Did you know that the West Macs was on the doorstep of Alice? I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t. I thought Alice Springs was in the middle of the desert, which I pictured as being flat and vast. 

Glen Helen Gorge

The permanent waterhole at Glen Helen Gorge is a favourite home to many species of desert wildlife and the perfect place to use as a base to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges. 

Glen Helen Homestead

We camped at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge for three nights in a powered site. We enjoyed chilling out in the homestead during the day after we’d finished our morning walks and swims in the West Macs. 

Sunrise with Mt Sonder

You get stunning views over to Mt Sonder, the highest point on the Larapinta Trail and the West Macs ranges. With its changing colours, it’s a favourite for painters, including the famous Australian artist Albert Namatjira. 

Redbank Gorge

Redbank Gorge was one of the most delightful surprises and our favourite spot in the West Macs. The gorge sits in the shadow of Mt Sonder and is known for its chilly water, but I found it so refreshing on our hot day.

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston possibly has the biggest and prettiest nearly permanent swimming hole in the West Macs. It’s also the most popular. Don’t worry there won’t be crowds disturbing your peace, that’s the beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Ochre Pit

A short walk from the car park will take you to the Ochre pits, an area of brightly coloured small cliffs that local Arrarnta Aboriginal people have used for thousands of years for their ceremonial paint and is even a place for trade.