Australia, Camping, Central Australia, Northern Territory

Ellery Creek Big Hole with Kids (Central Australia)

 Ellery Creek Big Hole with kids

An outback waterhole that cuts through the MacDonnell ranges is a memorable way to beat the heat.  Visiting Ellery Creek Big Hole with kids is a “must do” when travelling with your family around Central Australia.  

Ellery Creek Big Hole is a beautiful outback swimming spot complete with sand and a stunning gorge.  I visited on a self drive camping trip with my husband and kids.  We travelled from Alice Springs to Uluru via the ‘alternative’ way. See the route we followed here: Central Australia Road Trip With Kids (The Route We Took)

Ellery Creek with kids
Jason, Trillian (18 months) and Ripley (nearly 4) splashing around in Ellery Creek Big Hole in Central Australia.

Ellery Creek Big Hole is only around an hours drive from Alice Springs.  Except for the last 2 km, the journey is on a sealed road.   We were travelling in a 4wd, however there were plenty of 2wd’s in the parking lot.

To get there, head west from Alice Springs on Larapinta Drive, then take a right turn onto Namatjira Drive when you reach the intersection.  It won’t be too long before you see signs for Ellery Creek Big Hole.

Entry to Ellery Creek is FREE!




This was fantastic for us because we were on a super strict budget for this adventure.  If you wish to camp here, you can for a small charge.

There are toilets, BBQ’s, picnic tables and drinking water.  I personally didn’t drink the water as I felt it should be left for trekkers doing the Larapinta trail.

There is a paved path from the carpark to the waterhole and an emergency telephone.

ellery creek with kids

Be warned, the water is freezing cold!  We visited in September and even though it was hot, I found the water too cold to comfortably swim in.  I was happy to stand in it and kinda splash around with the kids.  I can’t imagine you would be able to swim here in Winter unless you are crazy and enjoy hypothermia.

If hiking is your thing, Ellery Creek is a junction on the Larapinta Trail.  There is also a 3 km loop walk which leaves from the carpark called the ‘Dolomite Walk’.

Ellery creek with kids

Ellery creek with kids

I really wished we had bought our stand up paddle board, so I could get to the other side without totally submerging in the freezing cold water.  I need to come back and see what’s on the other side!

In general, Ellery Creek Big Hole is a fantastic and easy place to visit with kids.  What kid doesn’t like swimming, sand and exploring?


Looking for some inspiration for your next getaway?

For more information, blogs and things to do around Central Australia with kids (The Red Centre), please see my page on the link below: Central Australia & Northern Territory

To see all of my destination, head on over to this page: My travel destinations


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