Australia’s Larapinta Trail

Hike Australia’s Larapinta Trail

As a vast land boasting a variety of ecological wonders and national parks that are internationally recognized, Australia is home to many spectacular hiking sites. One such hiking destination is Larapinta Trail, in which some of its sections run through the West MacDonnell National Park in Northern Territory. This extended walking trail boasts a scenic view of the West MacDonnell Range along with unique plant and animal species.

Experiencing Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail

An extended hiking track that covers a distance of about 223 kilometers, Larapinta Trail is one of the region’s best bushwalking sites. This trail encompasses several landmarks such as the Simpsons Gap, Palm Valley, Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Pound, Ellery Creek Bighole, Standley Chasm, Redbank Gorge, Tnorala Gosse Bluff, and Serpentine Gorge.

The actual track can be divided into twelve sections, each part ranging from 1 to 2-day walks. The Larapinta trail begins at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and traverses several gaps, gorges, and scenic ranges. This trail offers a variety of desert areas before presenting to the travelers a view of Mount Sonder – one of the highest peaks in the region and a spectacular landmark that serves as the track’s end.

For shorter hiking trips, this is the perfect destination because each part of this track is accessible to vehicles. Each hiking trip can be customized according to specific needs or physical ability. Each part of the trail is also categorized according to walking track grades, clearly differentiating easy trails from challenging paths. The chance to camp out beneath the stars is also another highlight of the Larapinta Trail. A trip to central Australia is not complete without walking through this spectacular bushwalking trail.

The Beauty of Larapinta Trail

The scenic Larapinta Trail is also known for its awesome landscapes and spectacular views. To get the best views, hike to the Ormiston Gorge and enjoy several of the most scenic views along the trail. This gorge features a semi-permanent waterhole that has an estimated depth of 14 meters. Ormiston Gorge also serves as a natural habitat for numerous plant and animal species known for their historic significance and interesting characteristics. Endemic animals such as wallabies also thrive within the area.

A Trip Through the Region’s Culture

This famous hiking trail boasts many sacred sites established by the Arrernte Tribe which is an Aboriginal group. According to NT’s official travel site, the Arrerntes believe that the ranges within this trail are actually gigantic caterpillars or “Yeperenye” that traversed through one of the scenic gaps in the area. The main features of this landscape are actually part of many folk stories, making the entire Larapinta Trail and its surrounding areas an integral part of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture.

Accommodation Options at Larapinta Trail

Accommodation facilities within West MacDonnell National Park include picnic sites, toilets, camping grounds, wood barbecues, sources of potable water, a medical clinic, caravan sites, a visitor center, a ranger station, and other convenient facilities. Alice Springs, the town wherein Larapinta Trail starts, boasts a variety of accommodation options ranging from high-class hotels to cozy inns. For more information, visit NT’s official travel site.

Accommodation example: Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, 82 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia

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How to get to Larapinta Trail

Vehicle access to this trail is through Namatjira and Larapinta Drive. When coming from Kata Tjuta National Park, the Mereenie Loop Road links Watarrka National Park with West MacDonnell National Park. The trail’s Simpsons Gap is also accessible to vehicles through a bicycle track starting near Flynn’s Grave. For more information on how to get to Larapinta Trail, check out Northern Territory’s official website.

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