How to Reach West MacDonnell National Park
By Car (from Alice Springs)
The fastest way to reach the West Macdonnell Ranges is from the city of Alice Springs. Alice Springs is only a ten-minute drive to West MacDonnell National Park (also known as West Macs). Once you enter the park, continue on Larapinta Drive or Namatjira Drive.
By Car (from Darwin)
Another great way to travel from Darwin to the West Macs is by taking a road trip. The drive itself takes 15 hours and 20 minutes, however the route goes through Mataranka, Elsey National Park, and passes by Litchfield National Park and many more. All of these locations are gorgeous and each one has something unique to offer visitors.
In the West Macs, a car is necessary to go around unless you are visiting through a guided tour program. Although a 4WD is not necessary, there are a handful of locations that require it, such as the Serpentine Gorge, Ormistion Gorge, and parts of the Redbank Gorge. Most of these locations are camping locations, and there are plenty of camp sites that are accessible by all cars.
If you are flying into Australia from another country, the closest international airport is located in Darwin, the territory’s capital. The flight from Darwin International Airport (DRW) to Alice Springs Airport (ASP) is around 2 hours and ranges from $400 to $900.
Bus options are also available. From Darwin to Alice on a bus takes around 22 hours.
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Where to Stay in West MacDonnell National Park?If you are interested in the full outdoor experience, the West Macdonnell Ranges has quite a few campsite options that are available for you to stay at. Most of the campgrounds cost $4 for every adult and $2 for every child. Book your campsite here in advance in order to ensure a spot as some sites reach their capacity. The Hugh Gorge, Jay Creek, and Simpsons Gap campsites are for Larapinta Trail hikers only. For an in-nature experience that is a little more glamorous, check out Crowne Plaza Alice Springs. Nestled at the foot of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs, the 4.5 star Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters offers rooms with a balcony or patio. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a heated pool, a spa bath and a 24-hour health and fitness center. And, it is also a Travel Sustainable Property! Look here for more information and booking details. Prefer accommodations within city limits? Use the search below to see other options for all different price points!
When is the Best Time to Visit West MacDonnell National Park?
The best time to visit the park is between April and September. Visit popular locations within the park, such as Ellery Big Creek Hole, earlier in the morning around 7am in order to avoid the crowd. For more information about the best time to visit read the full blog here.
Tjoritja is perfect for anyone with a niche for the outdoors. Use these tips and tricks to plan your own adventure to Australia’s West Macdonnell National Park!
We hope you have an amazing time visiting the West MacDonnell Ranges in the National Park! We would love your feedback – please comment below if you’ve been or if you have any questions or suggestions.
*Cover photo is by @bel_hutch on Instagram.