Larapinta Trail

Larapinta Trail logo

Situated in the heart of Central Australia, the Larapinta Trail extends over 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Walking the trail

This exciting long distance walking track is divided into 12 sections, each a 1-2 day walk. The Trail encompasses some of the key attractions of the Ranges including Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen. The Trail also links in with other walking tracks within the West MacDonnell National Park, allowing side trips to explore more of what the Park has to offer.

The Larapinta Trail begins at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges, climbs steeply over the rugged ranges, and has numerous stunning views and opportunities to photograph or admire the spectacular landscape. The Trail takes in a variety of desert habitats before rewarding walkers with 360° vistas from Mt Sonder – the highest point and end of the Trail.

Each section is accessible to vehicles (some by high clearance 4WD only), so you can join or leave the Trail at any of the Trailheads. You can tailor your walking experience by choosing sections of interest to you and length of time you have to spend on the Trail. The Trail itself is made up of a range of grades catering for hikers of varying abilities (see walking track grades for the Larapinta Trail). All walkers on the Trail need to have a good level of fitness and must be well prepared and equipped.

Walking the ridgetops of Section 9, Mt Sonder can be seen in the background.

Camping out under a sea of stars in the outback is a highlight of the Trail experience. Although they vary, most camp sites offer picnic tables and hardened tent sites – all Trailheads have a water supply and some have free gas barbecues (see the Facilities section for more detail).

Whatever your motivation for walking the Trail...the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the inspiration, the challenge or the window it provides to the varied and fragile ecology…the beauty and grandeur of the Larapinta Trail will leave a lasting impression long after your visit to Central Australia.

For more information and the safety and logistics of walking the Larapinta Trail, click on the arrow on the menu at left hand side of your screen.