The Larapinta Trail is another of the Great Walks of Australia that we are currently running a blog series on. Bushwalking is one of the adventures that Australia is known for, so we are highlighting some of the best ones. We just featured part one of the Larapinta Trail and today we have part two featuring the multi day walk options, extended walk options and the complete end to end itinerary. Part one of our feature on the Larapinta Trail included the day walks and overnight walks. The Larapinta Trail in in Australia’s Northern Territory near the MacDonnell Ranges and close to Alice Springs. It is a draw for hikers and bushwalkers to come to this remote region of the country. The trail begins in Alice Springs and heads west into the West MacDonnell Ranges through West MacDonnell National Park for 223 km and ends at Mount Sonder, which is one of the highest mountains in the Northern Territory. The mountain trek takes 16 days if you decide to do the end to end trail.
Larapinta Trail Mt Giles Lookout Campsite Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
Typical Signs along the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3196164
Hiring a Vehicle to Get to The Larapinta Trail
Alice Springs Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Larapinta Trail Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Alice Springs Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
If tour buses aren’t your thing, hire your own 4WD vehicle to drive yourself around the Northern Territory. With your own car rental, you can tour around at your own pace and see things at your leisure. Times and schedules don’t have to be adhered to when you have your own vehicle to go where you want, when you want. Since the Northern Territory is remote and rugged, be sure to consult with your car rental agent to find the right vehicle for you and obtain the right safety supplies, maps, and instructions. Click through the link for the best rate on car rentals in the Northern Territory. You can hire a car in Alice Springs, or rent a vehicle right at the Alice Springs Airport. Looking for other destinations to visit with exploring the Northern Territory? Check out these other blog posts:
Larapinta Trail Itinerary
Larapinta Trail Hill Top Lookout Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
The suggested itinerary for the Larapinta Trail is 16 days for the end to end round trip walk. There are several different companies that offer guides or group walks. As you will see, it is possible to take shorter walks for multi day, extended trips, overnight, or even just a day trip. The best time to walk the trail for the coolest weather is between May and August. The busiest months are June and July. The trail begins in Alice Springs and heads east to the MacDonnell Ranges to Mount Sonder and then back again. However, there are other walks available to fit your schedule and fitness level. You can choose from: day walk options, overnight walk options, multi day walk options, extended walk options or the end to end entire trail round trip. No matter the length of your walk, be sure to plan ahead, understand the fitness level requirements, have the right shoes and attire, plenty of drinking water, emergency supplies, and make sure that someone knows when you are expected back. Taking all the necessary safety precautions ensures that you will have the most enjoyable bushwalking holiday. It is also important to remember that you are a guest in nature and much of this land is a protected national park. Bring a bag with you to take your own rubbish away. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures
Larapinta Trail Multi-Day Walking Options
Chasm to Ellery Multi Day Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
Serpentine to Sonder Multi Day Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
Chewings Trek Multi Day Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
Simpons to Ellery Multi Day Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
The multi day walk options for the Larapinta Trail allow you to see quite a bit of the trail. They are rated hard to very hard trails, so they are perfect for anyone looking for a challenge. The time frame for these walks ranges between 4 to 6 days and 3 to 5 nights.
- Chasm to Ellery is a five day and four night trek over 64.9 km. It is a very hard trail with 50% rugged and steep and the other 50% flat and undulating. Start at Standley Chasm and end at Ellery Creek.
- Chewings Trek is graded hard and very hard over 47.3 over varying terrain for 5 days and four nights. It is a rugged mountain walk that is worth the difficult level. Begin at Jay Creek and the trek ends at Hugh Gorge.
- Simpsons to Ellery walk is balanced between rugged mountain hiking and undulating trail. You can begin at Simpsons Gap and then end at Ellery Creek. The distance is 103 km and takes 6 days and 5 nights to complete sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. It is rated hard and very hard trails.
- Serpentine to Sonder is another 6 day and 5 night trail over 106.7 km over varying terrain. The walk begins at Serpentine Gorge, takes you over Mount Sonder, and ends at Redbank Gorge.
The Larapinta Trail Extended Walk Options
Chasm to Sonder Extended Walk Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
134 Special Extended Walk Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
Ten Section Sprint Extended Walk Option on the Larapinta Trail Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com.au
There are 3 different extended night walk options for the Larapinta Trail. If you are planning a long holiday but cannot do the entire 16 day end to end trek, then one of these might be perfect for you to be able to see most of the trail and its beautiful sights. These extended walks are 7 to 12 days long and each trail includes between 6 and 10 sections. These long walks are designed for experienced trekkers who are fit and repared for difficult and challenging climbs.
- Chasm to Sonder walk covers sections 4 through 12. It is an 11 day walk from Standley Chasm to Mount Sonder. The distance is 171.6 km and the rating is hard to very hard.
- The 134 Special walk is an 8 day walk that takes your through sections 3, 4, 10, and 11. Begin at Jay Creek and end at Ormiston Gorge. It is names the 134 special because it is 134 km long. Even though you don’t get to climb Mount Sonder, you still get excellent views of the mountain.
- The Ten Section Sprint is a great option if you have 10 days to spend on the trail. It is a couple of short sections of the trail including section 3, 4, 5, and 12. It is 185. 2 km and takes 10 days with 9 nights. Begin at Jay Creek and end at Mount Sonder.
Larapinta Trail End to End Trek
Larapinta Trail End to End Photo Credit: LarapintaTrail.com
The entire Larapinta Trail can be completed in 15 or 16 days. The ideal amount of time for the trail is 18 to 20 days. This allows you to traverse all 12 sections of the trail. Here is a basic itinerary, of course you can follow your own or that of a guide.
- Day One includes Telegraph Station, Simpsons Gap, Wallaby Gap, and Hat Hill Saddle in Section One.
- Day Two includes Simpsons Gap, Mulga Camp, and Jay Creek in Section Two.
- Day Three includes the Alt High Route, Standley Chasm, and Millers Flat in Section Three.
- Day Four includes Standley Chasm, Brinkley Bluff, and Stuart’s Pass in Section Four.
- Day Five includes Brinkley Bluff and Birthday Waterhole in Sections 4 and 5.
- Day Six includes Birthday Waterhole, Fringe Lily Creek, and Hugh Gorge Junction in Section Five.
- Day Seven includes Fringe Lily Creek, Hugh Gorge, and Hugh Gorge Junction in Section Five.
- Day Eight includes Hugh Gorge, Rocky Gully, and Ghost Gu Flat in Section Six.
- Section 9 includes Rocky Gully and Ellery Creek in Section Six.
- Day Ten includes Ellery Creek and Serpentine Gorge in Section Seven.
- Day Eleven includes Serpentine Gorge, Serpentine Chalet Dam, and Counts Point in Section Eight.
- Day Twelve includes Serpentine Chalet Dam, MT Gile Lookout, and Waterfall Gorge in Section Nine.
- Day 13 Covers MT Giles Lookout and Ormiston Gorge in Section Nine.
- Day 14 covers Ormiston Gorge, Hill Top Lookout, and Finke River in Sections Ten and Eleven.
- Day 15 covers Hill Top Lookout, Rocky Bar Gap, and Redbank Gorge in Section Eleven.
- Day 16 covers Mt Sonder and Redbank Gorge.
The Great Walks of Australia
The Larapinta Trail is one of the nine Great Walks of Australia. The other walks include:
The Margaret River Cape to Cape Walk in Western Australia
The Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk in Victoria
The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk in Tasmania
The Cradle Mountain Huts Walks in Tasmania
The Freycinet Experience Walk in Tasmania
The Maria Island Walk in Tasmania