May 22, 2013

Red Falls - The Weirdest Place I Have Ever Seen

As the title of this post suggests, Red Falls is a pretty weird place. The river forms the edge of Great Basalt Wall National Park, a park which has no public access. The university has some sort of deal with the owners of the land we drove in on, so it was all right for us to be there.

The falls are made of this red rock stuff. It is really red, more so than these photos capture. It is almost ketchup red. To the north is a basalt flow. It is black as coal and provides a stark contrast to the red. On the other side is a white wall of sandstone.

The red surface is pitted with circular holes a few feet deep. The face is a fairly smooth edge dropping off into the plunge pool. When in flood the whole red area is covered with water several meters deep. It must be quite a sight to see.

Some of the pools are separated from the flow and have stagnant water, and this one happened to turn opaque...

This one formed a beach...

A really neat white, yellow and red rock.

After puzzling over this for a while we crossed to the other side of the river into the park. We went up onto the top of the basalt flow and looked at what there was to see. This is what we saw.

I am glad we only walked a few hundred meters over the basalt as it is pretty tough going. There are lots of places where you can see where lava tubes have collapsed. This particular flow is about 10,000 years old, and is the most recent in the area.

Back towards the falls.

Clambering down the wall.

A short rest before crossing the stream and going for a swim.

We had a lovely swim around the falls. It was pretty warm out, and the water cold, and it felt lovely. The waterfalls were just the right height to give a nice massage.

A quick stop along the long road back to camp to collect firewood. The sky closed in again, and it rained on and off for most of the night. We had another lovely supper, this time some kind of Thai chicken curry. Once again no stars to take photos of. Sad face.

The next day we headed on, Many hours of driving, many of those on gnarly un-sealed roads.


  1. G,

    I love the red rock formation!


  2. Fantastic field trip! what an opportunity to see a remote part of Australia and see crazy rock formations and neat stuff! Hurray for teachers who go the extra mile and go the extra mile!~ mm