A short journey west of Alice Springs lies Standley Chasm, traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, a natural wonder that cuts through the quartzite rock of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The narrow gap, formed by rushing floodwaters over thousands of years, created an alleyway through walls of rock that reaches up to 80 metres in height.
Wander through the chasm and admire the vibrant contrast between the rugged red rock and lush green cycads which have survived in this environment thanks to a small but steady flow of water. If you’re lucky you might even spot some wallabies darting across the divide.
Key facts about Standley Chasm
The chasm is placed within a private flora and fauna reserve owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust and operated by the traditional owners, the Angkerle Aboriginal Corporation, who are direct descendants of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal People.
The unique microclimate in the valley has created ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and all native plants and animals are protected. Standley Chasm itself is a Rock Wallaby Dreaming Place that’s sacred to Arrente women. In traditional times only women could come here to collect bush medicines and perform sacred rites, the stories and songs could only be passed onto a woman that had been through the appropriate ceremonies.
AAT Tours that explore Standley Chasm
West MacDonnell Ranges – Full Day Tour
The West MacDonnell Ranges are found a short 35-minute drive from Alice Springs and feature some of the most spectacular scenery that the Northern Territory has to offer. Standley Chasm is one of many featured destinations throughout the West MacDonnell Ranges Full Day Tour, where you’ll also visit: Simpsons Gap, The Ochre Pits, Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Gorge, and the Ellery Creek Big Hole. The day tour includes a fresh bushman’s lunch, enjoyed while overlooking the Glen Helen Gorge and commentary from an experienced guide – enlivening your trip through their local knowledge and insights of the area.
Learn more about our West MacDonnell Ranges Day Tour!
Red Centre Discovery – 6 Day Short Break
For those that are looking to be fully immersed in Australia’s iconic Red Centre, this is the ideal Short Break. See an unforgettable Uluru sunrise and sunset, enjoy a delicious BBQ under a starlit sky, absorb the history and scenery of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. On day five you’ll visit the West MacDonnell Ranges, where you’ll experience the amazing ancient scenery of Standley Chasm, which is among many equally beautiful sights. This Short Break takes the trouble out of planning, with accommodation included and the transport handled for you. All you have to do is enjoy the scenery!
Learn more about our Red Centre Discovery Short Break!
Browse our tours below to learn more about our tours to Standley Chasm!