West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

Mel is on a long weekend in Alice Springs, Australia’s vibrant red centre. And now she is checking out the natural beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges, the ancient mountain range that spreads westward from Alice Springs over 100kms. The West Macs are punctuated by several breath-taking gorges and chasms that have been forged by the elements over hundreds or thousands of years, with each offering its own charm and distinctive character.

And first up Mel visits Ellery Creek Big Hole where she has a dip in the fresh water at the large permanent waterhole, suitable for swimming over summer.

Along her journey, she also visits the culturally significant site of Standley Chasm which is a near vertical canyon with sheer red rock walls that glow eerily as the midday sun shines on them. Here she chats with a local guide, and gets a lesson on spear making and boomerang throwing.

Then Mel stops for a bite to eat at Glen Helen Lodge situated at Glen Helen Gorge – a beautiful landscape that you may recognize from artist, Albert Namatjira’s work back in the 1950s.

And last but not least, Mel visits Ormiston Gorge which offers another permanent waterhole that you can swim in during the warmer months. This place is also home to a colony of black-footed rock wallabies that can often be seen, bounding about. Who knew you could have so much fun swimming in the centre of Australia?!