Join us as we trek the legendary Larapinta Trail in Central Australia!. Over 5 days of trekking, you will cover more than 60 kilometres of this iconic track. Best of all, you will raise urgently needed funds for Mission Australia to support vulnerable young people in the Northern Territory.
Imagine a journey that takes you right into the heart of Australia, across the vast and ancient landscape of the Red Centre.
The Larapinta Trail is regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks. Together we Trek will take you along the iconic Larapinta Trail, which winds from the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, stretching 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Over 5 days of trekking, you will cover more than 60 kilometres of this iconic track, stand on ancient escarpments and gaze out upon the ochre-coloured landscapes of Central Australia.
You’ll experience the diversity of desert habitats and visit sites sacred to the Arrernte people during the day, before falling asleep to the sounds of native wildlife under a blanket of stars.
You will also have the unique opportunity to take part in a special Mission Australia service visit. This will give you the opportunity to see firsthand how Mission Australia is working to reduce homeless and strengthen communities through its existing services, and how your donations will continue changing lives in Central Australia.
Every step you take and every dollar you raise will help people in need take their own steps towards independence. All funds will help launch an urgently needed Missionbeat service in the Northern Territory to assist vulnerable young people.
On any given night more than 116,000 Australians – including more than 44,000 children and young people – don’t have a place to call home.
In 2018, a team of dedicated Mission Australia supporters raised over $74,000 as part of the Together we Trek Challenge. The funds went towards our urgently needed Missionbeat Service to support young people in the Northern Territory. Missionbeat is a mobile outreach service that seeks to help people who may be experiencing homelessness or are in need of assistance.
Every dollar you raise through Together we Trek 2019 will help us reach our fundraising goal of $150,000 to successfully launch the service. Outreach staff aim to meet people’s immediate needs, providing food, clothing, medical care and safe accommodation where possible, or blankets and swags as a last resort. Missionbeat services also work in close collaboration with other organisations to help break the cycle of homelessness for individuals and families.
Our Missionbeat services have a long history of supporting rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness across Australia. The first Missionbeat van hit the road in 1979, and since then teams in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Tasmania have helped thousands of Australia’s most vulnerable people. By joining us on the Larapinta Trail, you’ll play a vital role in launching an urgently needed Missionbeat service in the Northern Territory. Our hope is that you’ll come away with a better understanding of the social issues affecting Central Australia, and grow in your passion to make lasting change in these communities.
13 – 19 May 2019
7 Day Trip
5 Day Challenge
3-star hotel and comfortable bush camping site
Registration fee: $770 (non-refundable)
Travel quote: $2,550
Fundraising Target: $3,500
Want to learn more? Enter your details in the form to instantly receive your information pack.
Ready to register? Click on the Register Now button to secure your spot on the team.
Questions? Give us a call on 1300 905 188.
Together we Trek: Adventure Blog
- Day 1 Alice Springs
- Day 2 Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap
- Day 3 Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Damn
- Day 4 Glen Helen to Orminston Gorge
- Day 5 Mount Sonder
- Day 6 Ormiston Pound Walk to Alice Springs
Day 1: Monday 13th May 2019
Our adventure of a lifetime begins! We all arrived at slightly different times in Alice Springs. Our first team briefing was accompanied by Mission Australia’s CEO James Toomey. He brought with him some wonderful news – as a team, we hit the $90,000 fundraising mark! Such an incredible team effort for a wonderful cause. Having James make the detour to personally thank the team was a special touch, to say the least. We also met our lovely guides and local experts, Joe and Immy. It’s getting real now!
The whole team finally reunited together at the “Welcome to Country”, or as we learnt to understand it as more as an “Acknowledgement to Country”. We were all in awe of the beautiful, genuine and informative stories about the indigenous land and culture. As we chatted, we watched the sky turn slowly orange and even spotted a wallaby hopping around. The night sky turned quickly dark and the air quickly cold, and we made our way back for dinner. We all learnt a little more about each other around the dinner table and our connection to Mission Australia. We celebrated Sharon & Andrea’s birthdays with a surprise birthday cake! In fact, the whole restaurant seemed to have enjoyed thanks to Sharon’s generosity. A little gesture that brings us all together.
Tomorrow’s an early day. Before we start out trek, we’ll get to learn a little bit more about why we’re here: to help vulnerable young people in the Northern Territory and break the cycle of homelessness. I have a feeling, it’s going to be a special morning.
Day 2: Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap – Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Our first full day! We started off our morning by visiting the Aherlkeme Development Centre. We were greeted by the beautiful staff who told us about the ins and outs of running the centre. We were shocked to find out that the average waiting list time to get into the housing communities in Alice Springs is 4 years. These centres assist with transitioning mainly Aboriginal people into the normal housing communities. Most families otherwise are homeless.
Once they enter Aherlkeme, families are provided with a caseworker to assist them through all their challenges. Simple tasks such as keeping their house clean and tidy can prove to be extremely challenging for them. Aherlkeme mimicks normal housing communities by ensuring rent is paid on time and running routine house inspections. This allows families to create good habits in hopes that one day, they can be discharged and live independently.
We then visited the Alice Springs Mission Australia office. We were thrilled to hear that the Missionbeat service, that the team fundraised so hard for, will be launching this year. Approximately 13,000 people in the Northern Territory are homeless. This mobile support service will provide brief intervention to the youth in the Northern Territory who require immediate needs. How incredible to be a part of this story.
We ended our day with a “leg stretch” amongst the picturesque region of Alice Springs and a quick stop at the stunning Elery creek. We’re ready for our challenging 14km tomorrow!
It was an emotional morning for few, seeing the harsh reality of rural Australia and the many challenges people face. We were truly inspired by the work the Mission Australia do and proud to be walking with these people in our hearts.
Day 3: Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Damn – Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Our first night under the stars was truly incredible. Marguerite survived her first-night camping ever (with a smile on her face!) whilst those who slept in swags were rewarded with an abundance of stars and fresh air to our faces.
We woke to some beautiful music at 5:30am. We all agreed that waking up wasn’t hard at all. In fact, we were all so excited to get up and start the first official big day of trekking. After our “leg stretch” yesterday, the whispers of the flies being quite bothersome this year was not short of a lie. An added challenge to the adventure but nothing a fly net couldn’t fix.
Throughout the day, we were beautifully distracted by Joe and Immy’s wealth of knowledge on the local flora and fauna. The fires that occurred back in January left a path of devastation throughout the day’s hike. Finally, after 13kms of hiking, we returned back to the campsite where we had another delicious meal cooked by Joe & Immy. Time to rest and recover!
Day 4: Glen Helen to Ormiston Gorge – Thursday, 16 May
It was a not-so-easy wake up this morning after a long day of trekking yesterday. We started our trekking along the Finke River, one of the older river systems. Sue, the known bird lover amongst the group, was spoilt with a few beautiful sightings. We got a great view of the almighty Mount Sonder that we will be climbing early tomorrow morning.
We trekked 12kms today with not a bit of shade in sight. The sun was hot but the views, rewarding. We continued to see the destruction that the fires had left behind. We ended our trek at the campsite and hopped right into the oh-so-chilly Ormiston Gorge waterhole. A swim and a delicious lunch was exactly what the doctor ordered. This afternoon, Mission Australia’s CEO, James, joined us in preparation for tomorrow’s Mount Sonder climb. Our 1am wake up call will be sure to bring in an early night with a few hours of good night sleep (or so we hope!).
Day 5: Mount Sonder – Friday, 17 May 2019
Today was the big day! The day that had been looming over us. We awoke at 1am to some beautiful didgeridoo music. A quick tea and coffee and we were on our way to the trek the 8km to reach the summit of Mount Sonder (1,380m). We were a day away from the full moon. The almost full moon illuminated the sky, making our head torches almost unnecessary. We took many breaks, turning our head torches off and glaring up at sky full of stars and the Milky Way. Not a bad excuse to catch our breath! We watched the moon slowly turn dark yellow as it set onto the horizon. Once the moon disappeared, the sky darkened and we were then thankful for our much needed head torches. One foot in front of the other, we all finally made it to the summit in time for an unforgettable sunrise. One of our guides Immy, said some beautiful words reminding us all why we were here. We shared a few tears and a few moments of silence to take it all in.
Our poor Sue fell onto a rock only a kilometre into the walk and hurt her knee. Despite the cuts to her leg, there was no stopping Sue, she was determined to make it to the top! Our handy paramedic Sally and nurse Tess cleaned her up and Sue made it to the top. It truly was a team effort. We celebrated our victorious climb with soup and chocolate (what a combo!). After some obligatory celebratory photos, we started our 8km descent back down. We were in awe of the beautiful scenery that we missed in the dark.
Once we got back to the campsite, we made the decision that Sue needed to head to the hospital to have a further look at her wounds. She ended up with 3 stitches. Sue is one incredible woman. Despite being the oldest on the trip, she had no lack of determination. It was an incredible day for all and an achievement that we will forever remember.
Day 6: Ormiston Pound Walk to Alice Springs – Saturday, 18 May 2019
Today was our last day at our campsite. We woke up earlier than our expected wake up time of 4:45am due to the rain. Although we all got fairly wet (especially those in swags!), we couldn’t help but think of how beneficial this rain would be for the regeneration of the vegetation after all the fires in January.
A few members of the team were slightly broken (for lack of a better word!) after the Mount Sonder hike so the remaining 4 team members started our final trek in the dark around the Ormiston Pound circuit. We walked up to a view point and shared our last sunrise together. The sky turned all kinds of colours whilst we heard a few dingoes howl in the distance. It was absolutely breathtaking. We then continued our walk chatting about the different kinds of rocks, trees, plants and rivers, with not another human in sight. Although we missed our fellow teammates, the last three kilometres were filled with rocky terrain which we know would’ve been hard on the knees.
Following our walk, we made our way back to Alice Springs and had a much deserved shower at our hotel. We enjoyed our afternoon before making our way to our final dinner. We shared dinner with the whole team and our favourite guides Joe & Immy. We shared our highlights and many laughs – you could feel the overwhelming sense of gratitude and achievement throughout the group. This was, without a doubt, a trip to remember!
Questions? Give us a call on 1300 905 188