Holidays in Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park

Holiday Travel Guide
West MacDonnell National Park featuring hiking or walking, a sunset and landscape views

Encounter the enormity of the Australian bush, as well as its secluded places, from chasms and gorges to pristine waterholes, each with its own dreamtime story.

The West MacDonnell National Park, also known as Tjoritja, is a hidden oasis in the middle of the rugged desert country of the Northern Territory. Its many spectacular waterholes and gorges are a significant part of Arrernte indigenous culture. Their creation stories tell of giant caterpillars that created the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Challenge your endurance on the 223-kilometre (138-mile) long Larapinta Trail, or choose a few sections to explore separately. This hike along the West MacDonnell Ranges is broken up into 12 sections, each taking 1-2 days.

Within the Larapinta Trail there are plenty of places to cool off with a swim. Enjoy the scenery at the Ellery Creek Bighole, a picturesque waterhole beneath the gum trees. This area is part of the Arrernte people’s Honey Ant Dreaming trail. Hike into Ormiston Gorge through a trail of small pools and swim in the large waterhole, spotting the shy marsupials that live in the shelter of the gorge.

Stay at Glen Helen, a resort within a former cattle station framed by the huge sandstone cliffs that rise above a permanent waterhole, where a sacred Rainbow Serpent is said to dwell. The region’s waterholes are vital to the survival of creatures from wallabies and dingoes to birds and reptiles. Dawn and dusk are the best times to spot them.

Climb up Mount Sonder for stunning views over the West MacDonnell Ranges. The hike takes around 6 hours return. Cool off with a swim in Redbank Gorge before camping beneath the stars at the nearby site. Don’t forget to photograph Mount Sonder at sunrise and sunset when the rock glows red and purple.

The West MacDonnell National Park can be accessed from Alice Springs by bicycle along the Simpsons Gap Bicycle Path or by car along Larapinta Drive and Namatjira Drive. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from April to October, as the temperatures during summer can get extreme and storms are frequent.

Top activities in Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park

31 Cheap Hotels Near Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
20 Gregory Terrace, Corner Hartley St and Gregory Terra, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$98 per night from 26 Dec. to 26 Dec.
Situated in Alice Springs, this motel is steps away from Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Gallery, Todd Mall and Adelaide House. Alice Springs Reptile Centre ...
3.8/5 Good! (937 reviews)
"Staff very friendly and accommodating😜"

Reviewed on 25 Aug. 2021

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Squeaky Windmill
Squeaky Windmill
2 out of 5
971 Ilparpa Rd, White Gums, NT
Located in White Gums, this campsite is within 9 mi (15 km) of Simpsons Gap, Alice Springs Desert Park and Heavitree Gap. Alice Springs Reptile Centre and Todd ...
5/5 Exceptional! (8 reviews)
Glamping in Alice Springs!
"Beautiful views! Glamping tents were so spacious and the kitchenette was so well appointed. Michelle was very welcoming and even built a fire for roasting marshmallows. A great alternative choice for staying near Alice Springs. Only 10 minutes from town. We stayed in July, which was pretty cold in ..."

Reviewed on 6 Jul. 2019

Squeaky Windmill
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$172 per night from 4 Dec. to 4 Dec.
Located in Desert Springs, this luxury hotel is steps away from Alice Springs Convention Centre and Lasseters Casino. Yeperenye-Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (983 reviews)
"Everything as expected. The hotel has everything I needed. Breakfast was good and facilities were well maintained and staff was helpful and friendly"

Reviewed on 30 Oct. 2021

Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
20 Gregory Terrace, Corner Hartley St and Gregory Terra, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$98 per night from 26 Dec. to 26 Dec.
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Squeaky Windmill
Squeaky Windmill
2 out of 5
971 Ilparpa Rd, White Gums, NT
Squeaky Windmill
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$172 per night from 4 Dec. to 4 Dec.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Desert Palms Alice Springs
Desert Palms Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
74 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$133 per night from 22 Dec. to 22 Dec.
Desert Palms Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
4.5 out of 5
82 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$162 per night from 3 Dec. to 3 Dec.
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
Discovery Parks – Glen Helen
Discovery Parks – Glen Helen
3 out of 5
1 Namatjira Drive, Braitling, NT
The price is AU$124 per night from 1 Dec. to 1 Dec.
Discovery Parks – Glen Helen
Quest Alice Springs
Quest Alice Springs
4.5 out of 5
9-10 South Terrace, The Gap, NT
The price is AU$165 per night from 3 Dec. to 3 Dec.
Quest Alice Springs
Aurora Alice Springs
Aurora Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
11 Leichardt Tce, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$116 per night from 15 Dec. to 15 Dec.
Aurora Alice Springs
BIG4 Macdonnell Range Holiday Park
BIG4 Macdonnell Range Holiday Park
4.5 out of 5
Palm Place, Ross, NT
BIG4 Macdonnell Range Holiday Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.