Ochre Pits - Places to Visit - The West Macs

This place is the source of painting materials of aboriginals for centuries and is a pleasant respite for the visitor before rejoining the road to Ormiston Gorge. Ochre has been used all over the world for decoration and painting since pre-historic times. The natural ochres in the cliff face here have provided a source of materials for Indigenous peoples for thousands of years and still do to this day.

Ochre Pits, West MacDonnell National Park

The Ochre Pits is a registered sacred site and is protected by Sacred Site and Parks and Wildlife legislation. The site offers the unique opportunity for visitors to view a ochre deposit that is still used by local Arrarnta peoples. Please do not touch or interfere with any of the ochre - severe penalties apply and the site is regularly patrolled by Rangers.

Ochre has been used all over the world for decoration and painting since pre-historic times. At this location you can see the natural ochres in the cliff face here have provided a source of materials for Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. And they still provide brilliant colours for modern man too, since their shifting hues make for some excellent photos.


Key features:

  • An opportunity to learn and experience a little of the local Arrarnta culture and to understand the importance of ochre in traditional life. 
  • The Ochre Pits area is a convergence of a variety of plant habitats so it is a great place to see a large variety of the plants of the West Macs.
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