Last year, during my trip back home, we spent time in the Northern Territory at Uluru, the Olgas and Alice Springs.
Simpson's Gap is about 12 miles west of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell Ranges. It was discovered in 1871 by a surveyor named Gilbert McMinn but the origin of the name Simpson is unclear – it has no connection to the Simpson Desert and actually was spelt Simsons Gap originally. In 1970 it was established as a national park – before that it was part of a huge cattle station.
Throughout the national park there is a striking contrast in the landscape from deep gorges in the sandstone carved by watercourses of long ago; to permanent waterholes to dry river beds and desert plains and dunes. Leading to the gap is an area of white sand with eucalyptus trees and ghost gums – the gap itself is a permanent waterhole sitting in the shelter of rugged cliffs.