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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Ruby Gap Nature Park from the East MacDonnell Ranges
in Northern Territory, Central
Australia
A tourist selfdrive tourist guide and travel information

An drive through the East MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to Ruby Gap.

Ruby GapRuby Gap Nature Park from the East MacDonnell Ranges - Drive east to Ruby Gap Nature Park and camp on the banks of the Hale River.

Although just 38 kms from Arltunga, the drive is slow going and may take up to 2.5 hours.

Situated 150km east of Alice Springs, access to Ruby Gap is via the Arltunga Historical Reserve.

A high clearance 4WD is essential. Heavy rains may cause the roads to become temporarily impassable.

From the park entrance there is a 5km drive along the river bed and then a 2km walk to reach Glen Annie Gorge.

Binns-Track-ruby-gap-nature-parkThe park is generally accessible all year round, however the cooler months, from April to September, are more pleasant.

There are several camp grounds in this Park, however, there are no other facilities available.

 

Camping Permitted
There are no facilities available, but camping is permitted along the river between the park entrance and Glen Annie Gorge. Camping fees apply and can be deposited in the honesty box at the park entrance.

The Park protects one of the few remaining healthy populations of the Brush-tailed Possum, which is declining in Central Australia.

If going to Ruby Gap suggest you click here for the Governemnet Fact sheet.

How to Get to Arltunga

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).

Arltunga Historical Reserve Office
Ph: (08) 8956 9770.
Regional Office - Arid Zone Research

Emily Gap

10 Day Selfdrive Route
Binns Track Selfdrive Route, Mt Dare to Alice Springs and finish Timber Creek
Then travel to Darwin in the Top End Northern Territory in Australia

• Access: 4WD - 4X4 - Four Wheel Drive (Seasonal access only)
• Start: From Mt Dare
• Lenght of Track: 2191km
• Finish: Timber Creek
• Highlights: Mount Dare, Finke River, Mac Clark Conservation Reserve, N’Dhala Gorge, Arltunga Historical Reserve, Pinnacles Track, Davenport Ranges, Territory’s ‘heart of gold’, Tennant Creek, Devils Marbles, Aboriginal musicians at Winanjjikari Music Centre, Threeways Roadhouse, Lake Mary Ann, Dunmarra, Humbert River Track, Bullita Homestead, Drover's Memorial Park, Timber Creek, Gregory's Tree on the banks of the Victoria River.

Binns-Track-old-andado-track

Day 1: Mt Dare to Alice Springs

Watch sunrise at Mount Dare in South Australia and set off early for the 421 kms journey along Old Andado Track to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Flanking the western fringe of the Simpson Desert, the track passes sand ridges five to eight metres high and meanders through the Finke River flood-out. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Molly Clark’s Old Andado Homestead and unwind in its old-world charm.

Then, travel a further 40 kms to the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve and explore its acres of rare Acacia Peuce trees, found in only two other locations in the world. Continue your journey northbound via Santa Teresa, an Aboriginal community renowned for its vibrant artworks.

By appointment only, from Monday to Thursday, you can watch artists tell their stories on canvas. Drive to Anzac Hill in Alice Springs and watch the sun descend beyond the MacDonnell Ranges. Camp, backpack or stay overnight in the town’s many accommodation options.

Binns-Track-old-andado-homestead
Binns-Track-santa-teresa

Binns-Track-ross-river-region

Day 2: Alice Springs to Ruby Gap

Drive to N’Dhala Gorge via Numery Road, where more than 6000 ancient rock carvings, known as petroglyphs, trace the Arrente Aboriginal history of the land. The 97 kms route crosses the Ross River several times and is impassable after heavy rain. Then, relive the heyday of Central Australia’s 1980s gold rush fever at Arltunga Historical Reserve.

Located 51 kms from the gorge, here you can explore the mine ruins, pan for gold and cook a barbeque lunch. Camp overnight at the Arltunga Bush Hotel or drive east to Ruby Gap Nature Park and camp on the banks of the Hale River. Although just 38 kms from Arltunga, the drive is slow going and may take up to 2.5 hours.

Binns-Track-ruby-gap-nature-park
Binns-Track-harts-range

Day 3: Ruby Gap to Gemtree

The adventure picks up pace along the Pinnacles Track, which connects Gardens Road to the Plenty Highway and offers breathtaking views of the rugged Harts Ranges.

Travel 6 kms west along the highway to Gemtree Caravan Park – your campsite for the evening – and fossick for semi-precious stones in the creek beds of Gemtree and Mud Tank.

Here, garnets and zircons are usually found only a few centimetres below the surface. This is a 95 kms drive from Arltunga Historical Reserve.

 

Binns-Track-1842-NTTC-Fossicking-Gemtree
Binns-Track-davenport-ranges-track

Day 4: Gemtree to Davenport Ranges

This section of the track is predominantly off-road and travels through several outback cattle stations to link to the Davenport Ranges – the boundary between the traditional lands of the Warumungu, Alyawarre and Kaytetye Aboriginal people. Wake early and drive 94 kms east along the Plenty Highway.

Gemtree to Davenport Ranges This section of the track is predominantly off-road and travels through several outback cattle stations to link to the Davenport Ranges – the boundary between the traditional lands of the Warumungu, Alyawarre and Kaytetye Aboriginal people. Wake early and drive 94 kms east along the Plenty Highway.

Here, the track travels along 100 kms of station farm roads, which surround the Ampilatwatji and Elkedra communities. The Binns Track intersects the Davenport Murchinson Road 14 kms south east of Murray Downs in the Davenport Ranges. Drive north to Old Police Station Waterhole via Hatches Creek and the Frew River Loop, an alternative to the main access road.

Here, the track travels along 100 kms of station farm roads, which surround the Ampilatwatji and Elkedra communities. The Binns Track intersects the Davenport Murchinson Road 14 kms south east of Murray Downs in the Davenport Ranges. Drive north to Old Police Station Waterhole via Hatches Creek and the Frew River Loop, an alternative to the main access road.

Binns-Track-old-police-station-waterhole
Binns-Track-frew-river-4WD-track
Binns-Track-frew-river-waterhole
Binns-Track-whistle-duck-creek

Day 5: Davenport Ranges to Devils Marbles

Explore the quiet and understated beauty of the Davenports on one of the many walking tracks within the park. Then, load the four-wheel- drive and continue along the Frew River Loop to the main access road. This is a 9 kms journey that will take one hour to complete. Follow the main access road to Epenarra and drive 81 kms west to Whistleduck Creek.

Like Old Police Station Waterhole, this is an ideal place to relax. After your vigour is restored, the track continues 90 kms west to incept the Stuart Highway just north of the Devils Marbles. Drive south to this cultural wonder and explore the precariously placed boulders that sit atop one another. Later, set up camp at the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve and watch the sun set behind these massive terracotta icons.

Binns-Track-devils-marbles-view
Binns-Track-devils-marbles-view

Day 6: Devils Marbles to Tennant Creek

Keen photographers should wake early to capture the marbles illuminated in soft beams of honey-coloured light. After, drive approximately 90 kms north to the Territory’s ‘heart of gold’, Tennant Creek. Strike a beat with local Aboriginal musicians at Winanjjikari Music Centre. Spearheaded by Jeff O’Laughlin, who has previously worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Corrs, visitors are encouraged to join a jam.

The centre is open Monday to Thursday, 8-12am. In the afternoon, visit Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre to learn more about the Warumungu peoples’ connection to the land. Immerse yourself in their story and vibrant artwork, before enjoying a barbeque lunch and cool swim at Lake Mary Ann. Choose to camp, backpack or stay overnight in accommodation within the town.

 

Binns-Track-mary-ann-dam
Binns-Track-battery-hill-mine

Day 7: Tennant Creek to Dunmarra

Set off early for an underground experience at the Battery Hill Mining Centre – a tribute to Tennant Creek’s gold rush era. Pan for gold and explore various artefacts from the 1930s. Then, drive to the Pink Palace on the northern fringe of town and watch the Julalikari women paint their stories onto canvas.

Enjoy a cold drink and bite to eat at the family run Threeways Roadhouse, located 25 kms north of Tennant Creek on the Stuart Highway. Continue your journey north to Newcastle Waters, 255 kms from Threeways. Now a deserted ghost town, after rain it’s inhabited by large flocks of water birds.

Travellers can stretch their legs and explore the remains of the 1960s Junction Hotel, museum and the Drover's Memorial Park. Travel a further 78 kms north to Dunmarra and pull in to the Wayside Inn - your campsite for the evening. On weekends during the dry season, the Inn serves mouth-watering spit fire roasts for dinner and hosts snake demonstrations.

Binns-Track-three-ways-roadhouse
Binns-Track-victoria-river-station

Day 8: Dunmarra to Humbert River Track

Load the four-wheel-drive and set of on a 290 kms journey to the Victoria River Downs – one of the largest cattle stations in the Territory. Here, you can get your heart pumping on a scenic chopper flight over Nitmiluk and Kakadu National Parks. Continue 55 kms west along the highway to the Humbert River Ranger Station via Yarralin. Fuel and basic supplies are available at this small Aboriginal community if required.

Lock the hubs and engage four-wheel-drive to tackle the Humbert River Track at the entrance of Gregory National Park. Originally a packhorse trail that connected Bullita Homestead to the Humbert River, the track is slow going in sections with several river crossings and jump-ups. Set up camp at the Top Humbert Yard site, just north of the Wickham Track turnoff.

Binns-Track-gregory-national-park
Binns-Track-road-to-bullita

Day 9: Humbert River Track to Bullita Homestead

The northern section of the Humbert Track is jam packed with more four-wheel driving thrills en route to Bullita Homestead. Slow going in sections, it can take up to 4 hours to complete this 48 kms drive. Located on the banks of the East Baines River, the quaint homestead is a reminder of Gregory National Park’s pastoral history.

Wander through the original timber stockyards - believed to be one of the oldest in the Territory - and get lost in the stories of yesteryear that don the homestead walls. Stay overnight at Bullita Campground and enjoy a night of tall tales by a campfire.

Binns-Track-timber-stockyard
Binns-Track-timber-creek

Day 10: Bullita Homestead to Timber Creek

Make the most of your last day and wake early for an adventure at Limestone Gorge – a picture perfect swimming hole engulfed by soaring gorge walls. Explore the dolomite and crater formations in the ravine and cool off, before driving north to Timber Creek, located on the Victoria Highway. Once in town, enjoy a cold drink and counter meal at one of the local pubs.

Later, visit Gregory's Tree on the banks of the Victoria River - an old boab tree that is inscribed with the arrival and departure dates of explorer Augustus Gregory and his party in 1855. Keen anglers should wet their line in the Victoria River and prepare for a battle against the almighty barramundi, while art lovers should visit the rock art paintings at Joe Creek picnic area, east of Timber Creek on the Victoria Highway. Camp or stay in accommodation overnight.

Binns-Track-barramundi
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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 & M Hutchinson Private Collections
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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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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