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The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Larapinta Trail, NT [2024]

Ultimate Guide To Hiking The Larapinta Trail

A hike that will test all of your limits, in order to help you be as prepared as possible here’s our ultimate guide to hiking the Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

The Larapinta Trail is the pinnacle of all hikes in the Northern Territory, and possibly all of Australia.

The West MacDonnell Ranges or Tjoritja is located to the west of Alice Springs.

Hiking the Larapinta Trail is no ordinary effort even for the seasoned hiker so expect to be pushed to your limits both physically and mentally.

Hiking to me is all about seeing things at a slow pace and getting to connect to the environment around me.

The Larapinta Trail is a place of deep cultural significance to the Arrente people, so take the time to learn about the history of the area, the significant songlines, and why you can swim in some places and why you can’t swim in others.

It’s also important to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, and pay your respects to elders past, present and emerging.

I have put together this comprehensive guide to the Larapinta Trail from sections 1 to 12 to help you guide your way through this beautiful part of the Northern Territory.

Ultimate Guide To Hiking The Larapinta Trail
Don’t forget to stop and take a moment to appreciate the beauty surrounding you

What to Expect on the Larapinta Track

You may not think it, but Central Australia, especially those places closer to the ranges, hosts so much flora and fauna, and it’s just a matter of looking in the right place.

3 main environments make up the Larapinta Trail being riverbeds and riverbanks, mulga shrub lands, and rocky ranges and outcrops.

Within these environments depending on what time of year you decide to hike, a large variety of wildflowers will be present from the Sturt’s Desert Rose to the famous Sturt’s Desert Pea.

You are bound to see the perentie all year round, a lizard known as a sand monitor, to the occasional dingo lurking around the ridge lines of Simpson’s Gap or even the odd Thorny Devil lizard.

Life in the desert is precious so please stay on the designated trail, camp in the designated wilderness campsites and take your rubbish with you as there are only a few bins located at Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Standley Chasm and Simpson’s Gap.

My Experience Hiking the Larapinta Trail

Having hiked in Northern Thailand, Nepal, New Zealand and throughout New South Wales in Australia, I didn’t expect the Larapinta Trail to top the list as one of the hardest treks I have done.

It wasn’t my…

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