No swimming shock! Ellery Creek Big Hole closed this summer

Published: December 2, 2021

Grey nomads braving the sizzling temperatures to travel in the Red Centre this summer could be in for a serious disappointment.

One of Australia’s most iconic spots to take a very cool dip is going to be out of bounds for many months.

Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife says Ellery Creek Big Hole, 90 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell Ranges, will be closed to allow the popular swimming hole’s two-kilometre dirt access road to be sealed.

The organisation’s district manager, Phil Cowan, told the ABC the decision to re-seal the road in the hotter months of the year was made as there are fewer visitors to the region.

Ellery Creek Big Hole closed

“We’ve got an exciting project to seal that two kilometres of access road in of Namatjira Drive as you drive to the campgrounds and work has already started,” he said. “It’s going to be closed until late January, but we’ll reopen the place for a couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year’s, so people will still be about to get in there and have a swim and enjoy the waterhole for a couple of weeks over the Christmas break.”

Mr Cowan said that the department is aware of the waterhole’s popularity and there was some consideration in making it accessible throughout the road work period.

“The difficulty with the Ellery road is that it’s quite narrow as it gets closer to the campground infrastructure,” he said. “There’s a number of red gums on the eastern side of the road going in there and that they are sacred trees that can’t be touched … there’s just no ability to sort of have one lane open while the other is closed because the road isn’t actually that wide.”

So, it seems that grey nomads looking forward to taking a dip in the notoriously chilly waters of Ellery Creek Big Hope will just have to find another sport this summer.

With the boom in caravanning and camping triggered by international travel bans, there are probably more people than ever taking the option of travelling off season … and doing their best to cope with the temperature extremities.

  • How do you cope with the extreme heat … or the extreme cold when you are on the road? Comment below.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
beau lyons
6 months ago

Cut the trees down.

Paul Lewis
5 months ago

…….the decision to re-seal the road in the hotter months of the year was made as there are fewer visitors to the region.” Living in the NT for 25 years I am used to this kind of asinine comment.
The Government hasn’t worked out that people like to swim when it’s hot. Those coming from cooler climates are likely to be affected more by the heat, so will be more likely to want to swim, one would think.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop