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Roma Gorge

Submitted by: Charita Ratnatunga
14 Jun 2014
Location: West McDonell Ranges National Park, NT (0) Comments
Roma Gorge is situated in the West McDonalds Ranges of the Northern Territory. It has some very unique ancient petroglyphs depicting the Aboriginal culture which is the oldest culture in the world. The petroglyphs are all around the rocks that make up the gorge. The only way to get to the gorge is via a track of the Namatjira Drive between Ikunyki(Heaths Bluff) and Redbank Gorge. If you are heading west from Glen Helen Gorge, it is 3 Km(to the lrft) beyond Red Bank Gorge turnoff. Roma Gorge is not featured in any travel brochures of the area. It is also not sign posted and is in someway a secret location. The track is classified as a 4WD track suited for high clearance vehicles. It is not easy to find the turn off, but it is just beyond a floodway on the main Namatjira drive. I strongly recommend using a GPS which can show actual raster maps such as the Hema. With the GPS, it is quite easy to find the turn off The track traverses on the stony creek bed which was dry in December. The compressed stones made by other vehicles give a good indication of the path to take. There are also some markers placed for guidance. There are sections which take you out of the creek bed onto higher ground but should not be an issue if you are driving a capable off road vehicle. It is good to take it slow throughout the drive. The length of the track from the turn off to the gorge is about 8,5Km and can take about half an hour to an hour depending on off road driving experience. The end of the track is a car park which has no facilities. From here, a foot path leads to the gorge. It is a very secluded and peaceful place. We encountered many Kangaroos on our walk to the gorge. At the gorge there are rocks that surround the waterhole and further up are a natural grey stone walk. The traditional owners and the local community request that you do not proceed beyond the wall for sacred cultural reasons. The petroglyphs are not noticeable at the first glance but as you look closely at the surrounding rock, you will notice hundred of symbols etched to the rocks. The petroglyphs are dated to be around 6-8 thousand years old. It is an amazing place to be in and worth a visit. A real adventure ‘’off the beaten track’

Charita Ratnatunga

Mitsubishi Pajero

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