Thirty four people took part in the camp, sixteen walkers staying at the Mambray Creek Campground in the Mt Remarkable National Park while another group stayed at Port Germein Caravan Park or Port Pirie. It was a very pleasant time enjoyed by all and with three perfect sunny days. We shared a BBQ on the first night and various campfires during the week. Each day there was a choice of a B or C walk, with further choice within the C walks, with maps and information on which to base our choices.
Both walking groups enjoyed the views over Spencer Gulf from the Davey’s Gully Loop, and then followed the Baroota Trail to the homestead ruins and old cemetery. It was a lovely walk along the creek bank with interpretive signs explaining the life cycle of the magnificent river red gums and the importance of water in the area. The Bs extended their walk along the Cemetery and Little Pound tracks. Throughout the camp we sighted wallabies, kangaroos and emus, and were entertained by the kookaburras.
Both groups ventured about 17 kms to Hidden Gorge, the Cs with an out and back walk and the Bs with a loop though the gorge and along Battery Track. We made frequent creek crossings, sighted the Greenhood Orchid and took many photos of the stunning ochre coloured gorge walls rising above us. A second C group enjoyed the beautiful Mambray Creek Valley and stunning views from Sugar Gum Lookout.
We began our day with a 45minute car trip to Alligator Gorge, on the eastern side of the National Park. The Cs undertook the Alligator Gorge Ring Route hike (8.9 kms and 4 hours). The first few kilometres proved challenging, requiring clambering over numerous rocks and boulders across The Terraces and along the creek bed. Then looping, back it was uphill to the ridge, downhill along a fire track and finished with some more rock hopping through the Narrows. The Bs hiked 16km through the Narrows at Alligator Gorge, with more creek crossings and beautiful gorge vistas. After climbing up to Kingfisher Track, they walked alongside Alligator Creek back to the Mambray Creek campsite.
Our luck with the weather did not hold out and after a very windy night, our Day 4 walks brought drizzle and then solid rain. The C walkers braved the rain and mud up the Hidden Gorge track and down the Battery Track. The Bs walked to Sugar Gum Lookout, but were not so determined and turned back early to beat most of the rain.
As first time ARPA campers, we thoroughly enjoyed our walking and tenting adventure. Many thanks to Raelene and Rodney for their organisation and to all walk leaders.