- Back to homepage
Alice Springs, in Australia’s Northern Territory, is a perfect base from which to explore the natural sculptures and hidden waterholes of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The folded topography of this huge stretch of rock forms countless micro-climates, niches for species found nowhere else on Earth. Experience the timeless grandeur of this amazing place on a two-day four-wheel drive safari.
Over 200 km long, The West MacDonnell Ranges emerge from the land in Australia’s Northern Territory like a vast blade, cutting through the city of Alice Springs in the geographical heart of the continent. The mountains in the region surrounding the city are riddled with canyons and unique rock formations bearing testament to their great age and the vicissitudes of Australia’s climate, which provide a foothold for a host of plant and animal species, many endemic to the particular areas they occupy in these ranges. The folds and fissures of the rocks also hide old Aboriginal rock paintings, the echoes of ancient whispers caught in the stone, stories still meaningful to those who know how to listen.
On this Safari you’ll visit the spectacular gorges at Ormiston and Glen Helen, the latter with a year-round waterhole, and see the only palm trees for 800km at the aptly named Palm Valley. At the Oak Valley Aboriginal Community you’ll find out about Aboriginal life from the people themselves, and learn the finer points of spear and boomerang throwing, bush tucker, as well as the relationship between the art, myths and culture of the Aboriginal people and how they relate to the land. You’ll also take in the 500m high distinctive rock formations of Gosse Bluff, which looks for all the world like a crater five kilometres wide. Indeed, it is the product of an ancient comet impact, though the crater itself, of which Gosse Bluff forms the central point, was perhaps 20km in diameter, but has since been eroded away.
This is a great opportunity to explore a slice of Australia’s outback in a simple, down-to-earth style. If you want to taste the timeless scale and ancient feel of the bush and find out about Aboriginal life firsthand, but don’t fancy a lengthy trek, this safari tour may be just what you’re looking for. There’s a lot to take in, but the pace is leisurely enough and you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the space at the major sites. Do bear in mind that a reasonable level of fitness is necessary, as well as a willingness to put up with the bumps and shakes of a four-wheel drive tour! Also, please note that children under eight are not accepted on this safari.
You will be travelling in a remote and sometimes challenging area. From time to time your itinerary may need to be adjusted due to a number of factors including road closures, weather conditions and requests from the Traditional Aboriginal owners of the lands. As you are travelling in a culturally sensitive area, it is possible that on occasions the Aboriginal people request we do not travel to certain parts of their lands due to ceremonies and other cultural considerations.
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.