Simpsons Gap: Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park
Simpsons Gap is one of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges.
At dawn or dusk you may spot a black-footed rock wallaby along the walking track or near the permanent waterhole. You cannot swim in the waterhole.
Vegetation typical of the MacDonnell Ranges is found in the area, including large stands of mulga and over 40 rare and relict plants.
Several dreaming trails and stories cross at this important spiritual site.
There are many short walks that pass the native plants of the area, including ancient ghost gums, and to views of the range.
Simpsons Gap is also located on the Larapinta Trail and from here you can walk sections one or two.
Camping is allowed at Simpsons Gap for Larapinta Trail walkers only, at the designated camping area.
Get the Simpsons Gap fact sheet and map .
Ormiston Gorge Ranger Station phone: (08) 8956 7799
Simpsons Gap Ranger Station phone: (08) 8955 0310
|Park sites||Access||Comments||Forecast opening|
|Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park||Open|
Substantial bushfire damage in the area. Please heed all local warning signs, or direction from a ranger.
Please ensure you do not walk in areas recently burnt unless wearing sturdy footwear, in case of still smouldering embers. DO NOT camp near fire damaged trees.
|Birthday Waterhole||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Ellery Creek Big Hole||Open||Dolomite Walk is closed and is being assessed for damage. Please heed all local advisory signs.|
|Glen Helen Gorge||Open||NA|
|Hugh Gorge||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Aranda Walk||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Ormiston Gorge||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Ghost Gum Lookout||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Ormiston Pound Walk: Ormiston Gorge||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Ghost Gum Loop Walk||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Redbank Gorge||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Simpsons Gap Bicycle Path||Open||NA|
|Serpentine Gorge||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Serpentine Chalet||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
|Larapinta Trail||Partial closure|
The majority of Larapinta Trail has been affected by bushfire in January 2019. This has impacted on track marking and will make navigation along the trail very difficult. Parks, Wildlife and Heritage staff will assess this as soon as possible and as soon as weather conditions permit.
Due to current heatwave conditions in Central Australia, undertaking the Larapinta Trail is not recommended. If you must attempt the trail PLEASE READ our information on how to beat the heat in the NT.
Please also review the Current Conditions on the trail.
|Section 1 - Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap||Open||Not affected by the fire damage referred to above.||NA|
|Section 2 - Simpsons Gap to Jay Creek||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 3 - Jay Creek to Standley Chasm||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 4 - Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 5 - Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 6 - Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 7 - Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 8 - Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 9 - Serpentine Chalet to Ormiston Gorge||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 10 - Ormiston Gorge to Finke River||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 11 - Finke River to Redbank Gorge||CLOSED||Due to bushfire damage in the area.|
|Section 12 - Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder return||Open||Please heed all local advisory signs.||NA|
All year round, but it is best to visit in the cooler months from April to September.
The turnoff to Simpsons Gap is along Larapinta Drive, 18km west of Alice Springs.
The Gap can also be reached by cycling 17kms one way along the sealed Simpsons Gap Bike Path.
Simpsons Gap has all of the following facilities:
- information signs
- ranger station - for emergency contact only
- picnic area
- public toilets
- drinking water - must be treated before drinking
- gas barbecues
- disabled access
When visiting the park remember all of the following:
- stay on designated roads and tracks
- all historic, cultural items and wildlife are protected
- fires are not permitted - use the barbecues provided
- pets are not permitted in the park
- swimming is not permitted in Simpsons Gap.
You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Simpsons Gap by doing all of the following:
- observe park safety signs
- carry and drink plenty of water
- wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, suitable clothing and footwear
- avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
- think about your health and fitness when choosing a walk.
Phone: 08 8951 8250
Last updated: 18 January 2019