Larapinta Trail, S7 Old: Ellery Creek South to Serpentine Gorge
Arrernte Country

6 h to 2 days

13 km
oneway

↑ 332 m
↓ -267 m

Hard track
Starting from the Ellery Creek South Day Use Area, Namatjira, this walk takes you to the Serpentine Gorge Car Park via the old southern alignment of the Larapinta Trail: Section 7. This is the former seventh section of the 223km long Larapinta Trail, starting/finishing at the Ellery Creek South Day Use Area. A relatively shorter and less demanding part of Larapinta, this track optionally takes you to the Serpentine Gorge itself along with great views of the West Macdonnell Range midway. The said gorge is sacred to the Western Arrernte people who call the place Ulpma. As it’s a less known location compared to the popular gorges in the area, you may have a more secluded and tranquilizing experience as you rest and take in the scenery. Although you can’t swim at the waterhole here, the Big Hole along Ellery Creek is quite close to the other trailhead. That permanent waterhole can be the perfect start/finish to the hike. Besides the waterholes, this track gives you an opportunity to spot the local/migrating birds as well as view interesting land formations. Let us begin by acknowledging the Arrernte people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-23.7798449,133.0726859)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Telegraph Terrace, 87
  • Turn on to 6 then drive for 25 m
  • Continue onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 850 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 880 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 44.3 km
  • Turn right onto Namatjira Drive, 2 and drive for another 41.7 km
  • Turn right and drive for another 1.6 km
  • Keep right and drive for another 75 m
  • Keep left and drive for another 40 m
Finish (-23.7594664,132.9793467)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Larapinta Trail Information Shelter in Ellery Creek South Day Use Area (290 metres south of Ellery Creek Big Hole), head towards the toilets with water tanks next to it along the dirt path, moving away from the wooden tent pad. Pass by the toilets to your left and head along the dirt track as it leads you towards Ellery Creek. Cross the creek (bed) and stay on the designated track as it takes you west to continue along Larapinta Trail, S7 Old: Ellery Creek South to Serpentine Gorge.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Ellery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP (about 35 m back from the start).
Find the Larapinta Trail Information at the start.
After 30 m pass the toilet (15 m on your left).
After another 135 m cross the ford.
After another 800 m pass the "Dolomite Walk".
After another 6 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 4.9 km pass the "Trig Point".
After another 1.9 km cross the ford.
After another 1.4 km cross the ford.
After another 420 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 2.6 km continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 50 m pass the water tap (20 m on your left).
After another 10 m pass the shelter (20 m on your left).
After another 10 m come to the "Serpentine Gorge camp site" (10 m on your left).
After another 20 m pass the toilet (25 m on your left).
After another 140 m pass the sign (on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Serpentine Gorge where there is a secluded waterhole sacred to the Western Arrernte people. Veer right before you come to the gorge to get to the lookout that looks over the waterhole and into the gorge. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 3 m (at the intersection of Serpentine Gorge Walk & Larapinta Trail Section 7) turn left, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7 (a vehicle track).
After another 200 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 295 m come to the "Larapinta Trail Camping" (55 m on your left).
Then pass the "Untreated water" (35 m on your left).
After another 25 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 25 m cross the ford (about 70 m long)
After another 30 m head through/around the gate.
About 10 m past the end is a sign.
About 20 m past the end is "Serpentine Gorge".
About 25 m past the end is "Larapinta Trail Information".
About 40 m past the end is a toilet.
The end.

This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Serpentine Gorge where there is a secluded waterhole sacred to the Western Arrernte people. Veer right before you come to the gorge to get to the lookout that looks over the waterhole and into the gorge.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Serpentine Gorge Walk & Larapinta Trail Section 7 Start heading along Serpentine Gorge Walk (a vehicle track).
After another 320 m continue straight, to head along Serpentine Gorge Walk.
Keep left.
After another 20 m pass the "Serpentine Gorge" (10 m on your right).
After another 155 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 500 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Larapinta Trail, S7 Old: Ellery Creek South to Serpentine Gorge


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 13 km
Time 6 h to 2 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (2/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (2/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 3 on route, on average they are 3.3 km apart with the largest gap of 12.2 km.

Shelter: There are 3 on route, on average they are 3.3 km apart with the largest gap of 12.2 km.

Toilet: There are 3 on route, on average they are 3.3 km apart with the largest gap of 12.2 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
-36 mEllery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP
Shelter
0 mLarapinta Trail Information
Toilet
30 m[toilet]
Shelter
12.2 km[shelter]
Camp site
12.2 kmSerpentine Gorge camp site
Toilet
12.2 km[toilet]
Camp site
12.9 kmLarapinta Trail Camping
Shelter
13 kmLarapinta Trail Information
Toilet
13 km[toilet]
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