Hidden in the Australian outback is a hiking, trekking and trail running sanctuary. The Larapinta Trail runs from one of the Northern Territory's highest points, Mt. Sonder, to Alice Springs' iconic Telegraphic Station.
The recently developed 223km trail has received outstanding reviews from a host of people: from the casual family day hikers doing a small 10k section, to the multi-day trekkers tackling the trail as a camping adventure, to the endurance trail runners competing in the numerous events along the course.
The beauty of this unique trail is that it is as challenging as you make it.
One of the benefits of the trail is that it is broken into 12 distinct sections. This means not only does each section has its own character and sights but there are also brilliant camping and support sites accessible by road every 20-30km.
Walkers on the Larapinta Trail are treated to some of the outback's best sights. From the high peek of Mt. Sonder with views overlooking central Australia, to the deep valleys through the West McDonald rangers, to the cool watering holes of Ellery Creek, this trail is a great way to "Do the NT."
Another thing for the active person to try when visiting Alice Springs is the newly developed mountain bike trail network just north of town. From the Telegraphic Station (an easy 3km ride north of the CBD) the matrix of tracks weaves around the Australian bush.
Again it hosts something for every mountain biker: from the beginner wanting to explore the flat sandy trails to the expert wanting to test their technical riding skills over the lose slate and dry creek beds.
Alice Springs Larapinta Trail is a must do if you enjoy the outdoors and want to explore the best the Australian outback offers.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and pastor.
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html