MacDonnell Ranges


Views of the West MacDonnell Ranges from the Larapinta Trail near Glen Helen

The MacDonnell Ranges are a 644 km long mountain range in the Northern Territory of Australia. They consist of parallel ridges of red sandstone, which run east and west of Alice Springs. Mount Liebig with 1,524 m and Mount Zeil 1,510 m, the highest elevations. In many places the mountain ranges are cut by deep and broken in some cases only a few meters wide incisions, as one of its most famous Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Serpentine Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge.

The mountain range was discovered in 1860 by John McDouall Stuart and after Sir Richard MacDonnell, the then Governor of South Australia, named.

In the area of the MacDonnell Ranges, there are numerous sites of the Arrernte, the local Aborigines. A 223 km long trail, the Larapinta Trail, runs through the West MacDonnell National Park.