Get suggested itineraries and check the facilities available at each section. Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult. Long distance with some steep ascents. You will get views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands. Good birdwatching opportunities.
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This exciting long distance walking track is divided into 12 sections, each a day walk. The Trail also links in with other walking tracks within the West MacDonnell National Park, allowing side trips to explore more of what the Park has to offer. The Larapinta Trail begins at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges, climbs steeply over the rugged ranges, and has numerous stunning views and opportunities to photograph or admire the spectacular landscape.
Larapinta refers to walkers trekking the whole km of the Trail from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the summit of Mt Sonder. The full traverse of the Larapinta Trail is a remote and more difficult experience. This represents a suggested itinerary of 20 days allowing for rest stops and side walks. If you are planning to walk the whole Trail, consider your physical ability, allow for rest days, the inclusion of side walks and the need for re-supply of food.
You are encouraged to contact Parks and Wildlife to discuss your plans. Each section is accessible to vehicles some by high clearance 4WD only , so you can join or leave the Trail at any of the Trailheads.
You can tailor your walking experience by choosing sections of interest to you and length of time you have to spend on the Trail. The Trail itself is made up of a range of grades catering for hikers of varying abilities see walking track grades for the Larapinta Trail.
All walkers on the Trail need to have a good level of fitness and must be well prepared and equipped. Camping out under a sea of stars in the outback is a highlight of the Trail experience.
Whatever your motivation for walking the Trail The facilities found at each Trailhead and designated camping area vary from location to location, the table below gives a quick overview of what facilities are at each location. Please refer to the Water Supplies section for the location of water. Each shelter has a free gas cooker, toilet, Ranger maintained water tank and sleeping platform. You can opt for one of the suggestions below or choose a combination that suits you best.
This will cut about 5km off your trip making the day If you want to do a return walk to save organising transport, you could walk from Geoff Moss Bridge to Wallaby Gap and back again - Walking towards Hat Hill Saddle. Arriving at Simpsons Gap to watch Black-footed Rock-wallabies at dusk. This section is a relatively short one If starting the walk from Serpentine Gorge it is well worth doing a side trip up to Serpentine Gorge lookout.
Highlights: Fascinating examples of Central Australian geology. Dipping your toes in the cold water at Ellery Creek Big Hole. The walk is graded as hard, starting at Serpentine Gorge and finishing at Serpentine Chalet Dam or visa versa and would require a drop off and pick up. Another idea is to park a car at either end. Section 8 is well worth the effort if you enjoy a steep climb and descent and want to be rewarded with one of the best views along the Larapinta Trail.
Access into Serpentine Chalet Dam is by high clearance 4WD only, however you can walk out along the access track past the ruins to the 2WD area. Another option is to extend your walk by 6. The Ochre Pits is accessible by 2WD.
Highlights: Enjoying a well deserved break at Counts Point. The views over the Alice Valley along the ridgeline. Views of Mt Sonder in the distance. The terrain caters for those of average fitness used to walking long distances. You can leave your car at Ormiston Gorge carpark and get a transfer back with Glen Helen Resort best to book ahead. The Resort is a great place to end your walk as it sells snacks and refreshments.
The scenery is varied and includes a hilltop lookout as well as walking through the dry Finke River. Highlights: Walking in one of the oldest rivers in the world. Having a cool drink or ice-cream at Glen Helen Resort after a good days walk. It is the last section of the Trail and follows the ascent of Mt Sonder. There are fantastic views all the way, ending at a cairn on the summit. The beauty of this section is you can walk as much or as little as you like.
It starts and finishes from the Redbank Gorge carpark which involves driving for 5km on unsealed road from Namatjira Drive. Arriving at the top of Mt Sonder - the 4th highest mountain in the Territory.
Park your car at Standley Chasm privately owned and operated, an entry fee applies. It is a good idea to let the kiosk staff know that you are parking overnight and returning the next day.
Walk to Millers Flat and take the high route to Tangentyere Junction. Walk back to Millers Flat along the low route and camp overnight. You may wish to set up camp at Millers Flat and take a day pack for the rest of your walk. Highlights: Seeing Standley Chasm before the crowds of midday tourists arrive. Breathing in the fresh air along the high route after a challenging climb.
Set up camp and if you have the energy, take the walk up to Serpentine Gorge lookout. The next day start early and walk the steep ascent to the ridgeline and along to Counts Point.
Allow plenty of time along the ridge and at the lookout to admire the views over the Alice Valley. Camp overnight at Serpentine Chalet Dam. Alternatively, finish at the 2WD access point on the Serpentine Chalet access road. Highlights: Having a long lunch at Counts Point. Embracing some of the tourism history around Serpentine Chalet Dam and Ruins. These Sections make for a great weekend walk and if you have a long weekend try adding Section 12 as well.
This part of the Trail is very flexible and you can walk them straight through or couple them with side trips around Ormiston Gorge or to Glen Helen. Continue onto Redbank Gorge the following day. Highlights: Walking in the shadows of Mt Sonder. Watching birds make the most of each habitat that you pass through - from the mallee to the spinifex to the River Red Gum lined watercourses and the ranges. Start at Standley Chasm privately owned and operated, an entry fee applies and walk Sections 3, 2 and 1 to Alice Springs Telegraph Station over 4 or 5 days.
You can then walk from the Telegraph Station into the centre of Alice Springs along the Riverside Walk or take a 10 minute taxi ride into town. Highlights: Walking past ancient Cycads around the shelter of Standley Chasm. Taking the high route to Tangentyere Junction for spectacular views only for those who really want to get the heart racing! Getting your first view of Alice Springs on the way back into town.
Spend some time exploring Ormiston Gorge and camp there overnight. The next day walk Section 9 over 2 days, and camp at Waterfall Gorge. There is no water supply along Section 9 so be prepared to carry 2 days worth of water. Highlights: Taking the time to do the Ormiston Pound side trip without a pack. Arriving at the top of Counts Point and encountering one of the best views on the Trail. Taking in the unique geology around Serpentine Gorge and Ellery Creek. Ormiston Gorge is great spot to stay for a couple of days to explore the Gorge and do some side walks.
Alternatively you can carry on to walk Section 9 over 2 days, camping at Waterfall Gorge. There is no water supply along Section 9 so walkers must be prepared to carry 2 days worth of water. You have the option of coming out of Section 9 at the Ochre Pits which is accessible by 2WD and an easier place to be picked up than Serpentine Chalet Dam.
Highlights: Watching the sunset behind Mt Sonder and getting some unbeatable photo opportunities. Taking a side trip to Glen Helen for a warm dinner and a cold drink. Camping in the Finke River under a sea of stars. Section 9 is one of the longest sections on the Larapinta Trail and requires walkers to carry 2 days worth of water.
There is no tank provided and no reliable surface water along the way. However if you are prepared to carry a heavy pack with a considerable amount of drinking water then this section provides spectacular views. Start at Ellery Creek, walk Section 6 2 days and camp at Rocky Gully on the first night where there is a ranger maintained water tank. Next camp at Hugh Gorge.
Section 4 can be walked in 1 hard day or a more leisurely 2 days to Standley Chasm. Section 4 and 5 are remote and spectacular sections, but also the most physically demanding on the Trail so it is best to allow plenty of time.
Highlights: Walking two of the most difficult, but scenically rewarding sections of the Trail. Taking in the degree views from the top of Brinkley Bluff or for the worlds best sunrise try camping there! Walking from the exposed ridgelines of the Chewings Range to the sheltered gorges around Standley Chasm.
Telegraph Station to the summit of Mt Sonder Sections 1 to It is suggested that you allow 20 days for this remote and difficult adventure, allowing for rest stops, side trips and to restock food supplies. There are no restrictions on which direction you walk. Either way you will encounter some challenging climbs and descents, spectacular views and scenery like nowhere else in the world. Many people choose to walk the Trail from west to east Mt Sonder to Alice Springs because they can get dropped off at Redbank Gorge and finish in town at their own pace.
However if you are happy to finish your walk at a time set by your transfer back to Alice Springs then perhaps this is the option for you.
Larapinta Trail information pack
The pack helps all walkers, whether you are walking for one or two days or completing the full kilometre trail. Larapinta Trail package order form PDF 1. Postage costs will vary depending on where the poster is sent and how quickly it needs to get there. To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.
Sections of the Larapinta Trail
This exciting long distance walking track is divided into 12 sections, each a day walk. The Trail also links in with other walking tracks within the West MacDonnell National Park, allowing side trips to explore more of what the Park has to offer. The Larapinta Trail begins at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges, climbs steeply over the rugged ranges, and has numerous stunning views and opportunities to photograph or admire the spectacular landscape. Larapinta refers to walkers trekking the whole km of the Trail from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the summit of Mt Sonder.
Larapinta Trail is a mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. This is an excellent long distance route for the experienced backpacker. The route extends from Alice Springs all the way to Mount Sonder. This area gets incredibly hot in the summer so most people choose to do it in the winter.
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