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These impressive ranges tower over the plain, a natural barrier broken by gorges, cliffs and natural pools. Running east and west of Alice Springs they are easily accessible on either a day visit from the town or as a detour on the drive to Kings Canyon.

In the West MacDonnells, Simpson’s Gorge is the first of a series of attractive natural features, another is Standley Chasm, a slender gorge whose sides glow a marvelous red in the desert light. At Ellery Gorge, Ellery Creek Big Hole is an excellent swimming pool while Serpent Gorge, slightly further west, has a lovely walking trail leading to a lookout with a spectacular view.

The Eastern MacDonnells host some Aboriginal sites of the local Aranda people and walking trails thread past quartzite cliffs and red river gums.

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Suggested itinerary featuring the MacDonnell Ranges

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in the MacDonnell Ranges, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of the MacDonnell Ranges

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near the MacDonnell Ranges