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How to experience all of Trephina Gorge

The birds chirp in the background while the hum of the cicadas rises and falls in sync. The sun is out and you’re very happy to have arrived at Trephina Gorge Nature Park and continue your Central Australia adventure.

The following guide provides information regarding activities at Trephina Gorge Nature Park, directions to the park, camping options and safety precautions.

Trephina Gorge

View over Trephina Gorge

Things To Do

Walks and Hikes

There are six nature trails which can be accessed within Trephina Gorge Nature Park:

  • Gorge Stroll (500m: 20 minutes)
  • Trephina Gorge Walk (2km loop: 1 hour)
  • Panorama Walk (2.5km loop: 1 hour)
  • Ridgetop Walk (9km one way: 5 hours)
  • Chain of Ponds Walk (3.5km loop: 1.5 hours)

Each walk offers a diverse look at the natural world within Trepina Nature Park. Geological formations, Black-footed Rock wallabies, Red River gums, Trephina Creek, lookouts, the John Hayes Rock Hole and plenty of bird life can be seen, depending on the walk you choose.

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

Trephina Gorge Walks sign

Trephina Gorge walks sign

Trephina Gorge stroll WAE Renae Saxby

Trephina Gorge Stroll (We Are Explorers/Renae Saxby)

Swimming and 4 Wheel Driving

There is swimming available at Trephina Gorge Nature Park, at John Hayes Rock Hole. The scenery is fabulous and there is a lot of bird watching to be done when you arrive. Bring a picnic and enjoy your day wading in the water and staying cool in the shade of the rocky cliff faces. The water is cold all year round, so swim accordingly, and the rock hole isn't permanent, meaning sometimes it is dry if there hasn’t been rain for a long time. 

The journey to the rock hole is a rough journey in a 4WD, so be prepared for some bumps! 

John Hayes Rockhole Renae Saxby

John Hayes Rockhole (We Are Explorers/Renae Saxby)

Chain of Ponds WAE Renae Saxby

Chain of Ponds (We Are Explorers/Renae Saxby)

Staying At Trephina Gorge

There are four campsites located at Trephina Gorge Nature Park.

The Bluff, Panorama and Gorge Campgrounds are all found near Trephina Gorge. Panorama campground suitable for caravans/trailers, not tents. Gorge / Bluff campground only suitable for tents, not caravans/trailers. The Rock Hole Campground is on the other side of the park; near John Hayes Rock Hole. The lattermost campsite is only accessible via 4WD or a 9km walk via Ridgetop Walk, camping only. 

Campground facilities include;

  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Gas BBQs
  • Fire pits
  • Drinking water

Campsites are bookable online here, and no longer payable onsite ($4/adult, $2/child).

Trephina Gorge campsite Apollo

Apollo motorhome at Trephina Gorge Campground

Trephina sitting around firepit

Couple sitting around firepit at Trephina Gorge Campground

Trephina sitting around firepit

Tent setup at Trephina Gorge Campground (We Are Explorers/Renae Saxby)

How To Get There

Trephina Gorge Nature Park is located 85km East of Alice Springs, off the Ross Highway. The road into Trephina Gorge carpark is on unsealed road, so be sure to drive to the conditions and your vehicles capabilities.

The journey to John Hayes Rock Hole and the Chain of Ponds is only accessible by 4 wheel drive, so if you are keen for a swim or walk, it’s best practice to bring a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Trephina Gorge WAE Renae Saxby

Trephina Ridgetop Walk (We Are Explorers/Renae Saxby)

Safety Precautions

A few simple safety considerations will give you an enjoyable and exciting experience at Trephina Gorge.

In the period from October to March, temperatures in the region can get quite high. In some locations, the heat has been known to go over 40 degrees Celsius. Sunscreen, a hat and enough water to keep yourself hydrated will be essential. It is recommended to walk earlier in the day finishing by 11am to avoid the hottest part of the day, especially if the weather forecast on the day of your visit indicates extreme heat. 

Apart from being aware of the temperature, you’ll need to focus on a couple of additional safety considerations. There are safety signs throughout the park. Pay attention to the information on those in order to avoid some common dangers.

A few of the key safety precautions include:

  • Having insect repellent
  • Not touching plants and animals while hiking through the park
  • Making sure your shoes are supportive and comfortable enough
  • Wearing comfortable clothing
  • Keeping to designated roads and tracks, not straying away
  • Not climbing rocks in the gorge
  • Lighting fires only in the designated firepits

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