Ruby Gap Nature Park

National Park - Northern Territory


Ruby Gap is linked to the first mining rush in Central Australia. In March 1886, explorer David Lindsay found what he thought were rubies in the bed of the Hale River.

In May 1887 there were over 200 people in the area prospecting for rubies. By then gold had been discovered in Paddy's Rockhole Creek, 45km to the west, which lead to the establishment of the Arltunga Goldfield.

At the beginning of the 'ruby' rush European buyers were keen, but as the market was flooded, buyers began to question their quality. By June 1888, it was found that the stones were merely high grade garnets, and not nearly as valuable as rubies. Central Australia's ruby boom quickly collapsed.

Situated 150km east of Alice Springs, access to Ruby Gap is via the Arltunga Historical Reserve. A high clearance 4WD is essential. Heavy rains may cause the roads to become temporarily impassable.

From the park entrance there is a 5km drive along the river bed and then a 2km walk to reach Glen Annie Gorge.

There are several camp grounds in this Park, however, there are no other facilities available.

The park is generally accessible all year round, however the cooler months, from April to September, are more pleasant.

Much of the Park's terrain is extremely rugged and is only suitable for the experienced walker. Follow the river bed and tracks upstream to Glen Annie Gorge.

Do not enter the Hale River if the sand is soft and wet after recent heavy rain. In the event of a mishap, stay with your vehicle. Do not attempt to walk back to Arltunga.

The Hale River is susceptible to flashflooding following heavy rain. If it begins to rain heavily leave the Park immediately. Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks. Wait on high grounds for creeks to recede.

Other facilities and features of the Park include:

  • 4 x 4 Driving

  • Camping Permitted

    There are no facilities available, but camping is permitted along the river between the park entrance and Glen Annie Gorge. Camping fees apply and can be deposited in the honesty box at the park entrance.

  • Swimming

  • Walking Tracks

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