Watarrka National Park

Northern Territory (Federal Territory), Australia

Partially Family Friendly

About Wattarka National Park

At the western end of the George Gill Range lies Watarrka National Park, a landscape of imposing rock ranges, formed by thousands of years of weather and lush waterholes teeming with wildlife and vegetation. It is named for an acacia tree that the Aboriginal Luritja people know as watarrka. They are the traditional owners of the park, and ancient carvings in different areas show their historical residency.

Flora and fauna

Over 750 plant species thrive in the park. There is a large grove of cycad trees, a species among about 60 rare or relict flora which have survived for more than 50 million years from the time when rainforest covered the area.

Rock wallabies and dingoes abound, and smaller mammals may be spotted but are likely to be nocturnal. The park hosts about 80 species of birds, including several species of honeyeater, red-capped robin, hooded robin and crested bellbird, the red-browed pardalote and black-eared cuckoo. Ground dwellers and seedeaters include the spinifex pigeon, dusky grasswren and painted finch.


Ings Canyon is one of the major attractions: a rock face towering more than 100 m (~328 ft) high. As an alternative to walking, a helicopter flight is available to view the landscape.

How to get here

The nearest airport is in Alice Springs. From here, it is around 300 km (~186 mi) to the park by car or local bus.


In the summer, it is very hot, and visitors are advised to bring plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen, and to avoid the rim walk at midday. The waterholes are not safe to swim in, due to high levels of bacteria. Overnight camping is not allowed in the grounds, but campsites and hotels can be found not far off.

Guided Tours
Camel Riding
Landscape Photography
Northern Territory (Federal Territory), Australia
Latitude: -24.250721, Longitude: 131.586578