The Bloody Long Trek

A spectacular bloody long trek with classic panoramic views along the Larapinta, whilst helping raise much needed funds for Mito Foundation.

Challenge Highlights

  • Raising money for the Mito Foundation
  • Trek the West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Summit Mount Sonder for a sunrise challenge
  • Camp in sustainable semi-permanent campsites
  • Trek the best sections of the Larapinta Trail - highlights along the trail including Ormiston Gorge and Standley Chasm
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the ancient Indigenous culture and Traditional Owners of the land

Overview

The Larapinta Trail is one of the finest walks in Australia. Walking the high ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges we gain a rare perspective of vast flood plains, the razorback rocky outcrops and sheer scale of this ancient land. We follow an itinerary that will appeal to the active walker. You will need to carry only a light pack as a support vehicle will meet us at our campsites with bush tucker that will exceed expectations. There will also be plenty of time to reflect on the variety of walking from trails that descends from the ridgeline into narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate fern and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand.

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 Challenge is graded moderate. This trek involves 6 – 8 hours walking each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. 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 day pack 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 Spring. On arrival please make your own way to Aurora Hotel, as supporters are arriving at different times, recommend airport shuttle approx $15 one way. Standard twin rooms have been booked at Alice Springs Hotel, we will gather at 3pm for a meeting with your guide for a brief about the trek. Then a group dinner has been organised at local restaurant to meet your fellow trekkers.

Meals:  D

We pick you up from your accommodation between 7-7.30am and begin our walk at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the official start of the Larapinta Trail. From here the trail takes us west through witchetty bush, mulga scrub, and bird-filled shady woodlands. We climb high over exposed hills to the jagged outcrop of Euro Ridge, with expansive views over Alice Springs and the surrounding landscape, before descending to the deep narrow passage of Wallaby Gap. After a stop for refreshments you have the option to extend your walk and head to Nick's Camp on foot, or to transfer by bus. Nick's Camp is one of our exclusive award-winning camps, nestled in the bush 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). Walking Time: 5-8 hours

Meals:  B,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. Walking Time: 3-5 hours

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. Walking Time: 5.5-6.5 hours

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. Walking Time: 3-7 hours

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. Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Pack up and head back to Alice, we might have time to drop by Kungas Can Cook for morning coffee before being dropped off at the airport by 11am for your flight home.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 5 nights exclusive semi-permanent campsites
  • 1 night twin share Hotel Alice Springs
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Walk with a representative from Mito Foundation
  • Professional wilderness guide and support staff
  • Swags for sleeping (but not sleeping bags)
  • Catering & dining utensils
  • Off-road transport from Alice Springs
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • Comprehensive group first aid kit
  • Emergency radio/sat phone

What's Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Daypacks
  • Sleeping Bag hire
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance

What You Carry

  • The Larapinta Challenge 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 plan on carrying at least 3 litres of water each and every day.

Fundraising Impact

The Mito Foundation offers direct support through our helpline, facilitating peer-to-peer support and providing information through a range of channels about the disease, medical specialists, government support and much more. Your fundraising will help the Foundation continue these essential services.

There are no cures for mito and few effective treatments, so research into this devastating disease is paramount. Funds raised through The Bloody Long Trek will help to support research into diagnosis, prevention, treatment and ultimately cures for this debilitating disease.

Every step you take on the Larapinta Trail will take us closer to treatments and cures.

support + research + education + advocacy

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Minimum charity donation/fundraising:USD$2000 
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
 8 Sep 201914 Sep 2019
Duration:7 Days
Activities:Trekking
Charity Challenge
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:MI1
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$120

The Mito Foundation's mission is to support the mito community whilst seeking a cure for mitochondrial disease (mito). The Foundation provides support services to those affected by mito, funds vital research into this devastating disease and undertakes education and advocacy projects to increase awareness of mito.