Eastern Macdonnell Ranges National Parks from Alice Springs travel information for self drive visitors guide

East MacDonnell Ranges
: Access driving via the sealed south from Alice Springs after some 75km it becomes unsealed. .
East MacDonnell Ranges National Park and surrounding areas
Arltunga Historical Reserve and hotel or campingTrephina GorgeEmily Jessie GapCorroboree RockRoss River ResortRuby GapN'Dhala Gorge Nature Reserve Gemtree Chambers PillarRainbow Valley

The East and West MacDonnell Ranges

The East and West MacDonnell Ranges stretch out for hundreds of kilometres on both sides of Alice Springs. The traditional owners of the Alice Springs area, the Arrernte people, believe giant caterpillars called the Yeperenye became the Ranges - they entered this world through one of the dramatic gaps in the escarpments of the area.

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are easily accessed from Alice Springs. Each of the West MacDonnell Ranges chasms and gorges has its own unique character and scenery. Simpsons Gap sports a permanent pool and rock wallabies live in the gap's rocky ridges. Standley Chasm lights up in fiery colours reflected by the overhead sun at midday. Picturesque swimming holes such as Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge and Redbank Gorge offer refreshing relief on a scorching day. It is also possible to visit the Ochre Pits that desert Aboriginal people once used as a quarry for ochre pigments.

The East MacDonnell Ranges, while not as well known as the West MacDonnell Ranges, do provide beautiful scenery for bush walking, camping and four-wheel-driving. Visit Arltunga, a ghost town that was the site of a gold rush in the 1930's. Other places of spectacular natural beauty like Trephina Gorge, make a trip to the East MacDonnell Ranges more than worthwhile.

Access: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/access_alice.html

Trephina Gorge

Trephina Gorge, in the East MacDonnell Ranges, is noted for its sheer quartzite cliffs and River Red Gum lined watercourses. Two gorges dissect the range: Trephina, with its wide views and sandy creekbed, and John Hayes Rock Hole with steep, narrow rock walls.

From the Trephina Gorge intersection with the Ross Highway it’s only 12km to Ross River Resort.

Steep ravine road in please check tourist information centre in Alice before trying to take a motorhome down here or camper (not recommended from personal experince very steep at one point decline)

Access: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/access_alice.html

The Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park

These small Gaps in the Heavitree Range are the first features you come to on your trip into the East MacDonnell Ranges. They contain interesting Aboriginal paintings and are important spiritual sites to the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people. The Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park, a scenic area close to Alice Springs, is an example of the Parks and Wildlife Commission’s commitment to the Northern Territory’s rich and diverse Aboriginal culture. The Park protects sacred sites and galleries of rock painting significant to the Arrernte Aboriginal people and associated with the Yeperenye (caterpillar) and other dreamings.

Access: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/access_alice.html


Corroboree Rock

Corroboree Rock Conservation Reserve is about an hour's easy drive from Alice Springs. Corroboree Rock is an outstanding dark grey column of dolomite. It is of great importance to the Aboriginal people of the region. The rock itself is an outcrop of dolomite from the Bitter Springs Formation originally laid down in salty lakes 800 million years ago. Dolomite is a soft sedimentary fine grained rock. It is very similar to limestone except magnesium carbonate is the dominant compound rather than calcium carbonate. At the base of the rock you can see dark grey and light grey streaky blobs of 'dalmation rock'. A ring of low ground surrounding the rock makes it look like an obelisk.


Ross River Resort

Ross River Resort has a variety of attractions and activities for you to enjoy. Abundant birdlife, Bushwalking, Sunset Camel tours and Hot Air Ballooning can be organised on request through Frontier Camel Tours.
Accommodation & Rates Cabins - from AUD $50.00 per person/per night/twin share
Bunkhouse - Adults from AUD $22
Camping Ground - from AUD $10 *Rates subject to change without notice.
• Web www.rossriverresort.com.au
A tourist facility formed around the original Loves Creek Homestead built in 1898 by the pioneering Bloomfield family as a working cattle station.


N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park

N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park is located 90 kilometres East of Alice Springs, via the Ross Highway and is accessable by four-wheel drive only. This shady gorge contains a wide range of rock carvings and paintings. There are well over 6,000 individual petroglyphs (prehistoric carvings) as well as art sites and shelter sites. One way that Petroglyphs were created was by holding a sharp stone against the rock and striking it with a heavier stone.



Arltunga is located on the 5 000 hectare Arltunga Historical Reserve. The Arltunga Historical Reserve was established in 1975 and since then there has been a systematic attempt to restore and maintain the existing buildings. At Arltunga Historical Reserve you'll find a complete ghost town - with the remains of mines, mining camps and stone buildings. The police station and gaol have been completely restored and there are even old mines you can walk through.



Darwin to Alice Springs





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Darwin to Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway travel information for self drive visitors guide. 1500 klm a jouney to remember and you have never really known Australian until you visit both Uluru (Ayers Rock), Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) and Kakadu.

  • Travel from Darwin to Litchfield National Park back track to the Arnhem Highway onto Jabiru and then down the Kakadu Highway onto Pine Creek then Katherine and straight through another approximate 1200klm to Alice Springs stopping at Katherine and Katherine Gorge, Tennant Creek, Devils Marbles and the many road houses, wayside inns, hotels and fuel stops along the way and really enjoy true outback hospitality and the flavour of our territory. Option 2 do the reverse from Alice Springs to Darwin and which is better the choice is yours.

  • • Tropical Darwin capital city

    Once a sleepy outback town now a small city now a thriving industrial and tourism hub. Darwin city sits on a peninsula, next the outer city of Palmerston 30klm away and outer Darwin small farm lots of 5 acres to 320 acres agricultural lands.

    Darwin Australia

  • • Kakadu National Park

    Visit Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia. 2 different access sealed highways into Kakadu it's a desintaion for tourists on vacation seeking a 5 day experience. Visit pristine waters, wildlife cruises and ancient Aboriginal rock art.

    Kakadu National Park

  • • Litchfield National Park

    Visit Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia. Visit nearby Litchfield National Park and see stunning waterfalls and amazing termite mounds – and swim safely in crystal-clear swimming holes such as Buley Rock Holes and Lower Cascades.

    Litchfield National Park

  • Katherine Gorge Nitmiluk

    Visit Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park,Northern Territory, Australia. The most comfortable months to visit the Park are from May to September. The wet season causes flooding of the Katherine River and restrictions on some of the activities available.

    Katherine Gorge
  • Katherine south of Darwin

    Visit Katherine in Northern Territory, Australia! With a population of over 9,804 people Katherine is a modern thriving regional center and excellent town to setup your camp at with it's caravan parks in the town and at Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park.

  • Mataranka Thermal Springs

    Visit Mataranka township and just off Stuart Highway in Elsey National Park.the famous Mataranka Thermal Springs is fed by spring water from the Daly and Georgina basins ata volume of 30.5 million litres per day. Surrounded by a palm forest 34C degrees.

    Mataranka Thermal Springs
  • The Devils Marbles

    Karlu Karlu known Devils Marbles. The Karlu Karlu Conservation Reserve, stretches 1,802 hectares and is home to a wide variety of desert flora and fauna, including goannas and finches. Located just approximately 100 kilometers south of Tennant Creek.

    Devils Marbles
  • Town of Alice Springs

    Alice Springs known just as Alice has both western and Aboriginal influences. The town's central Todd Mall has numerous Aboriginal art galleries. Alice Springs desert lifestyle has several unique events such as the Camel Cup and Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

    Alice Springs
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Tourism
    Uluru Kata Tjuta Park

    Uluru wasn't always known as Uluru actually it was named Ayers Rock and the same for Kata Tjuta was The Olgas. Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park though around 6 hours comfortable 2wd drive from Alice Springs is 452km away southwest of the town.

    Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park