We discovered Gosse Bluff after we left Hermannsberg (a fabulous morning was had as we dove into the historic precinct) – we thought we had come this far, we may as well do the loop around and catch a few ‘gaps’ and ‘gorges’ on our way back to our base at Alice Springs. We turned right into Namatjira Dr and had planned to head directly to Glen Helen Gorge for lunch. We spotted a sign, Tnorala Gosse Bluff Conservation. I dug out some of the flyers we had picked up from the BIG4 MacDonnell Ranges Holiday Park and searched the information and found a small blurb on Gosse Bluff. I read it out to Wayne and our girls and we all squealed with delight. We had to travel in and see this for ourselves. This is what we learnt:
“According to Aboriginal belief, Tnorala was formed in the creation time, when a group of women danced across the sky as the Milky Way. During this dance, a mother put her baby aside, resting in it’s wooden baby-carrier (a turna). The carrier toppled over the edge of the dancing area and crashed to earth where it was transformed into the circular rock walls of Tnorala”
WHAT!! An aboriginal lady dropped her baby from the sky!? This is what we LOVE about our adventures. What our country can teach us as a family is incredible. How could we not go and see where the baby was dropped!
In reality: “Around 142.5 million years ago an object from space, believed to be a comet about 600 metres across, crashed to earth, blasting a crater some 20km across. Today’s land surface is about 2km lower than the original impact surface and the bluff is about 5km in diameter, reduced over time by erosion”
Either way – we had to venture in. The last 10kms into the reserve is 4wd only, an easy, sandy drive. We actually drove into the crater, parked in the allocated area and walked up to an amazing look out, giving us a 360 degree view. It was a steep and loose rock walk, our girls managed it and we all marvelled at what mother nature had created – with a little help from a comet! “Where is the baby mum” – Kate 5yrs.
We thought this was VERY cool, but the best was yet to come! There were toilets near the look out, YAY, and we headed back to the car with loads of chatter about Dream time, Aboriginals, make believe, real stories, comets, nature and so much more. All of this wonder and amazement came from a wrong turn and we could not be happier.
A few km’s up the road was a little sign to “Tylers Pass” – at this point, we didn’t care what it was (or wasn’t) we were not going to miss a thing along this road. WOWZERS… the best turn off! Tylers Pass gave us the perfect look back to Gosse Bluff. One minute we were inside the crater, the next, we were taking in the impressive view! What a spectacular experience. It was HUGE and a highlight from our adventures into the Mac Ranges.
Happy & Safe Travels…xx
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