Trekking the End to End

The Larapinta End to End trek is an exceptional way to experience the beauty of the Larapinta Trail.


Officially “completed” in 2002, the Larapinta Trail runs west from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder, offering an incredible 223kms of the finest desert trekking in the world. Split into 12 manageable sections packed with stunning vistas, beautiful landscapes and captivating geological features, the Larapinta End to End competes with the Bibbulmun Track and Tasmania’s Overland Track as Australia’s best extended walk. While the fastest recorded time for a walker to complete the Larapinta Trail was 60 hours and 59 minutes, it typically takes 12-14 days to trek the entire distance of the Larapinta Trail.


Spending evenings in wilderness campsites, with days walking between sections and taking in the inspiring landscape is one of the best ways to experience the Larapinta. While the main time to visit is from June to August, the shoulder seasons of April and September can also be worthwhile as there are less people on the trail, and wildflowers can be in full bloom (especially in September!)


In 2016, trekker Latonia Crocket returned from the Larapinta trail End to End trek with World Expeditions. Over 14 days she walked with 5 other trekkers over the entire 223kms of the Larapinta Trail that spans east to west of Alice Springs across the West MacDonnell Ranges.


"My top highlights were sleeping under the stars in a swag. I had never done that, it was so peaceful. I loved climbing the large rocks in the river beds. Everything was so large and old, it felt like we were on a Jurassic Park movie set and a raptor might run past." - Latonia Crocket;

It was something that Latonia had always wanted to do. After completing the Mera and Island Peaks trip in Nepal with World Expeditions, a 6500m thrilling journey, she was excited to challenge herself yet again in her own back yard- this time, the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory. Like her trip in Nepal, she was rewarded with spectacular views, sights and highlights, though this time replacing Nepal’s snow capped mountains for the Larapinta’s sunburnt landscapes, sunrises with vibrant hues of pink, orange and deep purple, and sweeping views across the ancient landscapes in the heart of Australia. What’s more, being so far from large cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Melbourne, the night skies are often clear, with no bright city lights, offering uninterrupted views of the endless galaxy of stars and Milky Way.


Day 10 Ghost Gums
Day 10 Rock Climbing
Day 13 Waterhole Swimming
Day 14 Enjoying the sunrise on Mount Sonder
Day 3 The Larapinta Trail
Day 3 Climbing rocks
Day 10 Sunrise on Mount Sonder
Day 10 Dinner
Day 8 Admiring the lookout
Day 4 Ridge Walking

The landscape of Australia’s Red Centre is captivating in its own right. Over five hundred million years ago, the area was covered by an inland sea, slowly transforming into an environment of inland lakes and tropical woodlands over many centuries. Between 350-300 million years ago, the MacDonnell Ranges were lifted in an event that occurred between the eological provinces: the northern granites and metamorphic rocks; and the southern sandstone and folded quartzite zones. The folding and faulting resulted in some of the spectacularly deep gaps and gorged that we see long the Larapinta Trail, as well as the building of the Northern Territory’s highest mountains Mount Sonder, Mount Zeil and Mt Leibig.

 

Spending so much time on the trail gives people the chance to detach from the technologies of modern and city living. While some find there’s a patch of reception on top of Mount Sonder or Counts Point, the majority of the Larapinta Trail is without reception, giving trekkers a much appreciated detachment from emails, sms and phone calls.

"I usually spend all day on my email or phone for work. I loved having my phone off. It’s 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 what’s around you” - Latonia Crocket


And there’s quite a lot to focus on! With highlights along the train including Serpentine Gorge, Standley Chasm, Simpson’s Gap, Ormiston Gorge, Finke River, Glen Helen Gorge, and the incredible Mount Sonder (best experienced at sunrise!) there’s no shortage of picture-perfect moments to capture on camera.




Want to experience it yourself?

 14 day Guided End to End

The Ultimate guided walk along the Larapinta Trail. Professional guides, wilderness camping with the most experienced operator

 12 day Self Guided End to End

Your meals, transfers and equipment are provided for you, giving you more time to absorb the scenery, sights and experiences!

As for Latonia, she has one piece of advice for people considering embarking on the Larapinta End to End trek…

“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.”

View Latonia’s complete interview here.