The West MacDonnell Ranges and the East MacDonnell Ranges known as the MacDonnells Ranges have major tourist icon places of interest within approximatley 100 kilometres  of Alice Springs on sealed roads then narrowing down to recognised 4WD offroad dirt unsealed tracks from then on. Western MacDonnell Ranges tourist places to visit are Standley Chasm, Simpsons Gap, Orche Pits, Glen Hellen Gorge, Orminston Gorge,Ellery Creek Big Hole, Mt Sonder, Mereenie Loop and on the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges tourist places to visit are Trephina Gap, Corroboree, N'Dhalla Aboriginal Rock Art, Ross River Resort in Northern Territory Australia
The West MacDonnell Ranges and the East MacDonnell Ranges are known as the MacDonnells Ranges with the centre point commonly known as Heritage Gap at the commencement of Alice Springs in Northern Territory Australia
Home to the MacDonnells Ranges tourist information guide sites One day sightseeing, extended tours, premium coach touring, overnight to extend camping safaris to Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Mereenie Loop, West MacDonnells Ranges and East MacDonnells Ranges in Australia's Red Centre Way in Northern Territory Australia. Hire and rental such as a 2-3-4 berth camper van, 4WD Camper, luxury RV motorhome and selfdrive from Alice Springs to Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Mereenie Loop, West MacDonnells Ranges and East MacDonnells Ranges in Australia's Red Centre Way in Northern Territory Australia.  
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The Arltunga Historical Reserve and Arltunga ghost town
in the East MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory Australia

A tourist
Central Australia selfdrive tourist hire guide and information


Arltunga is located on the 5 000 hectare Arltunga Historical Reserve. The Arltunga Historical Reserve was established in 1975 and since then there has been a systematic attempt to restore and maintain the existing buildings. At Arltunga Historical Reserve you'll find a complete ghost town - with the remains of mines, mining camps and stone buildings. The police station and gaol have been completely restored and there are even old mines you can walk through.

Arltunga was officially central Australia's first town, born out of a gold rush after alluvial gold was discovered amongst a dusty and dry creekbed during 1887. It was a hectic little goldmining town and it's historical heyday lasted from the first gold strike in 1887 until 1913. The fortune seekers of the day of the nations of the world had to travel 600 kilometres from the Oodnadatta railhead, often on foot which seemed to take for ever, to seek their fortune in the harsh central Australian environment. Arltunga once supported some 300 people. At the time, Alice Springs consisted of just the Overland Telegraph Station, and was little more than an outpost that had expanded as it became the supply base of Arltunga. Mining activity continued in the area for 30 years.

To reach Arltunga in the 1880s a person would need to walk or ride alongside the Overland Telegraph Line from Oodnadatta in South Australia to Alice Springs in Northern Territory, then follow the East MacDonnell Ranges eastwardly for another 120 km. This would take at well over a week and often or not much longer in temperatures which often exceeded 40C during the mid of the day.



How to Get There

Located 110km east of Alice Springs, the Reserve can be easily reached in 2WD vehicles. After 70km of sealed road along the Ross Highway there is a formed gravel road which leads north east for 33km to Arltunga. (Note: gravel road surface conditions do vary and roads may be impassable when wet).


Emily Gap

When to Visit

The Reserve is accessible all year round. The cooler months, from April to September, are the most pleasant.

Arltunga Weather Chart - This chart will cease around 2010 August then search the main index at

Macdonnell Ranges

The Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre gives an introduction to the Reserve and mining era, through cultural and historical displays. There is a self-operated slide show which offers an insight to the past and informs visitors about the Reserve's attractions. You can even try your hand at panning for gold in the courtyard display.

During the tourist season, Rangers give guided tours of significant historic sites. Ask at the Visitor Centre.

Arltunga Historical Homestead

Walking tracks

Walking tracks explore the Government Battery and Cyanide Works, Police Station, old mine workings and residential areas. Self-guided walks are established at most attractions. If you want to explore a mine, remember to bring a torch.

Desert Gecko


Fossicking, including the use of metal detectors, is not permitted in Arltunga Historical Reserve. However, fossicking is permitted in the adjoining Fossicking Reserve for holders of a current NT Fossickers Permit. Permits are available from Mines and Energy or the Visitors Centre upon request.

The Great Western Mine Tour

Rocky outcrop

Arltunga Hotel
Arltunga Tourist Dve Arltunga NT 0870

Caravan Parks
Arltunga Outback Tourist Park
Arltunga Tourist Dve Arltunga NT 0870

Camping - Camping is not permitted on the Reserve. A camping ground with facilities, including showers, is available at the Arltunga Bush Hotel. Pets are not allowed in this park.

Arltunga Historical Reserve Visitor Centre, (08) 8956 9770


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Photographs Courtesy Of: NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission.
Maps Courtesy Of: NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission.
Photographs Courtesy Of: PJ B Private Collection.
Information courtesy of Parks and Wildlife Service NT for the promotion of tourism for the Larapinta Trail.

Photographs Courtesy of NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission
Information courtesy of Parks Northern Territory

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As one of Australia's largest licensed Travel Agents Goholi is dedicated to campervan and motorhome hire and rentals. We will source the different options for you. We will look at all the extras and find the best vehicle package for you or even a multiple option for you to choose from. With our head Office in the heartland of the Top End of Darwin we can advise you of the current situations of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park - Ayers Rock, Watarrka National Park, West MacDonnell Ranges, East MacDonnell Ranges, Kakadu National Park, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Gibb River Road Western Australia and the - Erldunda - Kulgera - Oodnadatta Track - Coober Pedy (Opal field) - Woomera - Port Augusta areas.

East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park
in the MacDonnell Ranges in Northern Territory, Central Australia
A tourist selfdrive tourist guide and travel information

East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park in Central Australia
West MacDonnell Map West MacDonnell National Park East MacDonnell National-Park
East MacDonnell Map

West MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
Larapinta Trail Glen Helen Gorge Glen Helen Lodge accommodation Ellery Creek Big Hole Ochre Pits Ormiston Gorge Redbank Gorge Waterhole Roma Gorge Serpentine Chalet Serpentine Gorge Simpsons Gap Standley Chasm Honeymoon Gap Palm Valley

Albert Namatjiras Monument Namatjira Drive Namatjira Twin Gums Hermannsburg Ghost Gum Wallace Rockhole Palm Valley

East MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
Arltunga Historical Reserve and hotel or camping Trephina Gorge Emily Jessie Gap Corroboree Rock Ross River Resort Ruby Gap N'Dhala Gorge Nature Reserve Gemtree Chambers Pillar Rainbow Valley

Other Highways, Scenic Routes, Ways, offroad 4wd Tracks and Roads in Central Australia
The Mereenie Loop Red Centre Way Explorers Way Stuart Highway Ernest Giles Road Namatjira Drive Larapinta Drive Luritja Road Lasseter Highway Binns Track

Top End - Natures Way in Northern Territory Australia
Darwin Tropical Darwin Map of Northern Territory Katherine Gorge Tennant Creek Devils Marbles Kakadu National Park Natures Way Top End Katherine Gorge Litchfield National Park

Alice Springs and Uluru and on the way
Alice Springs Alice Springs Airport The Ghan Alice Springs Alice Springs Heavitree Gap Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Uluru Ayers Rock Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara Voyages Resort at Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara Ayers Rock Airport 'Connellan Airport' Kata Tjuta 'The Olgas' Sounds of Silence dinner Mount Sonder Mount Connnor Mount Ebenezer Curtin Springs Stuarts Well Erldunda

Kings Canyon
Watarrka National Park Kings Canyon Kings Creek Station Kings Canyon Resort Glen Helen Lodge accommodation

Remote access sites
Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Gosse Bluff Tnorala Tylers Pass Haasts Bluff - lkuntji

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