Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell National Park
number of scenic gaps pierce the West MacDonnell Ranges.
One of these is Simpsons Gap, site of one of the most
prominent waterholes in the region. Simpsons Gap is
one of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell
Located 18 kilometres from Alice Springs, it features
the towering cliffs of Simpsons Gap, a permanent waterhole,
and opportunities to spot resident wildlife. Simpsons
Gap is one of the gaps in the ranges west and east of
Alice Springs. It is open all year round usually from
sun-up to sun-down so the opening times differ in relation
to the seasons. For example, summer it is open longer,
winter, shorter hours. It is home to at least four local
area is an important spiritual site to the Arrarnta
Aboriginal people, where several dreaming trails and
There are many short walks that pass the native plants
of the area including ancient Ghost Gums and to views
of the range.
Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte Aboriginal people,
Simpsons Gap was the mythological home of a group of
giant goanna ancestors. Several dreaming trails and
stories cross at this important spiritual site.
Gap is also located on the Larapinta Trail, a 223 kilometre
walking track through the West MacDonnell Ranges, from
Simpsons Gap you can walk Sections 1 or 2.
At dawn and dusk you might see Black-footed Rock-wallabies
along the walking track into the gap. Vegetation typical
of the MacDonnell Ranges is found in the area, including
large stands of Mulga and over 40 rare and relict plants.
examples of many of the vegetation communities of the
MacDonnell Ranges are found in the Simpsons Gap area,
including large stands of Mulga, and the area around
the gap is a major stronghold for some of the rare and
relict plants of the region.
is accessible all year round with the cooler months
(April to September) being the most pleasant. The Visitor
Information Centre is just past the entrance gate and
offers a good introduction for first time visitors.
Opening times: ¦ Daily
Activities: ¦Barbecue ¦Cycling ¦Animal Viewing
Facilities: ¦BBQ Facilities ¦Bicycle Rack ¦Car
park ¦Coach Parking ¦Picnic Area ¦Public Toilet ¦Shaded
Area ¦Sheltered Area ¦Walking Tracks
It is open all year round usually from sun-up to sun-down
so the opening times differ in relation to the seasons.
For example, summer it is open longer, winter, shorter
The turn off to Simpsons Gap is along the Larapinta
Drive. The Gap can also be reached by cycling 17 kilometres
one way along the Simpsons Gap Bike Path. Camping is
permitted at Simpsons Gap for Larapinta Trail walkers
The displays highlights points of interest within the
park and provides information on the areas natural and
The towering cliffs of the Simpsons Range
The permanent waterhole
A large variety of walking trails and thousands of
frogs after summer rains.