Arltunga Historical Reserve
Arltunga was the site of hope, struggle and mateship for many fortune hunters who came here on foot to find gold.
Born out of a goldrush in 1887, Arltunga was officially Central Australia's first town and once supported up to 300 people.
At the visitor centre you will be introduced to Arltunga's colourful past and wild characters.
You can learn about gold mining in Arltunga and find out how gold used to be extracted.
Walks at the reserve take you through the Government Battery, Cyanide Works, Old Police Station, mines and homes.
You can't fossick here.
Access to these campsites is by high clearance four-wheel drive (4WD) only.
Other accommodation options include the Ross River Homestead, Old Arltunga Pub Campground and Old Ambalindum Station.
What to see and do
You can see and do all of the following:
- wildlife spotting
- historical ruins
- four wheel driving
- ranger guided walks and talks.
You can go on self-guided walks at the reserve.
Golden Chance Mine
This 60 minute walk takes you to the Golden Chance Mine and includes a visit to a miner's dwelling.
It boasts impressive views over much of the Goldfield.
This 40 minute walk takes you on a tour of the Government Battery and Cyanide Works.
You will see various buildings and sites in this area including the assayer's residence, post office and government offices.
Great Western Mine
This 40 minute walk allows you to explore one of the few remaining historic White Range mines.
This walk provides plenty of opportunity to explore the wildlife and fascinating mining history.
The distance and level of difficulty of your walk is up to you.
A trip to the historic buildings is 15 minutes return. From there you can climb 150 metres up the hill to Joker Mine which is an hour return to the car park or continue on to the gorge.
MacDonnell Range Reef Mine
This 40 minute walk will give you an insight into the hardships endured by Arltunga miners.
These mines have vertical shafts. Children must be supervised closely.
How to get there
Arltunga is located 110km east of Alice Springs. Follow Ross Highway and Binns Track signs to Arltunga.
The last 33km are on an unsealed road.
Check road conditions before heading out as roads may become impassable after rain.
Check if this park is open
All year round. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from April to September.
The visitor centre is open daily from 8am to 5pm.
Arltunga Ranger Station phone: (08) 8956 9770
Go to Parks and Wildlife Alice Springs for more tourist information.
Arltunga has all of the following facilities:
- information signs
- ranger station – for emergency contact only
- 4WD roads
- drinking water
- public toilets
- picnic area
- walking tracks.
When visiting the park remember all of the following:
- stay on designated roads and tracks
- all historic, cultural items and wildlife are protected
- firewood collection is not permitted in the reserve
- bins are not provided so take your rubbish with you
- pets are not permitted in the reserve.
You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Arltunga Historical Reserve by doing all of the following:
- observe park safety signs
- carry and drink plenty of water
- wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, suitable clothing and footwear
- avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
- think about your health and fitness when choosing a walk.
Last updated: 26 March 2018