Booking camping in the West Macdonnell Ranges

Submitted: Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 16:21
ThreadID: 132458 Views:2363 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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Hi
We're planning a trip to the west Macs as part of our trip around Australia. I can't find any way of booking campsites. Is it just 1st in best dressed?
Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 19:10

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 19:10
Chris
Do you need caravan/ tent or camper trailer camp sites, that influences things.
What type of amenities do you want?
All National Parks sites are 1st in best dressed, with self registration on site
I've walked from Red Bank Gorge to Alice and I think the best spot by far spot is Ormiston Gorge and from memory it was first in best dressed. They have toilet facilities and from memory cold bore water showers.
The downside is I think it's a bit squeezy for caravans or camper trailers
Ellery Big Hole is also 1st in best dressed , it has Toilet facilities, but I found gets quite crowded.
Red Bank is much quieter, more space but no toilet facilities. You can camp at the Ochre Pits, but no facilities
You can small tent camp at Standley Chasm, it is a private facility which you do need to book at and does have a wood fire heated shower.

Depending on time of the year, you can swim (get wet is a better term) at Redbank, Ormiston & Ellery
IF you require more facilities, there is Glen Helen Resort near Ormiston, but when I was there a few years ago I don't know how they get away with the phrase resort.

Make sure you do the Ormiston Pound walk, especially in a anti clockwise direction.
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 20:44

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 20:44
Ormiston is unreal its like walking through a gateway to another world.I knew the custodians of that area and told me they would get it back as their homeland.Not sure if it happened as I left Alice Springs .I remember camping small little plots and maybe big enough for a lage Campervan like those Britz Whale looking things ..
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Follow Up By: CKG - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 07:40

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 07:40
Thx Mark. We're travelling with a camper trailer. Happy with whatever facilities are available. Looks like an early start out of Alice will be essential to get a site at Ormiston.
Cheers
Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 08:01

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 08:01
Chris
Depending on your time budget, you can use Ormiston as a base to visit Ellery and Red Bank, or even buy dinner at the Glen Helen restaurant. Simpson's Gap I thought was over rated, it is well known simply as it's close to Alice.
IF you do go to Standley Chasm and you are OK with walking, take the walk which leads to the gorge on the other side of the Chasm. It departs from your left had side as you walk to the chasm just after the kiosk and involves a short sharp climb up and back down along a well formed track.
I thought the gorges on the other side are more spectacular than the chasm itself, it's probably a 3 hour return walk. Different Landscapes to Ormiston
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Follow Up By: Member - tazbaz - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 08:18

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 08:18
There are toilets at Redbank
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 22:17

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 22:17
Ellery Creek Big Hole has limited spaces for campers on a flat hard surface. Some that came late parked on the day only area, while others left to find somewhere else.


Ormiston, while a beautiful base for the walks there, fills early. The ground is sloping and not ideal for caravans. The showers are solar warmed but the hot water runs out during the evening with a full campground. The day parking area is a huge flat sealed area, but it is day only.



Redbank Woodland campground was nice, but bollards prevented up fitting in. Up on the Ridgetop there were eight roomy sites and a gorgeous view - our a favourite of the West Macdonnells. We have very few neighbours there. The water down in the gorge can be extremely cold and swimming not recommended.



Chris, the best way to ensure a place is to arrive from the middle of the day to early afternoon. We had a night or two at each of the above.



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Follow Up By: CKG - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 07:36

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 07:36
Thanks Motherhen. Valuable info.
Chris
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