Australia, Central Australia, Hiking with kids, Northern Territory

Gosse Bluff with kids (Tnorala)


Gosse Bluff with Kids (Tnorala)


Gosse Bluff (Tnorala) is a crater that is believed to have formed from a comet crashing into the earth 142.5 million years ago. The interesting thing about this, is that the Aboriginal interpretation of how it was formed is also celestial in origin.

I visited Gosse Bluff with my husband and young kids on a Central Australian road camping trip.  See the route we followed here: Central Australia Road Trip With Kids (The Route We Took)

Gosse Bluff with Kids
The dirt track into Tnorala (Gosse Bluff)

The drive in on the bright red sand is just as visually interesting as the crater itself.  If you were to visit in spring like we did, there are wildflowers in bloom all around.

Gosse Bluff with Kids
Trillian (18 months) checking out the plants around the picnic area

The Hike

Visiting Gosse Bluff allows you to view the inside of the crater.  If you take the short hike up to the viewing area, you get to see awesome views at an elevation.  The walking tracks are suitable for kids (wearing shoes of course) however the hike up to the viewing area is not suitable for young kids at all.

We managed the hike to the viewing area with Mr nearly four in the Piggy Back Rider and Miss 18 months in the Ergo Baby Carrier (see my baby and toddler carriers for travelling section).  There is a bit of scrambling over rocks and narrow tracks with steep drop-offs either side.

Gosse Bluff with Kids
View from the hike inside the crater at Tnorala (Gosse Bluff)

The Legend of Tnorala

Tnorala is a registered sacred site however the traditional owners welcome visitors.  It is asked that you obey signs and do not enter areas where access is not permitted.

There is a pit toilet, walking tracks, a nice shady picnic shelter with tables, and signage with cultural information.  You can’t really read it from the photo below, however the Legend of Tnorala signage says:

“In the dreamtime, a large group of women danced across the sky, as the milky way.  They were stars taking the form of women.  

During the ceremonial dance of the Milky Way Women, a mother put her baby aside, resting in his turna, a wooden baby carrier. 

The Turna toppled over the edge of the dancing area and fell to the earth.  The baby fell down into the ground and his turna fell hard on top of him.  At the place where it crashed into the ground, rocks were forced up from underneath, forming the circular walls of Tnorala.  

The Milky Way Baby was covered with sand and hidden from view.

The mother, as the Evening Star, and the father, as the Morning Star, are still looking for their missing baby.”

Gosse Bluff with Kids

In general, visiting Gosse Bluff with kids is fairly easy providing you are not expecting them to manage the steep hike up to the viewing area. Older kids would be able to manage it perfectly fine, especially if they into the outdoors and scrambling over rocks and exploring.

Gosse Bluff is a nice place to stop for a picnic, toilet break and do some short walks to break up the drive when travelling this route.

Gosse Bluff with Kids
Ripley and Jason enjoying the views from the top

HOW TO GET THERE


Driving

Gosse Bluff is free to visit, and is located an approximate 210 km drive west of Alice Springs.  Drive along either Larapinta Drive or Namatjira Drive.  You will need a 4WD visit this crater.

We chose to drive to Central Australia on an epic road trip from the east coast of Australia.  Alice Springs is a long drive from anywhere in Australia and you will need to do some research before you attempt it.  It can be done in a standard 2WD vehicle but if you want to get off the highway and drive on some of the awesome outback roads (like the one that leads you into Gosse Bluff), you will need a 4WD.

Flying

You can fly into either Alice Springs or Yulara from capital cities in Australia, and either hire a vehicle or book a tour from there.  We stayed at Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara near Uluru, and at the Big4 in Alice Springs.

Get a great deal on flights here:

Tours around the Red Centre can be booked here:


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For more blog posts, photographs and information on my travels through Central Australia with kids, check out this page: Central Australia with Kids

For more information on ALL of my travels, please check out this page: My travel destinations

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