Traveller Stories: My experience walking Larapinta Trail – Central Australia

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The Larapinta Trail is an experience like no other, and can leave an impression on travellers long after they return back home. From sweeping views of across the sunburnt landscape, to fresh-water gorges that refresh just when you need it most, and the sunrises that bathe the sky in vibrant hues of pink, orange and deep purple, it is an experience like no other.

There is something incredibly special about walking the Larapinta Trail…

Once of Australia’s most iconic walks that spans 223km’s across from east to west of Alice Springs across the West MacDonnell Rangers, the Larapinta Trail will take you on a journey through some of the most incredible ancient landscapes in the heart Australia. The 223km’s is broken up into 12 sections, each with a unique array of sights and highlights to experience as you journey along this rewarding trail.

This month we heard from Latonia Crocket, a client who recently returned from the Larapinta Trail in Alice Springs and shares her experience with us…

1. What inspired you walk the full 223km Larapinta Trail? Is it something you always wanted to tackle?

I have always wanted to go to the Australian outback but had never heard of the Larapinta Trail. I have done the ‘Mera and Island Peaks’ trip in Nepal with World Expeditions. We climbed to 6500m and it was one of the most thrilling and challenging things I have ever done. The team that took us were just awesome, so organised and professional so I looked at what else World Expeditions had to offer that was challenging but not as extreme. As soon as i saw the Larapinta End to End trip i knew it was my next challenge.

Day 3 Whole team with a view

2. How did you find it being “disconnected” to the outside world? Was it a welcomed break?

I spend all day on my email or phone for work. I loved having my phone off. Its a feeling of freedom. We don’t usually get opportunities to totally just be in the ‘now’ and i think having no phone makes it possible. You start focusing on whats around you and maybe whats for dinner!

Incredible views on Day 3

3. What were the top 3 highlights of the trip?

1. Sleeping under the stars in a swag. I had never done that. So peaceful.
2. Climbing the large rocks in the river beds. Everything was so large and old, felt like we were on a Jurassic Park movie set and a raptor might run past.
3. River crossing up to my chest in water. To then find out it wasn’t necessary. Brilliant. Had me laughing for the day.

4. You took some fabulous photos on your trip, what kind of camera did you use and can you give any photography tips?

My camera is an Olympus M10, Mark 2. I am still learning the camera but it is fantastic. I can rave about it for hours.
My tip would be ‘take the photo!’. There are a few times i saw a photo opportunity but didn’t want to stop and later wished I had. You can always catch up to the team and it is worth stopping for a moment of two. Oh, and take lots of batteries, as there are minimal charging opportunities.

5. How many people where in your group and what were the group dynamics like?

Our trip was 3 guys and 3 girls. Everyone was relaxed and a lot of fun. Great to have a laugh with. Or at me being a New Zealander! I’m not sure what they were talking about, I don’t have an accent?!

I think this kind of trip attracts like people and so we had no one unhappy or complaining. Everyone seemed to know what they were in for and even enjoyed it!

Day 3 Team

6. What was the food like?

Loved the food. The guides were great cooks. I ate a lamb shank the size of my head. It was truly awesome. In saying that we had a vegetarian on the trip and she was part of all the BBQs but just a tofu option. And the lunches were so tasty even though it was all carried in parts and put together on the track. Pasta salads with everything in them. I was very impressed by the food. And one of the guides would always pull out a sneaky chocolate bar just when you needed it.

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7. What are 3 gear essentials you couldn’t have lived without on the Larapinta Trail?

Sun block, deep heat and wet wipes.

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8. What are 3 pieces of gear you wished you had brought with you?

I have been thinking about this for awhile and I actually can’t think of anything. The gear list was pretty accurate. Maybe some cold beer!

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9. What were your campsites like? Did you sleep under the bright stars at all?

What I liked is most of the campsites were really private and we were the only ones there. So they were quiet at night. And yes, I slept under the stars but also a few nights in a tent. Option is there for what ever you feel like on the night!

10. What were your guides like?

Wonderful. Very different to each other but the combination of the two worked perfectly. The one thing they did have in common was that they were very passionate about what they did. They had a lot of knowledge and the great part was they were enjoying the journey as much as us.

One of our guides Alice.

One of our guides Alice.

11. What advice would you give to someone considering taking on the full Larapinta End to End?

Be prepared to lose luxuries for the two weeks and not care. When you realise it doesn’t matter that you haven’t seen what you look like for a week and that your crazy hairstyle probably isn’t offending anyone it’s very relaxing. And have an open mind to being part of nature, like sleeping under the stars. I would also suggest overnight trekking experience prior as the over all day lengths are not hard but getting up everyday even when your body/feet are a bit tired and doing it again and again is tough.

Day 14 – Enjoying the sunrise at the top of Mount Sonder

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