Larapinta Trail
  • Length: 223km

  • Duration: 20 days

  • Grade: 3-4

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Alice Springs Telegraph Station

  • End: Mount Sonder

  • Location: West MacDonnell Ranges National Park

  • Closest Town: Alice Springs

  • Distance from CBD: 4.2km

  • State: NT

  • Latitude: -23.671268

  • Longitude: 133.885239

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2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

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Camping Area

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Untreated Water
Steep Terrain
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Well Marked
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West MacDonnell Ranges National Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

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Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

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Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding

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Larapinta Trail is a 223km, grade 3-4 one way hike, located in West MacDonnell Ranges Northern Territory. The hike should take approximately 20 days to complete.

Hike Summary

Ranked as one of the planet's top 20 treks, the Larapinta Trail is a 223 kilometre path that follows the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount Sonder.

Challenge yourself to hike the whole trail or tackle one of its 12 sections, all of which vary in difficulty and length. Each section can be reached by four-wheel drive, so you can join or leave the trail at any of the Tailheads.

The Trail encompasses some of the key attractions of the ranges including Simpsons Gap, and the permanent waterholes at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen. It weaves past some of the world's most ancient metamorphic and igneous rock and nearly 600 species of rare flora.

The Trail also links in with other walking tracks within the West MacDonnell National Park, allowing side trips to explore more of the Park.

Along the way you camp under the stars. Most camp sites have picnic tables and tent sites. All Trailheads have a water supply and some have free gas barbecues. Fully guided tours are available, otherwise set off on your own ensuring you're well equipped and have notified the relevant authorities.

Camping fees

Some campgrounds in the Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park have campsite fees, including:

Ellery Creek Big Hole - $5 per person
Ormiston Gorge - $10 per person
Redbank Gorge - $5 per person.
You should carry the correct amount as change is not available.

There is a charge to stay at Standley Chasm and Glen Helen Resort as these are privately owned and operated.

All other campsites are free and most are set aside for use by Larapinta Trail walkers.

Planning

Fun Fit Adventure have prepared a 4-part guide, based on their own personal experience, on the Larapinta trail . The guide covers everything including planning, suggested itinerary and gear to take. Check it out on their site at funfitadventure.com

About the region

Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park stretches for 161 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Explore and appreciate the scenic beauty and history of the area on foot, swim in a waterhole, or pitch a tent for a longer stay.

Take a dip in the cold waters of one the park's permanent water holes. The larger water holes include Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Redbank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge.

There are numerous marked walking tracks ranging from leisurely to adventurous. The 223 kilometre Larapinta Trail stretches through the park and offers extended and overnight bushwalks for fit, experienced and well prepared walkers.

The park encompasses an ancient landscape sculpted over time by climatic elements. It is also a refuge for rare and threatened plants as well as wildlife, including the uncommon bird species such as the Peregrine Falcon.

Features of the landscape are significant to the Arrernte people, including the Ochre Pits that have long been a quarry for important ochre pigments.

There are plenty of places to camp in the park, with varied access and facilities. Camping fees apply and overnight visitors should bring their own water supplies. Commercial facilities are available at Glen Helen Resort.

Getting there

West MacDonnell National Park travelling to there | From Alice Springs car, campervan and motrhome access to the Park is via Larapinta Drive and Namatjira Drive. From Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) the unsealed Red Centre Way (4wd access recommended) connects to West MacDonnell National Park. Simpsons Gap is also accessible via a 17 km sealed bicycle track which starts opposite Flynn’s Grave, 7 km from Alice Springs along Larapinta Drive.

West MacDonnell National Park access | is accessible nearly all year round. The cooler months (April to September) are the most pleasant. All roads can be impassible for short periods after heavy rain.

Hikes Nearby

11 thoughts on “Larapinta Trail (223km)

  1. View from Mt Sonder is amazing but the full exploration of Redbank Gorge makes it my favourite place in the world. I’ve traveled and guided extensively – especially in Australia and RBG blows my mind.

  2. I’m contemplating a Larapinta hike in 10..12 days around July..August 2020 (assuming interstate travel is back on by then).
    Although normally I do long hikes solo (and go faster then majority of people), won’t mind some self-sufficient companion, at least to make logistics (carpooling from Melbourne to Alice, food drops, etc) simpler and cheaper.
    Pls write ezemskovatyandexdotru of into facebook if interested.
    Cheers,
    Eugene

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