One of the main reasons we stayed at Wilmington was to visit Alligator Gorge, after I had seen a photo when we passed through the area last year. The weather on our second day was perfect for a small bush walk.
It is a part of Mount Remarkable National Park. To reach the gorge, you had to drive up a very steep winding road, hence no towed vehicles allowed.
We did the Gorge Circuit Hike.
As always, whatever goes up, must go down….
The main walk was accessed by a very long set of stairs.
Some of the stones used for the steps reveal the fact that they were the sand of an ancient inland sea in prehistoric times.
Once we reached the bottom of the gorge we were dwarfed by the towering cliffs on either side.
For much of the walk you follow a creek. (Fancy that, at the bottom of a gorge.)
I felt quite small.
The main feature is an area known as “The Narrows”, which is aptly named.
For quite a bit of the walk you are rock hopping along the creek bed. It was just ideal when we were there - not dry and dusty, but just enough water to make it pretty and not have to get your feet wet.
Look how clear the water is.
We struck the perfect season for this walk. In the many cool damp crannies there were lots of little ferns.
We also found a few little different fungi.
I was rather excited when I found this rather unusual mushroom, as I had seen them being foraged in an American YouTube film. I couldn’t remember their name and wondered if these were the same. A little Google search yielded an interesting article which informed me that they are Morel Mushrooms and these are one of two Australian varieties, being Morchella rufobrunnea, which is found in Western Australia and occasionally in South Australia. Apparently, they are found along edges where fertile meets infertile ground, just on the infertile side. That sounds just like where we were….remember the Goyder Line. I feel rather chuffed that we came across them, as they don’t exactly sound commonplace.
There were also many grass trees.
Back on the track, it started to move away from the creek and enter more open country.
And…whatever goes down…..must go up.
And up…. The last part of the walk back to the car was along the road that maintained this slope all the way, for quite some distance. I found it the hardest part of the whole walk….remember, I’m rather unfit.
Of course, I enjoyed seeing all the wildflowers, being springtime.
I also noticed a couple of little critters in some trees.
We saw one kangaroo as we were walking back up the road, but that was the only wildlife we saw.
We only saw a very few people too. There was one school group on an overnight hike and a couple of others. When we got back to the car there was another group getting ready to set off on a 50km walk over a few days.
We felt we had earned out Eccles Cake for morning tea when we returned to the car.
We are so very pleased that we went to explore Alligator Gorge, as it was truly stunning and not terribly highly publicised. We felt it was probably nicer that the gorges we visited last year in Central Australia. Another memorable day.