offroad vans in the west mac ranges

Submitted: Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:05
ThreadID: 91993 Views:1685 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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can any intrepid travellers tell me what the access is like in the west MacDonnell ranges out of Alice. we nave an off-road 16ft goldstream and a pajero. what is the camping area access like?
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Reply By: ss--ss - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:18

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:18
West Mac ranges is a fantastic place! You'll have no problem with your setup.. Places like ormiston gorge have large tour buses driving down there.. You can get a map of all the good places at the information centre in Alice springs or on more than likely there'll be a website detailing them..

Have fun
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:23

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:23
Hi Mick, Shell and the 3 Girls

The only dirt that you will find is when you deviate from the Main Namatjira Drive. The only dirt will be sections west of Hermannsburg, not unless that have finished it all off now.

There are many great places to camp in the Parks.

Have a Great Trip.


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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 23:11

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 23:11
Lovely NP campgrounds Mick & Shell

They love their bollards, but with a small van you should be OK. Favourite of ours was Trephina Gorge in the East - we used it as a base for a few days.

Favourite in the West was Redbank Ridgetop. The woodlands park prior to the eight site ground on the top of the ridge was nice, but the bollards meant we couldn't fit. Nice long sites on the top. We also stayed at Ellery Creek Big Hole - park around a loop road but only a few rigs (unless like some sneaky people you stay in the day area car park). Ormiston Gorge was lovely and worth it to do the full 'pound walk'; the campground has hot showers too - but it is small and very sloping so not the best for caravans, and you have to get there early to get in at all.

If you go on to Palm Valley, the campground also has hot showers and the surrounds gorgeous - but again not many sites to fit caravans. We used a 'coach' bay - long and thin and suited us.

MyBlogs for 2008 tell the full story.


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Follow Up By: tg123 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 09:23

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 09:23
x 2 for Trephina Gorge in the East Macs - definitely worth a couple of days and also for Redbank in the West Macs - looked at other campsites & this one won hands down
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 07:04

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 07:04
Mick and Family
Some of the better guides are and the web site on the Larapinta Trail

You will have no problems getting into Stanley Chasm, Simpsons Gap (no over night stays), Ellery Big Hole, Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen "resort", Redbank gorge. We have done it in our Pajero and camper trailer, though at many sites you will need to unhook your van if you intend to stay overnight.

Suggest camping overnight or basing yourself at Ormiston Gorge or nearby Glen Helen Resort depending on level of facilities you are after. The amenities block at Ormiston was very clean. Simpsons Gap and Stanley Chasm you can do to/fro Alice. I've also backpacked (walked) 200km from Redbank back to Simpsons Gap.

I haven't been around to Palm Valley and Hermannsburg, though we have done the Meerenie Loop to Kings Canyon (just take it very steady with your van).
As Mother Hen stated, The pound walk through Ormiston Pound is fantastic, especially if you walk it in the direction such that you come back into the Gorge from the pound. You can walk up Mt Sonder if you want some fantastic views, it is not hard, just a slow steady climb which will take most people several hours return.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 11:23

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 11:23
Our neighbouring campers at Redbank Ridge took the walk to Mt Sonder - took most of the day.

One evening an adventure tour coach came in and asked if they could use the picnic table at our camp site for nibblies while they watched the sun set on Mt Sonder. They had started the day VERY early by walking to Mt Sonder in time to see the sunrise! Not a walk i would like to take in the dark.


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Reply By: Member - Mick Shell & 3 girls - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:05

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:05
thank you all for your great feedback. looks like we wont be leaving the van in Alice and tenting it after all. on that subject how is the big 4 in alice. remember we have three kids. we will have been on the road for about six weeks and were thinking of stopping for a few days.
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