The Larapinta Trail is a 223km (139 miles) hiking trail stretching from the Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the summit of Mount Sonder in Australia’s Northern Territory. Remote, well maintained and traveling through spectacular, rugged scenery, the Larapinta Trail is widely regarded as being one of the best multiday backpacking trips in Australia. The Larapinta is broken into 12 sections, each with trailhead access. The trail can either be walked in full (referred to as the Larapinta Trail end to end) or backpackers can hike a smaller number of Sections from it.
Quick guide to the Larapinta Trail
- Length: 223km (139 miles) – although it’s 231km once walking down from the summit of Mount Sonder is factored in
- Where: From Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the summit of Mount Sonder, in the Northern Territory, Australia
- Best time to go: May – September, which is winter in Central Australia. July – August is peak season. Summer (December – February) is not recommended - it's the wet season and is extremely hot (think 45 degrees celsius / 115 fahrenheit).
- Bookings and cost: The Larapinta Trail is free of charge to walk and there’s no permits required to hike it. Camping fees are charged at a few of the campsites. See our guide to Larapinta Trail camping for more info.
- Getting there: The Telegraph Station is 4km from the Alice Springs town centre. It’s an easy walk or you could get a taxi. Hikers tend to hike to Mount Sonder from Red Bank Gorge. Several companies offer Larapinta Trail transfers to this and other points along the trail. See our guide to Larapinta Trail sections for details on getting to the individual sections of the track.
- Facilities: The Larapinta Trail travels through the remote West Macdonnell Ranges of central Australia. Water tanks, toilets and basic shelters are provided at the Section intersections. The main logistics to consider relate to food and water. There are no stores suitable for food resupplying on route, so most hikers organise food drops. There are also organised Larapinta Trail tours for those keen to remove that element of planning and walk with a group.
- Cooking: Fires aren’t permitted on the Larapinta Trail. Bring a gas stove for cooking. There are free barbeques at the Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge campsites.
- Mobile phone service: Very limited. See Larapinta Trail mobile phone reception for more info.
Plan your trip
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