Your Guide to Redbank Gorge

Redbank Gorge is a picturesque geological formation located at the base of Mount Sonder in the West MacDonnell Ranges of Central Australia. Known to its traditional owners as Yarretyeke, Redbank Gorge has an ancient cultural history and is still a sacred site with ties to local dreaming stories. 

Redbank Gorge is also a haven for many threatened species of wildlife, which you are likely to see if you visit. In particular, you can expect to see kangaroos, wallabies, and rare bird species visiting the gorge for its water. 


Redbank Gorge Walks

There are two walking trails to follow at Redbank Gorge. 

Redbank Gorge Walk

This walk will take you from the car park down into the gorge and end up at the swimming hole. The walk is 2km and takes around 1.5 hours.

Mount Sonder Hike

It is also possible to hike to the top of Mount Sonder from your base at Redbank Gorge. This walk constitutes section 12 of the Larapinta Trail. The return journey is around 14km and takes 6 hours.

Redbank Gorge path sign

Swimming in Redbank Gorge

One of the highlights of visiting Redbank Gorge is the swimming hole located two kilometres away from the car park. Swimming in the gorge is a breathtaking experience as its bright red walls ascend dramatically from the calm water. You can go exploring, as well, finding narrow chasms to swim through and hidden spots to relax in the shade. If you prefer, you can also sit on the sandy bank of the swimming hole and absorb the natural environment, watching out for any visiting wallabies.

Swimmers should take precautions when visiting Redbank Gorge. In particular, do not jump into the water as depths may vary. Parents should always keep swimming children within view.

Redbank Gorge

Redbank Gorge swim shessimplywell

IG: @shessimplywell


There are two options available for Redbank Gorge camping: the Woodland and Ridgetop campgrounds. These campgrounds offer the following facilities

  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Firepits
  • Gas BBQs (Woodland only)

Visitors to the campsites should bring their own water supply, as well as gas and firewood. 

Campsites at both Woodland and Ridgetop can be booked online in advance here, and no longer payable onsite. For the purposes of fees, these sites are Category B campgrounds ($4 for adults, $2 for children, and $10 for families).

How to get to there

Redbank Gorge is located 156km west of Alice Springs and can be accessed via Namatjira Drive. The final 5km before reaching the gorge is unsealed and may be unusable after heavy rains. 4WD vehicles are advised. 

The gorge can also be reached by hikers along the Larapinta Trail. It is accessible from section 12 of the trail. You can either use it as a stop-off point as you hike along the trail, or you may wish to use it as a basecamp. 


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