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West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs

Alice Springs, Australia

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icon10 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges on a full-day tour from Alice Springs. Travel with an expert guide to highlights such as Simpsons Gap, Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits, Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Glen Helen. Have time to enjoy the region's natural beauty and capture photo ops of the Australian Outback as you hike into rock canyons, discover hidden waterholes and view historical sites. Chances to swim and hike along the way
  • Full-day tour of the West MacDonnell Ranges, from Alice Springs
  • Marvel at stunning red rock formations at Standley Chasm, Simpsons Gap and Mount Sonder
  • Visit the Ochre Pits and learn how Aboriginal people traditionally used ochre for ceremony and trade
  • See impressive waterholes at Ormiston Gorge and Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • Look for wildlife such as the black-footed rock wallaby, Pacific heron and white-faced heron
  • Includes all transportation, expert guide, morning tea, picnic lunch and afternoon snacks
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 20 people allows for a more customized tour
Have questions?
(888) 651-9785
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Morning Tea
Fresh Buffet Lunch
Accommodation pick-up and drop-off
Experienced, friendly tour guide
Air-conditioned transport
Entry fee to Standley Chasm
Sunset camel ride (AU$70, payable direct)

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Please call to confirm pickup time prior to tour date. Kindly allow 15 mins for the bus to arrive.

Departure Time

7:45 AM
Start early with pickup at your Alice Springs hotel and set off in your air-conditioned coaster or seat rosa for West MacDonnell National Park.

Start with a walk at Simpsons Gap to see a natural rock amphitheater that is home to endangered black-footed rock wallabies. Next, head to Standley Chasm for morning tea and a stroll along trails lined with acacias, cycads, ghost gums and cypress pines. Continue on to Ochre Pits, where rock walls are covered by white, yellow and red ochre, used for sacred ceremonies of the local Arrernte peoples.

Enjoy a picnic lunch at Ormiston Gorge, a large waterhole surrounded by red rock and visited by waterbirds such as the Pacific heron and white-faced heron. After eating, drive to Mt Sonder lookout for views of a towering sandstone wall and Mt Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia.

Next up, visit Ellery Creek Big Hole, one of central Australia's most pristine waterholes. Cool off with a swim and hear from your guide about the significance of the geology. Then wind down your tour as sunset splashes over the MacDonnell Ranges. Have the option to join a sunset camel ride (October to March- own expense) for your final activity of the day.
Stop At:  
MacDonnell Ranges
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.
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Simpsons Gap
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Standley Chasm Angkerle
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Ormiston Gorge
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Mount Sonder
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Ellery Creek Big Hole
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.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Emu Run Experience - Day Tours
Your guide returns you to your Alice Springs hotel to end the tour.
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please wear strong, non-slip walking shoes
  • Please bring hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle and swimwear during the summer months
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Emu Run Experience

If you cancel between 4 and 30 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel at least 31 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs?
This activity will have a maximum of 24 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip from Alice Springs.

Traveler Photos


147 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 147 reviews
Worthy day to see the best sites near Alice
, May 2021
Some of the most scenic & wonderful views / sites along the MacDonnell Ranges. The coach trip was smooth and had a very insightful tour guide (Karen). The tour kept to schedule, saw many incredible places and the lunch / snacks through the day were great. Me and my partner particularly enjoyed the waterhole swims but there's plenty to do/see outside of that :)
Colour and light
, May 2021
Morning light at Simpsons Gap, the walls of Standley Chasm, the rainbow of the ochre pits, the bird life, the ever changing colours of the hills, reflections in the waterholes
Fantastic day
, May 2021
Most memorable without doubt is the gentleman with a lot of knowledge about aboriginal culture bluey the tour guide ,worth more money boss. Absolutely made the day worthwhile The day is highly recommended by me And I have been on a lot of day trips around the globe and this was one of the best to all u tourists just go and as mr bluey would say always look on the bright side of life te dum te dum get on the emu run
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
A great trip
, May 2021
The whole trip and the great guide Bluey was what made this a great experience. All in all I would recommend this trip and even more if you got Bluey he is just a wealth of knowledge and a great guy as well.
, May 2021
The tour guide was excellent and that made the trip outstanding with her knowledge and her stories the tour was the highlight of our trip so far
Everything was fantastic...
, Mar 2021
Everything was fantastic the scenery and the tour guide, morning tea at Standly Chasm followed by a picnic lunch at Ormiston Gorge
Bluey, the West McDonald ranges legendary tour guide
, Dec 2020
Great day out, very informative tour guide who shared his incredible knowledge of the area. Everything required was provided.
Bluey and his West McDonald Ranges have been here forever
, Dec 2020
The country and scenery were amazing. The tour guide is a living legend and his knowledge and storey telling were entertaining and amazing. The tour bus was comfortable and very clean. The food provided was substantial
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
, Dec 2019
This was our first visit to Alice Springs and the West MacDonnell Ranges Day trip was the highlight with lots to see (plenty of spectacular scenery) and informative comments from our driver/guide "Bluey". Scenery included Simpsons Gap, Stanley Chasm, The Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge and Ellery Creek.
A day trip that highlights the abundance of beauty in the outback
, Nov 2019
Day was amazing with stops that each highlighted the rich history the outback has but showcases the sheer beauty that Australia has.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful

Product code: 6762WM

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