Full width home advertisement

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Day 1 - Ormiston Gorge to Bowman's Gap

After having completed the Larapinta Trail about a week ago, we decided to go back and explore Ormiston Pound a bit more.  Of particular interest to us were Bowman's Gap and Mt Giles.

There are several off-track campsites you can book in the area and we made this a four-day, 3-night hike.

We left the car and camper trailer at Ormiston, with the permission of the kiosk owners.  With a fair amount of recent rain, we were not quite sure how deep the water at Ormiston Gorge was going to be.

As per the Ranger's advice, instead of heading through the gorge from the start, we headed up to Ghost Gum lookout.

From here we had a spectacular view of the start of our adventure.

Once the trail wound back down to the gorge, we were faced with a waist-deep water crossing.  This was a pleasant surprise as we were worried about having to swim through it.

The water was freezing cold, but we managed to get our packs across without falling into the water.  It is also comforting to know that there are no crocodiles in central Australia.

After drying off in the sun we headed further through the gorge in the direction of Ormiston Pound.

The gorge rock walls are spectacular and we were amazed by the different shades of orange to red.

Not long after leaving the gorge behind we crossed Ormiston Creek a couple of times before leaving the Ormiston Pound track and followed the creek further north. 

Along the way, we skirted some nice waterholes that provide ample opportunities to replenish our drinking water.

Bowman's Gap is very tranquil and I even refrained from singing.

It was cooling down fast in the afternoon and we set up camp straight in the river bed.  Since we had left the Ormiston Pound track behind we hadn't seen any other people and we felt more remote than we did on the Larapinta Trail.

Day 2 - Bowman's Gap to Mt Giles Base Camp

A good night's sleep set us up for this day's adventure.

We partly retraced our steps from the previous day and then turned east following another creek for most of the day towards Mt Giles.

Going was fairly slow rock-hopping most of the way with some sand walking in between.  From a navigation perspective, it was pretty straightforward i.e. follow the creek.

In the distance, the West MacDonnell Ranges provided an awesome backdrop.  We were told that this range can be traversed as well.  Maybe another time.

There was quite a bit of water in this creek, although very green.  I guess if you are into green tea this is a good thing.  Unfortunately, I am a coffee drinker.

After heading southeast for a while we left the creek behind and headed west towards the base of Mt Giles.

The landscape is absolutely stunning and there was an abundance of wildflowers.

Not far from the campsite there is a little gorge that provided extremely clear drinking water.  We were sort of glad about that as we didn't like the prospect of drinking the green water we had seen in the creek bed.

The Mt Giles base camp offered a few good camp spots, and once again we were the only ones there.

Day 3 - Summit Mt Giles to River Camp

In the morning we started our Mt Giles ascent.  By the looks of it, we picked the best route as we found out from others on the next day.  They had trouble ascending another ridge and some even needed to turn around.

Saying that it was a scramble all the way up and a couple of little razorbacks needed crossing.  But nothing too scary.

The top of Mt Giles provided the best views we had seen in our total center of Australia trip.  It was endless views in all directions.  We were also reminiscent of where we had been only a week or so ago on the Larapinta Trail.  We could make out Mt Giles Lookout on the Larapinta Trail and that is where we had camped not so long ago.

We were a bit skeptical about the descent, yet it was surprisingly easier than anticipated.

The abandoned termite hills reminded me of ancient ruins.

Originally the plan was to camp another night at the base of Mt Giles, but as we were a bit early we decided to head back down towards the creek to give ourselves a bit of a head start for the final day.

We found yet another amazing campsite and although we met a few other hikers today, we were the only ones at camp.  Unfortunately, we had to make do with the green water, but after some water purification tablets all was good and it didn't even taste too bad.  Maybe I will try some green tea one day.

Day 4 - River Camp to Ormiston Gorge

On the last day, we cut cross country towards the Ormiston Pound track rather than following the creek line.  Although we avoided the slow and strenuous rock hopping we were faced with more hills and spinifex grass we constantly had to walk around in a slalom fashion.

It was a relief that we were wearing our gaiters on this trip.

After several hours we rejoined the Ormiston Pound walk and were back in civilisation, with a few tour groups passing us straight away.

As we wound clockwise out of the pound and through the range, we detoured to the pound lookout.  The lookout (apart from Ormiston Gorge itself) would be the highlight of the pound walk.  And for us, it provided a spectacular overview of where we have been the last 4 days,  with Mt Giles looming in the background.

Length of Hike

Approx 42 km


4 days

Best Time to do

May to August (we walked in June and the weather was perfect)


Hard.  No defined track and the hike up Mt Giles is steep and rubbly.  Some navigation skill is required.  Saying that this track is a great option for someone that does not have the time to do the full Larapinta Trail.

Powered by Wikiloc

1 comment:

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

| Designed by Colorlib