Day 9: Finished the Larapinta

Tuesday October 11, 17.5km/10.9mi

Wallaby Gap Campsite (209.6/648m) to Telegraph Station/Eastern Terminus (223.5/592m) (NT) +3.6 hike to Alice Springs

I was awake at 5:30, so I could have an early start and beat the expected heat that was forecast today. I had packed up my campsite 20 minutes later, which apparently is about what time the sky starts to brighten. Sunrises are sweet.

I hiked 15 minutes and found myself on the last highpoint of the trail, Euro Ridge. The sunrise still looks glorious.

An hour later, I crossed some train tracks (I didn’t even stop and put down my windows). I believe this is the south -north passenger line that runs from Adelaide to Darwin.

Less than a km later, I crossed under the A87 highway that also runs Adelaide to Darwin.

This trail makes everything feel so polished with its signs for every little thing! Geoff Moss Bridge.

I noticed some weird tracks in the trail, like a dashed line on a road. When I looked it up online later, it turns out these were kangaroo tracks. Specifically, the kangaroo’s tail drag-marks as it hopped.

The trail began to follow the old telegraph line, which existed from 1872-1932, and is the reason Alice Springs became a hub for the region.

Only 1km to go! These markers were appreciated most of the time, but sometimes I just wanted to hike and forget where I was for more than 13-minute intervals.

Just before the finish, there was an old cemetery where like only 4 people were buried, and the sign explained that 2 of them died of tuberculosis. Sad…and odd trail placement.

The Finish! I hiked 223km on the Larapinta, including side hikes it was more like 235km.

The plaque up close. It’s a very new trail! Established 2002.

The final trailhead kiosk /infoboard.

There was a nice 3.6km concrete walkway to downtown Alice Springs, called the riverside walk. It looked pretty new, and I only saw two bikers on it.

The Riverside Walk, intuitively, followed the river. The Todd river is dry most of the year.

The path was very nice, and surprisingly, the usual morning clouds hadn’t dissipated yet, keeping the temperature rather comfortable.

This was something interesting I’d noticed all week, but didn’t get a photo until now. Most of the roads here don’t have bridges, but rather go directly thru the riverbed. It’s such a dry climate, that the rivers only have water in them a few days a year. And when they are full of water, there are roadside depth gages to help drivers decide if they should drive thru the water (depends on vehicle height). Note that there is still a bridge for pedestrians, so they don’t have to get their feet wet!

I walked directly to The Locals Cafe, as I was starving. Plus it was only 10am, and I can’t check-in to the hostel until 1pm. The salad hit the spot, the bacon was a nice meaty cut, and the fruit smoothie was legendary. I was in a happy food coma.

I dropped my backpack in the hostel’s storage closet, and walked around downtown for a couple hours. I had to buy this soda pop to find out how it tasted….terrible. Like mixing cream soda with pickle juice. Blech.

I checked in to the hostel, got a shower and laundry done, and had a short nap. The afternoon flew by, and it was dinnertime! So, I went to the only place open on a Tuesday that served a kangaroo steak.

I ordered it medium -well, not knowing how it should be cooked. Pretty good, but expensive so I won’t do it again. Altogether it was a great day and finish to the Larapinta Trail!

Tomorrow, I’ll be relaxing on a bus tour to Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park!


    1. Joy and freedom are often found together in the mountains 😁
      Hope you enjoy the next one – I’m hiking a trail in Western Australia (WA) for a month.


      1. Am pretty healthy at 86 but can’t go as far as I WANT to!! YOU are taking me there, Recon!
        Thanks again. There are no superlatives high enough to describe you. High country has been the MAJOR part of my life and reflections are many. One, when friend and I picked you up on the Santiam during your PCT hike.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s