Simpsons Gap is one of the most famous sights along the West MacDonnell Ranges. Set in the tranquil surrounds of a permanent waterhole shaded by towering cliffs and ghost gums, we guarantee it will become a destination you will never forget.
The traditional owners of the land, the Arrarnta people, have lived in the region for at least 30,000 years and regard Simpsons Gap (also known as Rungutjirpa) as the spiritual site of the Dreamtime stories of the giant goanna ancestors as well as the eagle and rock wallaby.
Things to know about Simpsons Gap
Located only 18 kilometres from Alice Springs, Simpsons Gap is the perfect getaway for a quick but encompassing experience of the incredible West MacDonnell Ranges.
You can visit the area at almost any time of the year, as it remains relatively shady in summer and cool year-round, especially compared to the famously hot tip of the Northern Territory. However, the best time to visit Simpsons Gap is always early in the morning or in the late afternoon when the incredibly deep reds and oranges of the outback come to life across the horizon.
When visiting, it is important to know that all historic and cultural items, as well as the wildlife of Simpsons Gap are protected. This means that visitors are not allowed to swim in the waterhole and must always get permission before taking photographs of others.
Local wildlife to Simpsons Gap
Simpsons Gap has some of the most plentiful and rare vegetation within the West MacDonnell Ranges, with large stands of mulga, and over 40 different varieties of rare and relict plants Water flows through a small gap in the ranges providing a sheltering haven for a range of native wildlife like the resident black footed rock wallabies which playfully hide among the rocks.
AAT Kings’ tours that visit Simpsons Gap
West MacDonnell Ranges – Full Day Tour
On our full Day Tour, a knowledgeable guide will share with you the history and cultural significance of the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges, a truly unique part of outback Australia.
The West MacDonnell Ranges are enormous and stretch across 600 kilometres east and west of Alice Springs. Aside from Simpsons Gap, the Full Day Tour also visits the beautiful Standley Chasm, a geological marvel, where a narrow gap, 80 metres high of quartzite rock, was formed through a steady stream over thousands of years.
On top of that you will also visit the Ellery Creek Big Hole, the Ormiston Gorge, the Ochre Pits and enjoy a bushman’s lunch at the Ellery Creek Gorge. If you’re short on time but would like to see as much of West MacDonnell Ranges as possible, this is the tour for you.
View the full itinerary for the West MacDonnell Ranges Full Day Tour.
Outback Adventure – 15 Day Guided Holiday
For those who have always wanted to discover the central gateway of Australia, from Adelaide to Darwin, then there is no better way than on our 15 Day Outback Adventure Guided Holiday.
The tour starts in South Australia, famous for their incredible food, wine, and splendorous natural environment. First off you will enjoy their finest food, with an expert guide, at the Adelaide Central Market and then on to tasting the world-class wines in Clare Valley. Afterwards you’ll see more of the great Australian outback by exploring Wilpena Pound and discovering the opals at Coober Pedy.
Next off you will arrive in the iconic Red Centre, spending three days awe-struck by the beauty of Uluru. Along this stretch there are many other day trips in the Alice Springs surrounds, including famous locations like the West MacDonnell Ranges and Kings Canyon.
The final section of your Guided Holiday will explore Australia’s Top End, where you’ll experience the natural wonders of the Litchfield National Park and Kakadu National Park.
View the full itinerary for the Outback Adventure 15 Day Guided Holiday.
Outback Safari – 11 Day Guided Holiday
The 11 Day Outback Safari Guided Holiday is perfect for those looking to tick off a visit to the sacred sites of the Northern Territory from their bucket list in style.
The Guided Holiday starts from the base of Central Australia, at Australia’s most famous natural icon – Uluru. From there, the itinerary will take you through the best that the Northern Territory has to offer, including the 36 mystical domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and the fabled Yellow Water Billabong which is located within Kakadu National Park.
Our friendly Travel Directors and Driver Guides enrich your experience with their deep knowledge of the area as you enjoy the scenery from within a fully air-conditioned luxury coach.
View the full itinerary for the Outback Safari 11 Day Guided Holiday.
Browse our tours below to learn more about experiencing Simpsons Gap.