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 Hayes Rock Hole with steep, narrow rock walls.

Trephina Gorge Nature Park
Trephina Gorge Nature Park © Alan Holden

Trephina Gorge is known for its sheer quartzite cliffs and the iconic River Red Gum that line the watercourses. Two gorges dissect the range, Trephina (with its wide sandy creek bed) and John Hayes Rock Hole (with its steep, narrow rock walls).

Trephina Gorge Nature Park
Amazing red and purple quartzite rock formations in Trephina Gorge © Alan Holden

There are a number of walks that take in the scenic views, gorges and rock holes, as well as the local flora and fauna. You can enjoy the marked walking trails, a simply stroll along the shade of the creek bed, or sit quietly beside a waterhole, observing the wildlife. Keep an eye out for the many insects that inhabit this region, including the Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly.

Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio demoleus sthenelus)
Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio demoleus sthenelus), John Hayes Rockhole, Trephina Gorge

For those wishing to stay overnight, the park has three small camping areas (camping fees applicable).

The region is rich in flora and fauna, as well as a number of introduced species including donkeys, camels and horses. Trephina Gorge Nature Park offers a great place for bird watching, including the Grey-headed Honeyeater picture below.

Check out our Birds section for more information on the Grey-headed Honeyeater (Ptilotula keartlandi).

You can join a tour or drive yourself east from Alice Springs to uncover the jewels of the ‘East Macs’. The road is sealed for the first 75 km (to Trephina Gorge Nature Park), so you can take a day trip to see some of the East’s attractions in a standard car. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle there is even more to explore beyond Trephina Gorge.

The nature park is home to some magnificent examples of desert flora including Ghost Gums and Native Figs.

Check out our Flora section for information on Ghost Gums and Native Figs.