Mt Giles – May Day weekend 2019

Nannette Helder led Paul Dunham, Steve Saines and I across the Ormiston Pound where we camped in a burnt out waterway. A small plunge pool at the foot of the mountain was a relief. There was a slight rainfall earlier in the week, but before that none over a very hot summer.




Flying over Mt Giles on return from Kiwirrkurra to Alice Springs, 3rd May 2019

Climbed Mt Giles on Sunday. Air was amazingly clear and views spectacular.




There was beautiful series of connected pools and streams down the waterway where we descended.

Day 3 leisurely walk home along Ormiston Creek which was very dry.




Met a couple of blokes from Power Water doing a training hike in preparation for an extended Larapinta Trail walk via Mt Ziel. We also met an Englishman doing a site visit prior to leading the Sydney Bushwalkers, and a further young man on the last day doing a sprint up the mountain and home in a day. What a busy time for Mt Giles!

Checking the visitor book in the cache at the top of Mt Giles, I saw that I’d been there 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015, making this my 5th ascent.



Whistleduck Creek to Old Police Station Waterhole: Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park

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52km Nick navigated us through spinifex and acacia country from Whistleduck Creek south and east (bearing of 120 degrees) to Old Police Station Waterhole.

NT Place names register:

“Previously referred to as Davenport Range National Park, Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park was officially dual named in 2011.

Iytwelepenty (pronounced in-tul-a-punj) is an Alyawarr word meaning “where the Kwelharr or Rwaney (Black Footed Rock Wallaby) run” or “where the Kwelharr or Rwaney tracks are everywhere”. Unfortunately we didn’t see any.

Davenport Ranges National Park takes its name from the Davenport Range, which was named by John McDouall Stuart. Stuart wrote in his report (South Australian Parliamentary Paper No 65 of 1861) “After crossing a number of rough sandhills, we arrived at the top of a range, which I have named Davenport Range”.

Sir Samuel Davenport (1818-1906) was a member of the South Australian Legislative Council between 1846 and 1866 . He held the office of Commissioner of Public Works in 1857 and President of the Royal Geographical Society (SA).”

A dramatic but dry waterfall that runs into Frew River


More on the Davenport Ranges

Park management plan: Iytwelepenty-JMP-operational

No-one has considered extended walking tracks.

Easter Saturday… continuing towards Old Police Station Waterhole

A great day’s walking. We got up early and covered 23km over amazingly diverse country. Rocky, stony, gravelly, sandy, ridges and plains… wet and dry… acacia, sandalwood, spinifex (both hard/ spiky and soft/ shiny types).

Enjoyed Saturday lunch at Julia Basin where Nick had intended we spend the first night. By evening we were optimistic that we could make the distance, but worrying about water. I didn’t believe Nick when he said that there may be no more water before Police Station Waterhole, so I didn’t carry enough.

Flies were another on-going bane. In your mouth eyes ears nose. Hard to do anything as they won’t let up. They’re not even interested in your food, but you can’t eat it because they get into your mouth before the spoon. The moment the flies leave you alone, mosquitoes are out. Are the mozzies a sign of water nearby?

Good Friday April 19th set off from Whistleduck Creek towards Old Police Station Waterhole

Crazy? I thought so when Nick suggested it. 52km off track through untracked terrain, way outside mobile phone range (probably nearest was at Ti Tree 200km south), and no satellite phone with us.

We announced our plan as we arrived at Whistleduck Creek, 7 hours north and east of Alice Springs. None of the friends with us discouraged it. On the contrary, Peter said there would be plenty of water in the waterways following the torrential downpour that came with Cyclone Trevor. So off we went, over loaded with careless packing. Our friend Paul drove our vehicle 200km to the end point of the walk, Old Police Station Waterhole, a highlight of the National Park with large waterhole and camping facilities. They were planning to go kayaking down the Frew River which was flowing into the Waterhole.Nice walking but no water the first day (a very short walk after 7 hours drive). We found a nice soft sandy campsite by a dry waterway.Flies were awful. In every orifice: mouth, eyes, ears, and on every patch of bare skin. Flynet merely separates those trying to get closer to your face from those trying to get away. You feel like a lump of faeces thick with flies. Hard to see or think. They don’t resist being picked off your face or out of your ear and squashed.

Day 2 we quite quickly found a small waterhole down a waterfall and were very reassured. Then as the day wore on we found many lovely waterholes of different sizes and geography. I had 5 swims!

Quite tiring. Once we were passed the burnt area we had to walk through tall spinifex, not making anywhere near the progress we anticipated. By evening on day 2 we had not yet seen the proposed lunch site but we came to a beautiful junction of waterways around 4:30pm and Nick decided it was too good to leave. So there we were at day two with only 16km behind us.

Rosalie Davenport Ranges

Farewell to Tarkine and our eye-opening visit

Leisurely start, then our final farewell at Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatorium from where those headed to Launceston went east, while we headed to Hobart went south via the Central Highlands.  20190412_120440

We walked to Liffey Falls, skipped the Pine Lake Nature Trail as we felt short of time, lunched by the Great Lake, and were home to Hobart in time for me to run a final run behind the Cascade Park.

Back in Hobart already 4th April 2019

Back to the books, with some memories of beautiful sites, and a busy tourist site struggling to deal with popularity while advertising for more.

Farewelled new friends we’ll never see again.