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Redbank Gorge

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The Red Centre Way
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The Red Centre Way
The narrow Redbank Gorge, through the red quartzite range offers relief from the summer sun with a number of waterholes right to the end where the polished quartzite walls stretch overhead, creating a calm oasis. The waterhole itself is deep and cold (even in summer) and can be crossed by using an inflatable bed or similar.

Located at the western end of the West MacDonnell National Park, just 157 km west of Alice Springs and 25 km from the nearby Glen Helen Gorge and Resort, the 5 km access road from the Redbank Gorge turnoff to Redbank Gorge is unsealed, with high clearance vehicles recommended. There are spaces for parking, information board and toilet facilities.

Redbank Gorge, West MacDonnell Range, Central Australia Maireana campanulata (Bluebush) © Ausemade Pty LtdThe walk to the gorge is approximately 2 km, taking 1.5 hours return. The walk is unmarked, starting on a defined track before ascending into the sandy creek bed. The track is rocky in places and care should be taken. As sand walking can also be tiring, visitors should ensure they take plenty of water and wear protective clothing and sunscreen, especially during the hot summer months.

Usually safe to walk through, visitors should be aware of any rain, especially when it may cause floods. During the 2009 through to early 2011, Central Australia saw significant rainfall. Unique rainfall patterns saw rivers of sand become torrents of water, created by flash flood coursing through gorges. Evident of flood waters can often be seen by the debris collected around trees, sometimes higher than a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Often roads are cut off, with sand, stones and small boulders strewn across the roads.

If you are visiting during unusual rainfall periods, contact your destination for information on safety and whether roads and tracks are passable.

Maireana campanulata (Bluebush) © Ausemade Pty Ltd
Maireana campanulata (Bluebush)

For those wanting to stay overnight there are basic camping facilities at the gorge, the Woodland Camping Area and the Ridgetop Camping Area, with spaces being limited and operating on a first come first serve basis. Both sites have fire pits, picnic tables and toilets. The Woodland Camping Area has gas barbecues.

The gorge is a great place from which to visit Mount Sonder, being the start of the 8 hour return walk to the summit of Mount Sonder. Ensure you let people known if attempting this walk, especially when you are departing and expecting to return.

Those going the ‘Red Centre Way’ tourism experience can take the slight detour to Redbank Gorge and even enjoy the overnight camping or the facilities offered by the nearby Glen Helen Resort.

Check out our listing of MacDonnell Ranges accommodation and Central Australia accommodation, that include Watarrka National Park / Kings Canyon accommodation and Uluru accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Central Australian Visitor Information Centre

Parks and Wildlife Service of the Northern Territory
- Regional Office Alice Springs

Redbank Gorge signage © Ausemade Pty Ltd
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Redbank Gorge Images

       
Red Centre Way — One of NT’s iconic drives through Central Australia
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