Trephina Gorge

Trephina Gorge, in the East MacDonnell Ranges, is noted for its sheer quartzite cliffs and River Red Gum lined watercourses. Two gorges dissect the range: Trephina, with its wide views and sandy creekbed, and John Hayes Rock Hole with steep, narrow rock walls. Water holes in this area attract much wildlife, including a diverse range of birds.

Location: 85 km east of Alice Springs, the Park is accessible to all vehicles. Access is via the sealed Ross Highway, then a 9 km drive into Trephina Gorge, the last 5 km on a gravel road. Camping grounds with pit toilets, picnic tables, drinking water, communal firepits and gas barbecues are provided at Trephina Bluff, Trephina Gorge and the Panorama Campgrounds.

Camping is only permitted in designated camping areas. The John Hayes Rockhole track within the Park is recommended for high clearance vehicles only. Heavy rains may cause all roads to become impassable.  No water is provided at the John Hayes Rockhole campground.


From Trephina Gorge there are a number of short walking tracks. For experienced walkers there is the longer Trephina Ridgetop Trail through to John Hayes Rockhole, offering panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and wildlife of the area. Allow an extra 2 hours if you plan to walk back to Trephina Gorge via the main road. Walkers planning extended walks are strongly advised to notify a friend or reliable person of your intended route and plans. During the peak visitor period (May to September) Rangers conduct guided walks and campfire talks.

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Swimmers should be aware that most swimming holes are extremely cold. Prolonged exposure, even during summer, can result in hypothermia. Beware of submerged logs and rocks. John Hayes Rockhole is a popular swimming location during warmer months. However during prolonged dry periods the waterholes at Trephina Gorge and John Hayes Rockhole can evaporate, leaving only a sandy creekbed.

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