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Trephina Gorge Nature Park

Northern Territory, Australia Travel

Trephina Gorge
Trephina Gorge Info
East MacDonnell Ranges
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Northern Territory Tours
Trephina Gorge Nature Park
Located 85 km east of Alice Springs in the beautiful East MacDonnell Ranges, the scenic Trephina Gorge makes for a great place to relax and enjoy the striking landforms such as 'The Bluff', the stately gums along its creek and the rich birdlife. Noted for its sheer quartzite cliffs and River Red Gum lined watercourses, two gorges dissect the range: Trephina, with its wide views and sandy creek bed, and John Hays Rock Hole with steep, narrow rock walls.

View down of the creek bed - Trephina Gorge (Trephina Gorge Nature Park) in the East MacDonnell Ranges.

You can enjoy a number of marked walking trails, a simply stroll along the shade of the creek bed, or site quietly beside a waterhole, observing the wildlife. For those wishing to stay overnight, the park has three small camping areas (camping fees applicable).

When to visit
The cooler months (April to September) are the most pleasant times to visit Trephina Gorge Nature Park. During the peak visitor period (June to September), Rangers conduct guided walks and campfire talks twice a week.

Accessible to all vehicles, access is via the sealed Ross Highway, and then a 9 km drive into Trephina Gorge, with the last 5 km on a gravel road. The John Hayes Rockhole track within the Park is recommended for 4WD vehicles only. Infrequent heavy rains may cause all roads to become impassable.

Source: NRETA Parks and Wildlife Services: Trephina Gorge Nature Park and Park signage

Check out the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Services For additional information:

Information Centre Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Services

Check out the NT Parks and Wildlife Services
Trephina Gorge Nature Park fact sheet (PDF)

Trephina Gorge Walks

There are a number of walks and campground in the park:
  • Gorge Stroll
    • 500 m return — 20 minutes
    An easy walk to the waterhole in the spectacular Trephina Gorge.
  • John Hayes Rockhole
    • Distance 200 m return — 10 minutes
    This is an easy walk into the Rockhole at the eastern end of the gorge. Good views of the Rockhole and gorge can be seen from the lookout on the Chain of Ponds Walk. The entrance to the John Hayes Rockhole is also the location of one of the remote campground and day use areas.

    Some of the fauna found in the water include Whirligig Beetle (Macrogyrus elongatus, 12 mm long), Backswimmer (Enithares sp. - 12 mm long), and Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis - 40 mm long). Water Scorpions can inflict a painful nip.
  • Trephina Gorge Walk
    • 2 km loop — 1 hour
    A moderate walk along the rim of the Gorge with scenic views. The track descends into the Gorge and follows the creek back to the car park.
  • Panorama Walk
    • 3 km loop — 1 hour
    A moderate to difficult walk offering scenic views overlooking the Park and to Mordor Pound in the north.
  • Ridgetop Walk
    • 10 km one way — 6.5  hours one way
    This is a difficult walk with a sense of isolation, great views and great way to check out the flora in this area. Begin at either end and arrange a vehicle return or walk 8 km along the road to your starting point, allowing an extra 1.5 hours.
  • Creekbed Ramble
    You can either go for a quick wander or a slow walk along the creek bed anywhere in the park, enjoying the birds, River Red Gums and other flora.
  • Chain of Ponds Walk
    • 4 km loop — 1.5 hours
    This is an easy 20 minute walk to the rim of a narrow gorge offering spectacular views. However, some difficult climbing and scrambling is required to continue to the car park via the gorge (which is impassable after heavy rain).

Source: NT Parks and Wildlife Service signage

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Trephina Gorge Fauna

Trephina Gorge is a great place to see some wildlife, especially around the waterholes. Some of the birds sighted in the region including:
  • Western Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)
    belong to the group known as the Australian Ringneck. Currently all these parrots with yellow ‘ringneck’ hind-collars belong to the one species. They are noisy parrots often seen in the River Red Gums along the watercourses. In the breeding season a pair will inspect many tree hollows, inside and out, with much chattering and tailwagging before selecting their nest site. Habitat: found
  • Grey-headed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus keartlandi)
    a small bird about 15-17 cm with a distinctive pale grey crown, merging into a tawny grey-brown or grey-green back. The wings are edged in yellow. Has a sooty black seeming to extend from the beak across the eye, with a deep yellow underline. The throat, breast and belly is a pale, lemon yellow, the breast also being softly streaked brown. An active, busy, noisy species, seen darting about in the trees and shrubs. Habitat: found in the northern arid regions, usually rocky hillsides, gorges and escarpment with scattered trees, mallee, mulga and other shrubs. Status: sometimes seen gathered in large numbers at sites with abundant flowering. Otherwise nomadic but common.

Source: NT Parks and Wildlife Service signage

 
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