Tnorala

Top choice Natural Feature

in West MacDonnell Ranges

Protected by a combination of remoteness and difficult access, Tnorala, as it's known to the Western Arrernte people, is a lost and beautiful world. The original crater had a diameter of 22km, but only the core, a strangely intimate 5km in diameter, remains, encircled by nearly 200m-high rock walls. Scientists believe that the crater was formed by a meteorite impact over a million years ago. Marked trails head south from the car park; one climbs an intermediate hill for fine views.

The turn-off is around 175km west of Alice Springs along Namatjira Dr (although it can now be reached also along the fully paved Larapinta Dr). From the tarmac it's a rough 5km 4WD track into the crater where there is a shade shelter and picnic area; it's possible to make the trip in a 2WD, but can't be recommended unless it has a high clearance.