- You can choose between a few different organised tour groups or go at your own pace, by yourself.
- Although the terrain is rugged, it’s in the moments of struggle that you find your true strength.
- The nights are cold, your nose is freezing, but your body is so warm in a swag.
- Walking through the early morning, listening to dingoes, to get to Mt Sonder at dawn.
- A refreshing swim, especially after 4 days on the trail, at Serpentine Chalet dam.
Completing this walk has been one of the highlights of my life. The scenery is stunning and the walking is challenging. The Larapinta Trail is just north of Alice Springs in the desert of Australia. You walk along the ridge line of the West MacDonnell ranges, up and down, up and down …. and up and down a bit more. It is exhausting, but every time you reach the top of a ridge you’ll see a stunning landscape falling away below. The climax of the walk is making your way to the top of Mount Sonder, one of the Territory’s highest mountains, preferably to see the sunrise.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
This is EXACTLY what the paths look like. You’ll need to wear your best mountain boots with good ankle support, and take aÂ water bottle.
If you have your ownÂ compact swagÂ you can sleep out under the stars. The skies are enormous.
Stunning scenery looking across the flats to the ridges. You will see this view, every day you walk. Take a good quality lightweight daypack, but make sure it’s not too small. You do still have to pack in a warm jumper, at least 2 litres of water, camera, sunscreen, fly net etc.
You can join the Facebook page forÂ Friends of the Larapinta trailÂ to get a little more information, or just take an e-tour of the trail.
Dingoes, a native Australian dog, will keep you ‘company’ along the trail. At night, and in the early morning, you’ll hear them calling out to each other. Their howls are unlike anything you’ve ever heard. When I heard them their howls sent a chill up my spine, even though I knew they are relatively harmless.
6-DAY WALKING AND CAMPING ITINERARY
WHO CAN TAKE YOU THERE
ALICE SPRINGS CLIMATE
CAMPING GEAR LIST TO PACK
- Sturdy hiking boots, with ankle support. Make sure they have a thick sole as the rocks are like sandpaper.
- Warm sleeping bag
- Your own swag, with thick mattress
- Two man tent, especially useful for keeping the mice off your head at night
- GoodÂ quality day packÂ with easy to reach water bottle pockets or
- Larger hiking pack, but still with convenient pockets for snacks and water
- Walking poles, to reduce the strain and pressure on your knees
- Capacity for 2 litres of water each day in eitherÂ water bottlesÂ orÂ hydration pack
- Most organised tour groups will provide shelter, and have permanent camp spots, but if you’re walking by yourself, take aÂ 2 man lightweight tentÂ that is sturdy
- A small butÂ powerful torchÂ so you’re not stumbling around in the dark
- AÂ warm hat. Even in Summer the temperature at night can get to close to freezing.
- Warm thermal clothes, especially welcome in Winter
- Definitely aÂ first aid kitÂ as the trail has a lot of slippery rock shale
- High energy camping snacks, if you have time toÂ make your ownÂ or ingredients forÂ Bacon S’mores
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE LARAPINTA TRAIL
Mary â€“ June 2012.
After 14 days of exploring the Red Centre, Uluru, the Olgas, Kings Canyon, and tackling sections of the Larapinta trail, NT, Here I am standing in awe after discovering this hidden treasure. Redbank Gorge, Alice Springs.
Probably the best walk is the Ormiston Pound walk, make sure you start heading east away from the Gorge and finish through the gorge. We did a few extra side trips so I can’t remember how long it will take, depends on your walking ability, probably 3.5 hours. Nothing strenuous. There is also a good short walk up to a lookout from the Pound, about 45minutes.Â The highest walk point in the Ranges is Mt Sonder fromÂ Redbank GorgeÂ at around 1400m, but that is about 6-7 hours return. Panoramic views nothing strenuous again, just a long climb up and back around 15k return.Â The most spectacular views of the lot though are from Counts Lookout (betweenÂ Serpentine GorgeÂ and Chalet) and Brinkley’sÂ BluffÂ fromStanleyÂ Chasm. They are both full day return walks and not difficult but hard. I did them with a 20+kg pack on my back, allow 6 hours. So it depends on your walking ability.