Welcome to West MacDonnell Ranges

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West MacDonnell Ranges activities

$180.44 Day Trips & Excursions

Ayers Rock or Uluru, Olgas Tour with BBQ from Alice Springs

Your day trip to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park starts in the early morning when you depart Alice Springs by air-conditioned coach. Head southwest on Highway 87, passing by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After about an hour and 15 minutes of driving, stop at Stuarts Well, a typical Outback roadhouse where you will enjoy a light or hot breakfast. Back on the bus, traverse the remote landscape of endless Outback plains, enjoy a view of Mt Ebenezer and stop for morning tea (typically a cool drink or hot billy tea, served with a lamington, a traditional Aussie cake) at the Mt Conner lookout point. Continue the drive to Uluru, admiring sand ridges covered in desert oak trees and watching for huge road trains (semi trucks pulling several trailers of freight). When you arrive at Uluru, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as Ayers Rock in English, you’ll take part in several activities that will introduce you to the history, culture and geology of this massive sandstone rock formation. Enjoy guided walks around the entire base of Uluru while learning about its legends; hear about Tjukurpa art on the Mala walk; see Aboriginal rock art on the walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole; and hear about the customs and bush food of the Anangu people. Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre to learn more about Aboriginal culture and art, and then head to Kata Tjuta (also known as Mt Olga or the Olgas), the other large rock formation in the national park, for more walking along trails that lead to valleys and secluded watering holes. Return to Uluru in time for sunset, during which you'll soak up the glow of the sinking sun while you sip sparkling wine or juice and feast on a BBQ dinner of meats, salad and bread.After dinner, make the 6.5-hour drive back to Alice Springs, where your day trip ends.

$130.44 Transfers & Ground Transport

Uluru (Ayers Rock) to Alice Springs One-Way Shuttle

Your luxury coach picks you up at your Ayers Rock hotel early in the afternoon. Meet your driver and get comfortable in the air-conditioned coach, which provides spacious seats and ample luggage storage. Travel east from Yulara via Curtin Springs, an enormous family-owned cattle station that has been in operation for more than 60 years. Look into the distance to see the bulky form of Mount Conner (Attila) as your coach continues east to Erldunda. Stretch your legs during a rest stop at Mount Ebenezer Road House. You can also browse artworks made by local artists from the Imanpa (Aboriginal) community and purchase tea or other refreshments. Then connect to the famous Stuart Highway, the principal north-south route through central Australia, and ride along a 124-mile (200-km) section of this key road to reach Alice Springs. View the impressive West MacDonnell Ranges, another example of this area's intriguing geological evolution. This 500-million-year-old mass of twisted quartzite stands as one of Central Australia's most dominant land forms, and is riddled with deep gorges and chasms.Listen to informative and entertaining commentary provided by your driver as you travel through striking Outback landscapes. Learn about the geological history of the region, Australian desert flora and fauna, and some of the traditional customs and beliefs of the Aboriginal people who have inhabited this area for more than 20,000 years.View groves of desert oaks, many of which are many hundreds of years old. These resilient trees survive in the harsh climate by sinking tap roots deep into the earth and remaining dormant until water is found. You may be able to watch an onboard video about Australian wildlife. You can also keep an eye out for critters in the desert as you travel. Please note: You may transfer coaches at the Kings Canyon junction before continuing to Alice Springs.

$173.19 Day Trips & Excursions

Ayers Rock or Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Night BBQ from Alice Springs

Your all-inclusive, full-day tour starts with early morning pickup from your Alice Springs hotel. Travel through the West MacDonnell Ranges on your comfortable air-conditioned coach to Erldunda Roadhouse where you have your first rest stop for a buffet breakfast. Arrive around mid-day in Yulara where your guides provide a packed lunch to eat during the drive to the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Then start your first walk of the day at Walpa Gorge, a distance of 1.5 miles (2.6km). Along the way, get an amazing perspective on the stunning dome-shaped rock formations of Kata-Tjuta, a sacred site of the Aboriginal people. After your walk, visit the Cultural Centre, built with the help of local Aboriginal people. Learn from informative displays and your guide about the Aboriginal Pitjantjatjara people and the natural and cultural history of the area.Next, head to the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and your guide will lead you on the Mala Walk, which follows the northwest face of Uluru. During the walk, see fine examples of Aboriginal rock art, marvel at sheer vertical rock walls and hear stories of the Aboriginal people.Back at the coach, drive around Uluru to reach a short track that leads to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. Take a short guided walk to the waterhole, which legend says is home to an ancestral water snake named Wanampi. Learn from your guide about Aboriginal customs as you take in the shimmering pool of water and surrounding red rock. Now for the highlight of the day, head to the Uluru sunset viewing area for an Aussie barbecue. Watch the magnificent colors of the sunset at Uluru as you sip a glass of bubbly and feast on tasty tucker (food). After sunset, reboard your coach for your return to Alice Springs.

$79.71 Cultural & Theme Tours

Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour

Alice Springs is the country's best known 'Outback' town. Originally settled as a post along the Overland Telegraph route, Alice Springs today is a lively town full of things to see and places to go. On your informative town tour, you'll find the locals to be relaxed and friendly, and always keen for a chat. Start your tour with a visit to the historic Telegraph Station that was first in service in the 1800s to connect Australian towns and cities to each other and bridge the communication gap with other countries. Visit the base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and see how medical aid reaches those in remote outback communities. You will also see the School of the Air, and organization that provides education to children over the radio. You may even have the opportunity to listen and observe a class in progress! Then, make a stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Park and see a collection of snakes and lizards that call the outback home. You will see the Thorny Devil and the larger Perentie Lizard. Get up close to the snakes and lizards and touch them if you dare! End the day with panoramic views of the town and the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges from Anzac Hill.Desert Park OptionShould you choose to include the Alice Spring Desert Park Option, you will have the morning free to visit the park at your leisure. Rise early for your transfer to the world class Alice Springs Desert Park where you will witness free-flying birds at the Nature Theatre presentation and see rare and endangered animals such as the Bilby. Time at the Alice Springs Desert Park is unguided; you will explore the park in your own time at leisure. The return transfer to your hotel will leave the Desert Park at 12noon. You should then have time to for lunch at your own expense, before you are picked up from your hotel for the ‘A Town like Alice’ Tour.

$95.66 Day Trips & Excursions

West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs

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.

$721.04 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Day 4WD Camping Tour: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon

Spend your days hiking, swimming and exploring, and your nights under the southern stars on your four-day camping tour in Australia's spectacular Red Centre. After pickup in Alice Springs or Ayers Rock (Uluru), travel to UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites including Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges. Learn about Aboriginal culture, take guided hikes in the Outback, look for wildlife and swim in natural rock pools. Your experienced guide shares fascinating stories about the places you visit and assists with any questions throughout the trip.Sleep in your choice of a swag (a compact bedroll with mattress and bedding) or in one of the campsite's permanent tents and share meals around the campfire at night. All meals are included, along with camping gear, drinking water, transportation by 4WD, and hotel pickup and drop-off.