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  • Address: West MacDonnell National Park

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Western MacDonnell Ranges

In the heart of Australia’s Red Centre lie the Western MacDonnell ranges. 1,500 kilometres south of Darwin and just west of the infamous Alice Springs, the western MacDonnell Ranges offer an enchanting look into an ancient culture and an even older landscape.

The best ways to explore the often rugged territory are by 4WD, motor-home, or even on bike -a mode of transport that is surprisingly well catered for, with even the famous Simpson’s Gap providing a seven kilometre section of sealed bike track.

Covering an area of just over 2,000 square kilometres, the canyons, gorges, and waterholes in the National Park area provide a stunning and insightful backdrop for any number of outdoor activities, including camping, swimming, and hiking, to name a few.

Hiking enthusiasts should consider the 250 kilometre Larapinta Trail, which traverses the ranges from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder. This trail can be hiked either with a guided tour or independently, but independent hikers should seek expert guidance before their tour as the conditions can be harsh. Those not wishing to undertake the full length of the famous trail can choose to do shorter sections.

Dingoes, native fish, carpet pythons, and endemic birdlife frequent most areas of the Western MacDonnell ranges, especially those that are more obscure and located off the well travelled roads. The summer months see the Ormiston Gorge, in particular, a haven for a large assortment of native reptiles.

The Ranges are rich in indigenous culture and historical locales. The Ranges, like the rest of the Territory, are most pleasant in the cooler months of April to September. Camping facilities are well maintained and modern, and the National Park is accessible year round, with the exception of short periods of sporadic road closures following heavy rain.

Practical Info

The Western MacDonnell Ranges’ most popular attractions are best visited via Alice Springs, from where sealed roads are available as far as Glen Helen Resort. Tours to see local attractions, or hike local trails, can also be booked from Alice Springs.

Tours & Tickets

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Best 5-Day Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta 4WD Camping Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Experience the real Australian outback on this 5-day, small-group camping from Alice Springs. Travel by 4WD vehicle on- and off-road along bush tracks to Uluru ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $830.80

Best Uluru (Ayers Rock) and The Olgas Tour Including Sunset Dinner from Alice Springs

4.5 star rating: Recommended 74 Reviews

Get the full Ayers Rock experience on this day trip from Alice Springs to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. World Heritage-listed Uluru, the large sandstone ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 18 hours (approx.)

From USD $151.65

4-Day 4WD Camping Tour: Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Spend your days hiking, swimming and exploring, and sleep under the southern stars on a four-day Australian outback camping tour. Traveling by off-road 4WD ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $685.68

Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Sunset BBQ Dinner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Journey into the heart of Central Australia with two expert guides to experience the wonders of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta National Park, sacred sites ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 18 hours (approx.)

From USD $159.63

Best 2-Day Uluru (Ayers Rock), Camel Farm and Kata Tjuta Trip from Alice Springs

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Experience the wonder and mystery of Uluru and Kata Tjuta on a two-day tour from Alice Springs. You'll see all the highlights of Uluru (Ayers Rock), including ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 2 days/1 Night

From USD $506.46

West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges on a day trip from Alice Springs and visit sites including Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Glen ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 9 hours 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $71.83

Best 3-Day Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Highlights Tour including Sounds of Silence Dinner

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Stand in the shadows of one of Australia's icons, Uluru and Kata Tjuta on this 3-day tour departing from Alice Springs. Wonder at the rocky domes of sacred ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, concludes Ayers Rock, Australia
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights

From USD $674.80

2-Day Uluru (Ayers Rock) National Park Explorer Trip from Alice Springs

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Your two day independent coach tour includes the highlights of Uluru (Ayers Rock) National Park. Travel by luxury coach from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock and ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, concludes Ayers Rock, Australia
Duration: 2 Days / 1 Night

From USD $399.07

Alice Springs Camel Tour

Join a one-hour camel tour during your stay in Alice Springs. This gentle camel ride starts from Pyndan Station located approximately 20-minutes by road from ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $43.54

Aboriginal Cultural Tour from Alice Springs

Experience Aboriginal culture and history firsthand on a visit to Wallace Rockhole and Hermannsburg, accompanied by an expert guide. Learn about bush medicine, ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 9 hours 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $141.49

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