Escaping to one of the most spectacular Treks in Australia.
The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most popular treks, yet for our small group of 8 we all felt that we were truly the only ones trekking the vast Central Australian landscapes. The 223 kilometre trail has 12 different sections you can experience taking 1-2 days each, which means you can walk along this route and not encounter many other people.
The open expanse of the sky provides a dramatic backdrop to the variety of colours, terrain, flora and fauna. We search for spiny lizards, echidnas and black footed rock wallabies amongst the bird life of owls and birds of prey.
“What I expected is definitely not what I saw or experienced on this 7 day walking and camping adventure,” enthusiastically explains Tali Emdin, GM of World Expeditions in New Zealand. “The colour astounded me as it was a lot greener with red everywhere. And, after a long hot day of walking in the sun, all we wanted to do was jump in a refreshingly cold billabong to wash off the red dust. While cooling down in the water, the guides prepared a tasty and abundant dinner of the Australian version of a hangi – a roast dinner and even a cake for dessert – all cooked in the ground over hot rocks.”
The Larapinta Trail runs along the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges and takes its name from the Northern Territory indigenous name for the Finke River, one of the oldest water-ways on earth. Walking the big ridgeline of the West MacDonnell Ranges, we gain a rare perspective of vast flood plains, the rocky razorback outcrops and sheer scale of this ancient land.
“Walking through 800 million year old rocks with fossils that were amongst the first life forms on earth at Bitter Springs sure puts things in perspective. And, then on another day, we walk to Count’s Point where for the first time we see the comet impact crater, Goose Bluff, which will be a feature of the landscape for the next few days, brings an entirely different sense of reality to our travels.
The walking changes daily from flat to uphill and through gorges. But several things remained the same – great food, amazing guides, spectacular scenery. These, with the opportunity to sleep under the stars in a swag, is an experience I will recall for the rest of my life and are highlights that will bring me back to do this trek again – as well as recommending this trip to friends and family.
Our two guides, who are local Alice Springs experts and experienced trampers shared their wealth of knowledge and their interpretation of the stories from the traditional land owners. From dreamtime stories to viewing ancient rock wall art and from the tales about Mt Sonder to the massive pack our guide carries all gives us the chance to experience wonder and awe.
This walk is good for couples to reacquaint themselves with what really matters. It cleared my head, blew out the cobwebs and made everyone feel good about being alive. What an amazing experience for anyone, especially for two people to share in an adventure of a lifetime.