Reach Larapinta Trail Challenge

Guided walk along Australia's most iconic desert Larapinta Trek and raise awareness and funds for The Reach Foundation.

Challenge Highlights

  • Raising money to support Reach's work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
  • Summit Mount Sonder
  • Reach Foundation representatives
  • Trekking the West MacDonnell Rangers
  • Exclusive semi-permanent wilderness campsites

Overview

The Reach Foundation is offering supporters the chance to be part of the Reach Larapinta Trail Challenge. This is a unique opportunity to raise funds to support Reach’s work with Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander young people and take on a personal challenge.

We can promise you a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey.

The Larapinita Trail is one of the seven Great Walks of Australia and is now noted as one of the top 10 walks in the world.

We follow an itinerary that will appeal to the active walker prepared to cover between six to sixteen kilometres each day, with plenty of side options to the best spots in the area.

You will need to carry only a day pack, as we will be camping in our sustainable semi-permanent camp-sites, where exceptional facilities are setup. When combined with exceptional food and fantastic guides, trekkers can enjoy the outback hospitality.

A support vehicle will transfer us between trailheads, allowing us to select walks that are the perfect balance for our challenge. The diversity of trail stages is impressive, at times the trail descends from the ridge line into narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate fern and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand. On other stages we walk to the impressive Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm and summit Mt Sonder (1380m) where we can trace the entire West MacDonnell Range.

Challenge Grade

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, the number of passes crossings and the length of the trek. The Larapinta 6 day trek is graded introductory to moderate. This trek involves 5 – 7 hours walking each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. Although this trek does not involve altitude, it can be tough and should not be underestimated. In order to complete this trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise three or four times a week for at least three months prior to your departure. Hill walking with a daypack is recommended.

Itinerary

After all the fundraising and preparation, the wait is finally over! You will make your way to your Australian gateway airport for your booked flight to Alice Springs. Upon arrival in Alice Springs, we pick you up from the airport between 11am and 1pm and head straight out to the trek. Our walking commences from the eastern terminal of the trail next to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The trail passes through witchetty bush and mulga scrub, and over exposed hills and shady woodlands,we wave goodbye to Alice at the top of Euro ridge before we trek through the deep narrow passage of Wallaby Gap. From here we head to camp our exclusive Semi-permanent wilderness site, Nick's Camp, with stunning views across the Heavitree Range and Alice Valley. Following your introduction to camp you will be greeted by local bush food specialist, Rayleen Brown, who will give an informative presentation about native bush foods with tastings (subject to availability). Trek Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap - 10kms - 4hours

Meals:  L,D

From Nick’s Camp we continue west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. We may catch sight of Black-footed Rock Wallaby as we approach one of the most important waterholes of the area, Simpsons Gap. A short transfer takes us to the stunning Standley Chasm where you will be welcomed to country by Deanella Mack from Cultural Connections (subject to availability). After lunch and a walk into the magnificent Chasm – a private reserve still run by the traditional owners – we transfer to back to our campsite. Simpson’s Gap and Standley Chasm - 15kms - 5hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's highlight is the 5km walk along the crest of the high ridge leading to Counts Point. From here we have clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon to Mt Zeil (1531m), the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. We can also see the huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff, a feature of the landscape for the next few days. We descend from the high ridgetop though mysterious stands of mulga trees. At the base of the ridge we follow a track of dolomite limestone toward camp; keep your eye out for fossil stromatolites under foot, one of the most ancient forms of life. Stepping off the main trail, we follow our private track to Charlie's Camp, named in honour of pioneering Larapinta guide Charlie Holmes. Tonight’s camp is nestled in secluded wilderness at the foothills of Counts Point. An optional afternoon walk to Serpentine Chalet Dam reveals early history of the area and the chance for a refreshing swim. Serpentine Gorge to Charlie's exclusive camp-site - 17kms - 6hours

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we walk out of camp to the breathtaking Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass. We spend some time in the magnificent pass to enjoy the peace and marvel at the ancient cycad palms. From here we trek south-west to an original ochre quarry, a sacred Aboriginal site. The rainbow of vibrant colours on the wave-like ochre wall makes for stunning photos. We then break for a picnic lunch and an early finish in preparation for our big day tomorrow. Your guides will offer numerous afternoon activities such as: visit Finke River (estimated to be the oldest river in the world), relax at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, or take on a challenging 10km trek from Ormiston Gorge through diverse desert lowlands and creek country. We transfer west to one of our exclusive Camps. Fearless – named in honour of trekking guide Sue Fear, or Sonder Camp - named after the majestic Mt Sonder. Both Camps are located at the foothills of Mount Sonder. Ochre pits and Ormiston Gorge to Finke River - 18kms - 7hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Your guides will have you up early this morning (3am) for our pre-dawn walk up Mount Sonder. Weaving your way up to the 1380m summit of this majestic mountain following only the glittering light of your head-torch, surrounded by deep and peaceful darkness, is a truly inspiring experience... and watching the sunrise from the top is unforgettable! Mount Sonder is the official end and highest point of the entire Larapinta Trail and as such we have expansive views across the entire vast landscape we have been exploring over the last few days. We descend to Redbank Gorge and can enjoy a great brunch on the Finke River. If time permits in the afternoon we may visit the Glen Helen Homestead at the base of the West MacDonnell Ranges. A short transfer returns us to camp looking back up toward Mt Sonder. Summit Mount Sonder - 16kms - 7hours

Meals:  B,L,D

The best side walk of the trail is of the Ormiston Pound. The Pound offers some extraordinary scenery and wildlife and is our final walk which explores the upper reaches of the Gorge and the chance to see the many Rock Wallabies as they scamper about the imposing cliffs. We drive back in to Alice Springs, hoping to drop you at the Aurora Hotel, a standard 3 star centrally located hotel between 4pm and 5pm. A celebration dinner will be held tonight in Alice Springs. Ormiston Pound Walk - 10kms - 4hours

Meals:  B,L,D

To make the most of the morning in Alice Springs, breakfast is on your own account so you can choose from the many great cafes nearby. Hotel can also book your shuttle van from hotel to airport at own cost for your flight home.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Reach Foundation Representative
  • Exclusive semi-permanent wilderness campsites
  • Pick up airport on day 1 between 11.00am and 1.00pm
  • 1 night's accommodation in Alice Springs
  • Celebratory dinner on final evening in Alice Springs
  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • professional wilderness guide and support staff
  • all camping equipment, including tents, swags and stretcher beds, chairs
  • Fees to Aboriginal Traditional Owners
  • all National Park and camping fees
  • off-road transport from Alice Springs
  • emergency communications and group first aid kit

What's Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Shuttle or taxi transfer on last day
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag hire
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Head torches and other personal equipment

What You Carry

  • The Larapinta Trek is a fully supported trek. You will need to carry just a day-pack with your water bottles, jacket, camera and other personal items. You should carry at least 3 litres of water each and every day. Your luggage will be transferred by the support vehicle between campsites. Please keep luggage to a soft duffle bag per person. Please do not bring hard suitcases or extra large duffles as these are hard to transport.

Fundraising Impact

By participating in the Reach Larapinta Trail Challenge you will be joining a committed group of adventurers who have challenged themselves to help young Indigenous Australians access Reach workshops to enable them to get more from life.

Today in Australia, Aboriginal young people face many disadvantages - poverty, lower educational and employment outcomes and lack of culturally appropriate service provision.

A snapshot of some outcomes for Indigenous Australians:

•35% of Aboriginal teenagers are unemployed or not participating in the labour force, compared to 10% of non-Aboriginal teenagers (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, How Young Indigenous People are Faring, 2003

•The life expectancy of Aboriginal people is 20 years less than non-Aboriginal people. (Report of the NSW Chief Health Officer 2004)

•Aboriginal people are 20 times more likely to be homeless (Australian Government Footprints in time - The longitudinal study of Indigenous children)

•Despite comprising only 3% of the general youth population, Aboriginal young people make up 44% of young people in detention (Department of Juvenile Justice Annual Report 2003-2004)

•Aboriginal young people are also significantly over-represented as victims of crime. They are three times more likely to be victims of sexual assault and five times more likely to be victims of domestic violence or assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Aboriginal people also face a range of other adversities on a daily basis, including racism and discrimination. Indigenous young people living with these realities often struggle to successfully navigate these and the challenges of adolescence; however Reach can be there to support them.

Your fundraising will be supporting these young people to build their self-belief, resilience and skills to be able to challenge these statistics and realise their potential

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Minimum Charity Donation/fundraising:USD$2400 
Optional Single Supplement - Alice Hotel Only:USD$120 

Videos

What it's like to walk the Larapinta Trail for Charity

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 23 Aug 201929 Aug 2019
Duration:7 Days
Activities:Trekking
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:RF1
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$2158

Reach supports young people to get the most out of life. We aim to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can be healthy and resilient to meet life's challenges, and fulfil their potential. Our youth-led workshops are for any young person between 10-18 years of age. Our Vision - Generations of confident, self-aware and passionate young people shaping the world. Our mission - To encourage young people, no matter what their circumstances, to believe they can achieve