Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges on a day trip from Alice Springs and visit sites including Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen and Ellery Creek. Enjoy stunning outback scenery and abundant photo opportunities as you travel with an expert guide to rock canyons, waterholes, historical sites and other natural wonders. Take time to revel in the region's beauty without rushing on this small-group tour limited to 24 people, with personalized attention from your guide.
After pickup at your Alice Springs hotel, set off with your guide and small group into West MacDonnell National Park to begin your exploration of the area’s many natural attractions. Throughout the day, your knowledgeable guide shares informative commentary about the natural and cultural history to the region. Start with a scenic walk at Simpsons Gap, one of the most renowned gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Follow a riverbed to a natural rock amphitheater while looking for endangered black-footed rock wallabies that hop among the boulders. Then admire the tall rock walls of Standley Chasm as you stroll through trees that line the tracks including acacias, cycads, ghost gums and cypress pines. Have morning tea at Standley Chasm before heading to your next destination, the Ochre Pits. A short path leads to rock walls that are covered with white, yellow and red layers of ochre. Be sure to bring your camera to snap photos of the shifting hues. Considered a sacred site for the local Arrernte peoples, the ochre pits provided material traditionally used for ceremonies and trading.Further down the road, stop for a picnic lunch at Ormiston Gorge, which contains a semi-permanent waterhole. Look for waterbirds such as the Pacific heron and white-faced heron, both common visitors to the waterhole. Next, head to Mt Sonder lookout and admire the spectacular landscape including a towering sandstone wall and views of Mt Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia.Continue to Ellery Creek Big Hole, a significant geological site and one of central Australia's most pristine waterholes and cool off with a swim. Your final stop takes you to Pyndan Camel Tracks. You can also take an optional sunset camel ride (October to March) soaking up the views of the MacDonnell Ranges atop your trusty humpbacked mode of transportation. Your guide returns you to your Alice Springs hotel to end the tour.