Arltunga Bush Hotel

Arltunga Historical Reserve, Tourism NT

Arltunga was named after a subgroup of the Arrernte people who had lived in the area for at least 22 000 years before Europeans arrived.When gold was discovered in 1887, prospectors travelled 600 kilometres from the Oodnadatta railhead, often on foot, to get there. When the gold ran out, the people left, and the only remaining signs of life today are the hotel (closed 1 December to 1 March) and adjoining campground. Ruins of the town have been well preserved by the dry climate.

Visitor Information

Arltunga Historical Reserve Visitor Centre, (08) 8956 9770; or Arltunga Bush Hotel, (08) 8956 9797.

Nearby national parks

  • West MacDonnell National Park

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  • Rainbow Valley National Park

    To catch a sunset or sunrise at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is one of the great outback experiences – the coloured bands of...more

  • Finke Gorge National Park

    Finke Gorge National Park straddles the often-dry Finke River, the oldest watercourse in the world, which meanders 400 kilometres before it...more

Nearby towns

  • Alice Springs

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  • Aileron

    Aileron is strategically situated along the Stuart Highway about an hour north of Alice Springs. The roadhouse is a great stopover for a...more

  • Ti Tree

    This rest stop on the Stuart Highway took its name from nearby Ti Tree Wells, the source of plentiful sweet water in the 1800s. Today the...more


N'Dhala Gorge Nature Park The shady gorge features extensive walking tracks that provide access to a large number of rock-art sites with carvings and paintings, including more than 6000 petroglyphs. The carvings are of 2 distinct types – finely pecked and heavily pounded – and are thought to represent 2 different periods. There are also rare plants in the park such as the peach-leafed poison bush and the undoolya wattle. Access by 4WD only. 53 km SW.

Arltunga Historical Reserve: ruins of Arltunga, some of which have been restored, including police station and gaol, mines and the Government Battery and Cyanide Works (1896). The visitor centre has displays on the history of the town; behind the hotel.

Ruby Gap Nature Park: the site of Central Australia's first mining rush, in 1886, when rubies were thought to have been found. After the stones proved to be relatively valueless garnets the boom went bust and people left. The stunning gorges are now popular sites for bushwalking and camping. Track closures are possible Nov–Apr due to wet conditions; 37 km E.

Trephina Gorge Nature Park: known for its sheer quartzite cliffs, red river gums and sandy creek bed. Several waterholes attract native wildlife and provide a beautiful setting for bushwalking, swimming, camping and picnicking; 43 km W.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Alice Springs Telegraph Station 86 km

As well as visiting the heritage sites in the historical reserve, go for a walk along one of the tracks, where rock-wallabies and other wildlife can often be seen. It is also a nice spot for a picnic and free electric... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Alice Springs Golf Club 87 km

Early in the morning or late in the day are the best times to witness the colourful splendour of a round at Alice Springs, Australia’s only true desert course of championship standard. The beautifully maintained... Find out more

Campsites around town

Ruby Gap camping area (bush camping) 29 km

There are no camping facilities, but plenty of nice spots along the river between the park entrance and Ruby Gap. There are also no walking tracks, but experienced walkers can follow the riverbed upstream on a beautiful... Find out more

N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park camping area 30 km

From the Ross River Homestead there is 11 km of 4WD track to the gorge, and the track becomes impassable after heavy rain. The small campsite is near the park entrance. Generators are not permitted and you will need to... Find out more

Trephina Gorge camping area 30 km

Take one of the great walks from this pleasant campground at the end of the unsealed road that is suitable for conventional vehicles. Also, for experienced walkers there is Trephina Ridgetop Trail.  If... Find out more

Trephina Bluff camping area 31 km

Set on Trephina Creek, about 1 km before the Gorge campground at the end of the unsealed road, this site is unsuitable for trailers or caravans.  Swimming holes are extremely cold and there may be... Find out more

John Hayes Rockhole camping area 35 km

A popular swimming spot in summer, this site is accessible only by 4WD.  Bring your own drinking water to the campground.... Find out more

Gemtree Caravan Park 71 km

The primary reason to camp at Gemtree, 70 km east of the Stuart Hwy, is the great fossicking for garnet and zircon. Fossicking tours can be booked, but only by prior arrangement in the summer months. There is also a... Find out more

MacDonnell Range Holiday Park 88 km

This caravan park is set in picturesque surroundings in the MacDonnell Ranges, 4 km south of Alice Springs. There is plenty to do: hire a bike and cycle into town or visit the recreation room with pool tables, table... Find out more

Alice Springs Heritage Caravan and Tourist Park 89 km

Although a little out of the main part of Alice, this 4-star park is in a peaceful location near an old date farm. It has a cracking great pool, shade trees and even includes a library. Head south out of Alice Springs on... Find out more

Wallaby Gap camping area (walk-in camping) 94 km

On the Larapinta Trail, just 300 m from Wallaby Gap, this site is 13 km west of Alice Springs Telegraph Station.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Wintersun Cabin and Caravan Park 86 km

Located on the north side of Alice Springs, this place offers pleasant, grassy sites with shade. It is a quality park with good access to the Stuart Highway. Bookings are required in the winter months.... Find out more

Big 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park 88 km

Enjoy a delicious, free pancake breakfast every Sunday morning at this large, quality park. It has numerous activities during the tourist season (April to October), including nightly talks on the stars, bush tucker and... Find out more

Heritage Caravan Park 89 km

If you are travelling to Alice Springs with your pet dog then this is the park for you. It is the only dog park in town. There is a full range of facilities, a large well-stocked shop and a huge swimming pool. Bookings... Find out more

G'day Mate Tourist Park 89 km

This tidy compact park with good facilities is a suitable base for exploring Alice Springs. It does not have the tourist-season activities of some other parks and this is reflected in the price. Bookings are required in... Find out more

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