National Parks & Reserves

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Image Source: Tourism NT/Shaun Jeffers

What better way to immerse yourself in the ancient spirit of the outback than venturing to one of Central Australia's incredible national parks? Discover breathtaking landscapes and unique flora and fauna on a day or overnight adventure from Alice Springs.

Explore hundreds of kilometres of magnificent wilderness and natural wonders at West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, located just a short drive from Alice Springs. Enjoy stunning views from Tylers Pass, or head to Simpsons Gap for towering cliffs, a lovely waterhole, and a chance to see a black-footed wallaby. Embark on one of several scenic bushwalking trails, including the Larapinta Trail, named by National Geographic as one of the top 20 treks in the world.

The lesser known East MacDonnell Ranges are also certainly worth a visit and are home to some spectacular nature parks bursting with history and culture. Discover Aboriginal rock art at sacred sites, located at Emily and Jessie Gap Nature Parks. Enjoy short walks, Aboriginal paintings, and a sensational lookout at Trephina Gorge Nature Park, and tackle 4-wheel driving tracks, gorgeous scenery, and beautiful waterholes at Ruby Gap Nature Park.

Located around 140KM from Alice Springs, stunning Finke Gorge National Park is characterised by desert landscapes, exquisite gorges and waterholes, and red cabbage palm trees. Visit Palm Valley within the national park to see the famous cabbage palms found nowhere else on earth, alongside a diverse array of unique flora. Spend a day bushwalking through magnificent scenery, and driving along thrilling 4WD tracks, and see the Finke River, estimated to be the oldest river in the world.

Take a walk around Tnorala (Gloss Bluff) Conservation Reserve to discover its cultural and scientific significance. This is a registered sacred site, with a high level of cultural significance to its traditional owners, the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people. The reserve has also captured international scientific interest as it is the site of one of the largest impact craters in the world, created approximately 142 million years ago when a huge comet crashed to earth. Aside from the cultural and scientific importance, this makes a scenic backdrop for short walks and a picnic.