Everything You Need to Know About Ellery Creek Big Hole

Ellery Creek Big Hole is a permanent waterhole that has been carved out of the rock of the West MacDonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) after thousands of years of rain and flood. Known to the Arrernte traditional owners as Udepata, Ellery Creek also holds ancient cultural significance. Being a permanent waterhole, it has long served as a meeting place for the people of the region and also features in local dreaming stories. 

More than being a fun place to swim and hike, Ellery Creek also possesses incredible natural beauty and is home to a wide variety of unique flora and fauna. 

For a map of the park, click here. Use the Avenza Maps App to track your walk on the interactive park map.

Ellery Creek Big Hole will be closed for roadworks 21 October - 19 December 2022 & 9 - 30 January 2023.

Ellery Creek swimmers

Swimming in Ellery Creek

The Ellery Creek Big Hole is situated within the towering red cliffs of Ellery Gorge. Visitors can relax on the sandy banks of the water or go swimming through the picturesque gorge. 

Visitors should be very aware of taking safety precautions when swimming. Swimmers should always walk into the water to test its depth and should never jump off rocks. Children should always remain in sight. There are no crocodiles in Central Australian waterholes.


Ellery Creek Walks

There are two walks that you can do when visiting Ellery Creek. 

Ellery Creek Walk

This is a five-minute walk taking you from the car park down to the swimming hole. It is very manageable and accessible to wheelchairs. 

Dolomite Walk

This is a 3km loop walk that will allow you to take in the broader surrounds of the swimming hole. The walk is estimated to take around 1.5 hours for most walkers. It is of moderate difficulty with some steep inclines. Make sure to bring water. 

Ellery Creek Walkers OTS

Ellery Creek Walk

Dolomite Walk Ellery Creek Big Hole

Dolomite Walk

Ellery Creek Campground

The Ellery Creek Campground is located near the visitors' car park and a short walking distance from the swimming hole. Disabled access to the swimming hole from the campground is available via the Ellery Creek Walk. 

There are ten designated sites for camping and caravaning. These sites can be booked online in advance. Ellery Creek is a Category B campground, and the applied rates are $4 for adults, $2 for children, and $10 for families. Campsites are bookable online here, and no longer payable onsite.

Facilities at the Ellery Creek campground include:

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • BBQs
  • A central shelter

There is water available at the campground. It is advisable, also, to bring your own shade equipment as there is limited natural shade at the camping site.

Ellery Creek 131816

How to Get to Ellery Creek

Ellery Big Hole is located 80km to the west of Alice Springs. Access can be gained by car via Namatjira Drive. Visitors should be aware that the last 2km is unsealed and may not be usable after heavy rain, a 4WD is then advised. 

Ellery Big Creek Hole can also be reached on foot by those hiking the Larapinta Trail. It is connected to both sections 6 and 7 of the trail. 

Ellery Creek FAQ

Absolutely not! You will not find any crocodiles (in the wild) anywhere in Central Australia.
YES! Just be sure to be cautious by not jumping in the water off the edges, and just walk in from the banks.
The road off Namatjira Drive is unsealed, however it is well maintained and a 2WD can get access to the carpark. It is best to check the road report website for up-to-date information, particularly after rain.
It is believed that Ellery Creek Big Hole is up to 27m deep.


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?