Ormiston Gorge Tours

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Ormiston Gorge
One of the star attractions of central Australia’s West MacDonnell Ranges, Ormiston Gorge has stark red walls that house an almost permanent waterhole and attractive ghost gum trees. Facilities include a visitor center, a campground, and a kiosk, while the gorge forms the trailhead for sections 9 and 10 of the Larapinta Trail.

The Basics
Ormiston Gorge tours start from Alice Springs, the tourism epicenter of Australia’s Red Centre. Camp under the stars on a multi-day 4WD Outback Australia adventure featuring iconic sites such as Ayers Rock (Uluru), the Olgas (Kata Tjuta), and Kings Canyon. Alternatively, head out on a day trip, perhaps combining Ormiston Gorge with other West MacDonnell National Park (Tjoritja) highlights such as Ellery Creek Big Hole and Simpsons Gap. You might also visit while hiking the Larapinta Trail.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Ormiston Gorge is a must for photographers, Instagrammers, landscape lovers, and geology enthusiasts.
  • Temperatures in the waterhole can be extremely cold. Think twice before jumping in during the heat of the day.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen, and bring plenty of water and bug spray.
  • Closed shoes are advisable when walking here.
  • Ormiston Gorge is reasonably accessible by Northern Territory standards, with accessible bathrooms, an accessible overlook, and parking suitable for travelers with disabilities. A paved, wheelchair-friendly path runs down to the waterhole.

How to Get There
Ormiston Gorge sits in the West MacDonnell Ranges, central Australia, around 84 miles (135 kilometers) west of Alice Springs. There is no public transport, and many international travelers prefer the convenience of a door-to-door tour from Alice Springs to discovering left-side driving. A few hardy hikers arrive by way of the long-distance Larapinta Trail.

When to Get There
As with other natural attractions in Australia’s Red Centre, avoid visiting Ormiston Gorge during the heat of the Australian summer (December through February). The light is best just after sunrise, when you are also more likely to have the site to yourself, although this is far from guaranteed, especially over Australian vacation periods and on weekends. Note that kiosk hours can vary.

Ormiston Gorge Walks
You don’t need to hike the 139-mile (223-kilometer) Larapinta Trail to experience Ormiston Gorge. The 20-minute Ghost Gum Lookout walk delivers dramatic views of the gorge’s quartzite walls; the half-day Ormiston Pound walk reveals the area’s unique geology; or simply stroll up to the waterhole for a quick dip. Walking trails are clearly marked.
Address: Mount Zeil, Northern Territory, Australia 0872, Australia
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5-Day Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta 4WD Camping Tour

Camp in the Outback on this 5-day tour of Australia’s Red Centre, departing from Alice Springs. Travel by 4WD vehicle to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges. Swim in rock holes, take guided walks, and see the monoliths at sunrise and sunset. On a visit to the Oak Valley Aboriginal Community, you’ll witness ancient cave paintings and hear storytelling by Aboriginal guides. Enjoy campfire meals and sleep under the stars in private bush camps on this small-group tour, limited to 16 people.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Duration: 5 days
From  
$877.63 USD
From  
$877.63 USD
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4-Day 4WD Camping Tour: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon

Explore the Australian Outback on a four-day camping tour that takes you to iconic sites in the Red Centre, including Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges. Begin the tour in Alice Springs or Ayers Rock and travel with your expert guide by 4WD-vehicle. Hike, swim and sleep in a swag or permanent tent under the stars on a small-group tour that is limited to 16 people for a more customized experience of stunning Central Australia.
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Duration: 4 days
From  
$772.03 USD
From  
$772.03 USD
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West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs

Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges on a full-day tour from Alice Springs. Travel with an expert guide to highlights such as Simpsons Gap, Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits, Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Glen Helen. Have time to enjoy the region's natural beauty and capture photo ops of the Australian Outback as you hike into rock canyons, discover hidden waterholes and view historical sites. Chances to swim and hike along the way
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Duration: 10 hours
From  
$101.24 USD
From  
$101.24 USD
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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785