Ruby Gap Nature Park

Ruby Gap is a park with a chequered history and was the site of the first mining rush in Central Australia.

In the late 1880s David Lindsay thought he discovered rubies in the bed of the Hale River and hundreds flocked to the site to cash in on European buyers.

Two years later it was found that the gems were high grade garnets and not nearly as valuable as rubies.

Now Ruby Gap is a remote wilderness.

Much of the rugged terrain is not to be underestimated and walking tracks are only suitable for experienced walkers.

There are no marked tracks but exploring up the river bed to Glen Annie Gorge and Fox's Grave is very rewarding.

Allow at least a full day to visit the park and take two days if you plan to do any walks or visit Arltunga Historical Reserve.

Camping is available between the park entrance and Ruby Gap.

Get the Ruby Gap Nature Park fact sheet and map PDF (987.2 KB).

Ruby Gap Nature Park Ruby Gap Nature Park Ruby Gap Nature Park

Check if the park is open

Ranger Station: 08 8956 9765

Park sitesStatusComments Forecast opening
Ruby Gap Nature Park OpenAccessible to high clearance 4WD only, recommended for experienced 4WDers only-

All year round, but roads can be closed after heavy rain.

The best time to visit is during the cooler months from April to September.

Follow the Binns Track and signs to Arltunga Historical Reserve 150km east from Alice Springs.

Check road conditions before you go.

You can do all of the following activities in the park:

  • four-wheel driving
  • bushwalking
  • wildlife spotting
  • camping
  • swimming - after long dry periods waterholes will dry up.

Access to Ruby Gap is by high clearance 4WD vehicles only. The road into the park is slow going, with some very sandy and rocky sections.

Make sure you're well prepared with all of the following:

  • a satellite phone
  • EPIRB or personal locator beacon
  • extra water
  • spare tyres.

The Hale River is prone to flooding after heavy rain. Leave the park immediately if it begins to rain heavily.

Do not try to cross flooded creeks. Wait on higher ground until the water recedes.

Ruby Gap Nature Park has all of the following facilities:

  • information signs
  • 4WD roads
  • bush campsites.

When visiting the park remember all of the following:

  • stay on designated roads and tracks
  • historic, cultural items and wildlife are protected
  • firewood collection is not permitted in the park
  • pets are not permitted in the park
  • bins are not provided, so take your rubbish with you
  • generators are not permitted
  • you need a permit to use a drone - you must get it before you arrive.

You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Ruby Gap Nature Park 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.

Trephina Gorge Ranger Station phone: 08 8956 9765

Go to Parks and Wildlife Alice Springs for more tourist information.

Last updated: 01 March 2022

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