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MacDonnell Ranges
MacDonnell Ranges

MacDonnell Ranges

star-5
329 Reviews
Free admission
Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, 0870

The Basics

The MacDonnell Ranges are popular with hikers, as the 140-mile (223-kilometer) Larapinta Trail runs along the ridge and into the plains below. You don’t have to be a long-distance walker to enjoy the natural beauty of the ranges, however. Day trips from the town of Alice Springs show off the highlights of the range, from red rock formations and cold rock pools to the Ochre Pits where Australian Aboriginal people quarried for ochre pigment. Tours into the desert, whether on camel by day or to spot wildlife at night, typically include the MacDonnell Ranges as their backdrop.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Alice Springs

star-5
Highly recommended
Kerry_A, Jul 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Harry picked us up exactly on time and was both extremely friendly and informative. Fantastic day out looking and learning much about the fabulous sites that we visited. Great morning tea and lunch was provided and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Highly recommended. Kerry and Sergio
star-4
Great way to see beautiful sights
Corinne_B, Jun 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Beautiful sights and not rushed in seeing them, lovely lunch provided and morning tea at standley chasm.
star-4
Worthy day to see the best sites near Alice
Natalie_W, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Some of the most scenic & wonderful views / sites along the MacDonnell Ranges. The coach trip was smooth and had a very insightful tour guide (Karen). The tour kept to schedule, saw many incredible places and the lunch / snacks through the day were great. Me and my partner particularly enjoyed the waterhole swims but there's plenty to do/see outside of that :)
star-4
Never seen anything like it before.
AJF, Jun 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Enjoyed the whole day. Simpson's gap, Stanley Chasm & the swim at Ormiston Gorge in particular. It was a long day but worth it!
star-5
A great tour
Russell_D, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
A great tour that showcased a large part of the region. The tour leader provided good clear information and a relaxed day.
star-5
Good Day tour
Joe_W, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Very good day tour, guide was very helpful and friendly. good view covered all trip, also enough time for people to enjoy.
star-5
Colour and light
Warwick_H, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Morning light at Simpsons Gap, the walls of Standley Chasm, the rainbow of the ochre pits, the bird life, the ever changing colours of the hills, reflections in the waterholes
star-5
Fantastic day
Kev, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Most memorable without doubt is the gentleman with a lot of knowledge about aboriginal culture bluey the tour guide ,worth more money boss. Absolutely made the day worthwhile The day is highly recommended by me And I have been on a lot of day trips around the globe and this was one of the best to all u tourists just go and as mr bluey would say always look on the bright side of life te dum te dum get on the emu run
star-5
A great trip
Allen_M, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
The whole trip and the great guide Bluey was what made this a great experience. All in all I would recommend this trip and even more if you got Bluey he is just a wealth of knowledge and a great guy as well.
star-5
Outstanding
Mark_B, May 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
The tour guide was excellent and that made the trip outstanding with her knowledge and her stories the tour was the highlight of our trip so far
star-5
Everything was fantastic...
Darrin_J, Mar 2021
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
Everything was fantastic the scenery and the tour guide, morning tea at Standly Chasm followed by a picnic lunch at Ormiston Gorge
star-5
Bluey and his West McDonald Ranges have been here forever
Kevin_H, Dec 2020
West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs
The country and scenery were amazing. The tour guide is a living legend and his knowledge and storey telling were entertaining and amazing. The tour bus was comfortable and very clean. The food provided was substantial

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The MacDonnell Ranges are a must-visit for outdoors enthusiasts.

  • Day trips from Alice Springs typically last around 10 hours, including roundtrip transportation.

  • Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces and don’t forget to bring sun protection, including sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

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How to Get There

The MacDonnell Ranges begin 11 miles (18 kilometers) west of Alice Springs along Larapinta Drive. The park is accessible by car and via a bike path from Alice Springs. Once inside the park, you can get around on food, by bicycle, or in a 4WD vehicle.

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When to Get There

The best season for weather in the mountains is from May to September. If visiting Standley Chasm, try to arrive around noon, when the sun paints the gorge walls a bright orange. Expect temperatures to peak above 95°F (35°C) during the summer months from November to April.

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Wildlife in the MacDonnell Ranges

This area of the Australian Outback is excellent for wildlife viewing. The rare Centralian Tree Frog can be spotted in the MacDonnell Ranges’ cold rock pools, while bilby, echidna, and mala hang out around the foothills. Keep an eye out for black-footed rock wallaby, Pacific heron, and white-faced heron as well.

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