Ellery Big Hole Circuit

7 h, 12 h to 2 days

26 km
circuit

↑ 551 m
↓ -551 m

Hard track
Starting from the Ellery Creek South Day Use Area, Namatjira, this walk explores the sixth and seventh sections of the Larapinta Trail -- both old & new. Expect a relatively undulating track that offers you panoramic views of Alice Valley and beyond. You’ll get great angles of the West MacDonnell Range as well. Keep an eye out for spinifex pigeons and wedge-tailed eagles while you’re comparing the old & new tracks to each other. They’re among the many species that reside in this area. Early mornings and late afternoons are your best bet to spot them. Enjoy the land formations and the unique ambiance of the desert as you make your way through the arid land. The newer shelter at Ellery Creek North features elevated tent pads, a toilet and a water tank (treat before consuming). It can be a great place to spend the night, letting you stargaze without any interruptions as it is also quite secluded. Although, keep in mind that there’s no vehicle access there. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-23.7798449,133.0726859)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Telegraph Terrace, 87, Alice Springs.
  • Turn on to 6 then drive for 25 m
  • Continue onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 850 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 880 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 44.3 km
  • Turn right onto Namatjira Drive, 2 and drive for another 41.7 km
  • Turn right and drive for another 1.6 km
  • Keep right and drive for another 75 m
  • Keep left and drive for another 40 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Larapinta Trail Information Shelter in Ellery Creek South Day Use Area (290 metres south of Ellery Creek Big Hole), head east and cross the dirt road as you pass by a brown “Picnic Area - No Camping” sign to your left. Pass through the gap and head along the dirt track that is marked by blue arrows, moving directly away from the dirt road. Follow the said track as you keep the ridgeline to your left to continue along Ellery Big Hole Circuit (counterclockwise).....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Ellery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP (about 70 m back from the start).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This little side trip takes you to the Big Hole along Ellery Creek. This anicent waterhole is an exceptional spot to take a break and cool off. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 85 m turn right.
After another 35 m turn left, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 6.
After another 30 m cross the ford.
After another 4.5 km veer left.
After another 2.2 km continue straight.
After another 1.1 km turn right.
After another 140 m pass the "Ellery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7)" (on your right).
After another 7.6 km cross the ford.
After another 670 m cross the ford.
After another 120 m cross the ford.
After another 115 m cross the ford.
After another 20 m turn left, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 420 m cross the ford.
After another 1.4 km cross the ford.
After another 1.9 km pass the "Trig Point".
After another 4.9 km continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 6 m pass the "Dolomite Walk".
After another 800 m cross the ford.
After another 160 m pass the toilet (15 m on your right).
After another 8 m come to "Larapinta Trail Information".
The end.

This little side trip takes you to the Big Hole along Ellery Creek. This anicent waterhole is an exceptional spot to take a break and cool off.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the toilet at the start.
After another 35 m pass the BBQ (15 m on your right).
After another 15 m pass the "Picnic Shelter" (10 m on your right).
After another 4 m turn left, to head along Ellery Creek Walk.
After another 20 m pass the shelter (on your left).
After another 145 m come to "Ellery Creek Big Hole".
Ellery Creek Big Hole
Ellery Creek Big Hole

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The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 255 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Ellery Big Hole Circuit


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 26 km
Time 7 h, 12 h to 2 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (2/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one -69 m back from the start.

Shelter: There are 4 on route, on average they are 5.3 km apart with the largest gap of 18.1 km.

Toilet: There is one 26 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
-69 mEllery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP
Shelter
15 mPicnic Shelter
Shelter
15 m[shelter]
Shelter
7.9 kmEllery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7)
Toilet
26 km[toilet]
Shelter
26 kmLarapinta Trail Information
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Weather & Alerts
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