The Larapinta Trail is regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks. From the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, the trail stretches 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
As part of the Walk4BrainCancer – Larapinta Trail, 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.
By day, you will experience the diversity of desert habitats and learn the unique history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. At night, you will fall asleep to the sounds of native wildlife under a blanket of stars, all while helping Cure Brain Cancer achieve their mission to increase survival rates.
Did you know? Brain cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer.
It costs approximately $50,000 to fund one patient on a clinical trial. Cure Brain Cancer has several clinical trials that it has committed to funding that will potentially provide innovative treatments to patients.
Our mission is to increase five-year survival to 50% by 2023. It’s a bold target, but with your support we can make a difference.
Dates: 6-12 August 2016
Registration fee: $770 (non-refundable)
Fundraising target: $3,500 (excludes travel)
Travel cost: $2,499, including taxes (can be fundraised)
Trip duration: 7 days
Challenge duration: 5 days
Accommodation: Comfortable camping and a 4-star hotel
Minimum age: 18 (younger ages considered on application)
ADVENTURE BLOG: 6 – 12 August 2016
Day 1: Saturday 6th August
And we are off! Training and fundraising for a year, it has been a great challenge but the team raised over $88,000 in support of Cure Brain Cancer!
We arrived in Alice Springs to meet the team and our guide Troy at Aurora hotel for a team briefing. There were plenty of questions and excitement in the room.
In the evening, we headed out for a sunset stroll and dinner to get to know each other a bit better. It was also the last chance to shower before an early morning rise to start our first day on the Larapinta trek.
Day 2: Sunday 7th August
Today was the first and longest day of walking, and we headed to Simpsons Gap. We all made it safe and sound! We then got driven to the camp in Hugh River and the amazing Troy cooked up a delicious stir fry on the open fire. Tired and fed, we rolled out the swags and slept under the stars.
Day 3: Monday 8th August
Second day of walking and it was another early rise. Today we took on Section 8 of the Larapinta trail. We started at Serpentine Gorge, and this section offered a spectacular 360 degree view and a first sight of Mount Sonder.
We stopped to take so great photos of the view, and the team posed with a smile on their faces!
Tonight we camped at Serpentine Chalet. The great Troy cooked a kangaroo bolognese and we were treated with apple pie for desert by Simon. Certainly ready for a more ‘leisurely’ walk tomorrow.
Day 4: Tuesday 9th August
Today we did Section 10 of the Larapinta, which is a 9km walk from Ormiston Gorge, finishing at Helen Glen Resort. We had a lovely stop for morning tea where we were served melon, strawberries and banana bread – what a feast!
At Glen Helen Resort we had lunch and a swim, and the first shower in some days. Feeling refreshed, we then drove off to Woodland Campground, Redbank Gorge, in preparation for the big hike up Mount Sonder tomorrow morning.
In the middle of the desert, we even had a visit from the census rep to fill out our forms around the camp fire.
Day 5: Wednesday 10th August
After sleeping through loud cow noises we arose to a very early 1:30am wake up call to hike Mount Sonder. It was a tough four hour climb in the dark but the sunrise from the top was absolutely worth it.
The team described the experience as “exhilarating”, a “team effort”, “inspirational”, “worth every step”, and “unforgettable in every way”.
Tonight was a little luxurious as we were “glamping” in tents beside the gorge at Glen Helen Resort and also a sunset drive to Gloss Bluff.
Day 6: Thursday 11th August 2016
Today we got a sleep in with the wake up call at 7am. We had delicious pancakes for breakfast before hitting The Pound Walk, which was the last 8km of our adventure.
It was a beautiful day with views from the lookout stop, rock skimming competition and wading through waste deep water.
Before arriving back to Alice Springs, we stopped at Emily Gap to see the Three Capitalla’s rock art. We then received a warm welcome by Bec and Tim’s beautiful families who joined us for dinner at Sammy’s Pizza. We all agreed this was the best restaurant in Alice springs!
Day : Friday 12th August 2016
In Alice Springs today, and we found out the team has raised $91,500 for Cure Brain Cancer. What an incredible effort!
Leaving the small town today, we all felt a great sense of achievement, support and friendship amongst the group. We have shared tears, big belly laughs and a challenging adventure we will remember forever.
Jacqui wrote a poem to sum up the teams journey:
“Never a more merry band of travellers boarded this outback bus. Never a more eclectic group of people took on this majestic trail. Sewn together by a thick thread of loss, despair and hope. Led by a wild wanderer and a rocky path, we walked together and laughed together. We dreamed under the stars together. Cried, suffered and shared together. And kept walking. Never a more awesome parade of scenery was witnessed by an audience. Never a more deserved end. With all my heart I wish for this merry band to meet again, on another walk, to find a cure”.