West MacDonnell National Park

Popular Walks

Parent Regions

History

Any interesting history for the region?

Features

What are the standout bushwalking features?

Access

How do you get there? Include all access points if there are many?

Maps

Which maps cover the region?

Accommodation

Where can I stay there? or near there?

Camping

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Contact details

Contact details for National Park offices or similar...

Easy
1.8 km return
45 mins

Cassia Hill

This walk gives excellent elevated views of the range and Simpsons Gap area. The walk illustrates local plants and a self-guided walk sheet is available.

Easy
800 m return
30 mins

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Ellery Creek Big Hole is a spectacular waterhole in the mighty Ellery Creek, which cuts through a gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Thousands of years of massive floods have carved out this beautiful waterhole and unlocked some amazing geology.

Very Hard
223 km
17 days

Larapinta Trail

223km hike from Alice Springs to Redbank Gorge or vice versa along the West MacDonnell Range.

Hard
14.1 km return
4 hrs

Mount Sonder

Great Views - Highly recommended!
Just over 14km return from the car park.
Well worth the hike to the summit for sunrise, well maintained track with reflective markers.
Steep steps approx 1km from the carpark. Once pass the 3km marker ground is relatively flat with gradual incline.
Good rest spot Approx 5.5km, caution required when approaching in windy conditions or at night exposed steps.
Return via same track, very little shade on return and temperatures can vary rapidly. To avoid heatstroke pack plenty of water and a hat. In colder months warm layers of clothing and wind proof jackets are a must!

Easy
1.4 km return
30 mins

Ochre Pits

A colourful outcrop of ochre on the banks of a sandy creek. Ochre has always been an important part of Aboriginal culture and a vital part of everyday life. For medicinal purposes red ochre can be mixed with grease and applied as an ointment and to relieve congestion when mixed with eucalyptus leaves. White ochre was used as a magical charm, when mixed with water and blown from the mouth it is believed to abate the heat of the sun or the force of the wind. Weapons were painted with ochre to increase the success of hunting. It also protected the wooden weapons from termites.

Medium
7 km return
3 hrs

Ormiston Gorge and Pound

This walk is not as tough as is made out. It's basically a big loop through the desert leading into the back of Ormiston Gorge. Obviously the time of year makes a difference as summer would be very hot. The majority of people on the track appeared to have guides but it's a very good walk to do solo (if you can find five minutes without fellow walkers!). The views of the MacDonnells are spectacular and the entry into the back of the gorge a delight. I felt much more a part of it than standing on the viewing platform. If you want a walk within 150 km of Alice, this is a good one!

Medium
2.8 km return
1 hr

Serpentine Gorge Lookout

Serpentine Gorge is a sacred site to Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, who call it Ulpma.
The Dreaming Story of the Carpet Snake and this place is associated with an Eaglehawk ancestor, the full story of which can only be told to initiated Aboriginal men.

Easy
2.3 km return
45 mins

Serpentine Gorge Waterhole

Serpentine Gorge is a sacred site to Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, who call it Ulpma.
The Dreaming Story of the Carpet Snake and this place is associated with an Eaglehawk ancestor, the full story of which can only be told to initiated Aboriginal men.

Easy
1 km return
30 mins

Simpsons Gap

A number of scenic gaps pierce the West MacDonnell Ranges, one of which is Simpsons Gap; site of one of the most prominent waterholes in the region. The area is an important spiritual site to the Aranda Aboriginal people, where several dreaming trails and stories cross. At dawn or dusk Simpsons Gap is renowned as a place to see Black-footed Rock-wallabies along the gap's short walking track. Good examples of many of the vegetation communities of the MacDonnell Ranges are found in the Simpsons Gap area, including large stands of Mulga, and the area around the gap is a major stronghold for some of the rare and relic plants of the region.

Easy
1.2 km return
45 mins

Standley Chasm

Although the track is rough in parts, most active visitors will find the 20 minute one-way walk to be quite easy. However, the conditions require that sensible walking shoes be worn.