Arltunga Historical Reserve

Agri, Mining and Industry

Located 110km east of Alice Springs in the East MacDonnell Ranges, the historic town of Arltunga was officially Central Australia’s first town and once supported up to 3,000 people. Arltunga was born out of a gold rush in 1887, when alluvial gold was discovered in a dry creek bed. Fortune seekers had to travel 600km from the Oodnadatta railhead, often on foot, to seek their fortune in a harsh environment. At the time, Alice Springs consisted of just the Overland Telegraph Station, and was little more than an outpost that had expanded as it became the supply base of Arltunga. Mining activity continued in the area for 30 years.

Today you can relive the heyday of Arltunga at the Historical Reserve, where the remains of mines, old miner’s camps and stone buildings (some of which have been restored), are preserved for the public to explore.

Drivers are advised the road to Arltunga includes 33km of gravel road. The fossicking area is located outside the reserve, however you can pan for gold in the visitor centre’s courtyard display.

The Visitor Centre provides visitors with a detailed understanding of the Reserve’s past.


Barbeque Carpark Coach Parking Interpretive Centre Lookouts Picnic Area Public Toilet




Regional Tourist/Tourism Association/Organisation Visitor Information Centre




From AU$10.00

Park entry fees – Parks Pass applies.
(NT residents exempt).

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Ruby Gap

Ruby Gap Nature Park

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Trephina Gorge

Trephina Gorge Nature Park

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Arltunga Police Station historic buildings

Arltunga Historical Reserve

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NDhala Gorge

N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park

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The remains of graves at the Winnecke Goldfields Cemetery.

Winnecke Goldfield Cemetery

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General view of Ross River Homestead, the old homestead building (white walled) visible to the right-hand side of the photo incorporated into a larger tourist complex.

Ross River Homestead

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