Macdonnell Ranges

West Macdonnell Ranges

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary, for both their immensity and the spectacular array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples on display. Yet to truly appreciate the West MacDonnells, you must explore the ranges' rugged gorges, gaps and chasms to experience the unspoiled serenity of this region.

Gorges & Chasms: Each of the West MacDonnells' chasms and gorges has its own unique character and scenery. At Simpsons Gap, walk to the permanent pool and possibly catch sight of the rock wallabies that live in the gap's rocky ridges. At midday, stand in Standley Chasm as it lights up in the fiery oranges reflected by the overhead sun. Plunge into the cool waters of the regions picturesque waterholes and swim at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge and Redbank Gorge. Visit the Ochre Pits, which desert Aboriginal people used as a quarry for ochre, a valuable traditional material used for paintings and ceremonial body decorations. Continue west and you'll travel on a road winding to the south and come to Tyler Pass, a place to stop for spectacular views of Tnorala / Gosse Bluff, a five-km crater created by a comet 142.5 million years ago.

The Finke River: Outside of Hermannsburg, travel 4X4 through the Finke River, thought to be one of the world's oldest watercourses. The Finke Gorge National Park is best known for Palm Valley, which contains groves of unique and beautiful palms that are remnants from millions of years ago when Central Australia was lush with tropical forests.

East Macdonnell Ranges

Explore the East MacDonnells and you'll discover an unrealised treasure of Central Australia. To the local Arrernte people, this area is the dreamtime birthplace of the mountain range. As the caterpillar ancestral beings moved out from Emily Gap, they formed the MacDonnell Ranges and the site of Alice Springs. Places like Jessie Gap, Corroboree Rock, and N'Dhala Gorge are all of great cultural significance to the Arrernte people. The beauty of these sites and others, such as Trephina Gorge, makes a trip to the East MacDonnells more than worthwhile. The East MacDonnells region is also rich with bird and animal life. Trephina Gorge offers great birdwatching opportunities. As the East MacDonnells are less visited by tourists, you will have a greater chance to spot wildlife in their own natural environment.

Ndhala Gorge - East MacDonnell Ranges - Northern Territory West Macdonnell Ranges West Macdonnell Ranges West Macdonnell Ranges Waterhole West Macdonnell Ranges Waterway