Ormiston Gorge Tjoritja National Park
Ormiston Gorge, located in Tjoritja National Park (formerly known as West MacDonnell National Park), is a beautiful destination in the Australian outback that offers a variety of activities for visitors. Here is a visitor guide to help you plan your trip:
Getting there: The park is located approximately 135 kilometers west of Alice Springs. You can reach the park by driving on the sealed Namatjira Drive.
Entrance fees: A park entry fee of $26 per vehicle (as of 2023) is required, which is valid for 24 hours.
Camping: There are two campgrounds available in the park: Ormiston Gorge Campground and Redbank Gorge Campground. Both campgrounds offer basic facilities such as toilets, showers, and BBQs. It's important to note that camping fees apply, and booking in advance is recommended.
Hiking: There are a variety of hiking trails in the park, ranging from short walks to multi-day treks. The Ormiston Gorge to Finke River trek is a popular 3-day hike that takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the park.
Swimming: Ormiston Gorge is a popular spot for swimming, with a permanent waterhole that's perfect for cooling off on a hot day.
Wildlife viewing: The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including rock wallabies, kangaroos, and birds such as wedge-tailed eagles and black-breasted buzzards. Keep an eye out for them as you explore the park.
Astronomy: Tjoritja National Park is an excellent place for stargazing due to its remote location and lack of light pollution. The park offers regular astronomy tours with knowledgeable guides.
Cultural experiences: The park is also rich in Indigenous culture, with several sacred sites located within its boundaries. There are tours available that offer visitors the chance to learn about the local Arrernte culture and history.
Overall, Ormiston Gorge and Tjoritja National Park offer a unique and beautiful Australian outback experience. It's important to come prepared with plenty of water, appropriate clothing, and camping gear if you plan to stay overnight.
From Alice Springs, vehicle access to the Park is via Larapinta Drive and Namatjira Drive. From Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) the unsealed Red Centre Way (4WD recommended) connects to Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park. Simpsons Gap is also accessible via a 17 km sealed bicycle track which starts opposite Flynn’s Grave, 7 km from Alice Springs along Larapinta Drive.
Image courtesy ParksNT