Off-the-beaten-track in Redbank Gorge

Off-the-beaten-track in Redbank Gorge

The narrow, smooth, high walls of Redbank Gorge are often left unexplored by those venturing the Larapinta. This last of its main signposted delights just past Glen Helen in the West MacDonnell ranges is actually its rarest gem, especially when explored by inflatable mattress. Float up from the head pool, through a gap often only a little wider than the mattress itself, and you’ll enter a world of smooth, shimmering rock walls so high the sky above becomes a thin strip of blue. It feels like a magic cathedral. Head deeper through the range and you’ll encounter a series of cascades and the occasional wide bowl carved out at water level. The water is cool and best traversed in summer after recent rain, but even just a little way in you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a place few have been and where the local spirit is strong. For a less adventurous, but a no less refreshing experience, try swimming and floating at Ellery Creek Big Hole or Ormiston Gorge, though the seclusion and your fond memory of Redbank will likely remain forever unsurpassed.

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