10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Walk the Larapinta Trail (#3 Will Surprise You)

The Larapinta Trail is a stunning walking track in the Northern Territory that follows the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder.

It’s 223 kilometres of ancient geological formations, with a series of inspiring highlights such as the razor back ridge of Mount Sonder, the dramatic walls of Standley Chasm, and the unexpected peacefulness of the Serpentine and Ormiston Gorges.

And even though National Geographic lists hiking the Larapinta Trail as one of the top twenty trekking experiences on the planet, we’re going to give you 10 reasons why you shouldn’t even think about taking it on.

1. There’s nobody there!

Seriously. Hardly a soul. And there’s no cafés, tourist centres, nothing.

It’s a vast wilderness that you’ll shave to share with a unique blend of wildlife, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else on earth.

It’s difficult to get to and it’s protected from tourism. You might as well not even bother.

2. The weather’s utterly predictable

The sun shines pretty much all the time and there’s hardly ever a cloud, except in Summer when the rainy season comes. Which frankly, you’d be happy for as the average temperature in January is 97 degrees.

If you do decide to visit, probably best to walk between April and September, so you’ll have a better chance of survival.
Check out the bureau of meteorology temperature for more details.

3. You might feel totally insignificant

When you dislodge a piece of sandstone with your boot in the MacDonnell ranges, and you watch it gather pace down the side of the mountain, you should know that it’s been sitting there for over 1.4 billion years (this is one of the oldest destinations in the world).

Now that’s not going to make you feel very good about yourself, is it.

Especially when you consider Aborigines have been living there for over 30,000 years, and they’ve managed to look after the place pretty well.

Just to add to your pensive mood, is the fact that even between the highlights of the track, the sense of space and the vastness of the sky will reduce your importance in the grand scheme of it all, to virtually zip.

So beware, you might have to spend some time with your thoughts, and you may come face to face with perspective.

4. You could get lost

The Larapinta Trail is completely off-road, cutting through one of the least densely populated places in the world. It’s a hard walk if you follow the defined standard sections, and if you wander off track and get lost, there’s very little chance anyone will find you.

So take a personal locating beacon or satellite phone (or both), just in case you run into trouble. If you’re still going that is. If you’re still up for it.

Some Emergency Apps that may be useful.

5. There’s nothing to drink except water

Or whatever else you take with you, but considering the heat you’ll need at least three litres of water a day, no matter what time of year you go.

If you don’t drink all of that you’re toying with heat stroke, dehydration, and your pack will feel like it’s the size of a small car. Nothing good is going to happen from then on.

6. It’s possible you’ll fall-

Still reading? OK. Did we mention it’s off-road the whole way?

Even though the kilometres seem manageable, when you get there you’ll find the track is extremely uneven. Days will stretch out more than anticipated, you’ll tire, and if you don’t pay attention you could stumble and fall.

If you’re going to take it on you should really get in shape beforehand, and complete a series of lengthy walks before you head off.

Or, you could always consider doing a couple of sections of the walk, if you think you’re not ready yet. Further research is advised.

7. There’s no bloody internet!

Surprise surprise, this is another one of these places where you have no option but to unplug. There’s no wi-fi, no mobile coverage, no recharge points.

If it wasn’t so far from civilisation, you might be persuaded to bring the kids along for a device detox, but it’s a little bit too extreme, certainly for the younger ones. An easier walk might a better idea to begin with, and you can work up to the Larapinta.

They might hate you for the rest of their lives, of course, on the other hand they might discover JOMO, as we say now, the Joy of Missing Out. What do you think?

8. You’ll need some new equipment!

You’ll need to cast a discerning eye over your equipment, and decide if it’s fit to take you into one of the last great wildernesses. You’ll need the right shoes, backpack, water bottles, food, the list goes on.

And who enjoys going to the outdoor shop with a list of equipment to buy? Not me. No way. Ahem… Then you’ll need to test the equipment, and break it in before you go. More long hikes… really?!

9. You’ll need a plan

You’ll have to do your research, and then some. You’ll need to bunker down on the internet for a week or two and come up with a plan. This could make or break the hike. And making the wrong move could be dangerous.

Honestly, I’m not making this up. It’s so remote, and the weather is so extreme, that without a proper plan you could end up in serious trouble.

So, do you really want to do this?

OK if you’re still reading, then fair enough, but I must tell you…

10. There is an easier way…

Now this isn’t a reason not to walk the Larapinta, but it’s certainly a reason not to walk it on your own. We can take care of all of the preparations for you.

You’ll still experience the same splendid isolation, and total inspiration that comes from immersing yourself in a billion year old landscape, except you’ll not be carrying a heavy pack. You’ll stay in en-suited accommodation, and you’ll dine al-a-carte every evening.

Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?

Yes, we thought so.

Click here for more details, and then decide when you want to go…

Comment below with your questions or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Walk the Larapinta Trail (#3 Will Surprise You) has 15 Comments

  1. Sylvy

    11 December, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    LOL. Nice work. I’d love to walk it for all those reasons.

    ‘Where the bloody hell are ya’

    • majaduvnjak

      11 December, 2018 at 5:30 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the post Sylvy. We’re with you, it’s a must do destination.

    • majaduvnjak

      12 December, 2018 at 11:34 AM

      Hahahaha good reference Sylvy. Too funny. Yes it’s exactly what makes this part of the world so unique.

  2. Bruce Champion

    11 December, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    We walked it some years ago and while it is not my preferred area of walking (Great Ocean Road, Bibbulmun Track, Overland track are more to my liking), it is a fascinating place for all the reasons given. One thing not mentioned is the sharp tilted rocks edges that you walk on, so very good soled shoes are a must. Enjoy the walk it is worth it!

    • majaduvnjak

      11 December, 2018 at 5:55 PM

      Bruce! We haven’t heard from you for what feels like forever. That’s a good point about the rock hopping. We make sure to mention on our Larapinta walk that the track is rocky under foot. For some it can make the walking less enjoyable, for others more interesting. Walking is so personal. We are certainly always reluctant to recommend walks to people without asking them what they like. We’re with you though, the Great Ocean Walk always sits at or near the top of the list.

  3. Mark

    11 December, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    You forgot to include – All the swimming spots along the way are Bl—y freezing regardless of whether it is a hot or cold day including the Finke River. From a personal perspective, I thought this was an amazing walk and certainly one of the very best in Australia..

    • majaduvnjak

      12 December, 2018 at 8:19 AM

      Yes the swimming spots can be quite deceptive. We’re with you though Mark, this is a truly spectacular track.

  4. Roseanne

    11 December, 2018 at 8:34 PM

    Very funny , a great read, brought back lots of memories of my fabulous Larapinta trek everything you said was true . Except you can buy great coffee at the Ormiston George Kiosk .

    • majaduvnjak

      12 December, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      We know the Ormiston Kiosk you’re referring to Roseanne. You’re right, they are an exception. Glad you enjoyed the piece.

  5. Greg Simmonds

    12 December, 2018 at 6:22 AM

    We’re from Adelaide where it is always BLOODY hot so when we don the boots, its normally for cooler climes.
    However, we decided to do the parochial and try Auswalk’s Flinders Ranges.
    There is something magical about walking through areas sculpted at the start of time.
    Very clever article on the Larapinta – the reverse psychology is an interesting twist.
    Another one for the bucket list.

    • majaduvnjak

      12 December, 2018 at 7:50 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it Greg. It’s definitely one to add to the bucket list, especially if you enjoyed the Flinders Ranges. We’re with you, there’s a sense of magic when walking in these areas. They’re so unlike anything we’re used to seeing.

  6. Meredyth Sauer

    12 December, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    This was a wonderful walk done with terrific friends. Great experience, but planning essential. We met one guy on the track with a laptop and three meter cord to plug in – I kid you not. He pulled out on day two.

    • majaduvnjak

      12 December, 2018 at 10:09 AM

      Well no need to ask why he pulled out on day 2 Meredyth, say no more! Isolation from all forms of technology is certainly something you have to embrace if you are to enjoy this walk. There’s a real beauty in this however. Being unplugged from the modern world and the freedom that brings with it.

  7. Christina Walsh

    20 December, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    Did this a few years ago and loved every quiet minute of it. Walked for three weeks, part supported, part carrying our own food and water. Loved the wildness. No technology …. a must to truly appreciate being alive and being in the moment. It’s amazing what we can live without. We really have no true appreciation of the beauty of this wild earth until we walk its path and LIVE life, not exist.

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    • Maja Grey

      21 December, 2018 at 8:54 AM

      You’re so right Christina. It’s on a walk like this that you really stop moving through the motions and begin to feel present. It’s great to learn of others experiences and memories of being on a walk.

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