Serpentine Gorge Waterhole

West MacDonnell National Park
Many walks are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please,
  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

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.

No Swimming
Bird Watching
Heritage Sites
No Dogs Permitted
Arid or Desert
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

From Alice Springs, head west out of town on Larapinta Drive/Namatjira Drive (Red Centre Way) towards Glen Helen for 101km before turning right (signposted) and travelling 1.8km on a graded track to the car park.


West MacDonnell National Park

Route/Trail notes:

For the less energetic, follow the well trodden path from the car park in towards the gorge. After 900m, carry straight on rather than the steps to the right and after a further 250m, you will reach the cool of the waterhole. Return by the same route.



Other References/Comments:

If you really want something special, then take the 1.5hr return climb onto the western ridge of the gorge (section 8 of the Larapinta Trail).

This is just one of a dozen or more walks that are accessible along the 130km stretch of Larapinta/Namatjira Drive from Alice Springs to Glen Helen. Recommendation is to spend two/three days completing all the walks by taking an overnighter at the Glen Helen pub.


Having climbed to the lookout above the gorge, we ducked into the cool of the waterhole on the return leg.

F.A.B. on 8 Jun, 2019

The fourth and final walk on the first day. Stunning and very enjoyable. We stayed the night here.

Brian on 12 Aug, 2017


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