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Australia – Desert Trek
The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s great walks, offering walkers of all levels the ultimate wilderness experience in Central Australia.
Running 223 kilometers along the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges, from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder, is the Larapinta Trail where hikers experience one of Central Australia’s most dramatic landscapes by traveling through chasms, across ridges and swimming in puddles. This walk weaves between some of the world’s most ancient metamorphic and igneous rocks and boasts almost 600 species of rare flora.
Desert, flora and fauna, more than meets the eye.
Contrary to what many people assume, Central Australia is anything but a flat, monotonous desert. Alice Springs is located at the base of the MacDonnell Range which stretches for over 400 kilometers in an east-west direction in parallel ridges with flat valleys between them. They were formed through massive earth movements about 300 million years ago, breaking up what was then the sea floor as evidenced by fossils. Being so old and weathered, they generally only extend about 300 meters from the valley floor, but they are an impressive sight and more importantly, they facilitate a number of permanent water holes and provide shelter to a large number of plant and animal species.
Just south of the West MacDonnell Range are the Gardener and James Ranges and a little further southeast is the George Gill Range, home to the famous Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, the location of the cult film “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. ‘ was shot. Another 120 kilometers to the southeast are Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which rise about 350 and 500 meters respectively from the desert floor. The larger area around these two images is a sandy plain with low dunes.
Although the Central Australian region receives only 100 – 300 mm of rain per year, there is still a rich and diverse range of plants and animals. A large part of this diversity can be attributed to these mountain ranges and rock formations. They can help this diversity in several ways, namely; They can influence and often increase local rainfall, provide permanent or semi-permanent waterholes, moderate temperatures compared to sand environments, and provide shelter and refuge in caves, ledges, and crevices.
A 7-day trip takes in the most spectacular scenery of the Larapinta Trail. This is a fully supported trek with a 4WD vehicle to carry your luggage and meet you at the campsites with the tastiest scavenger hunt under the stars. You only need to carry a small daypack.
With stunning sunrises and sunsets you will find the beauty and grandeur truly inspiring. Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Red Center. You will hike 12 to 18 kilometers per day, taking in the magnificent beauty with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the Australian outback. Discover the magic and mysteries hidden in this ancient environment and be seduced by the dreamy legends of the area.
The journey will begin by heading to Ormiston Gorge, where you can see the black-footed rocks leap among the gum ghosts and walk through the majestic, dramatic landscape that once inspired Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira.
The path is then followed from Ormiston Pound to the mouth of the River Finke. Lose yourself in the magic of the dreamer with a visit to the sacred site known to the Arrernte people as ‘Yapulpa’, which is part of the legend of Carpet Snake Dreaming. Relax at the campsite and wander into Glen Helen after nightfall to experience the majestic cliff faces and moody landscape in a different light. At Redbank Gorge you can float above the frozen water and enter the eerie caves in one of the Red Centre’s less traversed gorges amidst glossy multi-hued walls, the cathedral atmosphere and vibrant colors are worth it.
Get up early to watch the sunrise illuminate one of the Red Center’s highest peaks at Mount Sonder. Climb the mountain that inspired many of Namatjira’s watercolors and explore the dream location of the ancestral goanna spirits. Camping under a sea of stars in the distance is a highlight of the Trail experience. A unique adventure in great company.
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