Special Note: Promotional prices end with effect from March 31, 2024
Up to 6 seats AUD $1,550.00 and from 7 to 11 seats AUD $ 2,100.00
Start: 8.00 am
Duration: 10 hours
About the tour
The West MacDonnell, Ranges full-day tour is an excellent opportunity to explore the panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges. View spectacular outback scenery and take photos as we travel along through magnificent Outback Country, stopping at the many historical locations. Have time to enjoy the region's natural beauty. Travel in the desert sun, visit gorges and waterfalls, spot local wildlife and learn from your expert guide. Tour attractions include Anzac Hill, John Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve, Honeymoon Gap, Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Mount Sonder Lookout, Glen Helen and return to your hotel.
Our pricing for charter service:
With our charter bus service, your group has the vehicle to yourselves, and your itinerary will be able to customise as much as you'd like. We are flexible with timing, including or excluding several places and the number of visitors. Our pricing only guides you to a general estimated amount as per our standard package for private charter service for this trip.
Our first visit of the day is at the iconic local landmark of Anzac Hill, where you can take in panoramic views over the town of Alice Springs and the surrounding MacDonnell ranges. You may be able to capture one photo to cover the entire town. Anzac Hill is a memorial dedicated to those who served in Australia’s defence forces during all international wars.
John Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve
Your next stopping will be at Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the resting place of Reverend Flynn, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We make short stops to relax and enjoy the changing colours of the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges and get some photos.
Your next stop will be Simpson Gap. Simpson Gap features the towering cliffs of Simpsons Range, a permanent waterhole and opportunities to spot resident wildlife, ancient Red River Gums with a taste of Central Australia. Simpsons Gap is a significant site to the local Arrernte Aboriginal people and was the mythological home of giant goanna ancestors.
We will take you on a short, easy walk alongside a picturesque dry creek bed that leads to a dramatic gap in the MacDonnell Ranges and a waterhole rich in native wildlife, flora and geology. Sometimes, you may even spot Black-footed Rock-wallabies along the walking track into the rocky slopes gap.
Your next Stop will be Honeymoon Gap/ Temple Bar Gap, a small gap south of Larapinta Drive opposite Simpsons Gap, 14km west of Alice Springs. The gap is of great significance to the Arrernte people, the traditional owners of the land.
The name Temple Bar Gap fell out of favour following the site becoming the honeymoon location for Robert (Bob) and Victoria (Vicky) Darken, who married at the Alice Springs Methodist Church on 25 June 1942. Bob Darken was given a week's leave from the army, and the couple planned to camp for a week at the gap and borrowed a car and a tent. The couple had repeated issues with the car, and it rained for most of the week so, concerned for their safety, friends decided to visit them regularly; they said they were "going to see the honeymooners" or "going to honeymoon gap".
It was not until 1981 that the name of the pass was officially changed to Honeymoon Gap and, in 2004, the NT Place Names Committee agreed that the official name of the gap should remain Temple Bar Gap.
Standley Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye)
The next stop on your exploration of the West MacDonnell is a picturesque walk at Standley Chasm. After Mrs Ida Standley, who in 1914 became the first school teacher in Alice Springs, this place was named Standley Chasm. Walking access to the dramatic 80m sheer rock face of the chasm is along a well-maintained trail (1.2km/15mins each way), following the natural creek bed with seating & interpretative signage. Angkerle Atwatye, “the Gap of Water”, is a striking geological formation with significant botanical, bird-watching & wildlife photography appeal.
Standley Chasm is operated by Arrernte Aboriginal family members who are direct descendants of the Aboriginal people who have lived in the area for thousands of years.
Ellery Creek Big Hole
Your next stop will be at Ellery Creek Big Hole. It is the biggest and deepest waterhole in Central Australia. The spectacular waterhole is fed by the West MacDonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) and is surrounded by tall red cliffs and the sandy Ellery Creek. Thousands of years of massive floods have carved out this waterhole, which is recognised as an internationally significant geological site. A sandy beach lines this huge waterhole, offering superb swimming and beautiful scenery.
Your next stop will be at Ormiston Gorge. Ormiston Gorge has become a must-see on any visit to the West Macs. The Ormiston Gorge has a near-permanent waterhole ideal for swimming, especially in the warmer months. The spectacular scenery features the soaring cliffs of an ancient mountain range, incredible rock formations, and a picturesque sandy river bed lined by giant River Red Gums. Walk up to a stunning lookout overlooking a beautiful swimming hole and swim in this surprisingly big, deep permanent waterhole.
Mount Sonder Lookout
Your next stop is Mount Sonder Lookout. This 360 ⁰ vista looks out towards the imposing Mt Sonder and over a beautifully scenic. Look for the wide range of birds of prey, such as the Wedge-tailed eagle and the Peregrine falcon and wood swallows circling the summit, riding the thermal updraughts. The view is a favourite spot for photographers and landscape artists.
Your next stop will be at Glen Helen. Historic Glen Helen Homestead is the perfect place to have your lunch. Enjoy an a la carte lunch in the restaurant, or enjoy it with a drink, coffee or ice cream (not included in the tour package). Next, you may take a short walk down a gorgeous waterhole for a swim next to the striking Glen Helen Gorge. At Glen Helen Gorge, the ranges are part of making way for the Finke River. This permanent waterhole is an essential refuge in the hot summer months for all nine species of fish recorded for the Finke, as well as migrating waterbirds.
Finally, your tour will conclude with us dropping you back at your hotel.
• Experienced and friendly guide
• 11-seater Toyota Hiace bus provided
• Complimentary water/ soft drinks provided
• Complimentary accommodation pick-up and drop-off
• All Entrance fees
What to Bring:
• Sturdy walking shoes
• Sunscreen, hat and comfortable clothing
• Jacket in cooler months
• Smile and happy faces
• Food and drinks other than those listed
• No wheelchair accessible
• Luggage or large bags
• Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
• Not wheelchair accessible
• Infants must sit on laps (No car seater provided)
• Most travellers can participate
• This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travellers