Gosses Bluff

142-ish million years ago, this would have been a bad place to be!



Map from the Museum in Alice Springs



Gosses Bluff from maps.google.com - you can begin to see hints of the larger size outside the central ring

(if you wish to explore the area in maps.google.com - go to Alice Springs, then follow the road west along the McDonnell range. This site is just south of the range100 or so km on.)


First View from Tyler's Pass



Moving in a bit closer





The turn-off. To this point the road has been Paved, then Dirt, then Paved again, then the final 6km are Dirt - on the day I went, it wasn't too bad - you might have been able to do it in a robust regular vehicle. I ended up renting a 4WD from Budget (cheapest) for the day - the diesel almost cost as much as the car rental!


The Entrance - a bit of the road is visible




There were a number of interpretive signs. On one, the following story was written:



The Legend of Tnorala

A traditional Aboriginal story about Gosse Bluff


Mavis Malbunka is kurturngula or caretaker for this story. It is her role to speak for the owners and keep it strong. Mavis lives at Ipolera outstation, west of Hermannsburg


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 this ceremonial dance of the Milky Way Women, a mother put her baby aside, resting in his turna (pronounced toor-na), 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.


Sign in the picnic area
Tnorala Conservation Reserve
West MacDonnell National Park





Walking up to the central viewing area - I look down at the steps - this one is made of a large shatter cone. Other visitors just stepped over it.


Close to the center, the strata is near vertical

 QuickTime Movie of the Inside 2.7MB





Shattercones again



Walking around, and looking with care, it was possible to see other shatter cones lying on or in the ground






Several views of the inside of the ring






Leaving Gosses Bluff the view changes slightly


And the road changes back to dirt for awhile. I had to laugh - in order to see this sign, you already had to have travelled 100 km on dirt/gravel roads!


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 Text and Images Copyright ted Brattstrom 2006 - updated 15-Apr-2009