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The Rugged Scenery Of The East Macdonnell Ranges
east macdonnell rangesRegardless of whether you are travelling from Ayers Rock, Adelaide, Darwin or Tennant Creek, you will soon discover that you are heading towards Alice Springs. This unique city is nestled between two majestic mountain ranges, which encompass so much intrigue and beauty that you would be mad not to explore them. Situated just one hundred kilometres east of Alice, you will find the breathtaking Eastern MacDonnell Ranges. These ranges are often overshadowed by the more famous ranges in the west, but don't be deceived because they are equally, if not more beautiful. The natural gorges are essentially what makes people want to come here, with Ruby, Trephina and Ndhala Gorges all sure to leave you with a feeling of awe and wonder.

The best way to enjoy the ranges is to base yourself in The Alice. The MacDonnell Range Holiday Park is one of the best places to stay here as it encompasses all the facilities you could need to make your holiday relaxing and stress-free. Just a few kilometres out of town, you will find plenty of playgrounds, bike tracks, go carts, swimming pools, games room and spacious grounds so you can easily get settled in style before you start exploring.

The East MacDonnell Ranges are easy to get to with car rentals if you head south from Alice Springs and turn into the Ross Highway. There are plenty of signs along the way so you won't get lost, as well as a number of nature parks that are well worth a visit.

Start your adventures at Trephina Gorge Nature Park. This place is amazing because you could literally spend an entire week here exploring the winding creeks, clear waterholes and panoramic lookouts. Eagles soar the skyline and back on ground level, there are plenty of wildflowers to capture your eye's attention. The gorge alone encompasses the vast diversity of the ranges, which is essentially why it is the most popular of them all. Home to five beautiful walks that are suitable for most fitness levels, ranging from under an hour to over six hours, plan to spend a couple of days here because you will be glad you did.

Another popular destination among travelers here is the remote spot which is known as the Ross River Resort. This is an ideal base for all your adventures, and offers the perfect place to unwind. Along with cosy log cabins, there is a fantastic caravan park which is ideal for a night or two in rich outback territory. Camel riding and horse riding are popular pass times here, or for those who want to keep their feet firmly on the ground, fossicking for gold will offer a unique experience that you won't soon forget.

Drive a little deeper into the rages for another fifteen kilometres and you will come across N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park. Deeply embedded with a strong aboriginal history, rock carvings can be found on the many walls of the gorges.

Another popular camping spot is the Gemtree Caravan Park. Featuring lush grounds and plenty of room to move, it’s a great place to set up camp and enjoy the very best of Mother Nature. Take another fossicking tour, or enjoy a campfire and some traditional billy tea. There is even a golf course if you feel like releasing some energy. Ruby Gap Nature Park can be found another forty kilometres away, but be aware that this park is only accessible by four wheel drive. It is definitely worth the trek, if you can get there, and an overnight camping experience will be one that you can remember forvere. This region offers some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Northern Territory and is definitely a must-see.

The East MacDonnell Ranges truly are an oasis in the desert. They are the perfect alternative to the Western MacDonnell Ranges, because they aren't as crowded, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere in even more depth. The scenery is rugged and magnificent, and if you are looking for adventure and wildlife at its best than this is one place you need to find yourself.

Christine Barton

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