4WD West MacDonnell Ranges Tour (Thorny Devil) Day Tour

Explore the mighty West MacDonnell Ranges, take a hike at Ormiston Gorge and cool off with a swim in Ellery Creek Big Hole!

map Alice Springs, Australia
Full Day
Start & End Time
Start & End Time
6:00 am
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
5 yrs
FromAUD $95
ValueAUD $99SAVE 4%
Not available
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What's Included

  • Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges in one day 
  • Hike and swim at Ormiston Gorge
  • Discover culture at the Ochre Pits
  • Experience the desert landscape on the Ghost Gum Walk
  • Be wowed by Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • Enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch 
  • Travel with professional guides 

Why do we love this

"This tour combines picturesque scenery, stunning hikes and cultural sights for the ultimate desert experience. We love the fact that this trip has such a range of activities, from spotting wildlife or swimming in natural waterholes to learning about traditional culture at the Ochre Pitts, it really is an immersive experience!"



Buckle up! It's time to trek through the iconic Macdonnell ranges on a 4WD adventure!

Depart Alice Springs at 6.00 am and begin your action-packed drive towards the mighty West MacDonnell Ranges.

Your first stop is Ormiston Gorge, a stunning desert spot situated around a natural rock hole. Keep your eyes peeled for Perentie Lizards lazing along the banks and take a swim in the cool water. Explore the landscape further on the “Ghost Gum Walk”, a 1.5 hour loop that gives you glorious views through the majestic gorge. Keep following the trail as it descends along the rocky floor towards Ormiston Waterhole.

After you've built up an appetite by hiking and swimming to your heart's content, enjoy a tasty BBQ lunch. 

Next, you'll journey on to the Ochre Pits for the chance to learn about Indigenous culture. This is a sacred site still used today by the Traditional owners of the area. You'll be able to see the natural ochres that have been used by Indigenous people for thousands of years and experience the cultural significance of the site. 

Your next stop is Ellery Creek Big Hole, one of the most picturesque swimming and walking spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Surrounded by sky-high red cliffs and a sandy creek, the waterhole has been gradually carved out by floods over thousands of years. There is permanently water here - a rare thing in the Australian desert, making it a special meeting place for the local Arrernte people. It's known to them as Udepata.

After you explore Ellery Big Hole and surrounds, it's time to hop back into the 4WD to head back to Alice Springs.


This is a one-day tour departing Alice Springs at 6:00 am and arriving back at 5:30 pm.

What to bring: Wide brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle (1.5 litres), walking shoes/boots, swim wear, towel and camera. 

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In the warmer months there are quite a lot of flies around in Central Australia. A lot of people find these to be quite annoying. It is advisable that you bring along a fly net so these little guys don't drive you crazy!

In summer shorts and a shirt is all that is really needed. We would also recommend light weight long sleeve shirts and long (zip off) pants. Our temperatures can be excessive and this can impact fair skinned people. A jumper/pullover is recommended for the early morning if it happens to get a bit chilly. Swimwear is recommended as there will be swimming opportunities - don't forget a towel! Also bring a broad brimmed hat (not a baseball cap), sunglasses and sunscreen.

Our winter days are generally mild and most of the time you can still wear shorts and a shirt during the day. However, the nights and early mornings can be very cold. You will need to bring warm clothes - long pants, a good jumper, wind breaker, a beanie, scarf, gloves and good woollen socks are recommended.

Regardless of the time of year that you are travelling you will need to bring a hat, preferably wide-brimmed.

This is very much governed on where your tour commences and where it concludes. For those returning to their starting location (e.g. Darwin to Darwin, Alice Springs to Alice Springs) we recommend that you bring only one small bag per person with the things you will need for the duration of your tour. Suitcases are not recommended. You should be able to store your excess baggage at your accommodation while you are away.

We do make exceptions for people that book one way journeys however, this needs to be discussed with us prior to booking. There is a baggage lifting limit of 20kg. You may be required to assist the guide with loading and unloading.

Sunscreen, torch (preferably hands free head light), camera (plus spare fully charged batteries), mosquito repellent (summer), towel, toiletries, any medication required, water bottle (1.5 litre is best). Fresh water supplies for refilling bottles will be available throughout the tour. If you have walking/trekking poles/sticks these can also be handy in some of the undulating terrain.

No. All you need to bring is a water bottle. We recommend a minimum 1.5 litre bottle. We will be carrying large containers of chilled water that you can fill at the commencement and conclusion of all walks. Most walks have water replenishing facilities. For those warmer locations and walks (Kakadu/Central Australia) we recommend that an additional 1 litre of water is carried, particularly during our warmer months.

Our tours are active adventures that include a fair amount of walking, hiking and water based activities. Walks can extend to 4 hours duration in warm to hot conditions, so a reasonable level of fitness is required, We don't expressly set any age restrictions. Our tours are a mix of true outback adventure camping to soft camping. Less demanding treks/walks are available at most locations for those less active. Regardless, good health is important but ultimately, it is an open and positive attitude that matters. It is very important that any pre-existing medical conditions are discussed with our staff at time of booking.

Our tours depart most locations early each morning (before 6.30am). We will pick you up from your place of accommodation on the first morning of the tour. You must advise us your accommodation a minimum 24 hours prior to departure. Failure to do so could result in you missing the departure. Those flying in to other locations must advise this at time of tour booking.

Warning: Should you not advise your accommodation or air flight connection times, sleep in, etc, and miss departure you may be required to pay an additional relocation fee to meet your tour. Should you need re-allotment to another tour on another date you will be required to pay an additional tour cost. All or any costs associated with additional accommodation, changing flight schedules, etc is your responsibility.

Small print
Terms & Conditions:

  1. Itinerary may change due to cultural reasons, seasonal changes, operational logistics and accessibility.

  2. Tour is not suitable for children under 5 years of age.

  3. Due to limited space on the vehicle please restrict luggage to one day pack and one soft overnight bag/backpack. Excess luggage should be stored at your Alice Springs accommodation. If commencing at Ayers Rock please ensure you have one day pack and a soft overnight bag/backpack with the items you require for the 3 days packed inside as your large luggage will be stored in the vehicle/trailer and will not be accessible during this time.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event a booking is cancelled, the following fees will apply:

  • Cancellations 30 days or more before departure: 25% of the total cost
  • Cancellations between 14 and 29 days of departure: 50% of total price
  • Cancellations between 8 and 13 days of departure: 75% of the total price
  • Cancellations within 7 days of departure: 100% of the total price

Read full supplier's terms & conditions

Location map

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Alice Springs


FromAUD $95
ValueAUD $99SAVE 4%
Not available
instant confirmationInstant confirmation
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