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Mount Sonder / Rwetyepme

Northern Territory, Australia Travel

Mount Sonder / Rwetyepme
Redbank Gorge

Nearby NT destinations
Alice Springs
Central Australia
West MacDonnell NP
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Like a wise old person, the mountain watches over an ever-changing desert landscape keeping the stories of an ancient Arrernte Aboriginal culture.

Name in honour of the German botanist Wilhelm Otto Sonder, Mount Sonder (at 1,380 metres above sea level), is the fourth highest point in Central Australia, after Mt Giles (1,389 metres), Mt Edwards (1,423 metres) and Mt Zeil (1,531 metres).

To the local Western Arrernte Aboriginal People the Mount Sonder area, or Rwetyepme (roo -  choop - ma), is criss-crossed with the tracks of their dreamtime ancestors. The main story for Rwetyepme is the Man / Euro (Hill Kangaroo) ‘dreaming’, told on signs at Redbank Gorge.

Mount Sonder itself, also holds significance to the local Aboriginal People. The shape of the mountain is said to look like the profile of a pregnant women lying on her back, although the meaning and significance of the story is not revealed.

The colours on the face of Mount Sonder vary throughout the day, from a spectacular fiery red at sunrise to a deep purple in the early afternoon. These luminescent colours were captured and made famous by the Arrernte watercolourist Albert Namatjira during the 1940s and 1950s.

Redbank Gorge
Polished quartzite walls close over your head to block out the sky creating an atmosphere of cathedral calm. Entry to the gorge usually blocked by a deep, cold (even in summer) waterhole which can be crossed using an air bed.

Redbank is the start of the 8 hour return walk to the summit of Mount Sonder. You pass two very pleasant bush camping areas along the Redbank Gorge access road.

Source: NT Parks and Wildlife Service park signage

For additional attractions, tours and accommodation in the region, check out Alice Springs and Central Australia. For more information contact the local tourism visitor centres.

Information Centre

Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory - Alice Springs Region

Central Australian Visitor Information Centre

Mount Sonder Images

Mount Sonder / Rwetyepme Mount Sonder / Rwetyepme West MacDonnell Ranges taken from the Mount Sonder Lookout. West MacDonnell Ranges with the Finke River in the foreground.
Mount Sonder, Northern Territory, Australia Mount Sonder, Northern Territory, Australia Mount Sonder, Northern Territory, Australia Native Fuchsia (Eremophila latrobei)
Aerial views of Mount Sonder and surrounding regions can be viewed under West MacDonnell Range...
More images in our 'Snapshot from Australia - Mount Sonder'.

Additional Resource:
> Global Goddess Oracle: The Goddess in Australia
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