Come along and be part of the exhilarating Larapinta Trailblazers Adventure into the heart of the Australian landscape from 20th to 24th June 2019.
Join us as we blaze our way through five beautiful sections of the Larapinta Trail in Tjoritja, the West MacDonnell Ranges and enjoy stunning natural beauty, expansive desert views, beautiful gorges and pristine waterholes with your team mates.
Dates: Thursday 20th to Monday 24th June 2019
Running: Day 1 - 24.7 kms
Day 2 - 39.8 kms
Day 3 - 31.9 kms
Day 4 - 15.8 or 45 kms
Accommodation: 2 nights camping under the stars at Standley Chasm (toilets and hot showers), 1 night at Glen Helen Lodge, 1 night at Crowne Plaza Alice Springs (twin-share)
Food: On the trail - Lunch x 4, Dinner x 3 , Breakfast x 3 and snacks (wholefood, nutritious meals with vegetarian and gluten-free options). Alice Springs - Celebratory restaurant banquet at Hanuman Restaurant x 1, Hotel buffet breakfast x 1,
Vehicles: We will have two support vehicles (one 4WD) to ensure all aspects of the trip run smoothly and safely
Max group size: 10
Investment: $2195 per person
This 5-day Larapinta Trailblazers Adventure is designed to give you:
an invigorating and challenging trail run in a stunning Australian landscape
a chance to connect with your team mates away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life
a powerful fitness goal to inspire and motivate you towards better health
DAY 1 - alice springs to Simpsons gap
Run: Section 1 - Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap Grade: Easy
Total Distance Day 1: 24.7 km
We’ll pick you up from Alice Springs Airport, have some lunch and drive to the start of our first run which begins at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. This is considered an ‘easy’ section which winds amongst granite boulders with rolling hills and low shrubs. From the higher section along Euro Ridge, you will get superb views to the cliff-edged spine of the Heavitree Range. There is a water source at Wallaby Gap, 14km in from the start of the trail. You will wind your way along undulating country, finishing the days run at Simpsons Gap. We will then drive to our campsite at Standley Chasm where you can enjoy a hot shower and freshen up while your delicious dinner is being cooked for you. We will enjoy the quiet sounds of the desert and catch a good look at the million stars above. L D
DAY 2 – Simpsons Gap to Standley Chasm
Run: Section 2 - Simpsons Gap to Jay Creek Grade: Long, easy - 26.2 kms
Section 3 - Jay Creek to Standley Chasm Grade: Hard - 13.6 kms
Total Distance Day 2: 39.8 km
After an early breakfast to beat the heat of the day, we’ll drive to Simpsons Gap to begin our days adventure. This is a massive, challenging day, and you will need to be in top form to complete this.
You will start the run towards Bond Gap, which is a narrow chasm cut through the Quartzite beside Arenge Bluff. After this the trail follows Rocky Creek as it winds into the silent, stony hills through long stretches of mulga woodland broken up by creekbanks and crossings, with River Red Gums arching overhead. You'll follow a creek bed on the southern side of a quartzite ridge to Spring Gap, marked by large Ghost Gums, and is a prime bird-watching spot if you stand still long enough to see them!. You will then run through a variety of rocky landscapes to a large area of mulga woodland to Jay Creek. There is a water tank here to replenish your supplies. You will then run through the gorge, past the peaceful Fish Hole and along the historic camel path that was constructed in the early 1900's to allow camel trains to pass through the ranges between Hermannsburg and Hamilton Downs Homestead. Following this you will run through Tangentyere Junction past some beautiful stands of Native Pine and Inland Tea Tree. From here, you will take the main route through tall stands of Desert Bloodwoods and Fork-Leaved Corkwoods to Millers Flat. There is then a long and gradual uphill climb where you be rewarded with a fantastic view from the top of Gastrolobium Saddle. From the saddle, you descend towards the head of Angkale Creek and onwards into the polished quartzite canyon of Standley Chasm.
When you arrive in Standley Chasm, there will be a filling healthy meal waiting for you, and time to relax amongst the eucalytps at the grassy campsite. We will have supper before an early night to bed after a huge effort. B L D
DAY 3 – Standley chasm to glen helen
Run: Section 4 - Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole Grade: Very hard - 17.5 kms
Birthday Waterhole to Namatjira Drive Grade: Very easy - 14.4 kms
Total Distance Day 3: 31.9 km
Today is dramatic section with some incredible views but, unlike dinner, it won't be handed to you on a plate. Another early start is in order to make the most of the cool air. After packing up your personal gear, you will run from Standley Chasm along a shallow rocky gorge then up a steep-sided valley. This is where it gets tricky as you head along narrow rocky quartzite ridgelines, although you will be spoilt with panoramic views. There are some scree slopes and loose rocky areas as you head up and over the Reveal Saddle towards Brinkley Bluff. There are several false summits on the ridge-top as you approach the bluff, but the ever-expanding views will lure you on. The cairn at the top of Brinkley Bluff is a place to rest and reflect, as it provides magnificent views of some distant landmarks. Your ankles will then get tested on the long, steep and rugged descent from the summit to Rocky Cleft. It’s then up and over a saddle where you will see a change in vegetation as the soil and moisture improve, with some Desert Bloodwoods followed by the distinctive River Red Gums. There is a wide, sandy gorge to go through as you head past Mintbush Spring, towards Birthday Waterhole where you can replenish your water supplies from the tank.
It’s then an easy trot along the 4WD track to Namatjira Drive where the support vehicles will be waiting for you to transport you to Glen Helen Lodge. There will be a delicious meal waiting for you, and you’ll then be able to have a swim and relax in the comfortable surrounds of the Lodge. B L D
DAY 4 – Redbank gorge to Mt Sonder and beyond
Run: Section 12 - Redbank Gorge to Mount Sonder return Grade: Medium, steep - 15.8 kms
Optional: Section 11- Redbank Gorge to Glen Helen Lodge Grade: Medium - 29.2 kms
Total Distance Day 4: 15.8 or 45 km
We will begin early yet again, to enjoy the sunrise from the summit of Mt Sonder at 1379m. It will be a solid climb to the top from a start at 700m, and if that doesn’t take your breath away, the views certainly will! Enjoy a quiet moment at the top to reflect on the achievements of the previous few days. It’s back down the same way, and if you are finishing here you will be able to take your time and enjoy the scenery. If you are doing the ‘extended route’, you will want to get moving to make the most of the cool air. From Redbank Gorge Carpark you’ll head along some undulating, open country at the foothills of Mt Sonder to Rocky Bar Gap. You’ll then head northwards along the creek bed of Rocky Bar Gap and up to Hilltop Lookout. There is a climb to get there as the name suggests! It’s a fairly steep descent on the other side, then across a flat red earth plain with mulga trees, and along further to low spinifex covered hills. You will then head south at Glen Helen Junction past some natural quartzite arches and semi-permanent waterholes to a feast at Glen Helen.
After our meal we will head on to the Crowne Plaza Hotel Alice Springs. Settle in, take a dip in the pool, or explore Alice township. After some well-deserved rest and relaxation, we will meet up for a celebratory dinner at Hanuman Restaurant. B L D
DAY 5 – Alice Springs and onwards
On our last day of the trip, we can arrange for you an exciting balloon ride from Alice Springs (this is an optional extra and not included in the price). What a way to see the sunrise over the desert! We will have a sumptuous buffet breakfast, and you will have a chance to see some beautiful aboriginal art at one of the many galleries. We will then transport you to the airport for a lunchtime flight, or you can continue on to explore more of incredible Central Australia. What an adventure it will have been! B
GUIDES AND SAFETY
The group will be led by Helen Cooper, Director of Primal Adventures, and an assistant. Helen is trained in Wilderness First Aid, and there will be 5 personal locator beacons, a satellite phone and first aid kits.
You will be running for between 4 to 12 hours each day. Very high fitness levels required (speak to us if you want to know whether this is suitable for you). Lots of rocky, uneven surfaces and steep terrain.
WHAT TO TAKE
Central Australia experiences very hot days and cold nights. It is necessary to prepare for all conditions and to have appropriate good-quality outdoor gear.
We will provide a full gear list closer to the date of the trip.
We supply: inflatable mattresses, tents, cooking equipment, plates/cutlery, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps.
We will travel between Alice Springs and all trailheads in two private rental vehicles.
All the meals as indicated above are included in the price. The food is based on nutritious, healthy, wholefood recipes. We will also have a celebratory dinner at a quality Alice Springs restaurant on the final evening (drinks not included), and buffet breakfast on the final morning. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
The tour starts at Alice Springs Airport on Thursday 20th June at 12.30pm. We will return to Alice Springs airport at 12.30pm on Monday. We will make recommendations on the best flight options so that you have the option of travelling with the rest of the group.
$2195 per person
Includes 5-day guided adventure, 2 nights camping accommodation, 1 night at Glen Helen Lodge, 1 night at Crowne Plaza Hotel Alice Springs, transport by private vehicles between Alice Springs and the trail heads, all meals as stated above together with restaurant dinner, hotel buffet breakfast, National Parks Permits, first aid kit, safety equipment and cooking equipment.
Excludes sleeping bags, travel insurance (compulsory) and flights
A deposit of $600 per person is required to secure your place.
Full payment is required 8 weeks before the date of your adventure.
More than 20 days prior to departure – 70% refund of full ticket price
20 to 10 days prior to departure – 50% refund of full ticket price
Less than 10 days prior to departure – NO REFUND
Deposits are not refunded.
Comprehensive personal travel insurance is required for this trip. We will also ask you to fill out a disclaimer before you begin the adventure. You must follow the instructions of your guide at all times.
You will be required to complete a medical form prior to commencement of the trip. If you are over 55, you will require a medical clearance from a doctor.
With any outdoor activity, there is an element of risk. Primal Adventures operates in remote and mountainous areas. Risks in undertaking this activity could include hypothermia due to adverse weather conditions, personal injury, or property damage from hiking over rugged and uneven terrain.
The staff and management of Primal Adventures take all practicable steps to identify and minimise potential dangers. However you must follow our instructions (and use the safety equipment provided) at all times. Adults accompanying any person under the age of 18 must ensure that the underage person follows our instructions at all times. You must release or indemnify Primal Adventures and our staff against any liability we incur to anyone else, resulting from your failure to follow our instructions or the failure of any person accompanying you under the age of 18 to follow our instructions.
Primal Adventures and their guides reserve the right to make any alterations to the itinerary in the interest of safety, comfort or unforeseen circumstances due to causes such as weather, illness, or misadventure. Every reasonable endeavour will be made to keep to published schedules but no guarantee is given. Primal Adventures will not be held liable for costs incurred by change, delay, or the missing of connecting services.
Primal Adventures reserves the right to exclude a person from a tour at anytime if in the opinion of the guide or operator that person may be likely to risk the health, safety or comfort (including unsociable behaviour) of other clients, him or herself, or the environment. In such circumstances Primal Adventures will not be obliged to offer any refund or transfer of ticket.