The Larapinta Trail, in the heart of Central Australia runs 223km along the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges covering some of the most spectacular ranges and gorges within the vast Australian outback desert.
The deep red gorges and cool waterholes offer an oasis for a refreshing swim in a very hot and arid land. On the rugged rocky ridges, formed millions of years ago by the rock layers being pushed on edge, you can see forever – to far off ranges without any sign of human development.
At night, the sky is full of bright stars because there are no lights anywhere around. Look out for satellites zooming across the sky and the flash of meteors as they burn up entering our atmosphere
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Distance – 231km one way hike along the MacDonnell Ranges in Outback, Central Australia
Where to Start – most hikers start in Alice Springs, where you walk from the center of town
Where to Finish – the hike finishes for a final sunrise at the Mt Sonder Cairn. You will need to hike back to the road where transport will await (if you booked it).
The Larapinta Trail is a challenging hike and requires a high level of fitness, experience and preparation. It can be completed in 13 to 18 days. If you have limited time then you can do sections between the trail heads. June July is the best time to go. The Larapinta Trail can be hiked from may to September. The rest of the year has temperatures above 40 DegC and is dangerously hot.
There are no shops along the way. You will need to organise food drops. Food drops can be made to Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge.
This hike goes through very dry land and water tanks are provided generally every 10 to 20 km. There is often very little water in the creeks so always start out with at least 3 litre and carry at least 8 litres if you are camping away from the tanks. Do not attempt this hike between October and March as you will be unable to carry enough water when the temperatures exceed 40 C.
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- Time12 to 18 days
- AccessPrivate Transfers are required to access or return from Redbank Gorge at the western end of the trail.
- SeasonsApril to September (sometimes October)