Simpsons Gap

Located 18 kilometres from Alice Springs, there are towering cliffs of Simpsons Range, a permanent waterhole, and opportunities to spot resident wildlife.

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You have the opportunity to book Alice Springs to Uluru tours and explore this part of the region with us.

Simpsons Gap is a gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges

The area showcases the towering cliffs of Simpsons Range, a permanent waterhole, and chances to observe local wildlife.

Come the crack of dawn or the dim of dusk; you're likely to spot the Black-footed Rock-wallabies having a bit of a wander along the track leading into the gap. The joint's sprawling with typical MacDonnell Ranges greenery, boasting hefty clusters of Mulga and more than 40 rare and old-timey plants.

A handful of easy-going walks will take you past the native flora, including the ancient Ghost Gums, and offer you a squiz at the range. Simpsons Gap is also a stop on the Larapinta Trail, a 231-kilometre trek through the West MacDonnell Ranges. You can tackle Sections 1 or 2 of the trail from Simpsons Gap.

To the Arrernte Aboriginal mob, this place is known as Rungutjirpa, the mythical dig for many massive goanna ancestors. It's a spot where several Dreaming tracks and yarns meet, making it a top-notch spiritual site.

If you want to check out Simpsons Gap, you'll veer off at Larapinta Drive. For the pedal pushers, a 17-kilometre one-way ride along the Simpsons Gap Bike Path will get you there too. Camping is on the cards at Simpsons Gap, but only for the Larapinta Trail walkers. You'll need to cough up for multi-day walker fees and camping fees.


The Simpsons Gap area is jointly maintained by the Northern Territory Government and traditional Aboriginal owners to offer visitors a range of facilities for an enjoyable and memorable experience. Some of the facilities available include:


  • Picnic tables near Simpsons Gap and the ranger station for shaded dining areas are available.
  • Gas barbeques are available, allowing you to cook your meals for free.
  • There are clean, flushing toilets located behind the carpark.
  • Access to drinking water and handwashing facilities
  • Parking is available for coaches and cars.



Simpsons Gap is a short 20-minute drive from Alice Springs on a paved road. A 17km one-way bicycle path starts opposite Flynn's Grave, 7km from Alice Springs CBD on Larapinta Drive. This can be a pleasant ride for confident bike riders and family members.

Remember to bring your helmet, water, and snacks. Be sure to use sun protection and choose a more relaxed time of day for the ride.


Multiple hiking trails in the Simpsons Gap area are marked with directional signs. Some popular walks include:

Ghost Gum Walk

The Ghost Gum walk, located less than a kilometre behind the ranger station, is a short and easy nature trail that provides an introduction to the flora, fauna, and geology of the area, including the ancient Ghost Gum or Corymbia aparrerinja.

Cassa Hill Walk

The Cassa Hill Walk is a 1.5km loop walk that takes about one hour to complete. Along the way, hikers will follow creek beds and eventually reach the top of a small hill, offering stunning views of the MacDonnell Ranges and Simpsons Gap area.

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Woodland Trail

This 17km walk explores lesser-visited sections of the Simpsons Gap. The route includes the Bond Gap on the Woodland Trail and section 2 of the Larapinta Trail. Eventually, you will reach the narrow aperture of the Gap itself, where you may see black-footed rock wallabies blending into the rocky slopes. Keep your eyes open for these gorgeous creatures. The walk showcases various examples of Mulga woodland along the way.

Larapinta Trail

The Larapinta Trail is a 223km long hiking track through the West MacDonnell Ranges, consisting of 12 sections. Simpsons Gap is part of sections 1 and 2. It takes approximately 1.5 days to complete each section if you want to hike the entire trail.

Sections 1 and 2 of the trail are challenging due to steep ascents. Section 1 spans from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap, covering a distance of 24.7km. It offers views of Alice Springs and opportunities for birdwatching. Section 2 is a 26.2km walk starting from Simpsons Gap and ending at Jay Creek. Along the way, you can see brushtail possum colonies and explore the ancient rock outcrop landscape, which is around 2 billion years old.

Camping at Simpsons Gap is exclusively for Larapinta Trail hikers.