Ruby Gap Nature Park

Nature Reserve in East MacDonnell Ranges

This remote park rewards visitors with wild and beautiful scenery. The sandy bed of the Hale River sparkles with thousands of tiny garnets. It's an evocative place and is well worth the considerable effort required to reach it − by high-clearance 4WD. Camping is permitted anywhere along the river; make sure to BYO drinking water and a camp cooker. Allow two hours each way for the 44km trip from Arltunga.

The garnets here caused a 'ruby rush' in the 19th century and some miners did well out of it until it was discovered that the 'rubies' were, in fact, virtually worthless. The waterholes at Glen Annie Gorge are usually deep enough for a cooling dip.

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