The Larapinta campsites offer stylish and comfortable facilities in an outback wilderness |  <i>Caroline Crick</i>
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How do I get to the Larapinta Trail?

The Larapinta Trail is in the Northern Territory, running 223km across the West MacDonnell Ranges west from Alice Springs

The trail begins at the Old Telegraph Station, approximately 4km along the Stuart Highway from the town centre. Guided tours will collect walkers from their hotel accommodation, or trail head transfers can be arranged for independent walkers.

Getting to Alice Springs

 

Qantas flights

Qantas is the main airline serving Alice Springs, and will be the best option from most Australian cities. Direct services operate from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and Cairns. It is possible to connect with these flights from other Australian cities on the Qantas network.


Approximate direct flying times in each direction are as follows:


To Alice Springs  From Alice Springs
Sydney 3.5 hours 2.5 hours
Melbourne 3 hours 2.5 hours
Adelaide 2 hours 2 hours
Perth 2.5 hours 3.5 hours
Darwin 2 hours   2 hours
Brisbane 3 hours
2.5 hours
Cairns 2.5 hours 2 hours

 

Virgin Australia flights

Virgin Australia also operate flights from Adelaide and Darwin. It is possible to connect with these flights from other major Australian cities, however transit time will of course be longer.



Airport Transfers in Alice Springs

Alice Springs airport is located approximately 20 minutes drive from the town. Shuttle bus services run to and from the airport, and can be pre-booked or arranged on arrival. Taxis are also available.

Up to date information regarding travel to and from the airport can be found on the Alice Springs Airport website.

 

The Ghan

The Ghan is a famous passenger train that has been operating since 1929. The line runs through the desert between Adelaide and Darwin, stopping in Alice Springs. Depending on which service you take, this may give you the opportunity for a stopover in Coober Pedy or Katherine. 

There are various travel classes to suit any budget, so if you have plenty of time to spare this is a great add-on to your outback adventure. 

Travelling times vary depending on which Ghan service you choose to join. Current timetables can be found here.

 

Driving

Driving to Alice Springs can be a true adventure, but not one that should be taken lightly. Distances between towns are long, mobile phone coverage is patchy at best and temperatures out in the desert can reach incredible extremes both high and low. 

If you do decide to drive to Alice Springs, ensure that you have ample emergency supplies of food and water and a reliable, well-maintained vehicle. Make sure a friend or family member knows your planned itinerary, and avoid driving at dawn or dusk when animals are most active.

The below is a rough guide to driving times from major cities across the country - this does not include time required for rest stops. NRMA recommends taking a rest stop of least 15 minutes for every two hours of driving. Click here to read more about avoiding driver fatigue.

From... Distance  Driving Time
Sydney  2774 km 29 hours
Melbourne 2256 km
24 hours
Brisbane  2991 km
34 hours
Adelaide 1532 km
16 hours
Perth  2505 km
32 hours
Darwin 1497 kms
18 hours
Canberra  2557 kms
27 hours

 

Bus

As an alternative to driving, bus services are also available with many operators such as Greyhound. Most buses run North and South along the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide, via Coober Pedy or Katherine.


We respectfully acknowledge the Arrernte people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Central and Western Arrernte Country which includes the Larapinta Trail and the West MacDonnell region. We thank them for sharing this beautiful land with us.

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