Set off early on a relaxing tour of these remarkable ranges
The West MacDonnell Ranges are easily accessible from Alice Springs. These ranges are the western end of the expansive MacDonnell Ranges – which run both east and west of Alice Springs, with the town lying in a gap near the middle. Take a tour heading west with a friendly guide and expect to see stunning ranges, gorges and waterholes, flora and fauna.
Spot wildlife and gaze upwards at Angkerle Atwatye
Standley Chasm Angkerle Atwatye is a spectacular geological icon of Central Australia. It’s located in a private flora and fauna reserve owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust, and boasts a dramatic 80m sheer rock-face accessed along a trail that follows the natural creek bed. As you walk, look out for the native wildlife and birds that call this special place home.
Take a dip at the Ellery Creek Big Hole
Visit this internationally renowned geological site and take a dip in the refreshing waterhole. The swimming hole – which has been formed over thousands of years thanks to massive flood in the area – is surrounded by vast red cliffs, creating a very special environment in which to kick back and relax for an hour or two.
Stop in at the pits on the way to a gorge
The Ochre Pits is a sacred site in the West MacDonnell Ranges, where you can learn about why and how ochre forms such an important part of Aboriginal culture. From here, head to the rugged Ormiston Gorge and another beautiful swimming hole. On the way back to Alice Springs, take a walk through Simpsons Gap, one of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges. This place is known for its flora and fauna – see if you can spot any curious wildlife.
Get to know the locals
An evening tour of the Alice Springs Kangaroo Sanctuary – home to rescued kangaroos and other wildlife – is a wonderful way to end the day. Having spent the day snoozing in the shade, the roos awaken as the day ends. Pre-book your tour and take a leisurely walk around the sanctuary amongst these iconic Australian animals.
Enjoy a relaxed dinner on the deck
End the day with a delicious dinner on the deck of the Juicy Rump at Lasseters Casino, which overlooks the ranges that you have spent the day exploring. Burgers, schnitzel and icy cold beers are the order of the day.