Route: Larapinta Trail

Northern Territory, AU
223 km
Vertical Gain
7,000 m

The Larapinta Trail is a 223km route in Central Australia. It is divided into 12 sections. Starting in 2019, the West Mac Monster race runs the length of the Larapinta Trail. Supported FKTs are likely to be run in the race.

Nice article about the trail:


From 27-29 April 2018, myself (Simon Duke) and Rohan Rowling will attempt to set a new unsupported accompanied FKT for the Larapinta Trail.

The FKT attempt will be 231km long (the total distance of all 12 sections of the trail). We have set the following rules for the attempt.

1. We will carry all of our own food and supplies individually, strictly not sharing with each other, and strictly not accepting any supply or support from other hikers on the trail. We will fill up our water at official trail watertanks along the way as there is not sufficient natural water along the way.
2. We do hope to keep pace with each other for the whole attempt, however have agreed we will separate if necessary. For this reason it is an unsupported accompanied attempt, NOT an unsupported team attempt.
3. We will do the attempt from West to East, starting at Redbank Gorge, up Mt Sonder, back to Redbank Gorge and then finishing at the Telegraph Station. Our attempt will not include the alternative high route on Section 3 of the trail.
4. We will only sleep at designated Larapinta Trail campsites.
5. The attempt will be verified by SPOT Tracker, signing our names in Trailhead Books along the way, pictures of us taken along the way at signs and landmarks and eyewitness accounts.

We will post in this thread after the attempt whether successful or unsuccessful.

Within the rules set for ourselves as posted on 4th April, 2018, Rohan Rowling and I (Simon Duke) completed the full Larapinta Trail distance of 231kms from West to East 'unsupported accompanied' in a time of 58hrs and 48mins. 

We will submit SPOT data and photos to this webpage for verification and leave it up to the Administrators whether they feel our attempt represents a new FKT for all directions (keeping in mind that Chris's supported FKT of 61hrs 32mins was set travelling from East to West) or just a new FKT for travelling the direction we did.

Kind Regards 


Well done. I did the first unsupported crossing of the entire National Park 15 years ago. My first expedition. Details here:
Trackers didn't exist.
As you can see it was a longer route.
Started outside the NP and included the climb of Mt Zeil. I took only water from natural sources(*) (got a bit sick after swimming red bank gorge and killing my camera (hole in drybag). Went also to bag Razorback and Mt Giles.
(*) Or from a tank where a natural source was around.
Still have to do a film about it. It will start with videos until Redbank and photos after Redbank. Yes, by then it was camera on DV and photos on a crappy 5 or 7 megapixel camera. And yes, GoogleMaps had very low details by then. 

For the first time in history on May 24-26, 2019 there will be a full length, 231km ultra trail race travelling West to East along the Larapinta Trail. The event is called the West Macs Monster and is hosted by the Alice Springs Running a Walking Club. It is very likely that the winning runner will run sub 50hrs and in doing so set a new supported FKT for the trail...which, in large part because of the event is likely to see the Larapinta supported FKT get faster and faster each year!

Specific details of the route include taking the alternative high route on Section 3 (more runnable than the low route but does add around 400m of elevation). The start line will be at Redbank Gorge trailhead, up to Mt Sonder and back to Redbank turnoff then East along the trail until reaching the Telegraph Station.

More details at

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Lots of action on this trail over the past number of weeks, new Supported Female FKT's from Elizabeth during West Macs Monster trail race 2021 and Lucy with a classic Supported Female FKT attempt.

[Unofficial] Female Unsupported completed in 6 days, 1 hour, 19mins

I completed the Larapinta on Sept 21, 2023 and prior to starting it I only checked the *supported* records so I didn’t think about trying to keep my watch charged for that many days. It was a grueling hike, way hotter than what was forecasted and I had an elating finish at the top of Mt Sonder. Obviously not going to submit trip reports for a review without GPX but just wanted to drop it in the comments here and maybe I’ll come back and do it again [with a charged watch of course :) ]

happy hiking!