Alice Springs Mountain Bikers

Experience Incredible Mountain Biking in Alice Springs

Did you know that Alice Springs has some of the best mountain bike tracks and scenery you will ever experience? Well the secret is definitely out. If you are a mountain bike enthusiast or just enjoy a ride, there are trails to
suit all fitness and adventure levels.

It is very special just to wake up at daybreak in Alice Springs and experience the the amazing sunrises but imagine being out on your bike as the skies begin to lighten from a pre-dawn grey to explode into magnificent oranges and reds as the first rays of sunlight hit the ground and surrounds. This is truly a special time to be on your bike.

When first arriving in Alice Springs you may be deceived into thinking that the trails are all the same, flat, desert trails but this is furthest from the truth. Once you start, you will be amazed by the mixed terrain of rock, quartz, sand and shale plus the miles of visibility you have all around. And did we mention the wildlife? Kangaroos, lizards, wedged-tail eagles and bearded dragons are just the start. This is truly a unique experience.

Every year Alice Springs plays host to the Mountain Bike Muster. This is the world’s only three-day mountain bike stage race and every year continues to attract more and more riders from around Australia and the world to experience the magnificence of Alice Springs and the mountain bike trails.
At Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park we welcome mountain bike riders every year for this event and all year round just to enjoy the trail riding. We have had so many mountain bike visitors we chose to build our own service area where riders can service their bikes. This has been a great addition to the park’s offering and one which has been greatly appreciated by visitors.

If you would like to know more about the mountain bike trails around Alice Springs please check out the following information.

Or to see for yourself some of the amazing scenery you will experience, watch the following video created by Flow Mountain Bike.

We look forward to hearing your stories as you ride some of the best trails in the world.

History of of Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park


Park Entrance in 1987January 1984 saw the opening of MacDonnell Range Tourist Park by Brendan and Bev Heenan, who along with their now extended family still own and operate the park today.


The land currently occupied by the park was originally a market garden, initially purchased by Mick Heenan to extend his market garden business and later taken over by his son Brendan Heenan.  In the 1960s Brendan sank a bore to supply water for his thriving market garden business but in the 1970s the water from the bore became too salty and burnt the plants. Brendan and his wife Bev decided to take a different direction and started a landscaping and nursery business, leaving this land unused.


Big 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday ParkAlice Spinqs

Brendan however was a visionary and saw an opportunity to build a caravan park on the site to cater for a new wave of travellers coming through Alice Springs on the newly sealed Stuart Highway. Providing a park which would offer excellent facilities, great service and experiences only found in Central Australia was his vision.

Thirty-two years later and Brendan’s vision is definitely a reality with 47,000 visitors coming through the park this year equating to just over 150,000 visitor nights.


When the MacDonnell Range Tourist Park opened in 1984 it consisted of 150 sites, 12 cabins, and three amenities blocks. Now thirty-two years on it consists of 330 sites, 47 cabins and 5 amenities blocks.


Big 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park Alice Spinqs

Each year there have been changes to the park to help improve the visitor experience and meet the needs of travellers. New cabins, modernised amenities blocks, more caravan and camping sites, camp kitchens, jumping pillows, entertainment centre and a state-of-the-art pool complex to name just a few. Brendan Heenan and his team continually look at ways to improve the experiences in the park.


In 1989 the park joined the BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia franchise and changed its name to BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park. The BIG4 brand is recognised for excellence in customer service so was a perfect partnership. The business has remained family owned and operated for thirty-two years with Brendan and Bev Heenan’s children all filling roles in the business as managers, administrators and contractors. Even the grandchildren are playing their role to help out as they grow older. Brendan, whose heart and soul are in The Alice, presides over this ever-changing family business, enriching the experience of each and every visitor.


Brendan Heenan’s vision in 1984 was to provide visitors with an unforgettable tourism experience, where excellence in accommodation and facilities meets good old fashioned bush hospitality, which has not changed in 32 years. This vision is what makes the BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park the most awarded park in the Northern Territory and one which many holiday stories are told and why many visitors return every year.

We look forward to welcoming you to the park soon.

Summer Specials

Enjoy the fun of BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park this summer with one of these great packages:



Enjoy a short getaway…relax by the pool, enjoy a free pancake breakfast Sunday morning and let the children enjoy the fun activities including the jumping pillows, go-karts, BMX track and waterslide.

* Late check-out to 2pm
* FREE entry for 2 adults to the Alice Springs Desert Park
* FREE entry for 2 adults to the Alice Springs Reptile Centre

Upgrades available:
* Superior ensuite cabin $608
* Villa $676
* Deluxe villa $773

All upgrades include 2 adults and 2 children for 4 nights

BIG4 discount applies – when booked directly with the park – no other discounts apply

Valid from 1 November 2016 to 31 March 2017

Subject to Availability. Prices include GST

Late check-out subject to availability


Enjsummer-specials6oy a short getaway…relax by the pool, enjoy a free pancake breakfast Sunday morning and let the children enjoy the fun activities including the jumping pillows, go-karts, BMX track and waterslide.

* Late check-out to 2pm
* FREE bottle of wine
* FREE 1-hour go-kart hire

Upgrades available:
* Superior ensuite cabin $414
* Villa $468
* Deluxe villa $540

All upgrades include 2 adults and 2 children for 3 nights

BIG4 discount applies – when booked directly with the park – no other discounts apply

Valid from 1 November 2016 to 31 March 2017

Subject to Availability. Prices include GST

Late check-out subject to availability




Enjoy a short getaway…relax by the pool, enjoy a free pancake breakfast Sunday morning and let the children enjoy the fun activities including the jumping pillows, go-karts, BMX track and waterslide.

* Late check-out to 2pm
* FREE 1 hour go-kart hire

Upgrades available:
* Superior ensuite cabin $276
* Villa $312
* Deluxe villa $360

All upgrades include 2 adults and 2 children for 2 nights

BIG4 discount applies

When booked directly with the park – no other discounts apply

NT Drivers License required

Valid from 1 November 2016 to 31 March 2017

Subject to Availability. Prices include GST

Late check-out subject to availability


Call 1800 808 373 to secure your booking NOW!

Welcome to the Red Centre Show

Local Australian Geographic Photographer and Singer-Songwriter, Barry Skipsey presents his unique audio visual, The Red Centre Show every Wednesday night. Great Australian songs accompany the projection of over 400 images of Central Australia on the BIG Screen. Barry is a must for all visitors to the park. Every picture is a song in itself.

Barry has been a resident of Central Australia for more than three decades. The lyrics in many of his songs portray the colour and character of this diverse nation. Barry is a powerful singer and very engaging performer and is probably described as being a contemporary folk singer.

So what do visitors to the park say about Barry:

This year, while caravanning with friends we stayed at the Big 4 Park in Alice Springs. On the Thursday night the park entertainment was Barry Skipsey. From the moment we entered the “Shed” we were captivated. Barry has an uncanny ability to be able to entertain and involve an audience with his singing (mainly his own songs), and his story telling, not to mention the magnificent visual presentation of his photographs of this great country. Walking back to our caravans after the show and talking to others who had attended, it was clear that he had made a lot of people very happy that night, maybe it had something to do with final part of his show and the audience involvement in a great rendition of “Give me a home among the Gun Trees”. It truly was a great night. Keep up the good work Barry.

Ray and Kerry Whittingslow Diamond Creek, Vic.

We were fortunate to be part of your ‘family’ at the Big 4 in Alice Springs. We bought two of your albums and since then they have been playing constantly in the car. We are all completely hooked on Barry Skipsey and the five of us are singing along to your songs. As we climbed Kings Canyon the boys were singing “If you never, never go…”, each time we get into the car we start with, “All aboard…”, as I walked around Uluru “I need these red rocks..”. We love your music and your photography and the stories that accompany them. Thank you for your inspiration and for adding to our Northern Territory experience. You have become part of the story of our journey. So many of your songs resonate with us.

Sonia Vine Brisbane QLD

Join us on Wednesday evenings for The Red Centre Show with Barry Skipsey. You definitely will not be disappointed.

Barry Skipsey4

Pancake breakfast

Pancake Breakfast at Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park

Have you had the opportunity to try the delicious hot pancakes offered every Sunday at Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park? A favourite of travelers, Brendan Heenan cooks over 600 pancakes every Sunday morning to the delight of young and old. Starting this tradition over 18 years ago in 1997, Brendan soon realised his secret pancake recipe was a bit of a hit with guests. To cater for this growing demand he fashioned a special pancake trailer so he was able to cook 20 plate-size pancakes at one time. Together with lemon juice, sugar, maple syrup and toppings plus billy tea and coffee, this is the perfect Sunday morning breakfast.

To encourage people to have a chat everyone is presented with a tag with their name and place of origin. Great way to break the ice as new friendships are formed and travelling stories shared.

So what is the record number of pancakes Brendan has cooked in one sitting?………………an amazing 920! Great effort Brendan.

What is the record for the most pancakes eaten by a single person in one sitting?……..13 for a male and 9 for a female.

To cater for the volume of mixture needed Brendan prepares the batter in large buckets which he beats up using a special attachment on a drill. Now that is clever thinking.

So next time you make your booking at Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park make sure you include a Saturday night so you can enjoy the delicious Sunday morning breakfast.

We look forward to welcoming you into the park soon.

Alice Springs Beanie Festival 2016

Park staff wearing their beanies
Park staff wearing their beanies

At Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park we celebrated the Alice Springs Beanie Festival by wearing our beanies. This event began in 1997 with e ‘beanie party’ organised by Adi Dunlop and has gained international recognition since.

It has grown into a fun event where Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal artists share their culture and exhibit together. The festival is unique because of the incredible amount of community participation and unique ties with local Aboriginal organisations. The festival aims to develop Aboriginal women’s textiles, promote womens’ culture and the beanie as a regional art form, as well as promote handmade textile arts which it definitely achieves.

The festival was from June 24-27 but a display can still be viewed at Araluen Art Centre for all to see. Enjoy.

Spectacular Indigenous light festival to launch in Alice Springs

Media Release from the NT Government – 18 May 2016

A spectacular new event showcasing contemporary and traditional indigenous art will light up Alice Springs from 23 September – 2 October 2016.

Parrtyeme – a Festival in Light will be the first authentic Indigenous light festival of its kind in the world. It will feature Australia’s biggest-ever light show installation, with more than 2.5 kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges lighting up as part of the event.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles said the Northern Territory Government have been working with AGB Events, creators of the award-winning Vivid Sydney, in close collaboration with Indigenous artists.

“The focus of the event is helping to share art, culture and stories from the Indigenous community,” Mr Giles said.

“Parrtyeme will be a breathtaking light display that will present the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology on a 300-million-year-old natural canvas.

“Created in close collaboration with local Indigenous artists, Parrtyeme will not only be a breathtaking event for the people of Alice Springs and the Territory, but also visitors from around Australia and the world who are looking for a truly authentic and contemporary Indigenous experience.”

“The festival will feature three separate, distinctive installations of original, authentic Indigenous art created by local artists, students and the community using light and sound.”

The inaugural annual event takes its name from the Arrernte word “Parrtma”, meaning “light up” or “lighting up”.

One featured installation will be a series of large illuminated 1950s-style circle skirts featuring the watercolour artwork of Lenie Namatjira, granddaughter of famous Hermannsburg Western Arrernte artist, Albert Namatjira.

Iris Bendor, Coordinator of Ngurratjuta Iltja Ntjarra – Many Hands, an Aboriginal-owned and managed art centre said: “Parrtyeme is a terrific celebration of local culture, allowing the artistic community in Alice Springs to share their art and traditional Indigenous stories in a new way for the world to see.”

Mr Giles said the Country Liberals Government was working hard to develop a confident culture that celebrated the Territory’s outdoor lifestyle with world class events, festivals and arts.

“We are committed to expanding the range of tourism experiences and festivals on offer in the Northern Territory,” he said.

“This will be a magnificent celebration of Indigenous culture and is sure to become a popular fixture in the NT events calendar.”

Central Australia – The Place to Be for Events, June – August

Winter is definitely the most popular holiday season for Alice Springs and this year is no exception with a multitude of events and activities for visitors to the area to participate. Of course who can deny how beautiful Central Australia is at this time of the year. At Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park we have spent the past few months preparing the park for guests with lots of refurbishments taking place to buildings and facilities, gardens being beautified and roads resurfaced. Already the park is filling with happy travellers enjoying the ambiance only Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park offers.

These are just some of the events you can look forward to while visiting the Alice.

For the month of June there are two car/motorbike events on for all who enjoy the adrenaline of fast and furious racing. The world famous Finke Desert Race 10-13 June followed by the Classic Outback Trial Rally 18-24 June.

Continuing on into July we have Territory Day on July 1, most notable by the fact that for one day you can legally buy fireworks and let them off. The Alice Springs Show is also on July 1-2, and a week later the Apex Camel Cup is held on July 9. All famous Alice Springs events which attract visitors from all over Australia and the globe.

If June is the month for petrol heads then August is for fitness freaks!!

Run Larapinta is held August 12-15 and is a  four day trail running race on the iconic Larapinta Trail. This is followed later in the month by the Redback MTB Enduro  August 18-21 with four days and six stages of mountain bike racing in and around Alice Springs.

The fun continues with the Henley On Todd Regatta, the world’s only dry river boat race, on August 20. With such a great line-up of events there is no excuse not to visit Alice Springs so get packing, get on the road and we look forward to seeing you in the Alice.

If you would like to know anything else about the events described here just visit our Events Page for all the details.