Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Central Australia is often thought of as dry and arid with nothing but desert. The reality however, is somewhat different. Many areas of the outback contain beautiful waterholes like this one at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges. The water and the shelter of the red walls rising up around the creek attract an interesting variety of native fauna and flora, including a number of relict plant species. Ormiston Gorge really is a sanctuary and the recent rediscoveries of the Long Tailed Dunnart and the Central Rock Rat in the Ormiston Gorge vicinity demonstrate what an important role the area and National Park plays as a fauna refuge. The rugged scenery of Ormiston Gorge is complemented by its near permanent water hole. Standing surrounded by old river red gums I wanted to photograph not only the tranquility of the waterhole at dawn but also the spectacular geology and landforms of the MacDonnell Ranges.