Angkerle (Standley Chasm), near Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Angkerle, also known as Standley Chasm, is located 50km west of Alice Springs. The Chasm has been gouged out of the sandstone rock by floodwaters rushing down a creek on its way to the Finke River system. The rocky cliffs of the Chasm rise to 80 metres above the floor. Angkerle is the name given by the Aborigines, whereas the European name Standley Chasm is named after Ida Standley, the first school teacher in Alice Springs in 1914, and the first non-Aboriginal woman to visit the Chasm.

The walk from the car park to the Chasm follows a spring fed creek with pools. The water supports a range of plants from ferns to cycad palms to tall gums. The rich plant life and water supply attracts a variety of wildlife, most noticeably the birds.

The Chasm itself is the highlight of visit. It is spectacular at any time of day, but is particularly stunning when the midday sun floods the chasm with dramatic lighting, bringing out rich vibrant glowing colours on the sandstone rocks. For the photographer, there are magnificent photo opportunities an hour either side of midday to capture the dramatic lighting in the Chasm.

Facilities at Angkerle include picnic areas and barbecues. The Cafe Standley offers meals, morning and afternoon tea. The Gift Shop has a range of gifts and souvenirs including genuine Aboriginal paintings and wooden items made locally.

Walking Tracks

Angkerle is situated between Section Three and Section Four of the Larapinta Trail. The Trail starts at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and passes some of the main attractions of the Ranges including, Ellery Creek, Big Hole, Simpsons Gap, Ormiston Gorge and ends at Mt Sonder, the highest point of the Trail. The Trail is divided into 12 sections; each section is a one to two day walk.

Section 3: Standley Chasm to Jay Creek (13.6km one way– 5.5 hours)
This is a hard 13.6km walk that takes about 5.5 hours. It is suitable for experienced bush walkers with a good fitness level. The walk will take you through some of the roughest country in the Ranges. There is a low route for those with juts average fitness level.

Section 4: Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole (17.7km one way – 9 hours)
This is a very hard 17.7km walk that takes about 9 hours. It is suitable for experienced bush walkers with a good level of fitness. The Trail follows the ridges of the Chewings Range up to the top of Brinkley Bluff where you will enjoy spectacular views. The track then descends steeply to Stuart’s Pass, a branch of the Hugh River. The track follows the river valley to the Birthday Waterhole.

Related posts:

  1. Alice Springs Desert Park, Red Centre, Northern Territory
  2. Alice Springs Reptile Centre, Northern Territory Reptiles
  3. Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges
  4. Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory
  5. Kings Canyon Resort, Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory

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