Larapinta Trail Volunteer Program
Group size: maximum 10 guestsDeparture Dates
Have you wanted ever wanted to share you time helping our natural environment? Gain an insight into the management of one of our remote national parks? Camp and sleep under the stars? Experience some of Central Australia’s most stunning landscapes?
Many people who have travelled through Central Australia or walked the Larapinta Trail have expressed a desire to return and experience it in a new and often giving way. Whether this is your first time or you’ve been before, active participation in the Volunteer Program is sure to be a memorable and rewarding way to experience this land.
Trek Larapinta is proud to work in conjunction with Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife and other land management organisations to provide a 6 day Volunteer Program on the Larapinta Trail. You will work closely with the land managers and have the opportunity for a unique experience within the West MacDonnell National Park.
The Larapinta Trail Volunteer Program will appeal to the active person looking to give something back to this remarkable environment. No special skills are required – just a love of the outdoors, and an enthusiasm to help out and be part of a like-minded group. Typical tasks will vary depending on the current requirements of the park and land managers, but could include weed control, vegetation clearing, replacing trail markers and signage, erosion control, painting of park infrastructure and fencing. You work alongside our guides and park rangers along different parts of the trail, and are then transferred to camp at the end of each day where you can relax while Trek Larapinta caters for your needs. The program is created to be informative as well as the opportunity to experience the unique terrain, as we seek to share our knowledge of the place and provide all you need to have an active yet comfortable adventure.
With time to also explore some of the spectacular parts of the park, such as Ormiston Gorge, and maybe take a refreshing dip in the Finke River or one of the permanent water holes along the trail, the program is not all work! You will be hosted at one of our beautiful private eco-camps in the Ormiston Gorge region, offering comfortable accommodation in a secluded pristine natural setting. With spacious tents, covered kitchen and communal area, washing area, waterless composting toilets, campfires, and solar generated water heating, lighting and food refrigeration we know it’s a privilege for us to be here. We seek to tend our camps as best we can with minimal impact practices and share these ways with you.
The cost of the trip covers expenses with a donation made to the Friends of the Larapinta Trail, a not for profit group dedicated to promoting and maintaining the Larapinta Trail. To date Trek Larapinta has donated over $5,000 to the Friends of the Larapinta Trail, with these funds being used to purchase trail maintenance equipment, refreshments for volunteers at working bees and the funding of public liability insurance for the association.
Travelling with us, you know you’re coming with a boutique business that specialises in the Larapinta Trail. The experience of being in this ancient landscape can be powerful and refreshing. By offering fully-supported camping and interpretive guiding, Trek Larapinta aims to facilitate this experience for you. All the organisation, transport, food preparation, camping and catering equipment and other logistics are taken care of for you, so you can connect with this landscape in a calm, relaxed way and get the most out of your holiday in this amazing part of Australia.
All camping equipment including sleeping bag, swag, pillow, bed linen and top of the range spacious tent.
All catering equipment.
5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners.
All delicious snacks on the trail.
Hotel pick up and drop off.
Transportation provided in commercially registered, expertly maintained tour vehicles.
All camping, traditional owner and national park fees.
Group first aid and emergency communication facilities.
Private wilderness eco-campsite.
2 Trek Larapinta professional wilderness guides.
Travelling with a culturally and environmentally responsible business.
Tours do not include pre or post trip airfares or accommodation.
Detailed maps of the Larapinta Trail are also available for purchase.
NOTES TO CONSIDER
The 6 day Larapinta Trail Volunteer Program requires a moderate level of general fitness. As the Larapinta Trail becomes more popular the perception of its difficulty decreases. This however is not the case. The trail remains unrelentingly rocky and hard underfoot and weather extremes can be experienced at any time of the year, so the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the experience.
Days may vary between 5 and 8 hours of easy to moderate walking/activity, depending on the section of the trail and the work undertaken.
If you engage in about one hour of aerobic activity (this might include walking, cycling, swimming etc) three to four times a week during the three months prior to your trip, you should find yourself fit enough to enjoy your days’ activities.
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 2019
“Just touching base to say how much I enjoyed and value the experience of taking part in the volunteer program starting 7th April 2019. It was great to be able to do something positive for the Larapinta trail while enjoying being in that particular environment. The group was so easy to be with and the guides were amazing, with their cheerfulness, encouragement, cooperation with each other, care for us at all times, their resourcefulness and diverse skills. The food was great and the care they took of us to ensure we felt supported was note worthy. I also want to commend the set up of the camp – such attention to detail and every effort is made to make our time enjoyable. I also thank you for attention to my request for a GF diet. It was never too much trouble. Thanks again to all who are involved in making the Trek Larapinta experience what it is – Jenny Buchanan – Volunteer – April 2019
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 2017
“Thank you so much for providing the experience, I had an amazing trip. A big thank you to our guides, Kate was a phenomenal leader her enthusiasm was contagious (and some days I needed it!), she knuckles down and gets it done. I remember watching her carry a huge bucket of camp poo and full bucket of water and commenting to Trudy that she must be half machine – what a champ. I loved Alisha’s connection with the animals and nature it was refreshing and you get a real sense of her passions and interests, She also kept me entertained on walks and ensured I was looked after at the back of the mob. A special thanks goes to Eve who hung back with me on all the walks to ensure I was safe and gave me the opportunity to do it at my pace. I am sure it was frustrating to always be following me down the trail but Eve was so gracious and respectful and always made me feel at ease. She is wise beyond her years and has such a kind soul. Making connections with people is all part of the experience. A big thank you to the Parks and Wildlife team Josh, Jamie, Tom and for taking us out each day and organising the treks. Thank you to the whole team for your hospitality, generosity, professionalism, kindness and wisdom – it was all greatly appreciated and made for a wonderful experience.” – Shelley Greene – Volunteer – April 2017
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 2016
“In mid-April 2016 Ormiston Gorge rangers were joined by fourteen Trek Larapinta volunteers and two guides for a week of trail maintenance, opening the trail for the start the walking season. Work focused on sections 8, 10 and 11 and involved pruning over hanging vegetation, chipping spinifex, erosion control and the replacement of damaged trail markers. A huge amount of work was achieved and with three sections complete the Ormiston rangers can now focus their efforts on more remote sections of the trail. Many of the volunteers were attending their second or third volunteer trip with Trek Larapinta demonstrating the strong appeal of the program. The opportunity to meet and work with the rangers, and thus gain an insight into the park and the remote lifestyle, were among the reasons given for volunteer’s attendance. In addition to working days a social night was held with rangers and their families sharing a meal with the volunteers and Trek Larapinta staff. In all it was a very successful week of hard work and good company in a beautiful location. The Ormiston team very much appreciated the efforts and enthusiasm of all involved.” – Daniel Johanson – Ranger Parks and Wildlife Commission of NT – May 2016
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 2013
In April Trek Larapinta ran another successful Volunteer Program on the Larapinta Trail in conjunction with Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife. Undertaking track maintenance work to prepare the trail for the upcoming walking season, our 10 volunteers replaced trail markers damaged by fires, erected new signage on sections 10 and 11 and the Dolomite Walk at Ellery Creek, put up fencing at Rocky Bar Gap and undertook weed eradication around Ormiston Gorge. However it wasn’t all hard work – experiencing a magnificent sunrise from the top of Mt Sonder, relaxing and swimming in gorgeous water holes and of course dining on the fabulous food.
Trek Larapinta would like to thank Matt Sykes, one of our volunteers, for sharing his experience through this short story:
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 2012
Trek Larapinta in conjunction with the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife completed a week long volunteer project to repair damage to the Larapinta Trail by recent bushfires.
The 10 volunteers from around Australia and the world replaced burnt track markers, moved burnt vegetation off the track to ensure the trail remains easy to navigate, and helped to maintain infrastructure in the park, such as painting camp shelters.
A number of the volunteers were taking part in the University of Adelaide’s Professions Student Ambassador Program, where students are exposed to a range of both local and international projects with industry and community partners, with the aim of enhancing student experiences beyond academia.
This years project raised $1,500 which was donated to the Friends of the Larapinta Trail, a not for profit group established to help care for and promote the trail that works closely with Parks and Wildlife. The money donated was used to purchase equipment that volunteers can borrow to help maintain the trail, such as drills, loppers and rake hoes.
A huge thank you for all that you did with our students for the Larapinta experience. It has been more than overwhelming to hear their stories, the excitement of their experience, and the value it added to them as future leaders. I have students involved in a number of projects – both community and industry related, and I can confidently say that the feedback received from the week away with you and the team is by far, the best I have heard. The students learnt so so much, and loved every minute. I honestly do not know how to thank you enough for this – we look forward to working with you in the future on more projects. – Kim Burdett – Student Experience Coordinator, Faculty of the Professions, The University of Adelaide – October 2012
Being part of the volunteer program on the Larapinta Trail I had a great trek and a great opportunity to see the track – even though some parts were devastated by fire – and to meet a good team of committed people wanting to give their time to the track. I was able to walk with the track maintenance team and rangers which was exceptional in understanding what goes into creating a track. Not all guides and companies take so much on in the area they walk and it is compliment to all your team. It was a great way to see the track and experience your companies experience and commitment to such a track and area. – Kevin – Volunteer on the Trek Larapinta Volunteer Project – September 2012
This project is a fantastic opportunity for Parks to work with volunteers to achieve positive outcomes for the trail. Everyone who walks the trail is blown away by its beauty, and are often keen to give something back to ensure it is looked after into the future. – Phil Cowan – Senior Park Ranger at Ormiston Gorge – September 2012