Native Gap Conservation Reserve


One of several small roadside reserves alongside the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, Native Gap Conservation Reserve is an attractive place of great importance to Arrernte and Anmatyerr Aboriginal people. The Reserve is in Arrernte country and is a registered sacred site and is at the intersection of several creation-time stories. The site’s original name in the Arrernte language is Arurlte Artwatye. Arurlte translates as 'the top of the shoulders across the neck'. Artwatye is 'gap'. This name probably derives from the profile of the handsome 30 meter high sandstone ridge which dominates the site. This ridge stands above the surrounding Burt Plain and hosts an interesting variety of plant and animal species. The Reserve is also a historic place: the Overland Telegraph Line was constructed through this site in the late 19th century

How to Get There

Native Gap Conservation Reserve is 115km north of Alice Springs on the western side of the Stuart Highway. Access is via an unsealed service track to a nearby telecommunications tower on the Hann Range. The track within the Reserve forms a loop around the facilities area.

When to Visit

The Reserve is open all year, but the cooler months (May to September) are the most pleasant times to visit. Visits in summer are best at the beginning or end of each day when temperatures are lower and wildlife is active.

What to See and Do

The Reserve is a picturesque place to spend time reflecting on the long Aboriginal and more recent European history of the site.
Interesting wildlife can be encountered on the Reserve. It hosts a variety of plant species. Native Fig Ficus brachypoda and White Cypress Pine Callitris glaucophylla can be seen on the ridge, Ironwood Acacia estrophiolata and Desert Bloodwood Corymbia opaca grow on the sandy flat below. Mammals on the range here include the nationally vulnerable Black-Footed Rock Wallaby Petrogale lateralis as well as the large kangaroo known as the Common Euro Macropus robustus. Birds which may be seen include Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata and Singing Honeyeater Lichenostomus virescens. Reptiles such as the Sand Goanna Varanus gouldii can sometimes be spotted basking in the sun.

Visitor Facilities

Picnic tables, wood barbeques and a pit toilet are provided for visitor use.

Please Remember

Please keep to designated roads and trails.
All historic, cultural items and wildlife on the Reserve are fully protected by law. Firewood collection is not permitted within the Reserve.
Fires are only permitted in the designated firepits.
There is no drinking water supply at the Reserve so you must bring your own supplies.

Fact Sheet

Recreational Activities

Photography, picnicking or birdwatching are just some of the activities which are possible at Native Gap Conservation Reserve.

Park Sites Access Comments Forecast Opening
Native Gap Conservation Reserve Open