Greetings trekkers.
Rug up and put your thermals and beanies on. Below are some upcoming scheduled walks to add to your calendar.

  • Sunday, June 23rd – Choice of 2 walks: One challenging and one less so

    This coming Sunday, June 23rd there are two walks to choose from.

    1. Larapinta Trail Section 10 – Between the Stunning Ormiston Gorge to the Finke River (where the Larapinta Trail gets its name from) and then on a spur trail to the Glen Helen resort for refreshments.
    To register, please call Liz on: 0425772612 or Jill on: 0437223203

    2. Challenging and off-track walk in the Owen Springs Reserve
    To register, please call Ken on: 0430526925

  • July 5-7 Long Weekend
    Nannette is leading some walks around Watarrka/Kings Canyon over the Alice Springs Show long weekend – Friday, July 5th to Sunday, July 7th.

Kings Canyon Rim Walk and the Giles Track.

  1. Friday (Public Holiday)
    Drive there and in the afternoon walk the Kings Canyon Rim Walk (6km)
    Overnight at Kings Canyon Campground or budget accommodation (or 5* accommodation if so desired..)
  2. Saturday and Sunday
    Overnight pack walk along the Giles Track to Kathleen Springs (24.6km), drive back to Alice Springs.

 Please contact Nannette Helder before 6pm on Wednesday July 3rd.
0409 377 545

Happy hiking!

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Somewhere in the Barkly after Trevor and Veronica

The Easter Long Weekend, Friday, April 19th to Monday, April 22nd, saw us heading up north after some information that over 100 mm of the good stuff that missed Alice Springs fell in the Barkly, thanks to Tropical Cyclones Trevor and Veronica that passed across the Top End.

A 4-day extended walk over 50 Km was planned at very short notice and through unknown terrain, but with the knowledge that there will probably be water (and if there wasn’t any water, the millions of flies eaten would’ve had enough moisture in them to keep us hydrated, I reckon).

The terrain was rocky, fairly flat, with low rounded ridges and no cliffy bits. The ground cover was spinifex, which was ok to walk through, but also small acacia species (Acacia bivenosa, Acacia monticola) with intertwined branches that made walking through difficult. Each step was resisted and together with a heavy pack made progress very slow. The hills are low, but the land is fairly flat in between and the view from the top of the hills is good and expansive.

Most of the waterways we walked across were dry, but about every 10 Km or so, there was a substantial expanse of water.

The first waterhole we came across was a metre cross, with vegetation debris. The water was good after filtering through a handkerchief. We were running low at that point, so we picked up a few litres, not realizing that within a couple of Km, we would blunder past a huge expanse of water. Anyway, that first little waterhole was welcome and the water was good and potable without needing treatment.

The flies were brutal, but no more or less so than over the summer. One can get used to them and they become much less bothersome then. But from the time you leave the tent, until the time you get back in, 12-15 hours later a cloud of them will buzz around your face without any let up.

Not many photos were taken, but I include a few:

Davenport ranges April 2019

First big waterhole

Clear flowing water

Clear and briskly flowing, with a great campsite next to it.

Another deep rock hole

Another big, deep rock hole

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Minor changes to schedule

Please see Current Schedule updated 26th March under Bushwalks and Activities for details.

Enjoy walking!


Bond Gap waterhole, 26th Jan 2019

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Greeting trekkers.

The walking schedule to the end of April has just been released.
Please check out the “BUSHWALKS & ACTIVITIES PROGRAM” to see and download the latest walks program.

Happy hiking!

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After the fires but still worth a visit

The Tyuretye/West MacDonnell National Park was extensively burnt in the last couple of months.
Lightning strikes and a record dry, hot spell made for an incendiary combination. Much of the Larapinta Trail has been damaged. The beauty of place still remains, though.

Hugh gorge after the fire.jpg

Southern entrance to Hugh gorge; Larapinta Trail section 5


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Hugh gorge along section 5 of the Larapinta Trail

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19-Km marker – Larapinta Trail section 6

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Fallen river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) across the track, Hugh gorge

Working bees over the next few weeks will work on clearing fallen debris and replacing burnt out signage. Luckily most of the debris is small trees, like mulga and other acacias, which were easy to lift off the trail.

There is much beauty, still, to appreciate, despite the destruction.

The fires seem to be patchy with many areas spared. The gullies, in particular, seem to have taken the brunt of the fires.
In the photo below, we are having lunch at Ghost Gum Flat, along section 6 of the Larapinta Trail.

We were sitting beneath a magnificent Fork-leafed Corkwood (Hakea divaricata, in latin and untyeye in Western Arrernte).
The fire has partly burnt some of the adjacent ghost gums (Corymbia aparrerinja, in latin and Ilwempe in Arrernte) but spared the corkwood, leaving a nice shady spot to relax under.

Workers rest - Ghost Gum Flat.jpg

Lunch under the Corkwood ; Ghost Gum Flat, Larapinta trail section 6

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Burnt track adjacent to untouched track – Larapinta Trail section 6

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Unburnt track – Larapinta Trail section 6

Inarlanga pass

Inarlanga pass – Cycads (Macrozamia macdonnellii, or (a)tywekekwerle) untouched by fire.

It was sad to see grand old trees – entire ecosystems – burnt and fallen and cliffs and hill-sides blackened and singed, but over millenia they must’ve burnt multiple times (maybe less intensely before buffel). They will survive and re-generate.

Burnt markers.jpg

Burnt markers


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, life goes on

Cycads regrowing.jpg

Cycads re-emerging

Cooling off at Jay Creek fish hole.jpg

After a day lopping and sawing logs and branches and drilling in new track markers, it’s good to lie down on a beach next to a waterhole.

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Walk near town

Mt Gillen, Alhekulyele, now signed as a walk with informal trail, easy to access and great views in every direction. Most of the trail is in good conditions but there are a few places with deep erosion gullies, and others with multiple trails walked over the same section of hillside.

South to Ilparpa Range over the sewage ponds

South to Ilparpa Range over the sewage ponds

Rain overnight and over the past 24 hours meant that flowers and ferns were coming to life.

Native orange also in bloom, with bees enjoying the pollen.

Home by midday, looking forward to next week’s walk

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Palm Valley Spring 2018

A small group enjoyed a beautiful day visiting Palm Valley. We completed all the marked tracks namely Arankia and Mpulunkinya Walks along Palm Valley, then Mpaara Walk and Kalarranga Lookout near the campground.


We had the pleasure of assisting a couple of Countrymen who we spotted by a vehicle by the side of the road. One fellow wanted a 2km ride to a broken down car from where he planned to siphon some fuel. The other fellow, Henry, needed a ride to his home at Sandhill Camp near Hermannsburg. Over 80km driving he told us so much: Conrad Ratara TO for Palm Valley is Henry’s Uncle while Henry is TO for Boggey Hole; Papunya team Yarumpi (honeyant in Luritja) won the football, Tjupi is the Arrernte term for honeyant; there are three Arreernte tribes: Western (Hermannsburg), Central (Alice Springs ) and Eastern (Santa Teresa). Hermannsburg is Lutheran, while Santa Teresa is Catholic.  Palm Valley is a good address – you can buy alcohol if that is your address.

Hermannsburg and nearby Palm Valley had three days rain (compared with only one in Alice Springs) so there was a little water along the Valley.

We stopped off at Hermannsburg to buy Apple Strudel on the way home but too late, they close the cafe at 4pm. Hermannsburg Heritage site looks like a great place for an outing.


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