The Larapinta Trail – 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Walk It (#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 the Larapinta Trail 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 walk the Larapinta Trail.
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 will 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 trail, 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.