East MacDonnell Ranges

Place Of Interest

The East MacDonnell Ranges are a hidden treasure. Stretching 100 kilometres east of Alice Springs, the East MacDonnell Ranges provide beautiful scenery for bush walking, camping and four-wheel driving. To the local Eastern Arrernte people, this area is the Dreamtime birthplace of the mountain range. Places like Emily and Jessie Gap, Corroboree Rock and N’Dhala Gorge are of great cultural significance to the Arrernte people. The beauty of these sites, and others such as Trephina Gorge, makes a trip to the East MacDonnells unforgettable. You can base your exploration from Ross River Resort on the eastern end of the ranges. Both cabin and camping facilities are available along with bar and restaurant services.

Late last century the Ranges were the site of Australia’s most remote, but short lived gold rush at what is now Arltunga Historical Reserve. Here there is a ghost town to explore, complete with the remains of mining camps and old mines. Camping is available at Arltunga Bush Pub. The first mining rush actually took place at what is now Ruby Gap Nature Park. As the once hopeful prospectors quickly discovered, they were only garnets, but the scenery is priceless. Try your luck fossicking for your own gems with a tour from the oasis in semi desert mulga country, Gemtree. Equipment is included and experienced guides show you how and where to find the gems, cabin accommodation is available at Gemtree Caravan Park.