West MacDonnell National Park

West MacDonnell National Park is in the Red Centre of Australia, west of Alice Springs, 1234 km south of Darwin. It extends along the MacDonnell Ranges west of Alice Springs.


When to visit

The park is accessible all year round. The cooler months, from April to October, are the most pleasant. All roads can be impassable for short periods after heavy rain.

Get in

Vehicle access to West MacDonnell National Park from Alice Springs is via Larapinta Drive and Namatjira Drive. From the direction of Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, the unsealed Red Centre Way (4WD recommended) connects Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) with West MacDonnell National Park. Simpsons Gap is also accessible via a 17km sealed bicycle track beginning opposite Flynn's Grave, 7km from Alice Springs along Larapinta Drive.


Glen Helen Gorge
Ellery Creek Big Hole

Heading west on Larapinta Drive from Alice Springs, you'll see signs for the following (in order):

At this point there's a turnoff for Bullen Road which loops back towards Alice Springs and passes through Honeymoon gap. If you decide not to take that turnoff, a little further on the road splits: Larapinta continues southeast and Namatjira continues northeast. They are both sealed roads, which form a fork which is connected on the ends by a dirt road.

On Namatjira you see:

Past Glenn Helen is a 4wd track which leads west, then south to meet up with the end of Larapinta. A permit is required; on the 4wd track you'll find:

The next stop down is Hermansburg, which is the far end of the sealed Larapinta Drive. The following are the points of interest leading back into town from the end of Larapinta Drive:


Larapinta Trail

The Larapinta Trail (+61 8 8951 8250, ) runs for 223km along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to Mt Sonder. The grandeur and timeless beauty of the Ranges are the backdrop and setting for the Trail, which is divided into twelve sections, providing you with an opportunity to experience an ancient landscape at your own pace.


Go next

Alice Springs, Finke Gorge National Park, Watarrka National Park, Lake Lewis, Lake Bennett

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.