Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park: Ormiston Gorge overnight walks

There are three overnight walks that you can do around Ormiston Gorge.

To plan your walk, read about Ormiston Gorge or get the Ormiston Gorge overnight walks fact sheet PDF (1.7 MB).

Each walk is graded based on the walking track grading system.

Mount Giles

Length of walk
Distance 15.3km one way
Time Two to three days return
Grade Grade 5 - difficult

This tough but spectacular walk will let you explore the Ormiston Pound and climb Mt Giles, the third-highest mountain in the Northern Territory at 1389m.

Travel across the floor of Ormiston Pound and follow the Ormiston Creek bed towards Mt Giles. Climbing to the summit will give you a memorable experience.

The return trip will take you two days, or three if you make the difficult climb to the summit of Mt Giles.

It is 13km one way from the visitor centre to the base of Mt Giles, which will take you around six to seven hours to walk.

It is 2.3km one way from the base to the summit of Mt Giles, which will take you around three hours to walk.

The track is unmarked after the Pound walk so follow the creek bed east and start climbing from the south-facing spur line.

You should camp in the creek bed as marked on the map.

Be prepared for false peaks and unstable slopes.

Bowmans Gap

Length of walk
Distance 9km
Time Three to four hours one way - allow one to two days for return walk
Grade Grade 3 - moderate

You can enjoy this walk within a day or extend it to an overnight walk.

Make your way along the meandering creek bed, passing waterholes and taking the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife. The red walls of Bowmans Gap are stunning.

This walk also offers views of the spectacular northern Pound.

The track is unmarked after the Pound walk so follow the creek bed north to Bowmans Gap.

Larapinta Trail

Ormiston Gorge marks the start for Sections 9 and 10 of the Larapinta Trail.

You should only start the Larapinta Trail sections if you have maps and trail information.

Section 9

Length of walk
Distance 28.3km
Time Two days
Grade Grade 5 - difficult

Section 9 is one of the more difficult sections of the trail and takes you into the heart of range country.

This section begins at Serpentine Chalet Dam, travels through Inarlanga Pass and ends at Ormiston Gorge, with a recommended overnight camp at Waterfall Gorge.

Walkers have the option to start or finish at the Ochre Pits.

There is no water provided so walkers will need to carry enough to last two days.

Section 10

Length of walk
Distance 9.1km to Finke River trailhead or
13.4km to Glen Helen Lodge
Time Four hours to Finke River trailhead or
5.5 hours to Glen Helen Lodge
Grade Grade 3 - moderate

Section 10, the shortest section of the Larapinta Trail, links Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen.

This section winds through rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, believed to be one of the world's oldest rivers.

Walkers can continue from the Finke River trailhead along Section 11 to Glen Helen Lodge.

Transfers to and from Ormiston Gorge can be arranged with Glen Helen Lodge by calling 08 8956 7208.

Last updated: 23 February 2022

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