Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

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Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

Postby Andrew » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 8:26 am

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Re: Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

Postby Bubbalouie » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 1:31 pm

Thanks for sharing.

I've been hoping to do the Larapinta trail for a while now, this sounds like a really nice change (potential cost aside).
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Re: Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

Postby ribuck » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 7:54 pm

It's my understanding that this new section is an alternative, and that the old Ellery Creek section will not be closed for 2020. The old and the new sections can be combined to make a very nice loop of 2 or 3 days. So I don't think people need to panic about food drop locations, at least for 2020.

I walked most of the new track in September. It's physically easier than the old track, due to being flatter, but perhaps less interesting. The new campsite at the north end of Ellery Creek Big Hole is so much better than mixing with the vehicles at the south end of Ellery Creek Big Hole. Lovely camping on the sand, although a bit dusty near the shelter.

Also, the new shelter has ten lockable storage cabinets under the sleeping platform. It would be possible to hike or float your food drop in advance, and lock it with your own padlock.
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New shelter at Ellery Creek North
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Re: Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

Postby Andrew » Mon 23 Dec, 2019 7:39 pm

LTTS update to Section 7 changes (on the bottom of the old article) (& pasted below).

https://www.larapintatrailtreksupport.c ... -7-changes

22 Dec 2019 Update
Although yet to be formally announced by NT Parks, we have been able to confirm the following likely changes for Section 7 and Ellery Creek Food Drop. There is no guarantee the info below will not change again, but this is the best we have on hand at the moment.

SECTION 7: This section will now have three hiking options.
The first option is to use the old route as per normal with no change to the track, signage or route. The old route will remain exactly the same and will continue to be serviced and maintained.
However, there is no connecting access from the old Ellery Creek trailhead to the new one. So if you decide to use the old route, you can still use the old food storeroom at Ellery Creek and the facilities there ( i.e. water tanks, toilets, etc) but you won't be able to access the new trailhead from that location.
The second option is to use the new Section 7 route. As previously mentioned in the earlier blog, the new route is beautiful and definitely worth doing. There will be a junction point at Section 7 indicating access and options to the old and new routes. The new route peels off to the north-east through a gorge.
The third option is to walk the new and old parts of Section 7 and 6 as an overnight loop walk. The start point would be at Ellery Creek. Hikers can walk the loop in either direction and loop back to the start point. The new trailhead would be the halfway point or overnight point.

ELLERY CREEK FOOD DROP
The old food drop storeroom will still be available for those people walking the old Section 7 route and the old connecting Section 6 route. No change.
For those hikers who want to do the new Section 7 route, a food drop storage facility is being considered for Serpentine Gorge Trailhead. This facility is likely to be located at the Serpentine Gorge car park area and is likely to be some sort of temporary facility, like a sea container, until something more permanent is made. At this stage, it is only in a planning stage and nothing has been confirmed yet. NT Parks has indicated it may be ready by April 2020.

If NT Parks does not construct a food drop facility at Serpentine Gorge for hikers accessing the new Section 7 route, LTTS will not be able to offer food drops to Serp Gorge as part of any trek package because there won't be anywhere suitable to securely leave large volumes of containers. For all trek packages, we can still offer food drops to the old storeroom at Ellery Creek though.

TRANSFERS TO ELLERY CREEK: You can still get a transfer to Ellery Creek to start your trek but you will only be able to access the old routes and old trailhead from that location.

SECTION 6 CHANGES: There are only minor changes to Section 6 which are basically at the western end of the section. There will be a track junction point indicating the new and old route.
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Re: Larapinta - Ellery Creek Food Drop & Track Changes

Postby ribuck » Tue 24 Dec, 2019 2:25 pm

Andrew wrote:...You can still get a transfer to Ellery Creek to start your trek but you will only be able to access the old routes and old trailhead from that location

Not really true. It took me 2 hrs 42 minutes to walk between the transport drop-off point at Ellery Creek Big Hole (South) and the new campsite and shelter at Ellery Creek North, and that was at a gentle pace. Distance is 8km and climb is less than 120m. Fit walkers could continue along the new track (on the north of the Heavitree Range) to Serpentine Gorge on the same day if they wanted to.

GPS:
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/h ... d-42173781
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