FAQ about the Larapinta Trail & things to do in Alice Springs »
In Western Arrernte (pronounced AH-run-dah), Lhere means "river" and pirnte means "salt". Lhere-pirnte means "salty river" and is the traditional name for the Finke River, one of the oldest watercourses on the earth.
We see this river from some of the ridges on the trail and in some of the later sections we cross it on our path. Sometimes we camp near one of its permanent waterholes in beds of sand worn down from the old hills that surround us.
Trek Larapinta wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Central and Western Arrernte Country for allowing us the opportunity to share this magnificent place - the Larapinta Trail/Western MacDonnell region. Learn more about the Arrernte people here »
Divided onto 12 sections, the Larapinta Trail is officially 223km from its starting point at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs to its end point at the summit of Mt Sonder in the West MacDonnell Ranges. However, we think it's total length is 231km, provided you want to get back down Mt Sonder to the car waiting below! A typical End to End trek sees us walking in excess of 260km with the inclusion of the Ormiston Pound Loop Walk and various other side trip explorations.
There is a mix of creek-bed walking, gorge walking, steep ascents and descents and more gently undulating country ("undulating" is a word you may get sick of us saying!).
Overall the Larapinta Trail is most renouned for its rough and unrelentingly rocky surfaces. (The Larapinta Trail is rocky. Rocky is the Larapinta Trail ...!)
Each of the 12 sections has a different grade reflecting the type of walking encountered. Grades and fitness levels for each trip are described briefly on the tour pages and in more detail in the tour itineraries, which can be downloaded. For more information about trail grading see NT Parks and Wildlife.
Q: Is the Larapinta Trail rocky?
Yes. Yes, it is rocky.
April and September are generally warmer throughout the day but have cool nights. The cooler months (May through to August) are near-perfect for bushwalking. We can get very cold conditions in the mornings or up on the ridge tops, so be prepared! It can also drop to zero-or-below at night, so it doesn't hurt to bring your ugg boots (or thermals, gloves, beanie and general stash of warm clothes). See our detailed gear list on the downloadable trek itineraries.
There's also a chart of average temperatures on the Larapinta Trail information page. For current weather conditions close to the western end of the Larapinta Trail see the forecast for Hermannsburg. For Alice Springs and the eastern end of the trail see the current forecast here: Alice Springs.
Depending on your service provider there is limited reception available on some of the high ridge lines and peaks of the Larapinta Trail. Our guides carry satellite phones for emergency communication purposes. There is public phone access at Standley Chasm and Glen Helen Resort.
The Friends of the Larapinta Trail (FOLT) is a not for profit group dedicated to promoting and maintaining the Larapinta Trail. For more information on their activities or to become a member visit their website www.friendsofthelarapintatrail.org.au.
Alice Springs is a rich cross-cultural outback town and, at times, just sitting in the Todd Mall can bring an enlightening experience.
We can also recommend:
Art Galleries: Araluen Cultural Precinct, the various galleries in the Alice Springs CBD.
Food and Drink: Our favourite watering hole is the ever popular Montes Bar and Grill, try Page 27 for the best coffee and a great breakfast/lunch. For healthy food and drinks with a quirky twist check out the Watertank Cafe or for something a bit fancy visit the very popular Hanuman at the Hilton. Enjoy a cold pint, a parmy and a punt at the Juicy Rump in the Lasseters Casino. For exquisite food in gorgeous surroundings try the Bean Tree Cafe at the Olive Pink Botannical Gardens.
Why not take a day trip: Western MacDonnell Ranges (Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm , Ellery Creek Bighole, Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen), Eastern MacDonnell Ranges (Trephina Gorge, Emma Gorge, Ross River), Owen Springs Reserve, Palm Valley and Finke Gorge National Park, Hermannsburg, Chambers Pillar, drive out to Santa Teresa Aboriginal Community and visit the internationally recognised Kerinkge Arts Centre (only 1 hour from Alice Springs).
Other beautiful places in Central Australia: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park (King's Canyon), Palm Valley.
*please note: these "other beautiful places" are a reasonable distance from Alice Springs ... if you plan to visit them, be sure to allow yourself an extra day or two ... or five.
Check out this link for more information about all the amazing events and activities in and around Alice Springs: www.discovercentralaustralia.com