Australia, Central Australia, Northern Territory

Ellery Creek with Kids (Ellery Creek Big Hole)

 Ellery Creek with Kids

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

Ellery Creek Big Hole is a beautiful outback swimming hole complete with sand and a stunning gorge.  I visited Ellery Creek with my husband and young kids on a Central Australian road camping trip.  See the route we followed here: Central Australia Road Trip With Kids (The Route We Took)

ellery creek with kids

Entry to Ellery Creek is FREE and you can even camp here 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.

Be warned, the water is freezing cold!  We visited in September (the start of Spring) 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

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, visiting Ellery Creek with kids is incredibly easy and enjoyable.  What kid doesn’t like swimming, sand, and exploring?

How To Get There and Where To Stay


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, but 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.


You can fly into Alice Springs from most capital cities in Australia, and either hire a vehicle or book a tour from there.

Get a great deal on flights here:

Tours can be booked here:

Accommodation in Alice Springs can be found here:

Looking for Inspiration for Your Next Getaway?

For more blog posts, photographs and information on my travels through Central Australia with kids, check out this page: Central Australia with Kids

For more information on ALL of my travels, please check out this page: My travel destinations

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