Simpsons Gap Sunset

Join us for a watercolour painting workshop at Simpsons Gap at sunset.

This evening excursion takes place just 18kms outside of Alice Springs at Simpsons Gap, a natural wonder that is not to be missed. This unique destination explodes with colour as the sun sets, making it is the perfect spot to paint with watercolours! 

In this workshop you will learn the basics of watercolour painting in a series of exercises designed to help you to loosen up and have fun.  Fun facts about the flora and fauna will deepen the meaning of the series of paintings you make, which you can take home to remind you of your special trip.

Watch the rocky ridges of the West MacDonnell Ranges turn a deeper red as the sun sets, hear an orchestra of birds sing from the tops of the river red gum trees, tune in to the peace of this special place which is an important spiritual site for the local Arrente Aboriginal people. 

What to Expect

Simpsons Gap, or Rungutjiirpa as it is known to the local Arrente people, is a stunning natural gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges, 18km west of Alice Springs. There is permanent water at Simpsons Gap in Roe Creek, which supports a population of rare Black-footed Rock Wallabies who often make an appearance as we sit quietly in the river bed painting. 

There is an abundance of rare and relict plants here, including white cypress pine and bushfoods like native fig, that make wonderful subjects for a painting. 

On the short walk into Simpsons Gap your guide will point out flora, fauna, and some important features of the landscape. 

As your small group of 6-12 like minded artists settle into the sandy riverbed, we will pick a few features to focus on during the watercolour painting workshop, including river red gum trees, rock formations, and, if we’re lucky, Rock Wallabies.

 The workshop starts with a basic introduction to watercolours, followed by a dynamic series of fast paced watercolour painting exercises, designed to help loosen you up. 

We will move on to longer form technique building exercises towards the end of the class, finishing with a freeform longer painting where you can combine things that you’ve learnt to make a masterpiece that you will be proud of. 

The class is suitable for beginners, and people with painting experience. All painting materials are provided, and you’ll be sure to make connections with like minded travellers. 

An Artist Expedition Society tour guide will pick you up from your Alice Springs accommodation between 3pm (winter) and 5pm (summer).

We will arrive at Simpsons Gap, walk a short distance through the river bed, and settle in for the painting workshop. 

Plan to spend 2-3 hours at Simpsons Gap, looking at points of interest and painting.

We will drive back to Alice Springs, and drop you off at your accommodation just after sunset – roughly 6pm (winter) and 8pm (summer).

All of the paintings that you make during the workshop belong to you, but we will need to collect the watercolour pallets and paint brushes at the end. 

– a full water bottle for drinking 

– layers of warm clothes in a back pack

– a fly net (just incase)  

– sunscreen and a sun hat

– closed toe shoes eg. trainers or boots (no sandals)