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MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

The MacDonnell Ranges are a spectacular mountain range located in the heart of the Australian outback in the Northern Territory. They run for over 644 kilometres and are a popular destination for visitors from all over the world.

Getting There

The MacDonnell Ranges are easily accessible by road. Visitors can fly into Alice Springs Airport and then hire a car or catch a bus to reach the mountains. The drive from Alice Springs only takes around 45 minutes.

Sights to See

There are many stunning natural attractions to explore in the MacDonnell Ranges, including:

  • Ormiston Gorge: A breathtaking gorge with towering cliffs and crystal clear waterholes. Visitors can go swimming, bushwalking or relax in the picnic area.
  • Ellery Creek Big Hole: Another stunning waterhole, surrounded by towering red cliffs. Visitors can swim, picnic or hike around the area.
  • Simpsons Gap: A beautiful natural rock formation that provides shelter for a variety of native animals. It's also a great spot for bird watching.
  • Glen Helen Gorge: A serene waterhole surrounded by towering cliffs. Visitors can take a scenic helicopter flight over the gorge.


There are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained in the MacDonnell Ranges, including:

  • Bushwalking: There are plenty of trails to explore, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes.
  • Camping: There are a number of campgrounds located throughout the ranges, offering a chance to experience the outback under the stars.
  • Scenic Flights: Visitors can take a scenic helicopter or fixed-wing flight over the ranges for a bird's eye view.
  • Rock Climbing: Experienced climbers can tackle some of the toughest cliffs in the region.

When to Visit

The best time to visit the MacDonnell Ranges is during the cooler months of April to September. This is when the weather is at its most pleasant and the waterholes are at their fullest.


There are a variety of accommodation options available for visitors to the MacDonnell Ranges, ranging from luxury hotels to basic campgrounds.

  • Hotels: There are a number of hotels and resorts located in the town of Alice Springs, just a short drive from the ranges.
  • Campgrounds: There are a number of campgrounds situated throughout the ranges, including the popular Glen Helen Homestead Lodge campground.

Visit MacDonnell

The MacDonnell Ranges are a stunning natural wonder that offer visitors a chance to explore the heart of the Australian outback. With a variety of attractions and activities on offer, it's the perfect destination for those looking for an outback adventure.

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