Let’s make Missionbeat a possibility in the Northern Territory!
Are you ready to take on a new challenge? This adventure takes you into the heart of Australia, across the vast and ancient landscape of the Red Centre and gives you the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of young people in the Northern Territory.
Right now, Missionbeat is helping vulnerable people across Australia, but we are yet to launch our service in the Northern Territory.
Missionbeat currently operates in Sydney and Brisbane, with specialist Youthbeat services on the road in Perth and Tasmania. We’re currently aiming to raise enough funds to launch a fifth Missionbeat service to help young people in the Northern Territory.
This is your chance to help…
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 60 kilometres of this iconic track.
During this incredible adventure, you will stand on ancient escarpments and gaze out upon the ochre-coloured landscapes of Central Australia. You will follow Aboriginal Dreaming tracks and trek beside one of the world’s oldest river systems.
You’ll experience the diversity of desert habitats and learn the unique history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples during the day, before falling asleep to the sounds of native wildlife under a blanket of stars.
Most rewarding of all, you will have the opportunity to visit one of Mission Australia’s services to see how we’re 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.
On any given night 1 in 141 people in the Northern Territory are homeless
Every dollar you raise for Together we Trek will go directly towards launching a new Missionbeat service to support young people in the NT. Missionbeat is a mobile outreach service that seeks to help people who may be experiencing homelessness or are in need of assistance.
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.
By joining us on the Larapinta Trail, you’ll play a vital role in launching urgently needed Missionbeat services in the NT. Our hope is that you’ll also 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.
Join Mission Australia and take on Together we Trek Larapinta 2018
1 ABS Census of population and housing 2012: Estimating homelessness, 2011
Day 1 Monday 4th June- Alice Springs
G’day Alice Springs! After one year of preparation, training and fundraising, the team finally met one another in person today and are ready to begin their adventure! We had our first team briefing and met our local head guide, Timmi, as we sat poolside whilst the resident Doubletree Hilton Peacock inspected us all.
We then made our way to the Olive Pink Garden, where we met two inspiring local Aboriginal people for a ‘Welcome to Country’ talk about their experience in Alice Springs over the years, and to provide us with information on the background and history of the region.
We then headed back to the hotel for our welcome dinner, and enjoyed our first meal together as team Mission Australia. We were lucky enough to be joined at dinner by a local Mission Australia representative, Michael, who spoke about where the funds were being directed through the Missionbeat program. Ready for our project visit the next day, we headed to bed feeling excited for what was to come!
Day 2 Tuesday 5th June- Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap – 8kms
Today, we started with a project visit to Percy Court, which provided transitional housing. We saw their new community garden, and also some of the local artwork, which was part of their Life Skills Development Program. Some of the group members were lucky enough to meet some of the residents who made the artwork – which was really special, knowing we were supporting their livelihood by buying their work.
The second part of the project visit was at the Mission Australia office to meet the staff and caseworkers in Alice Springs. We heard stories of local people who had benefited directly from Mission Australia’s work. The staff in the area also talked about the key elements that go into running a successful program. It was really encouraging to hear how well the organisations in the area operate. One of our team members,
“It was great to see that Mission Australia is woven together with other services to maximise efficiency with all the fundraising dollars that have been generated. It is essential to do good work in an area like the NT.” Pepe, Together we Trek participant
We then hopped on our 4WD truck and began our trekking for the day after enjoying a quick morning tea. On the first day, we trekked up and along Euro ridge, which provided sweeping views of the Alice Springs Township below. We crossed the train tracks where the Ghan crosses through Alice Springs. After finishing day one of trekking, we took a celebratory team photo and tucked into a lunch consisting of healthy wraps, which where very well earned! We then headed back to our campsite and said goodbye to Alice Springs.
We made a quick stop for firewood before making our way to our home for the next 5 days, complete with a fire pit, hammock, and swag for anyone wanting to enjoy a night under the stars. The sunset was incredible and well timed, as a bright pink curtain was staining the sky upon arrival at the site, before quickly disappearing.
After a tour of the campsite and swag demonstration, the team then gathered round the campfire for our first dinner in the bush. We played a game of “two truths, one lie” and discovered that we have some very creative people in the group – and that Kate is unfortunately not a gifted Irish dancer.
Ready for a night in our new home, the group said goodnight and headed to bed with clear views of the skies above, while the campfire slowly burnt out.
Day 3 Wednesday 6th June- Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Gap 13.4kms
This morning, we were awakened in our swags by the dulcet tones of the aboriginal singer, Gurrumul, echoing from our guide’s speaker across the outback plains. Although it was early, it was a beautiful way to wake up. It was a cold morning, so the fire was roaring away as we all gathered around and ate our breakfast of toast and cereal, with plunger coffee to give us the energy boost needed for the day ahead!
The trek began at the bottom of a tall ridge and we meandered our way up higher and higher. Most of the day was spent trekking along the top of the ridge, which provided breathtaking views of the West McDonald Ranges. We stopped for lunch before the descent, and some of the group walked the extra distance to a nearby lookout, which provided views of Mount Sonder in the distance – that we would conquer in two days time. The rest of the day was spent descending down the ridge and along the valley floor crossing riverbeds and a range of different vegetation types until we made our way to the chalet dam.
We all wandered up the creek to see the area where the dam had been built back in the day. It was interesting to see the remnants of what they had attempted, even though it never operated correctly.
We then made our way back to Glen Helen for a final stop to check in with civilisation briefly, before heading back to our campsite for the evening.
During dinner around the campsite, we shared our inspiration for joining the adventure and also our highlights form that day, with Suzanne winning a Caramello Koala for her perseverance and determination, and for both mentally and physically overcoming barriers to compete what was a hard day of trekking!
Now accustomed to the bush lifestyle, the team chatted by the campfire enjoying a final tea before tucking into their swags for another nights sleep under the stars.
Day 4 Thursday 7th June- Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen 9.9km
The team woke just in time to enjoy the sunrise fill the sky whilst they brewed their tea and cooked toast. We then rolled up our swags and headed to Glen Helen which is where the trek began as we meandered our way on a much easier day toward Ormiston gorge.
We passed incredible natural rock archways and crossed over the oldest continuing river in the world; the Finke River. The day undulated up and down and before getting into Ormiston Gorge we took 15 minutes to sit on the dry river bed in silence to relax and reflect on what we had accomplished so far and on what was to come.
We ended our trek at Ormiston with a swim (for some of us who were game!) and it was extremely cold which made it extremely hilarious to watch as James and Amanda tried the water, albeit briefly. Many of us enjoyed an iced coffee and ice cream from the nearby cafe before we headed back to Glen Helen for a quick stopover before getting back to our campsite.
We had a delicious dinner by the campfire and had an early night after having a briefing with Timmi about the trek ahead and we prepared our packs and gear ready for a 1 am wake up the next day ready to conquer mt Sonder for sunrise.
Day 5 Friday 8th June- Mount Sonder Sunrise Climb 16km
The team woke up at 1am, which may not have been bright, but it was early enough to conquer Mount Sonder in time for sunrise.
We took the truck to Red Gorge where the trek began, and listened to “dancing in the moonlight” and “river of dreams” along the way. We all huddled together before we began the hike in our comfy down jackets and thermal layers, reminding one another that together we trek – as it is all about conquering Mount Sonder as one team.
The night was beautiful and mild, and the stars and the moon were bright enough to light our way and highlight the landscape below. Step-by-step, we focused all the way up and stayed as one team the entire way. Breaks were kept short so we didn’t get cold from standing still – needless to say, it was a challenging 7.9km to the top. With Suzanne leading the group for the last 1km stretch, we all made it one by one to the cairn with enough time to enjoy a hot cup of soup and watch the sunrise over the outback.
It was a significant moment for many of us for a variety reasons, both physically and mentally, and many reflected as the sun broke over the horizon, on their inspiration for coming, and on how far they had come to get to this point.
After the sun was well above the horizon, the team gathered for a “mission accomplished” photo, before beginning the descent back down. It was beautiful seeing the landscape below in the daylight and very different from what we had imagined earlier that night on our way up. Cate took a turn as stand-in team leader – or ‘mother hen’, and led a contingent of the group most of the way down. We were all very impressed by her selflessness and compassion, as well as her attentiveness, and we shared many laughs along the way!
The team all united at the base of Mount Sonder again after the final dry riverbed crossing, and we celebrated our completion of 16km before breakfast with lots of cheering and even formed an archway for the last group’s arrival.
We made our way to the Mount Sonder lookout and took an ‘after’ photo of the team, which we would use to compare on the final night back in Alice Spring, once we had all showered and got changed into clean clothes.
Breakfast was delicious! And a very well deserved meal consisting of bacon and eggs sandwiches, which were prepared while many of the team went for a well-earned shower or dip in the (freezing cold!) Glen Helen gorge nearby. After a celebratory drink, we all headed back to the camp to relax and nap.
We then gathered around the fire for a final camp dinner as James shared some of Mission Australia’s work with us, and also demonstrated his talent for making the team into a choir, as we sang around the campfire.
Timmi then ran through the details of tomorrow’s walk and the team chatted into the night until slowly… one by one… the team went to bed under the stars for a final time.
Day 6 Saturday 9th June- Ormiston Pound Circuit 10kms
On the final day of trekking, we woke up and said goodbye to our beautiful outback campsite. We then made our way to one of the most picturesque off-trails of the Larapinta for our final day’s walk at Ormiston Gorge. We stopped for morning tea atop a ridge overlooking the entire pound, which spoiled us with breathtaking views while we enjoyed tea and cake.
We then made our way across the pound and into the gorge, which had huge red cliffs either side as we trekked along the dry riverbed. It was a truly beautiful final day with incredible views ending at the Ghost Gum walk lookout, atop the waterhole that looked back at where we had walked.
We then made our way back to town to enjoy a drink with some crackers and dip at the telegraph station picnic area, and to reflect on where Alice Springs all began, and where the Larapinta trail section 1 begins, which was a nice way to end the trekking component of our challenge.
We enjoyed our final dinner at the overlander steakhouse, which offered delicious food and a very strong theme throughout the restaurant with a lot of personality. We then made our way to a room in the back to hear from James, and to also all reflect on our journey. We watched a final video, which showcased the entire adventure, as we shared some of our highlights. Although sad that it was our final goodbye, we left knowing that we had all helped make a big difference through our fundraising efforts for Mission Australia!