|West MacDonnell Ranges|
Simpsons Gap where the river cut through solid rock now forming a pleasant home for rock wallabies only a few kilometres up the road from the CBD, Simpsons Gap is one of a number of breathtaking narrow gorges in the area, showcasing the power and persistence of Mother Nature.
Standley Chasm is probably the most spectacular of all the gorges around Alice Springs. Less than seven metres across at its widest point and 80 metres deep, sunlight illuminates the bottom for a mere fifteen minutes a day! Visitors timing their trip with the suns mid-day passage are in for quite a spectacle.
Ellery Creek Big Hole high red cliffs, a large waterhole and a sandy creek make this one of the most popular picnicking spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges. A swim in the waterhole is a refreshing break after sightseeing but the Hole is also recognised as an internationally significant geological site.
Serpentine Gorge a lookout above the cliffs gives visitors a birds-eye-view of the narrow, winding gorge and its series of semi-permanent waterholes. River Red Gums line the well-marked walking trails that vary between 1 and 3 kilometres in length.
Ochre Pits a cliff face of various coloured ochres, for generations, the desert Aboriginal people used this place to mine ochre pigments which they used in their paintings and ceremonial body decoration.
Ormiston Gorge and Pound feature some of the most spectacular scenery in the West MacDonnell Ranges. The gorge has a near permanent waterhole, estimated to be up to 14 metres deep. The area is home to some interesting fauna and flora including a number of relic plant species from its tropical past.
Glen Helen Gorge formed from quartzite, is one of the most beautiful attractions along the Mereenie Loop Road, the region was one of the first pastoral leases in Central Australia and the rubble of an original homestead can be seen on the bank of Ormiston Creek. Black-footed rock wallabies proliferate the area.
Mount Sonder is one of the highest points in Northern Territory at 1380m high. The colours on the face of Mt Sonder vary throughout the day, from a spectacular fiery red at sunrise to a deep purple in the early afternoon.
Gosse Bluff 142 million years ago, a one-kilometre-wide meteorite slammed into Australia. There were no Aborigines in Australia to witness the Gosse Bluff impact, but the mythology of the local indigenous people regarding the creation of "Tnorala", as they call it, is surprisingly accurate.
Hermannsburg the Lutheran Mission was the home of the famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira. Today the old mission's whitewashed, German farmhouse style buildings have been fully restored. The Kata-Anga Tea Rooms are in the old missionary house and there is also a museum and art gallery.
Palm Valley the valley contains approximately 1,200 mature and 3,000 immature Red Cabbage Palms both are endemic to the region. These plants are all that remain of a lush and tropical environment of approximately 15,000 years ago, when the whole of Central Australia was thick with wet tropical forests. Rock pools and white sands create an oasis surrounded by the harsh desert, a stark reminder of Central Australia’s past.