How to Trek the Larapinta Trail Self-Guided

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      Are you planning to trek the Larapinta trek self guided? Here’s everything you need to know about trekking Larapinta Trail solo.


      The Larapinta Trail was voted by National Geographic as one of the top 20 trekking experiences on the planet. It’s one of the best walks in Australia and it can easily be accessed from Alice Springs.

      Sleep under the stars, swim in secluded watering holes, marvel at views as far as the eye can see and challenge yourself.

      The Larapinta walk is a 223-kilometre trail that traverses the arid red rock ranges of the West MacDonnell National Park. It is divided into 12 sections, many of which can be accessed by sealed road. This means going on and off the trail is easy and you can elect to do as many days as you want. Hike just one or up to all 12 sections, it’s totally up to you.

      Anyone can take a Larapinta Trail guided walk tour, but if you want to challenge yourself and do the Larapinta Trail on a budget, this is the best place to start your planning!

      In this post, we will go over the different ways to do a Larapinta self-guided walk, as well as which sections to choose from and what you should pack for the trek. This is the ultimate guide to planning to trek Larapinta Trail solo.

      Jump to the end of this Larapinta trail blog if you want to just read a list of money-saving tips.

      Can I do a Self-Guided Tour of the Larapinta Trail?

      Yes, you can! I did and I recommend you to do it this way if you’re trying to do the Larapinta Trail on the cheap. The guided tours can get VERY expensive. Because of this, I chose to do it solo even though I’d never done a self-guided multi-day hike solo before.

      However, if you chose to do it without a guided tour make sure you have done a lot of research and organised everything before you go. This trail should be taken very, very seriously.

      If you haven’t done a solo hike before, I recommend you read this post on Hiking for Beginners.

      This is a dangerous hike and you’ll be trekking in some of the most inaccessible terrains in the world. If something does happen, make sure you’re prepared.

      Beginner trekkers should always go with a friend and I HIGHLY recommend taking a satellite phone.


      ⛺️ A few days on the trail, carrying enough food on you to last the whole trip

      ⛺️ Complete walk end-to-end, with food drops at certain trailheads along the way

      ⛺️ A self-guided tour organised through a tour operator where you have a choice of 9 sections and they provide transport, food and equipment


      Self-guided Larapinta Trail tours include Larapinta Trail transfers, trekking equipment and food drops. These types of tours will cost over $1,000 (for a 3-day trek). So I can’t really recommend them if you are doing the Larapinta walking trail on a budget.

      However, this Larapinta Trail walking tour gives you a choice of 9 sections and you can elect to be picked up from one of the high range 4WD only trailhead access points. By doing this tour for $1,390 per person with equipment hire, food drop-offs and a 4WD pickup, you would be getting quite good value for money.

      But it is still much more expensive to do the trail this way than organising the walk yourself, especially if you are sharing costs with a hiking buddy.

      Another popular tour agency for the Larapinta Trail is the Australian Walking Holidays, though we have not worked with them.

      Can I Hire Equipment for the Larapinta Trail?

      Unfortunately, there are no companies that hire equipment for the Lapapinta Trail anymore. Apparently, a couple of places used to hire, but due to lack of demand, they stopped.

      There is only one way you can hire equipment for a self-guided Larapinta Trail trek, and that is by paying for a self-guided tour. This may be worth it for you if you plan to trek 9 sections of the Larapinta hike, because Larapinta food drops are also included in the price, along with transport. I gave more information on this tour just above.

      To see my checklist of all the equipment you’ll need for the hike; click to jump.

      What Season Should I do the Larapinta Trail?

      The best time to walk Larapinta Trail is between April and September. As with most of Central and North Australia, wintertime has the best temperatures.

      Trekking between April and September will give you gorgeous clear and crisp days of 20+ degrees celsius. However, at night temperatures can get down to -5 degrees, so bring a warm sleeping bag. October temperatures can get as high as 30 degrees in the day, but nights will also be a lot warmer.

      Summer is not a recommended time to trek the Larapinta. Daytime temperates can go above 40 degrees celsius and because of these temperatures, the hike becomes dangerous.

      Larapinta Trail Sections

      These are the walking grades and ratings of each section of the Larapinta Trail.

      Sec.Trailhead StartTrailhead FinishGradeRatingKmsHrs
      1Telegraph StationSimpson GapModerateAverage23.89
      2Simpson GapJay CreekModerateAverage24.58
      3Jay CreekStandley ChasmDifficultVery Good13.65.6
      4Standley ChasmB'Day WaterholeVery DifficultExcellent17.79
      5B'Day WaterholeHugh GorgeVery DifficultExcellent1610
      6Hugh GorgeEllery CreekModeratePoor31.211
      7Ellery CreekSerpentine GorgeDifficultPoor13.85.5
      8Serpentine GorgeSerp. Chalet DamDifficultGood13.45.5
      9Serp. Chalet DamOrmiston GorgeDifficultVery Good28.612
      10Ormiston GorgeFinke RiverModerateAverage9.14
      11Finke RiverRedbank GorgeDifficultGood269.5
      12Redbank GorgeMount SonderDifficultExcellent15.86

      Can I do the Larapinta in Reverse? (Aka West to East?)

      Yes, you can do the Larapinta Trail from west to east, and I would highly recommend it this way!

      We did it east to west and we found the sun was in our face every afternoon. This got real spicy right at the hottest part of the day. I asked a few people coming the opposite way and they all said the same; that the sun was hardly ever in their faces. The short answer is, YES, do the Larapinta Trail in reverse.

      There’s another plus of doing the Larapinta Trail in reverse. If you’re doing the entire trail, doing it in reverse means you can take your time and go as fast or slow as you like and return to Alice Springs at your own pace without having to organise a pick-up.

      Check out this Larapinta Trail map to get an idea of where each trailhead is along the main roads.

      Larapinta Trail Map pdf

      What are the Best Sections of the Larapinta Trail?

      If you’re short on time and only have a set amount of days to trek, then this is definitely something you’ll want to know. According to the Larapinta Trail website, Standley Chasm to Hugh Gorge (sections 4 & 5) is both rated “Excellent,” along with Mount Sonder (section 12) due to their fantastic views.


      Mount Sonder (section 12) can be done in one day and can be accessed by car. This section is a fantastic day trip. It is rated “Difficult” but is not the hardest section of the trail.


      Standley Chasm to Hugh George (sections 4 & 5) is a little more difficult. Hugh Gorge and Birthday Waterhole are both only accessed by high range 4WD. Trekking across these two sections will take you 3-4 days.

      If you want to save money and get picked up on car-accessible roads only, you will need to trek from Standley Chasm to Ellery Creek (or reverse) which will take 5-6 days.

      Note that these two sections have a “Very Difficult” grading. I did them both and I can definitely confirm this grading. Carrying huge backpacks along cliff edges and rocky trails, uphill to 12, 000 m and back down twice is definitely not something the faint-hearted should attempt.


      Other notable sections are Jay Creek to Standley Chasm (section 3) and Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge (section 9) which are both rated “Very Good”.

      Both of these sections are graded “moderate” however they still have extensive uphill and narrow walking tracks.

      The Parts of the Trail We Did

      We had 5 days to trek the Larapinta trail self-guided because that’s how much food we could carry on our person. We wanted to do the very best parts of the track, even if that meant doing the most difficult. The sections we did were from Standley Chasm to Hugh Gorge (sections 4 & 5).

      To save money, we got dropped off at Standley Chasm and did a day trek towards Jay Creek and back for the night. This enabled us to see some of the section 3 sights as well without needing to access the Jay Creek trailhead.

      The rating of Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek (section 6) is “Poor” and it takes 2 days to do it. So we opted for a pick up from Hugh Gorge instead.

      Because Hugh Gorge is a 4WD access-only trailhead, this pickup cost us $500 in total with World Expeditions. No other tour company will attempt to access this trailhead, even in a 4WD. Most people will continue walking to the more easily accessed Ellery Creek.

      Our Favourite Campsite

      Hands down, the best campsite we stayed in was Brinkleys Bluff (pictured above) which was between Standley Chasm and Birthday Waterhole. This campsite is high up and has 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. You can see sunset and sunrise from your tent! It’s magical.

      Our Fitness Level

      Both of us are of moderate fitness with little previous bushwalking experience so we knew this would be a huge challenge for us. Both of us did physical training and researched the Larapinta track as much as possible before we left. Even so, this was definitely one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life.

      I have seen on some forums people asking if they will be able to do the hike with only a moderate fitness level. I am proof that it can be done, but it will be a challenge. My best advice is to prepare as much as possible.

      One note: We started to get very sore knees after a few days hiking up and down the difficult sections of the hike. I wish I’d known about knee braces and how they can help alleviate pain on hikes like these, so I could have brought some with me!

      Larapinta Trailheads Car and 4WD Access

      Use this table to decide where you would like to get access point transfers when walking the Larapinta Trail.

      Some trailheads may take more than one day to hike, so keep this in mind when planning your pickup. See my table above for more information on each section.

      Sec.TrailheadDirt Road?Car Access?4WD Access?
      1Telegraph StationNoYesYes
      1 / 2Simpsons GapNoYesYes
      2 / 3Jay CreekYesNoYes (HR)
      3 / 4Standley ChasmNoYesYes
      4 / 5Birthday WaterholeYesNoYes (HR)
      5 / 6Hugh GorgeYesNoYes (HR)
      6 / 7Ellery CreekNoYesYes
      7 / 8Serpentine GorgeYes (5km)YesYes
      8 / 9Serpentine Chalet Dam bush campYes (3km)YesYes
      9 / 10Ormiston GorgeNoYesYes
      10 / 11Finke River Two-MileYesNoYes (HR)
      10 / 11Glen Helen ResortNoYesYes
      11 / 12Redbank GorgeYes (5km)Yes*Yes
      12Mt SonderNoNoNo

      HR = High Range 4WD access ONLY
      *    = Car access not recommended


      World Expeditions is the only company that do transfers to 4WD high range access trailheads such as Jay Creek, Birthday Waterhole and Huge Gorge.

      Some of the Larapinta transfers are really expensive. If you’re trying to do the Larapinta Trail on the cheap, I suggest getting picked up from a car accessible area.

      How Can I do the Larapinta Trail on the Cheap?

      We understand that trekking in this rural part of Australia can get extremely expensive very quickly. Especially if you don’t have a friend to drop you at any of the trailheads or your own car to do food drops.

      So the following is our tips on how to make cut a few costs and hopefully make the trail a little more affordable for you!


      1. Get picked up at a car-accessible road

      By a friend, a taxi or by a paid pickup. Car accessible roads are much cheaper than a 4WD transfer (which are upwards of $250 per person).

      2. Trek with more people

      If you do pay for a transfer, make sure you have a minimum of 2 people. Food drop-offs and transfers will be cheaper if there are a few people paying for the one drop off/transfer.

      Transfers cost between $110 – $460 depending on where it is.

      3. Trekking solo? Take a tour instead of a paid transfer

      Tours of the MacDonnell Ranges to Glen Helen Resort will cost you around $155 from Alice Springs. The tour will drop into a number of trailheads along the way (where you can tell the tour operator you will be leaving the tour to start trekking the trail).

      The tours stop at Glen Helen Resort at around lunchtime. From here, it is 25 km to the Redbank Gorge trailhead. You can get there by either walking or finding a lift (although hitchhiking is not permitted).

      On the other hand, an actual transfer with a tour company will cost upwards of $350 just for the drop-off at the Redbank Gorge trailhead.

      This means if you can deal with a tour for half a day, you can save quite a few dollars by using one of the cheaper group tour companies.


      1. Carry your own gear, food and water if you can

      There will be a water tank approximately every two days of trekking. Food drop-offs make the trip much more expensive unless you can get a friend to do it for you.

      2. You can leave food in storage rooms yourself

      To leave food in storage rooms at Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge, get a key from the Tourism Central Australia visitor centre. You will need to pay a deposit of $50, refundable when the key is returned. A non-refundable fee of $10 will be charged by Tourism Central Australia to cover the costs of food storage.

      You can also book food drops with any of the following tour companies: Emu Run, Trek Support, Outback Elite Tours and Outback Tour Services. However, some of them only offer the food drop if you purchase a transfer too.

      3. If you do want to drop off food in the storage rooms yourself

      You could do it beforehand by doing the McDonnell Ranges tour I mentioned above. There are food drop-off points at Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge. So you could bring all of your food and gear on one of the tours and drop it off at each point, saving loads of money.

      Many of the Larapinta Trail package tour companies will go to the food drops off points before finishing at Glen Helen Resort, so you can use this tour as a transfer to Redbank Gorge as well, saving money on both the food drops and the transfers.

      4. If you are dropping food somewhere else

      Make sure it is hidden and well protected from ants and animals. You don’t want to turn up hungry and all your food is ruined!

      Larapinta Trail Checklist


      ✔︎ Backpack/Hiking Pack

      A 70-90 litre backpack is recommended, however, the type and functionality of the backpack is mostly up to you. Most people will use a lightweight adjustable hiking backpack.

      Whatever type of backpack you take on the Larapinta Trail, the frame should fit the body well and your back should be supported. Your hips (not your shoulders) should carry most of the weight. The back padding should breathe well. Tough outer fabric and zips are paramount on the pack.

      To organise the inside of the pack, what you can do is get a compression sack. The sack reduces the packed size of your sleeping bag or soft gear to free up more space, it also protects your gear from water and dirt.

      The Osprey Aether PRO 70 litre is our recommended hiking backpack, but other popular brands include Berghaus and Lowe Alpine.

      Osprey on Sale Now at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Waterproof Pack External Cover (Optional)
      ✔︎ Internal Pack Liner (Waterproof, Optional)

      ✔︎ Small pocket/bag

      For key valuables and satellite phones. Keep within easy reach in case of an emergency.

      ✔︎ Resealable Plastic Bags

      You must carry all your rubbish with you. It’s rare to find a bin along the trail.

      ✔︎ Cash

      For camp fees, restaurants and bars (only at some campsites).

      ✔︎ Wallet/Purse
      ✔︎ ID
      ✔︎ Cards
      ✔︎ Key contact details
      ✔︎ Insurance


      ✔︎ Lightweight Tent

      A lightweight, compactable tent that packs up small is vital. It should be durable with strong, lightweight pegs and poles. Vents for air are also desirable.

      Double skinned tents offer more protection from the cold and rain. Use your tent to store your gear away from dingo theft.

      Popular brands of tents include Zempire, OZTrail, and Marmot.

      Lightweight Tent on Sale Now at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Tent Pegs

      Lightweight but tough for hard ground. Having a couple of spare pegs is essential.

      Find These on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Ground Sheet (Footprint)

      To protect the base of the tent from rough ground.

      Find The Appropriate One on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Sleeping Bag          

      Make sure it will keep you warm for temperatures that can get lower than 0ºC.

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      ✔︎ Sleeping Bag Liner

      A sleeping bag liner gives a little extra warmth and comfort as well as stops your sleeping bag from becoming dirty.

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      ✔︎ Sleeping Mat           

      The ground in which you will sleep will range from a sandy riverbed to extremely rocky, shaley or gravely hard ground. In winter, the ground can be very cold. We recommend either a durable air mattress or a closed-cell foam mattress.

      Lightweight is best, and be sure to bring a groundsheet and a puncture kit if you are sleeping on an air mattress! Insulated with a fabric surface with a non-slip underside is also recommended.

      See Mats on Sale Now at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Tarp (Optional)
      ✔︎ Inflatable Pillow (Optional)
      ✔︎ Tent Repair Kit
      ✔︎ Air Mattress Repair Kit


      ✔︎ Underwear (and spares)  

      Keep in mind creepy crawlies like ticks.

      See Hiking Underwear on Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Socks (and spares)

      Hiking socks are best. Ensure you have some warm socks to sleep in.

      See Hiking Socks on Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Pants or Shorts

      You may want to consider hiking pants that zip off into shorts. I had these but I only used the shorts part once on the Larapinta Trail.

      The spikey spinifex grasses on the Larapinta meant I needed the length most of the time.

      Find These on Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Gaiters (Optional)

      ✔︎ Shirts

      We suggest long sleeve, loose shirts for better sun protection.

      Find These on Sale at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Jacket           

      Lightweight and microfleece, with a hood.

      Weatherproof Jacket on Sale Now at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Raincoat

      Lightweight and breathable. It rains on the Larapinta Trail occasionally.

      All Jackets on Sale Now at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Buff Neck Warmer

      These have many uses from keeping the dirt out of your mouth, as a sweatband, for warmth and loads of other things.

      Find These on Sale at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Hat

      This is an essential piece of clothing. Wide brim for the best sun protection.

      Find Hats on Sale at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Beanie

      Lightweight and warm. You’ll need it in winter, especially at night.

      Find This on Sale at Cotswold Outdoor

      ✔︎ Sunglasses

      Ensure they have UV lenses for sun protection.

      ✔︎ Fly Net (Optional)

      If you really hate flies in your face you might want to consider this.

      Find This on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Strong Hiking Boots

      This is one of the single most important items you will bring on the Larapinta Trail.

      The terrain on the trail demands that you need strong, quality, supportive and comfortable hiking boots. This is paramount because the terrain of the trail can scuff, tear or puncture your boots and your feet can be twisted, rubbed and jabbed.

      Make sure you check your boots before leaving to make sure they are in their top condition because one of the most common problems hikers encounter is the soles of their shoes becoming damaged and coming apart.

      We suggest also that you wear hiking boots that are a high cut with ankle support and very good grip and traction for the rocky terrain. They should also be breathable and waterproof.

      I wore Columbia hiking boots on our Larapinta trek, but other popular brands include Scarpa, Merrell and Meindl.

      Hiking Boots on Sale Now at Cotswold Outdoor


      ✔︎ Contained Stove     

      No open fires are permitted under any circumstances. A lightweight stovetop that attaches directly to the fuel container is a great way to save on weight.

      Find This on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Cooking Pot/Canteen

      Just one 1.5-litre cooking pot that is used to both eat and drink from is a great way to save space on bowls and cups.

      Find This on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Fuel   

      Fuel cannot go on planes so you must buy this locally in Alice Springs.


      Bring one knife, spoon, and fork that is lightweight.

      ✔︎ Scourer

      Or another heavy duty cleaning cloth.

      ✔︎ Snap lock bags

      Extra leftover food storage.

      ✔︎ Matches
      ✔︎ Mug (Optional)
      ✔︎ Plate / Bowl (Optional)


      If you are carrying all your food on you, make sure you calculate precisely how many meals you will eat and what you will eat for each meal.

      Keep in mind that although hot lunches might sound nice beforehand, on the trail they are somewhat impractical and usually unwanted due to the heat and amount of time it takes to cook them.

      For dinner, we really enjoyed putting a bit more effort into our meal. We would eat a dehydrated meal, a pasta dish or mashed potato and Jerky.

      Breakfast Ideas

      • Weet-bix
      • Lightweight cereal
      • Muesli or rolled oats
      • Milk powder (enough for cereal, tea and coffee)
      • Condensed milk
      • Long-life milk
      • Muesli bars or Clif bars

      Lunch Ideas

      Dinner Ideas

      Snack Ideas

      • Muesli bars or Clif bars
      • Dried fruit and nuts
      • Lollies and chocolate (types that don’t melt too easy)
      • Canned fruit
      • Cheese sticks

      Drink ideas

      • Tea (herbal or black)
      • Coffee
      • Fruit juice powder
      • Long-life juices
      • Cup A Soups


      • Sugar lumps
      • Salt
      • Pepper
      • Chilli
      • Herbs and spices
      • Stock cubes
      • Tomato or BBQ sauce
      • Tabasco Sauce


      ✔︎ Water Bottles (1 or 2 litres)

      On average, a trekker should carry 4-6 litres of water per day.

      Be aware that some campsites do not have a water tank. In these cases, you should carry enough water until you reach the next water tank.

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      ✔︎ Hydration Bladder

      If your backpack allows for this type of setup then a 2-litre camelback type is best.

      However, to avoid crushing or damage to a bladder, you may want to carry a more durable bladder and store it in a place where it won’t be crushed or pop.

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      ✔︎ Water Treatment

      Carry water sterilisation tablets, drops or devices. The tank water at campsites is not safe to drink without sterilisation.

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      ✔︎ Storage Room Key

      You must pay for food drops and storage keys. Here’s more information on food drops.

      Food drops can become costly, so if you are trying to do the Larapinta Trail on a budget, you may want to trek only for the number of days worth of food you can carry on your back.

      ✔︎ Storage Containers

      To pack resupply food into. Check with whoever you arrange food drops through, as they may organise containers for you.

      Find This on Tentsworld


      There are no toilets or showers along most of the Larapinta Trail, which means you will need to take care of your “business” by burying it.

      ✔︎ Toilet Paper
      ✔︎ Sterile Anti-bacterial Wet Wipes
      ✔︎ Hand Sanitiser / Anti-bacterial Liquid
      ✔︎ Trowel or Digging Device


      There is unlikely to be any mobile phone signal on the trail. You should be prepared for any emergencies. Always carry some sort of signalling device in your packing. We recommend one in your bag and a smaller option always on your person.

      ✔︎ Satellite Phone and Recharger

      This is the best form of communication along the trail. They have long battery life and you can make and receive calls and SMS messages worldwide. They also have GPS positioning, online tracking and an emergency SOS button.

      Keep emergency phone numbers and any pin numbers with the phone in case someone else is using the phone.

      Find This at Tentworld

      ✔︎ PLB or Personal Locator Beacon

      This is essential on the trail. When activated it sends a distress signal that can be detected by satellites or nearby aircraft.

      A PLB should be digital 406 MHz and have a min 24-48 transmission period with GPS.

      Find This at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Mobile Phone and Recharger

      We recommend you do not rely on mobile phone coverage for rescue communications. Most of the Larapinta Trail has no mobile phone coverage at all. We recommend you carry a Satphone and/or PLB.

      ✔︎ Torch and Batteries

      We prefer head torches. The one below is water-resistant.

      Find This at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Whistle

      Excellent small signalling device to keep on you at all times. They can be heard from hundreds of meters away.

      Attach to clothing as opposed to around your neck to avoid strangulation.

      Shop for a whistle on Tentworld

      ✔︎ Cyalume Stick

      These are a great cheap signalling option. They work well only at night. The green colour works best.

      ✔︎ Signalling Mirror (Optional)
      ✔︎ Strobe Light (Optional)
      ✔︎ Survival Blanket (Optional)


      ✔︎ Larapinta Trail Map

      Buy in advance online and study. Come up with a trek plan.

      Buy Map Online

      ✔︎ A Trek Plan

      Submit your trek plan to NT Parks or friends/family.

      ✔︎ Compass (Optional)
      ✔︎ GPS (Optional)


      ✔︎ First Aid Kit

      Know how to conduct first aid and ensure your kit covers at least the basics.

      Find This at Tentworld

      ✔︎ Medical Warning Sheet

      Including blood group, medical allergies, any conditions etc. Put these in your trek plan and with your personal belongings.

      ✔︎ Multi-Tool

      A Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife are good options.

      ✔︎ Solar Chargers (Optional)
      ✔︎ Soap (Biodegradable)
      ✔︎ Equipment Repair Kit
      ✔︎ Heavy Duty Sewing Kit
      ✔︎ Electrical or Strapping Tape
      ✔︎ Spare Batteries
      ✔︎ Wire
      ✔︎ Zip Ties
      ✔︎ Walking Poles (Optional)


      ✔︎ Insect Repellent
      ✔︎ Sunscreen
      ✔︎ Lip Balm
      ✔︎ Travel Toothbrush
      ✔︎ Toothpaste
      ✔︎ Toiletries
      ✔︎ Vitamins
      ✔︎ Medication
      ✔︎ Pads or Tampons (Women)


      ✔︎ Camera
      ✔︎ Camera Batteries (Fully Charged)
      ✔︎ Video Camera (Optional)
      ✔︎ Memory Cards
      ✔︎ Tripod (Wrap Around)


      Read an awesome Kindle Book about the Larapinta Trail that will surely get you excited about going!

      Other Helpful Websites

      Friends of the Larapinta Trail

      Friends of the Larapinta Trail is a group of volunteers who maintain the trail.

      Their Facebook Page can be used to ask specific questions you might have about how to trek Larapinta trail self-guided. Everyone is very helpful and the page is relatively active.

      READ: Budget Guide for the Northern Territory

      Trekking Larapinta Trail FAQs

      How difficult is the Larapinta Trail?

      In general, the Larapinta Trail is a challenging trek with difficult terrain and extreme weather conditions. Though some of the Larapinta sections are easier than others, hikers should be prepared for a challenge if they want to do the entire trek. Moderate fitness levels and bushwalking experience are recommended!

      Do I need a permit to walk the Larapinta Trail?

      At the time of writing, you do not need a permit to enjoy the Larapinta Trail. It is completely free to walk the Larapinta Trail, but you must pay camping fees if you wish to camp on the trail. Also, starting in March 2022, walking fees and an online booking system will be introduced. Make sure you check the official site to see if you need to get a permit before hopping on the Larapinta Trail.

      Is the Larapinta Trail well marked?

      As one of the most popular treks in the Northern Territory, the Larapinta Trail is well-marked with signs throughout. That makes it easy for anyone wanting to do the trail without a tour guide.

      How many days does it take to hike Larapinta?

      On average, it takes hikers about 13-15 days to hike the ~230 kilometres between Redbank Gorge and Telegraph Station in the Northern Territory’s so-called “Red Centre”. Those that want to experience the Larapinta Trail without committing 2 weeks can do parts of the trail, as there are 12 beautiful sections that you can pick from.

      How long is the Larapinta Trail?

      The entire Larapinta Trail is around 230 kilometres and takes visitors through the stunning landscapes of the West MacDonnell National Park. Though strenuous and challenging, it is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

      Where is the Larapinta Trail?

      The Larapinta Trail is located in the central part of Australia in Northern Territory. It is a 220 to a 230-kilometre trail that takes you through the best parts of the West Macdonnell Ranges. It is divided into 12 sections, allowing hikers to enjoy the spectacular landscape one bite at a time.

      What are the best sections of the Larapinta Trail?

      The best sections of the Larapinta Trail are sections 4 & 5 (Standley Chasm to Hugh Gorge), followed by section 12 (Mount Sonder). Section 3 (Jay Creek to Standley Chasm) and Section 9 (Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge) are also rated highly.

      Please share any other money-saving tips you have for hiking in the comments below!

      Originally Posted: 23rd July 2017. Frequently Updated

      Share these useful tips with your hiking friends!

      Categories: Adventure & off the Grid, Australia, Featured, Guides
      Crystal Egan

      Passionate baby goat cuddler and part-time adventurer, Crystal can often be found doing headstands on the edges of cliffs, taking photos of abandoned buildings or sleeping on deserted islands with dangerous criminals. She has too many awesome stories and helpful tips to keep them all to herself so follow along and in return she will bring you inspiring pictures, travel videos and a whole load of fun!