West MacDonnell Ranges
Welcome to the West MacDonnell Ranges
This morning you’re headed for the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. Your Driver Guide will point out significant landmarks and share details of the region’s history and rich culture.
Angkerle (Standley Chasm)
First stop is Angkerle (Standley Chasm). Take a walk along the stony watercourse, where spring-fed pools attract a great variety of wildlife and birds.
Ellery Creek Big Hole
Next you’ll arrive at Ellery Creek Big Hole, a spectacular waterhole in the mighty Ellery Creek, which cuts through a gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Thousands of years of massive floods have carved out this beautiful waterhole and unlocked some amazing geology.
Ochre has been used all over the world for decoration and painting since pre-historic times. At this location you can see the natural ochres in the cliff face that have provided a source of materials for Indigenous people for thousands of years.
Ormiston Gorge offers all the spectacular geology and landforms of the Tjoritja/MacDonnell Ranges. The rugged scenery of the gorge is complemented by a near-permanent waterhole, which attracts an interesting variety of native fauna and flora.
Enjoy a Ploughman’s lunch at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge with time to visit Glen Helen Gorge. The permanent waterhole here is home to many species of animals, including a variety of water birds and fish.
Included Meals: Lunch
Surrounded by towering cliffs, incredible Simpsons Gap is one of the best known destinations in the ranges and features a number of walking tracks. Walk through Simpsons Gap to the waterhole, keeping an eye out for the elusive black-footed rock wallabies hiding among the rocks. Enjoy the late afternoon sun reflecting on the MacDonnell Ranges as you return to Alice Springs.
Full Day Tour
Approximately 9.5 hours
Daily 8.00am from Alice Springs (earlier from your hotel)
Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts.
Find out more
- Ploughman’s lunch (1)
- Experienced Driver Guide
- Comprehensive commentary
- Travel in an air-conditioned coach
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
- Water bottle to hold 1 litre
- Jacket in cooler months
Low level of fitness required. There are uneven surfaces for the Standley Chasm walk.
Free hotel pick-ups
Hotel pick-ups are available free of charge if you do not wish to meet at the main departure point. Hotel pick up times vary so please use the tool below to find your hotel and pick up time. Hotel pick-ups must be requested with your booking.
Please be outside your hotel 5 minutes prior to pick-up time
Find your hotel pick up time
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350–300 million years ago a mountain-building event created the MacDonnell Ranges.
The ranges were named after Sir Richard MacDonnell (the Governor of South Australia at the time) by John McDouall Stuart, whose 1860 expedition reached them in April of that year.
The West MacDonnell National Park stretches 161 km due west of Alice Springs.
The MacDonnell Ranges were often depicted in the paintings of famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.