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.

No Swimming
Picnic Facilities
No Dogs Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

From Alice Springs, head west out of town on Larapinta Drive (Red Centre Way) for 18km before turning right (signposted) and travelling 7km to the car park.


West MacDonnell National Park

Route/Trail notes:

A straightforward short walk in from the car park along the creek bed to the waterhole and back.



Other References/Comments:

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.


A full day in the West MacDonnell Ranges, was all we had time for on this trip (really needed two/three to cover all the walks, with an overnight at Glenn Helen), so headed out early and this was our first port of call. Great spectacle and yes we spotted the Black-footed Rock-wallabies and as the ranger was doing his rounds, he was happy to provide an overview of the area for us.

F.A.B. on 8 Jun, 2019

Nice quick walk.

Holger on 2 Apr, 2018

First stop on our three days in the Western MacDonnell ranges. Very impressive.

Brian on 12 Aug, 2017

Easy Walk, Great photo opportunities

DrummerJeff on 20 Jun, 2011

Nice easy walk with good views, especially in the morning.

NerdTrails on 25 Jun, 2008

Lots has changed since I was there, and it was beautiful then..

Martin Erickson on 1990

Thoroughly enjoyed exploring this region.

Adam on 1990


Click here to load this map.

Nearby Walks

Done this walk?

This walk has been ticked 25 times

Aussie Bushwalking can keep track of your bushwalks.

Login/signup to tick this walk off.

Tick walks to keep track of where you've been. You must Login to tick walks. Accounts are 100% free so sign up if you don't have one.