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Welcome to Standley Chasm. As Western Arrernte people, the traditional landowners and custodians of this special place, we welcome all respectful visitors to explore this beautiful and sacred piece of our culture.
Known traditionally as Angkerle Atwatye, meaning “Gap of Water”, Standley Chasm is a ~3-metre-wide, 80-metre-high gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Once a narrow tributary of the Finke River system, persistent rainfall and flooding of a lusher bygone era has intricately carved the sandstone slopes. Either side bears the jagged, craggy impressions created over untold millions’ of years to dramatic and picturesque effect.
The magnificent display of bold red and orange hues glow deepest under the midday sun, though morning and afternoon visitors are more likely to catch a glimpse of the native wildlife which abound.
A natural spring nearby brings out an unlikely abundance of life to the arid-climate area.
The walking trail to the Chasm and those in its surrounds offer chance encounters with a variety of inhabitants, including diverse bird species, lizards, wallabies, as well as native flowering plants and ancient cycad palms. All native flora and fauna are protected so we urge visitors to please be mindful and considerate in their walks.
Today, Standley Chasm remains 100% owned and operated by the local Western Arrernte (pronounced ‘Ah-runda’) community.
It is a place of deep cultural significance to our people as a sacred site of women’s dreaming. For many generations we have cherished this unique site and are proud to share it with all visitors seeking an authentic Arrernte experience.
Experience the Chasm
40 MIN DRIVE FROM ALICE SPRINGS | OPEN 8AM - 5PM | 7 DAYS
Visiting Standley Chasm can be much more than snapping that ever so gram-worthy shot.
Opt to walk through the Chasm at your own pace. The 30-minute / 2.4km round-trip to the Chasm itself is a Grade 1 access path (wheelchair accessible). Most will find this trail manageable, but we urge all visitors to wear appropriate footwear, bring ample water and be of moderate fitness. For those inclined and able, we also highly recommend the many other trails of varying difficulty in the surrounds. More information on routes and conditions is available upon arrival.
You may prefer to be guided by an Arrernte local for a more immersive cultural experience. Tours run for half a day and include a guided walk to the Chasm, information session, dot-painting workshop, morning tea and lunch.
Our camping facilities ensure we have every amenity for your comfort and often makes us a welcome rest stop for hikers of the Larapinta Trail. Be sure to stop at the Kiosk café before you leave to enjoy a fresh, gourmet meal and barista-made coffee.
For more information, visit the links below.