The Sheer Walls of Standley Chasm

I love travelling by camperbus… or is it a motorhome?!

Not sure what the exact difference is there (so if you know do tell in the comments below!) but the bit I love about travelling this way is whether you feel peckish, thirsty or in need of a nap… Pull over, and its sorted 😉

Having driven the 450km (5.5 hours) into Alice Springs from Yulara in our hire car (after a magical few days visiting Uluru and Kata Tjuta), we picked up our Maui 5 berth motor-home and trialled our first night’s sleep in a friend’s front yard in town!

Keen to hit the road we left Alice Springs early, and as soon as we were out of town pulled over for breakfast!

Maui campervan

Replenished, our first real stop for the day was to be Standley Chasm, just 50km to the west of Alice on Larapinta Drive.

It’s only a 20 minute walk into the chasm from the car park up a delightful path.

Standley Chasm

Starting out under classic eucalypts…

Eucalyptus trees Standley Chasm

The Eucalyptus trunks are a tree hugger’s dream (3 guesses what I am!)

While the trees satisfy the eye-level-eye-candy, the rocks underfoot satisfy the textural-underfoot-tactile-foot-candy.

Standley Chasm rock formations

After a little bit of clambering up a predominently dry creek bed…

Standley chasm path

Standley Chasm opens out before us.

Standley Chasm

The Eucalypt gives it scale.

Standley Chasm, Red Centre

…and stunning colour contrasts.

Colour of Standley ChasmIt’s an artist’s paradise…

so we sit, with sketch pads in hand, to take in the ambience and breath in the atmosphere

Standley Chasm sketch  Standley Chasm sketch



And this is what I saw and felt…Standley Chasm sketch

Red rugged rocky sides flaming up the perpendicular chasm walls…

Standley Chasm

 …to the blue sky above

where the sun at midday penetrates the close chasm walls and simultaneously lights up both sides as it passes overhead.

Standley Chasm Red Centre Australia

Wild-flowers and grasses cling on perilously to survive in the dry craggy crevises.

Wild flowers Standly Chasm


Returning back down the path

Standley Chasm path

we see amongst the leaf litter a Long-Nosed Dragon, also known as the ‘Ta-Taa’ lizard as when scurrying off they’ll often stop momentarily and lift a front leg, appearing to wave goodbye… ta-ta 😉

Lizard Standley Chasm

It’s particularly long nose, as well as a long tail, help it balance when running at high speed. (Official name: Lophognathus longirostris)

So first stop of the day in the West MacDonnell Ranges, Standley Chasm is plotted

Standley Chasm pictorial map

 …& the route dotted on my pictorial map of Central Australia🙂

Next stop, 80 km (1.5 hours) to the Ochre Pits, which I’ll post next Tuesday!

Have you visited Standley Chasm? Or is it still on the ‘To Do’?

Do share in the comments below

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17 thoughts on “The Sheer Walls of Standley Chasm

  1. That’s a lot of driving Linda, which must have been exciting. I love driving, particularly in the Aussie outback.

    Great photo journal Linda, incredibly inspiring.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Good morning!!!! just looked on facebook and seen this amazing site, brilliant – why didn’t I get there when I visited?? Reason to visit again. Jen xxx

    • Australia is such a vast and varied land!
      So much to see, but generally such huge distances to cover between ‘attractions’ –

      One has to either flit like a butterfly between a few prominent spots, or focus on a region –
      The Red Centre is a perfect area for ‘focus’ as there’re so many beautiful, and diverse, landscapes to enjoy –

      Look forward to seeing you down under again so we can further explore 🙂

  3. Yes, the Red Centre is such a great place to discover. You go there thinking that it’s a dry, empty place and when you’re back you just can’t stop telling everyone about it. But words are not enough to describe the greatness of the landscape and the bright colours that surround you. That’s why you need the pictures. And you’ve captured great ones, Linda.

    We booked a hotel for a week in Alice Springs and travelled around, going down to Uluru, then Finke Gorge, Kalaranga lookout, Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ormiston Gorge. Every day was another revelation with so many stunning, incredible spots to explore.

    The only thing we missed was the Kings’ Canyon. I think we missed it on purpose. To go back for more.
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    • Ooooo – You managed to cover quite a bit of ground… but funny that there’s still an elusive bit lurking 😉
      Like you, I still have to return to see Kings Canyon!

    • I’m beginning to think a camperbus is more like a VW van that’s been converted to do no more than cramp-ly camp in it, whereas a motor home is more designed, as you say, to be a home on wheels like a caravan, but with a motor? LOL

      The Red Centre has some great photo opportunities. doesn’t it 😉

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