My cart
Feature box

West MacDonnell Ranges

The  West MacDonnell Ranges have been justifiably described as the jewel in the crown of Central Australia.

 

West Macs map v1 

The ancient landscape, sculptured over time by climatic change and made famous by the art of Western Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira is on display in the West MacDonnell Ranges. You can find relics of a bygone tropical forest at many of the cool scenic gorges that act as a refuge for an assortment of plants and animals.

Easily accessed from Alice Springs, each of the West MacDonnell chasms and gorges has its own unique character and scenery. Drive or jump on a bike and ride along the 17 kilometre cycle path to Simpsons Gap, see the permanent waterhole and spot rock wallabies that live in the Gap's rocky ridges. Photograph Standley Chasm at midday when it lights up in fiery colours. Find refreshing relief from the heat of the day at the picturesque swimming holes in Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge and Redbank Gorge. Trek the Larapinta Trail, which stretches more than 223 kilometres from the Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount Sonder. Discover the Ochre Pits that desert Aboriginal people once used as a quarry for art and ceremonial body decoration.

If you would like to spend a night in the West MacDonnell Ranges, then pitch a tent at one of the many camping sites dotted throughout the region.

Tjoritja / West MacDonnell Ranges is a popular National Park just west of Alice Springs, stretching for more than 160kms, featuring a series of spectacular chasms and gorges. It offers visitors picturesque walks suitable for all fitness levels, including the famous Larapinta Trail, beautiful swimming holes, and great campgrounds.

Most of the park, including the most popular attractions, is 2WD accessible and campsites are cheap and plentiful. Or if you’re looking for motel-style accommodation, Glen Helen Lodge is a beautiful spot for an overnight stay.

Tjoritja is of great significance to the local Arrente people and the West MacDonnell National Park is a must-see for nature lovers. Bird watchers, bush walkers, and plant enthusiasts love the West Macs.

Other parks within the region include Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve, Owen Springs Reserve and Finke Gorge National Park.  The latter includes Palm Valley and Boggy Hole, both of which require high clearance four wheel drive to access.

So, whether you’re looking for a day trip, or a multi-day adventure, make sure you find time to visit this stunning natural attraction.

Ikuntji Artists

Artisans
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
Ikuntji Artists is an Indigenous owned and run art centre located at Haasts Bluff, 230km west of Alice Springs in the West Macdonnell Ranges.It was first established in 1... show more

AAT Kings - NT Day Tours

Tours
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
From soul-stirring sunrises over the ochre sands of the Red Centre against a glittering canopy of stars, through to the Top End’s pristine waterfalls and wildlife rich-... show more

Australian Walking Holidays

Tours
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
As part of World Expeditions Travel Group, Australian Walking Holidays is a fully Australian-owned company specialising in small group guided walking adventures. We were ... show more

Ochre Pits

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Head out into the West MacDonnells to see the vivid colours of the mineral ochre pits, which have been mined for generations by the local Aboriginal people. Located 110k... show more

Emu Run Experience

Tours
Alice Springs NT
Awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past 6 years, Emu Run Experience is based in Alice Springs and specialises in Uluru & Central Australian touring... show more

Outback Camper Trailer Hire

Caravan Parks & Camping
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
Experience The Australian Outback in style show more

Trek Larapinta

Tours
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Established in 1998, Trek Larapinta is a boutique award-winning trekking operator, offering world class guided walking holidays on the Larapinta Trail. As a small local o... show more

Ellery Creek Big Hole

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Ellery Creek Big Hole is one of the most popular and picturesque camping, walking, swimming and picnic spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park. show more

Standley Chasm Angkerle Cultural Tours

Tours
Alice Springs NT
Standley Chasm Angkerle Atwatye is a "must see", spectacular geological and culturally significant icon of Central Australia. Surrounded by the West MacDonnell Ranges ... show more

Alice Springs Expeditions

Tours
Alice Springs NT
Alice Springs Expeditions offers personalised bespoke tours (up to 6 passengers) to the most spectacular natural attractions around Central Australia. Meet John, the o... show more

Wayoutback Australian Safaris (Book Now)

Tours
Kakadu National Park NT
From the culturally rich, red sand landscapes of Uluru and the sheer beauty of the Red Centre, to the wildlife and river systems of the Top End, Wayoutback Australian Saf... show more

Outback Elite Tours

Tours
Alice Springs NT
OUTBACK ELITE TOURS organise VIP, Private, Classic and fully personalised tours of half-day, one day or multi-day in Central Australia. We also offer tours in Italian a... show more

Birthday Waterhole

Parks and Reserves
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Birthday Waterhole is a semi-permanent pool on the Hugh River in the West MacDonnell Ranges, rarely suitable for swimming. It is also the Trailhead for sections 4 and 5 o... show more

Tnorala/ Gosse Bluff Conservation Reserve

Parks and Reserves
South of Alice Springs NT
The Tnorala/Gosse Bluff Conservation Reserve is an enormous comet impact site and a place of significant international scientific interest. It also has great cultural and... show more

Redbank Gorge

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Redbank Gorge (Rwetyepme, pronounced 'roo-chip-ma') is a stunning gorge and chasm that is a refuge for many threatened plant and animal species.Located 156km west of Alic... show more

Ormiston Gorge and Pound

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Ormiston Gorge is a great place for a cool dip, to see the towering red walls of the gorge and pound, and local plants and wildlife. Located 135 kilometres west of Alice ... show more

Outback Tour Services

Tours
Alice Springs NT
At Outback Tour Services, we are proud to offer you a variety of adventurous tour products and services throughout the great Australian Outback. Our own touring produc... show more

Serpentine Gorge

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Serpentine Gorge is a narrow gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges, 100 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Follow a well marked path and easy path to the gap and peaceful wate... show more

Walking Country

Tours
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Walking Country, based in Alice Springs, offers genuine small group tours, specialising in extended, fully catered, walking tours of the world class Larapinta Trail. C... show more

Standley Chasm Angkerle

Caravan Parks & Camping
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
Standley Chasm Angkerle Atwatye is a "must see", spectacular geological and culturally significant icon of Central Australia. Surrounded by the West MacDonnell Ranges ... show more

Wayoutback Australian Safaris

Tours
Kakadu National Park NT
From the culturally rich, red sand landscapes of Uluru and the sheer beauty of the Red Centre, to the wildlife and river systems of the Top End, Wayoutback Australian Saf... show more

Tjoritja/ West MacDonnell National Park

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Tjoritja/ West MacDonnell National Park stretches for 161 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Explore and appreciate the scenic beauty and history of the area on foot, swi... show more

Finke Gorge National Park

Parks and Reserves
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Explore the ancient landscapes of Finke Gorge National Park, 140 kilometres west of Alice Springs. The 46,000-hectare park protects the desert oasis Palm Valley, home to ... show more

Hermannsburg Historic Precinct

Attractions
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
Hermannsburg was originally a Lutheran mission and was the first town in Central Australia. It was also home to the famous Aboriginal watercolour artist, Albert Namatjira... show more

Larapinta Trail

Attractions
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Ranked as one of the planet's top 20 treks, the Larapinta Trail is a 223 kilometre walking track which traverses the magnificent, semi-arid landscapes and impressive, roc... show more

Mt Sonder

Parks and Reserves
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Mt Sonder is the third highest peak in the West MacDonnell Ranges and Northern Territory. It marks the western end of the section 12 of the Larapinta Trail, a 223 kilomet... show more

Hermannsburg Potters

Artisans
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Visit the Hermannsburg Potters to see their renowned hand-built terracotta pots that are decorated with vibrant sculpted animals, landscapes, and bush tucker. show more

Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio

Artisans
Alice Springs NT
Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio is an indigenous owned and operated family enterprise, situated on Traditional Arrente Land in the stunning West MacDonnell Ranges. Visitors... show more

Subscribe

Sign up to receive the latest news, deals and travel information about the Northern Territory.

Choose to book with the Red Centre’s local experts

Need a hand choosing or booking your red centre adventure?