To the west of the Alice Springs region is the MacDonnell area. Within the region, there are 13 communities, most of which are inhabited by traditional land owners and the Aboriginal people. It’s estimated around 6,000 people reside in the MacDonnell region.
In the West MacDonnell National Park is Simpsons Gap. The area is an important spiritual site to the Arrarnta Aboriginal people, which is known to them as the mythological home of a group of giant goanna ancestors, known as the Rungutjirpa. It is also where many dreaming trails and stories crossover, making it one of significant important to the traditional land owners.
Simpsons Gap is open all year round, and will generally be open from sun-up to sun-down to reflect the seasons. While wandering around at dawn and dusk, keep an eye out for the black-footed rock wallabies. They inhabit the towering red-rock cliffs and waterholes, as well as a number of other species of wildlife.
If travelling through the MacDonnell region, you’re best taking your own accommodation (AKA a caravan) or taking up residence in the Kings Canyon, Glen Helen or Alice Springs area. There isn’t a lot of accommodation options too far west of that.