Ruby Gap Nature Park

Ruby Gap Nature Park, Tim Acker / Auscape International
Camping area Four-wheel drive touring


Ruby Gap is considered by some to be the best gorge in the Red Centre. The first mining rush in central Australia took place here, in 1886, when prospector and explorer David Lindsay found what he thought were rubies in the sandy bed of the Hale River. By 1887, more than 200 people were prospecting the area for the stones that turned out to be comparatively worthless garnets. The main features of the nature park are two linked gorges, Ruby and Glen Annie, which run along some 8 kilometres of imposing corridors of rock. Small tributary gorges and ravines branch off the main geological formations, making the place interesting to explore. Be careful because the terrain is unforgiving and it is easy to get lost. There are no marked trails and the riverbed is the best landmark. The area is littered with the detritus of early mining and pioneering days and on a sandy knoll is a grave with a simple headstone, marking the life of a miner who died at Ruby Gap in 1888.

A high-clearance 4WD is essential to get to Ruby Gap and it's recommended for experienced 4WD drivers only. Do not drive in the normally dry Hale River if the sand is soft and wet after recent rain. In the event of a breakdown stay with your vehicle and do not attempt to walk back to Arltunga. The Hale River is susceptible to flash flooding following heavy rain. If it begins to rain, leave the park immediately. Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks.

Fact file


Camping permitted along the river; no facilities


150 km east of Alice Springs via Ross Hwy, or Stuart Hwy then The Gardens Rd; from Arltunga Historical Reserve track is 4WD only

Park information

  • PWCNT Alice Springs (08) 8951 8250
  • PWCNT Trephina Gorge (08) 8956 9765


9250 ha

Visitor information

Alice Springs (08) 8952 5800


Ruby Gap camping area (bush camping)

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

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