New Larapinta section opens in August

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New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby ribuck » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 2:27 am

A new section of the Larapinta is being constructed, to give walkers the option of walking on the north side of the Heavitree Range for Section 7. Here's the source:
https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/201 ... -of-range/

The route presumably returns to the south of the Heavitree Range just east of Serpentine Gorge, where there is a break in the Heavitree Range. This gap seems to be aboriginal land, and having the Larapinta Trail there will open it up as a way for off-track bushwalkers to access some interesting parts of the Chewings Range. It used to be common for bushwalkers to head off-track from Serpentine Gorge to Redbank Gorge (8 or 9 days), but this has not been practical since they started "asking" people not to traverse Serpentine Gorge ("No Swimming"). So this new route will alleviate the problem.

The new section seems to be an alternative to the existing track, which doesn't seem to be slated for closure. Most end-to-end walkers will want to re-supply at Ellery Creek anyway, so will still need to take the current route. A nice new circular walk (1-day or 2-day) will open up though.

New shelters are also being built at Redbank Gorge, Ormiston Gorge, and Ellery Creek (presumably on the north side). Personally I thought the Ellery Creek campsite was the least pleasant of all the ones I used when I walked the Larapinta. I don't mind having vehicles around if there is also a cafe and hot showers, but Ellery Creek campground didn't offer either of those. So a shelter on the north side of the waterhole would be nice to have.

It looks like they're getting on with the job too, with completion expected in August!
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Re: New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 8:44 pm

Having just returned home from walking the Larapinta, I didn’t see any signs of these works.

I found Ellery Creek okay but agree that it would be good to get better separation between car campers and hikers.

At least I’ll now have a reason to go back and try the new section!
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Re: New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby ribuck » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 11:36 pm

At Ellery Creek in May I saw half a dozen kayaks crossing Ellery Creek Big Hole. I assumed at the time that they were kayaking for fun, though it seemed a bit odd. Now I wonder if it was workers crossing the waterhole to build the new shelter.
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Re: New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby ribuck » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 11:47 pm

Here's the official NT Gov announcement:
http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/mediaRelease/ ... paign=news

Five hours ago, the company who won the track construction contract ("Tricky Tracks") posted two photos captioned "Marking out Larapinta Trail":
https://deskgram.net/tricky.tracks
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Re: New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby north-north-west » Sun 16 Jun, 2019 11:44 am

If only they could get the track extended to the original proposed end, at Mt Zeil.
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Re: New Larapinta section opens in August

Postby ribuck » Sun 16 Jun, 2019 10:57 pm

north-north-west wrote:If only they could get the track extended to the original proposed end, at Mt Zeil.

The aboriginal owners are not permitting this. You can't even get a permit to climb Mt Zeil from the south anymore, for this reason. If you want to climb Zeil, you have to go in from the north with permission from the pastoral leaseholder.

They are the land owners, so fair enough. But perhaps the lease payments they receive from the National Park could be scaled according to how much of the National Park is usable by the public.
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