Dry, sandy creeks, vast craggy ochre-red sandstone gaps and gorges and tranquil billabongs (waterholes) make up the stupendous landforms of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Here too, are some of the most ancient rivers on earth. The presence of ancient aboriginal dreaming is evident in the rugged clefts and chasms.
Explore this magnificent landscape in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. On your tour you will stroll along dry riverbeds fringed with gum trees and cycads, gratefully dip your toes into cool billabongs and marvel at natural rock gardens where rare plants cling to life in a harsh environment. You may even catch a glimpse of black-footed rock wallabies coming out to feed.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Alice Springs in an air-conditioned vehicle and driven in comfort through the extraordinary landscape of Australia's red desert. A narrated commentary in English keeps you updated about the places visited.
Stopping at the finest gorges and waterholes along the way, you will be able to walk the sandy creeks and look for wallabies among the rocks.
Your five-stop tour includes morning tea and picnic lunch.
Highlights of the trip include:
• Simpsons Gap: One of the most scenic gaps in the West Macdonnell ranges and an important Aboriginal spiritual site, where several dreaming trails and stories cross. Rich ochre-colored rock walls rise from a sandy creek fringed with white ash gums.
• Standley Chasm: A striking deep red cleft that glows with reflected sunlight. Stroll along the watercourse lined with cycads, acacias and cypress pines. If you are very lucky you might just spot a monitor lizard or a group of black-footed wallabies.
• Ellery Creek Big Hole: Take a short walk along the creek bed to the cool deep waterhole, part of the Finke river, 15 million years old and one of the most ancient rivers on Earth.
• Ormiston Gorge and Waterhole: Take a picnic lunch against an imposing back-drop of immense red rock walls. Here massive geological forces have created one of the most acclaimed gorges of central Australia, rising to more than 300 metres in places and dotted with graceful river red gums.
• Glen Helen Gorge: One of the most beautiful gorges in Central Australia, Glen Helen is formed from quartzite and has a semi-permanent waterhole. It was a favorite meeting place for the Aboriginal people from the West and Central MacDonnell Ranges. Surrounding slopes are home to black-footed wallabies, which sometimes appear in the late afternoon and early evening to feed.
At the end of this memorable tour you will be dropped-off at your hotel in Alice Springs.
Great guide, Easy walking to see everything. Tasty lunch with fabulous views.... John Eaves
Toured the West McDonnells with our guide, Craig, last Monday. There were only 8 of us on the tour so plenty of space to spread out on the 20 seat bus. We visited several sites... Catherine A Heald
Start time: 0800h (08:00am)
Duration: 9.5 hours
Your hotel in Alice Springs. (We would require your hotel details in order to arrange your pick up. If you do not have this information at the time of booking, please contact the local activity operator at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details)
Your hotel in Alice Springs
You will need a hat, sunscreen, sturdy walking shoes and bottled water for the short walks included in this tour
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
See the Cancellation policy for this product