Tnorala Conservation Reserve - NT

  National Parks,Reserves


DEG: -23.834343 132.306992
DMS: 23º 50' 3.63" S 132º 18' 25.17" E
UTM: 53 K 7361507mN 225673mE
Altitude: 886.36m


Place Type

Reserves - National Parks,Reserves


49.58kms West of Hermannsburg
80.51kms SouthEast of Papunya
206.12kms NorthEast of Yulara
237.49kms SouthEast of Nirrippi

Address & Contact

Namatjira NT 0872
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve is a place of great cultural significance to the Western Arrente Aboriginal people, as well as one of international scientific interest.

The Reserve is a registered sacred site and traditional owners welcome visitors to experience Tnorala's magic, but we ask you to respect the area and obey signs where access is not permitted.

How to Get There
The Reserve is about 175km west of Alice Springs. Access is via Larapinta or Namatjira Drive. A 4WD is recommended for the last 10km drive to the Reserve and a Mereenie Tour Pass is required to travel this road.

When to Visit
The Reserve is accessible all year round. The cooler months from April to October are the most pleasant. All roads can be impassible after heavy rain.

What to See and Do
Bushwalk, explore the crators, and enjoy a picnic.

Recreational Activities
Scenic and Cultural Features
Plants & Animals
Visitor Facilties
Picnic facilities, toilets, information and walking tracks are available at the Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve.

Camping is not permitted within this Reserve. Fires are also not allowed here.

A stop over at Tnorala offers views into the interior of the crator. There is a picnic area a short distance from the Bluff, which includes pit toilets and a shade shelter with excellent information about the area. No barbecue facilities are available as fire is not permitted here.

Activities and facilities within the Park include:

4 x 4 Driving
Picnic Tables
Walking Tracks
There is a short walk to a lookout on an adjacent ridge. Access within Tnorala is restricted in accordance with the wishes of Traditional Owners. Walking along the crater rim is not permitted.
Scenic and Cultural Features
According to Aboriginal belief, Tnorala was formed in the creation time, when a group of women danced across the sky as the Milky Way. During this dance, a mother put her baby aside, resting in it's wooden baby-carrier (a turna). The carrier toppled over the edge of the dancing area and crashed to earth where it was transformed into the circular rock walls of Tnorala.

The Aboriginal and scientific interpretation of the Bluff are similar in that both have a celestial origin.

Around 142.5 million years ago an object from space, believed to be a comet about 600 metres across, crashed to earth, blasting a crater some 20km across. Today's land surface is about 2km lower than the original impact surface and the bluff is about 5km in diameter, reduced over time by erosion.

The remnant crator was named Gosse's Range by the explorer Ernest Giles in 1872 after H. Gosse, a fellow of the Royal Society.

Title for the Reserve was granted to traditional owners and is now jointly managed with the Parks and Wildlfie Service.

Plants and Animals
At least five rare plant species are found in this area, including the western desert grass tree (Xanthorrhoea thorntonii), which also occurs just outside the Reserve's boundary. A stand of fire sensitive mulga occurs in the north-west corner of the crater.

Approaching Tnorala or Gosse Bluff, formed 140 million years ago when a meteor crashed here. The inner ring of 250 m high hills has a diameter of about 5 km. It is about 55 km to the west of Hermannsburg
iMapPlot Reference Image


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Closest Weather Station

Watarrka at 11/09:00am CST
Distance from Tnorala Conservation Reserve 92.18km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Tnorala Conservation Reserve 80.56km NW
Mean Max. °C38.037.234.631.825.822.122.825.431.134.435.336.4
Mean Min. °C22.922.320.
Mean Rain mm46.039.248.616.322.815.512.

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