The East and West MacDonnell Ranges stretch out for hundreds of kilometres on both sides of Alice Springs. The traditional owners of the Alice Springs area, the Arrernte people, believe giant caterpillars called the Yeperenye became the Ranges - they entered this world through one of the dramatic gaps in the escarpments of the area.
Each of the West MacDonnell's chasms and gorges has its own unique character and scenery. Simpsons Gap sports a permanent pool and rock wallabies live in the gap's rocky ridges. Standley Chasm lights up in fiery colours reflected by the overhead sun at midday. Picturesque swimming holes such as Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge and Redbank Gorge offer refreshing relief on a scorching day. It is also possible to visit the Ochre Pits that desert Aboriginal people once used as a quarry for ochre pigments.