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West MacDonnell National Park

West MacDonnell National Park (Australia)

Practical information about West MacDonnell National Park

  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Countryside
  • Desert
  • Mountain
5 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
A 5 min drive from Alice Springs
When to go
In winter when the temperatures are bearable
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of West MacDonnell National Park

Timothée D. Travel writer
285 travel articles

Magnificent mountain range in the heart of the desert, the West MacDonnell Ranges are a must-see in the Australian Northern Territory.

My suggestion:
Above all, don't even think about going to walk in the mountains in the middle of summer, and think about bringing a sufficient amount of water with you.

A simply magical place. The West MacDonnell Ranges stretch to the West of Alice Springs, the capital of the desert. From Alice Springs, you can already catch sight of the first foothills of the mountain range which left me completely astonished. It's an absolutely magical place where a deathly silence reigns and where summits follow on after one another, stretches of deserts, caves, chasms and breathtaking view points. Not surprising that the Aborigines consider this place as a sacred site with the same status as Ayers Rock.

Prepare yourself for a beautiful walk, with peristant flies which will will harass you throughout the day and a powerful sun above your head. It's one of my most beautiful memories of Australia, peace and harmony with the natural elements. An incredible experience.

Panoramic view over the MacDonnell mountain range
Olivia Merlen Travel writer
20 travel articles

The West Mac Donnell is a mountain range to the west of Alice Springs. The mountains are punctuated by some magnificent gorges.

My suggestion:
At night, you can sleep under starry skies near to the ruins of Serpentine Bush Chalet. Some areas are only accessible by four-wheel drive.

At a few kilometres from Alice Springs the West Mac Donnell range is an amazing sight. The water at the base of the gorges reflects and blends the red tones of the cliffs with the green shades of eucalyptus trees and the orange earth...

Before exploring Serpentine Gorge (my favourite), I suggest you climb up to the lookout, which boasts a view of the immense Australian desert. Other places you shouldn't miss out are Simpsons Gap, Redbank Gorge and Ellery Creek, which is great for a swim.

And if you're continuing your Australian tour by heading to Kings Canyon, I suggest you make a final stop-off at Glen Helen Homestead. Without spending a fortune (219 cents per litre, when I went) you can stop for a fresh drink, whilst checking out old photos of the homestead. They date back to the 70's, a time when communication was by CB radio!

The tranquil Glen Helen Gorge, in the western part of the West Mac Donnell range.
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