Walking & hikingaround Alice Springs
Discover gorges, waterholes and red desert landscapes on short walks and long treks in and around Alice Springs.
Experience the Alice Springs region’s colourful landscapes and wildlife on a trek through Central Australia. Choose from short walks in the town itself to longer hikes in the ranges surrounding the town or the epic Larapinta Trail –one of the world’s best.
One of the world’s best walks is right on Alice’s doorstep. Tackle all or part of the Larapinta Trail, a 223km walking trail, voted by National Geographic as one of the top 20 trekking experiences on the planet.
The trail begins in Alice Springs and snakes through the West MacDonnell National Park. It’s divided into 12 sections, so you can join or leave it at any point, rather than covering the whole distance. Hike for seven days or one.
You’ll take in the spectacular landforms of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Walk to a local watering hole and take a dip, or camp beside an open fire and gaze up at the night sky. People before you say the Larapinta Trail is one of those life-changing experiences.
Ormiston Pound Walk
Ormiston Gorge lies 135km (2 hours’ drive) west of Alice Springs, and many call it the best half-day walk in the West MacDonnell National Park. The rocky trail is rated as moderate and climbs to the rim of the Pound before dropping into the gorge and its waterholes.
45 minutes’ drive east of Alice Springs you’ll find the striking dolomite outcrop in the Corroboree Rock Conservation Reserve, a sacred site for the local Western Arrernte people. Take a short 15 minute walk around the base of the rock formations.
Emily & Jessie Gaps
Emily and Jessie Gap are just 15 minutes’ drive east of Alice Springs in the East MacDonnell Ranges. You can walk through both sandy gorges to see Aboriginal rock art on the gorge walls. Signs explain the ‘Caterpillar trail’ story that explains how the landscape was formed.
Officially opened in 2021, the Yeperenye trail is a 7.2km walking track that connects Emily and Jessie Gaps, following the contours of the East MacDonnell Ranges.
Around Alice Springs town
Right in town, the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens offer a few walks through this haven of native greenery. The short walking tracks give views of the town centre and MacDonnell ranges. You might even spot a few wallaroos hopping around the hills at dawn and dusk. Take the Hill Walk (40 minutes return) for excellent views.
Take one of the many walks from the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, just 10 minutes’ drive north of the town centre. You can also take the Riverside Walk from the town to the telegraph station (3.5km one way). You’ll spot plenty of wildlife, including the wallaroos that live among the rocks.