Larapinta Self Guided, 6 Days
What you get...
- 6 day self guided tour departing Alice Springs.
- 5 nights accommodation camping in twin share tents.
- Sleeping mat, tent, 80L back pack, sleeping bag.
- Breakfasts, lunches, dinners & hot drinks.
- Light weight trekking food supplied as per menu chosen prior to departure.
- Camp stove and fuel.
- Cooking and eating utensils.
- All National Park and camping fees.
- EPIRB in case of emergencies.
- Rain jacket.
- Complete set of Larapinta Trail maps and route descriptions.
- Off-road transport to/from Alice Springs to start/finish of your trek.
Alice Springs - Simpson - Jay Creek - Standley Chasm - Birthday Waterhole - Hugh Gorge - Ellery Creek
Day 1 Alice Springs to Simpson's Gap.
Your walking begins at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station which is the official start of the Larapinta Trail. The historical stone buildings here date back to 1872 and housed the first Europeans to live in Central Australia. It's worth having a look around the Station before heading off on your walk. Initially the trail from here winds among boulders of Alice Springs Granite, the highest of which offers fine views of the town and Mt Gillen. The trail passes through Witchetty Bush and Mulga scrub, over exposed hills and shady woodlands before you arrive for lunch at Wallaby Gap. From Wallaby Gap, you follow the trail west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. You may catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby as you approach Simpson's Gap and your campsite. Difficulty rating: Medium | Walking time: 9 hours.
Day 2 Simpson's Gap to Jay Creek.
From Simpson's Gap you walk through pleasant grassy flats and low, rocky hills bearing the scars of early cattle grazing, evidence of the fragility of this arid environment. Graceful Ghost Gums are also to be seen on this section, coated in a white powder with powerful antiseptic properties used by Aborigines. One of the most peaceful parts of the trail is Spring Gap. You can observe a wide variety of plant life and watch for birds at the waterhole. Listen for the excited babble of the Grey-crowned Babbler, a social bird that bounds through the leaf litter searching for food. From the waterhole you will walk on through ever changing countryside to your idyllic camp at Jay Creek. Difficulty grading: Medium | Walking time: 8 hours.
Day 3 Jay Creek to Standley Chasm.
On leaving Jay Creek you are on sacred ground, where the Aboriginal custodians ask that you walk only in the dry creek bed. Today's walk is nothing short of spectacular. You continue on through varied terrain dotted with Mulga and Witchetty Bush to Tangentyere Junction. Here the track diverges to follow the ridgeline above the Finke River. A good place to stop for lunch is Millers Flat. From the Flat you climb through rocky terrain before descending from the north into the deep, red rock of Standley Chasm. Your camp for the night is at Standley Chasm. There is a kiosk here and showers are available. Difficulty grading: Hard | Walking time: 5.5 hours.
Day 4 Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole.
From Standley Chasm you follow the spectacular Bridle Trail, an old trading route used by the early settlers in the region. You head up to follow the ridge line over Reveal Saddle to Brinkley's Bluff. From this high point, just over 1100m, you are rewarded with superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After lunch you take on a steep descent and pass Mintbush Spring, named for the native plant that grows here, a beautifully mint-scented bush related to sage and lavender. Your welcoming campsite tonight is at the peaceful Birthday Waterhole. Difficulty rating: Very Hard | Walking time: 9 hours.
Day 5 Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge.
You should rise early today for one of the most challenging and rewarding sections on the trail. The track undulates vigorously over rough, rocky terrain and you are exposed (to the elements and to the magnificent views) atop Windy Saddle and Razorback Ridge for the first part of the day. In the afternoon you will drop down to Fringe Lily Creek, a nice stop for lunch as it offers some shade. After lunch the trail takes you on a rough spinifex journey through this semi-arid region allowing breathtaking views of Hugh Gorge, where you will camp overnight. Difficulty rating: Very hard | Walking time: 10 hours.
Day 6 Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek.
The walk today continues along the south side of the West MacDonnell ranges whose soaring presence dominates your views as you move through lower level woodlands and spinifex. On today's walk you could chance upon Painted Firetails and a variety of different bird species. Keep your eye out especially for the beautiful Spinifex Pigeon which relies on the tough spinifex plant for camouflage and food - you'll see them strutting amongst the plants with their tall, elegant crest bobbing along with their every step. This is a long walking day and an early start will be required. Your overnight camp is at Ellery Creek. Difficulty grading: Medium | Walking time: 11 hours.
Summer forecast: sun, surf & adventure
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Guides to help you along
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