The red centre so aptly named, is evident when you fly over it to land in Alice Springs - the beginning of the Larapinta Trail. And when you actually get onto the trail the whole place is a dreamland that will imprint itself on you.
The color alone will take your breath away!
Before you head out there you will need to ask yourself a couple of questions. How much do you want to hike? Do you want to carry your own gear, do you want to do only day trips or would you rather go on a guided trip? All have their own merits and costs. You will need to have food dropped in if you plan to hike for several days.
Next thing you need to be sure of is if you are fit enough to do long hikes, carrying packs all day, or if your capacity is for day hiking. You need to train accordingly.
It was amazing to be able to hike with a group of souls who had all been on a mission for the year previously, fundraising and then hiking in the name of Amnesty International. We had guides who carried our morning tea, lunches, and droves us to and from our campsite. They were knowledgeable, fit, capable, talked about the landscape, plants, and the people of the land.
Rolling hills, and scenery to every horizon!
We hiked Larapinta for 5 days and walked over 65 kilometres to Finke Gorge, Ormiston Gorge, the Pound, Counts Point, and Mt. Sonder, returning every night to a lovely fire cooked meal. It was a pleasure just to be able to walk and be looked after, and sleeping in swags was a fabulous way to watch the night sky.
It was a pleasure to discover Glenhelen resort. There are cabins, tent spots and room for your caravan. They have a bar, restaurant, barbeque area and showers. If you come solo maybe this will be a good place to call your base while you are out here.
You can camp here, and make your way to any of the 12 different hiking areas in Larapinta. You can enjoy the magnificent views, spend the day clambering over boulders and swimming in Ormiston Gorge. You can also spend your days walking out in the peaceful surroundings, getting in touch with yourself and nature.
Because you will be out in the desert you will need to be careful. Our days were fabulous for walking but the nights were cool, warm clothes were a must as well as a really good worn pair of hiking boots or 2. You may also want to carry poles for support and gators to protect your legs from the Spinifex grass.
We hiked in July which was splendid as the flies were minimal, the snakes were asleep and the temperatures were well suited to walking. Larapinta is closed between October and April due to the heat and the snakes that roam about in the hotter months.
Mt Sonder in the distance!
Be prepared to be in awe of the landscape that changes up, the stunning views from atop the hills and the quietness of it all. Mother Nature has also thrown in some amazing colors in the form of rocks and minerals that stand against the sun and the stars that light the night sky.
Please also be respectful of the land and the people who make this area their home.
You can contact Way Outback Tours or call them at 61 (0)8 8997 0300 on Monday to Friday - 8:30am - 7:00pm or Saturday or Sunday between 9:30 - 5:30pm. They are located at 30 Kidman St., Ciccone, Northern Territory, Australia 0870.
Where: Larapinta Trail, NWT
When: Between April and September
Web:www.wayoutback.com Phone: 61 (0)8 8997 0300