I had been to Simpson’s Gap on my previous trip to the Centre, but it was good to see it again. This is one of the several breaks in the West MacDonnell Ranges, where the ancient mountains are cut by a river that adds greenery and a fair bit of wildlife to the area. Once again, we scanned the rocks for signs of the rock wallabies that make their home here, wandered by the water hole, and admired the birdlife. I was also in love with the rocks, which are so worn and layered in these mountains–like the bones of the earth.
On both visits during this first trip, to reach the gap, we waded up the dry riverbed, through soft sand. When I returned a few years later, I found that a walkway had been built, to make the hike into the gorge easier — though I’m betting part of it was also to keep people from stomping all over the scenery. Fortunately, though it is now easier to reach, Simpson’s Gap itself is unchanged — and is still quite wonderful.