Larapinta Trail Trek 2019
Our first charity challenge to trek the incredible Larapinta Trail took place in July 2019.
Here is a fabulous article by Sarah Ryan, who participated in the Trek.
The feeling you get after completing the week long Larapinta Trek is hard to put into words. I know I have a small understanding of the vastness that is the Red Centre, the spiritual connection the Indigenous community have to the earth and the beauty we have in abundance here in our backyard.
Along with 16 other supporters of Mater Dei, I had signed up to one of Australia’s finest long-distance walking experiences which took us along the West MacDonnell Ranges in the heart of Central Australia.
I was always looking forward to the sense of adventure however some of the days were quite tough. In particular the steep climb of Mount Sonder on day 4. Mount Sonder is the fourth highest peak in the Northern Territory at 1380 metres above sea level. Walking in the dark, with just the light from our head torch was both scary but liberating as it wasn’t until the decent in daylight that we could comprehend the track that we had taken.
Each day provided new scenery, and 360 degree views which you never grew tired of. The crisp early morning starts were made easier eating breakfast alongside one another by the open campfire. We would then jump on our bumpy little bus to the start of the next stage of the trail. Across the week our guides would drive us to a different stage of the trail:
1. Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap including Ellery Creek stop over
2. Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam
3. Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen
4. Mount Sonder Ascent
5. Ormiston Pound Circuit to Alice Springs
Some days we walked for 6 hours yet the time passed with lots of great conversations balanced with quiet time for self-reflection. Each member of the group naturally found their place depending on the pace you wanted to walk that day, and regular drink and food stops brought everyone back together. The days when we could dip our feet in to the cool water holes provided sweet relief to tired achy feet, and the joy to have a hot shower at the end of the day reminded me simple pleasures can bring such happiness.
Dinners back at the camp site again around the camp fire were always an enjoyable time to rest the weary legs and contemplate what was achieved that day. The first night at camp brought mixed feelings as everyone set up their swag for bed, however I found there was something special about gazing up at the sky full of stars before drifting off each night. I came to miss it once back home.
The anticipation of seeing family and sleeping in our own bed was palatable by the final day, however our week in the bush has left its mark on us all in some way, big or small.
As we said our goodbyes to an amazing adventure, one that challenged us all mentally and/or physically, we all recognised what an incredible week we had and that everyone accomplished what they set out to do.
To view more amazing photos, go to our Photo Gallery page.
To read an article that appears in the September edition of our Matters Magazine, please click here.