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Ellery Creek Big Hole

West MacDonnell National Park

Northern Territory, Australia Travel

Ellery Creek Big Hole
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Ellery Creek Big Hole (West MacDonnell National Park)
Ellery Creek is part of the Finke River system, with Ellery Creek Big Hole being one of the largest permanent waterholes in the West MacDonnell National Park, offering a important source of water for the local wildlife. Known locally as the ‘Alice Springs Beach’, it provides a popular refreshing stop for many locals and travellers.

The Aboriginal name for Ellery Bighole is ‘Udepata’. This permanent water made it a special meeting place for the Arrernte people on the fish and honey ant dreaming trails.

Located about an hour’s drives west of Alice Springs, along Namatjira Drive, the waterhole is a great place to swim or just relax on a hot day. Swimmers should take care, as the water is deep, and during the winter, extremely cold. For your own safety, do not climb or jump from rocks.

The park also offers a great spot to camp, especially for those who are happy to ‘rough it’. There are wood barbecues provided, but you must bring your own wood into the park. Generators are not permitted. Ellery Creek is managed by rangers based at Ormiston Gorge.

For more information contact the NT Parks and Wildlife or the local tourism visitor centre.

Information Centre

Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory - Alice Springs Region

Central Australian Visitor Information Centre

Simpson Gap Visitor Information Centre

Parks and Wildlife fact sheet for the West MacDonnell National Park

Source: Park signage and Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Territory

Ellery Creek Big Hole Attractions

Walks
There are a number of walks including the famous Larapinta Trail.
  • Dolomite Loop — Distance: 3 km loop, Time: 1.5 hours, Grade: Moderate.
    This track, marked with maroon arrows, offers a walk along a timbered gully and through spinifex covered hills. The track crosses rocks that originated on the floor of an ancient inland sea. Signs along the way explain more about this area's intriguing geological history and local plant life.
  • Ellery Creek Walk — Distance: your choice, Grade: Easy, soft sand can become tiring.
    A walk along Ellery Creek introduces you to some distinctive habitat types that are common in the West MacDonnell National Park. The southern entrance to Ellery Gap includes cliffs, fallen boulders and dense vegetation. Large trees and permanent water, make it a busy and important place for local wildlife.
  • The Larapinta Trail includes the waterhole as part of the trail. There are two sections
    Larapinta Trail Section 6 — Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek
    Larapinta Trail Section 7 — Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge

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Ellery Creek Big Hole Images

Ellery Creek Waterhole, also known locally as ‘Alice Springs Beach’. Ellery Creek Waterhole, also known locally as ‘Alice Springs Beach’. Ellery Creek Waterhole (West MacDonnell Ranges)
Dingo
Dingo, cooling off in Ellery Creek waterhole.
Dingo
Orange spade flower (Hybanthus aurantiacus)
Orange Spade Flower
Ellery Creek Waterhole (West MacDonnell Ranges) Native Fig - Ellery Creek Waterhole (West MacDonnell Ranges)
Ellery Creek Waterhole (West MacDonnell Ranges) Ellery Creek Waterhole (West MacDonnell Ranges) Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java) © Greg Sully, April 2007
Caper White Butterfly
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java) © Greg Sully, April 2007
Caper White Butterfly
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