Ormiston Gorge and Pound
Key information: Ormiston Gorge and Pound
- The Ormiston Gorge is a thrilling chasm in the heart of the West Macdonnell Ranges. The Ormiston Pound is a remarkable cliff-girt hole beyond the gorge, to which fewer people venture out.
- Together they must be the places you have to get to in the West Macdonnell Range, if you have only got one day to spare.
- Full of Australia's fascinating (and harshly beautiful) natural history.
ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating81
- Natural interest16
- Human interest3
- Negative points0
- Total rating81
- Length: 3 1/2 hrs
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The Ormiston Gorge is a thrilling chasm in the heart of the West Macdonnell Ranges, a short section of the Larapinta Trail, and easily accessible from the Alice Springs-Hermannsburg road. So, it gets visitors. The Ormiston Pound is a remarkable cliff-girt hole beyond the gorge, to which fewer people venture out. (Pound is an Australian geological term for a depression or basin surrounded by cliffs.)
The Ormiston Pound walk is a 3 1/2 hr circular walk from Ormiston Gorge car park. Start along the river bed along the road. Climb up to a saddle, then round to a brilliant view into the pound. Then descend into the pound, to view amazing old quartzite cliffs fractured and piled on top of each other through huge forces 300-400 million years ago. A huge variety of flora on the pound floor. The vast opposing quartzite cliffs narrow to form a creek, so the final water-hole has to be crossed holding our packs over our heads in chest-high water. Final climb out to a viewpoint back over the creek and forward to the river valley and carpark.
There is a huge variety of flora on the pound floor, of even greater beauty and variety than seen elsewhere in the area. Walkopedia friend Reggie Heyworth reports: "saw zebra finches and an extremely close up (2 feet!) encounter with a very confiding pair of spinifex pigeonsThe vast opposing quartzite cliffs narrow to form a creek, so the final water-hole has to be crossed holding our packs over our heads in chest-high water. Final climb out to a viewpoint back over the creek and forward to the river valley and carpark. All our group agreed it was one of THE great short walks. A stunning circuit taking in extraordinary geology, views and flora. 10/10!"
The West Macdonell Ranges striate their way across Australia's red hot, red earthed Red Centre. A very ancient area, even by geological standards, these mountains now mere stumps compared to their original height. All this history makes for a fascinating landscape, with fantastically contorted formations, spectacular gorges and mysterious and engrossing pounds.
The famous Larapinta Trail passes through the gorge, although the pound is a side-walk.
SEE OUR WEST MACDONNELL RANGES PAGE FOR FURTHER INFORMTION, INCLUDING PRACTICALITIES.
THIS PAGE IS STILL AT A RELATIVELY EARLY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. Please help us by recommending making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
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