9 Days Walking the Larapinta Trail, Central Australia

In Archive, News & Travels by Fran Bryson

September 2021

The National Park and the walk, follow the dotted line (it can be 14+ days, we didn’t do all of it: parts of it over 9 days was hard enough!

Matt and Ash (our guides) did tell us the difference between a gap and a gorge but we were too busy admiring the first two to take it such info in:

Both were on Day 1:

Our first two nights’ camp. We were delighted to see how well set up it is:

And how private (I slept on the ‘verandah’, under the stars in my swag):

Day two’s trek, an hour or so after beginning the walk along a creek bed full of hard round creek stones. Beginning the day, and ending it, by walking along creek beds is something of a theme on the Larapinta Trail. I didn’t look so fresh making the return journey some 7-8 hours later, I can assure you (in fact the look below could be described as one of resignation, knowing I’d have to walk this section again late in the afternoon):

Then the top eventually, phew, only another 4 hours or so to go but at least it’s down):

No shade, but a rest at least (some of us were better prepared than others) and a view:

Day 3 might be my favourite, a gentle start:

And in wildflower season.

Desert Rose:

Desert daisies:

Desert something else:

Ending when two of us braved a breathtaking dip in this pool (by geez, it was cold!):

Day 4 to Counts Point along a long ridge with no defined path (and especially had on feet) but stunning:

Day 5 to the ochre pits (a nice,relatively gentle day):

Each day Matt carries our lunch and cuts it up -fresh veggies! – then we build our own wrap:

Another arid day:

Next day we scrambled up and over big river rocks, too busy with my hands to take photos except when we stopped for a rest:

Camp last four nights:

Right, this is Mount Sonder. We are going to start climbing it at 2.30am tomorrow (yikes!) but meanwhile, it’s day 7:

Day 8 Mount Sonder. We got out of bed at 1.30am in order to reach the summit by sunrise. Ouch.

First light:

My 3rd ever selfie:

Baz and Kerry were keen to document the moment too:

Seriously good to get back to the camp where we were treated to a huge brunch that the flies enjoyed as much as we did:

Our faithful van:

The rock really hurts my feet:

Our bathing place (it won’t surprise you that I took a glass of wine and played Alanis Morissette while I wielded my face washer):

So the final walk was not quite so challenging (but still up, still down, still hard on the feet) and included a water crossing:

The last up-trail:

The last lookout:

Goodbye and thank you speech after lunch (my boots are off, my slippers are on, there is vodka in my orange juice):

And since you made it this far, here’s a treat from Alice Springs’ Desert Park (yes, actual animals):

Next: camping trip to Anangu country and Uluru.