Yeperenye Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park

East MacDonnell Ranges National Parks and Reserves

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Yeperenye Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park are the first noticeable features of the East MacDonnell Ranges. Pack a picnic, watch the local wildlife, or follow a short walking track into both gaps. At Emily Gap you can see a large rock painting depicting the Yeperenye or caterpillar dreaming.


The two small gaps in the Heavitree Range are important spiritual sites to the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people. Many places in the surrounding landscape are associated with the same caterpillar Dreamtime story, and form a 'Dreaming Trail' or 'Song Line' through the region. Emily Gap is a significant sacred site where the caterpillar beings of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) originated. These caterpillars formed Emily Gap and many of the topographic features around Alice Springs, then radiated out to the edge of the Simpson Desert.

The first European sighting of Emily and Jessie Gap was in 1871. It was thought that the names Emily and Jessie were chosen after the daughters of Sir Charles Todd, but this was found to be untrue. The basis on which the names are derived is unknown.

Camping is NOT permitted at either site.


  • Barbeque

Map & Directions

Ross Highway, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0870 Australia


These significant features are an easy 15-minute drive along the sealed Ross Highway South East of Alice Springs.

Phone 8951 8250


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