West MacDonnell National Park Nature & adventure

Our most recommended West MacDonnell National Park Nature & adventure

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

1. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

Be picked up from your Alice Springs accommodation at 7:45 AM and set off on a day of adventure and exploration! Enjoy the spectacular outback scenery and photo opportunities as you travel along the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges, stopping at historic sites. Enjoy beautiful walks at Simpsons Gap, a natural rock amphitheater that is home to endangered black-footed rock wallabies. Stop at Standley Chasm for morning tea and a leisurely stroll. At Ochre Pits, discover rock walls covered by natural colored ochre, used for sacred ceremonies of the local Aboriginal people. Ormiston Gorge is up next: a great place for a swim, or to see the towering walls of the gorge and pound, local plants and wildlife. By now, you will have certainly worked up an appetite for lunch. The next stop is at Glen Helen. The landscape here is spectacular - a towering sandstone wall is the first thing you see as you arrive. The area includes views of Mount Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia, which changes colors with the light.  On the way back to Alice Springs, witness the famous and enchanting Ellery Creek Big Hole. This waterhole is one of Central Australia’s most pristine, so don’t forget your swimmers in the warmer months. Visit Flynns Memorial and from October to March, you may decide to partake in an incredible Sunset Camel Ride at the Camel farm (optional, at your own expense). The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary for their immensity and the spectacular array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples on display. These mighty ranges light up in brilliant oranges and reds at sunset on the return trip to Alice Springs. Get dropped off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at approximately 5:30 PM.

From Alice Springs: Palm Valley 4WD Outback Safari + Picnic

2. From Alice Springs: Palm Valley 4WD Outback Safari + Picnic

Enjoy an exciting 1-day safari on a four-wheel drive from Alice Springs through the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges to Hermannsburg, an Aboriginal community and historic precinct. Hermannsburg is renowned for its Aboriginal art collection, in particular the works of famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira. Enjoy a leisurely tea in Hermannsburg, and then set off on your 4WD for the second half of the adventure. Travel down the bed of the Finke River, one of oldest water courses in the world, into the stunning Palm Valley. Admire the spectacular rock formations, such as the one known as the Amphitheatre, and the lush palm trees of the oasis rising out of the white sand. Keep your eyes peeled for native plants such as the cycad and the Livistonia Mariae. Enjoy a picnic lunch within the beautiful Finke Gorge National Park, and on your return journey, relax and enjoy the changing colors of the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

3. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary with their immensity and array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples. View spectacular outback scenery and take photos as you travel along through magnificent Outback Country, making stops at the many historic locations. Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, resting place of Reverend Flynn, founder of The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as the home of giant goanna ancestors. Take a walk to sport black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. Lastly, you will visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place, sacred to womens’ dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 0.75 mile (1.2km) walk to access the dramatic 262 foot (80 metre) tall rock-face. On the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape here, the unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old, washed down from miles upstream. After your walk enjoy Morning Tea at local cafe. Then make your way back to Alice Springs where you will have the afternoon free to explore.

Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

4. Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as being the home of giant goanna ancestors. Following that, take a walk to spot black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. You'll then visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place which is sacred to women's dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 1.2-kilometer walk to access the dramatic 80-meter-tall rock-face, and on the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape. The unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old. After your walk, enjoy morning tea at a local cafe before heading back to Alice Springs for some free time for lunch before setting off again to explore the town. In the afternoon, tour the sights of "The Alice" including the School of the Air. Learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio, and you may have the opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. Stop at the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, where you will see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote "outback". You'll also stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close and maybe touch some of the lizards and snakes of Central Australia's semi-arid desert. The tour later concludes with panoramic views of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Other Sightseeing Options in West MacDonnell National Park

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What people are saying about West MacDonnell National Park

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 67 reviews

This was an Amazing tour with an incredibly knowledgeable tour guide. Karen spoke about all of the history and people who were important to the tribal people and development of the land. She drove excellently and was a wealth of information. A great trip! Her training guide also helped and had some knowledge to share too. My favourite Stanley chasm and Ellery creek.

A great day through the macdonnell ranges! Stunning scenery, a great sense of history and interesting facts await within this tour. We didn't spend too long on the bus either which is a plus in my book!

The lakes were nice and the Locations were amzing. Guides were really nice and had a lot of Knowledge. Maybe not enough time at the different spots

Amazing time exploring the west McDonald ranges! Our guide David was great and the area was definitely worth the hype.

great day out..see a fee of the gorges and waterholes