Serpentine Gorge

Serpentine Gorge, which is a massive gorge giving onto a valley, is one of the lesser visited but equally beautiful gorges in the West MacDonnells. Initialy a narrow gorge in the first of two sections, it contains a small waterhole at its base - swimming is not allowed here as the area is of spiritual importance to its Aboriginal owners, they believe a fierce serpent lives in the pool of water and would never approach it. Unfortunately this does not stop some tourists from taking a swim anyway.

In dry times the waterholes in the surrounding area dry up, leaving Serpentine Gorge waterhole the only remaining waterhole in a large area. Birds will move in from the surrounding countryside and can easily be observed by sitting quietly by the edge of the waterhole.

The area provides the opportunity for long or short walks through lovely River Red Gums and alongside idyllic semi-permanent water holes.  There are lookouts and well marked trails offering some fantastic views of the types of landscape and geology that are so evocative of Central Australia.


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A highlight of a visit here is the fairly short but very steep walk to the spectacular lookout above the gorge. If you don't want to go to the expense of a scenic flight or hot air balloon, this lookout is a reasonable alternative, giving an awe inspiring big picture perspective of the surrounds. The view is dominated by the spectacular winding gorge receding into a sparkling red mountain range with vast, seemingly arid plains all around.

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