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

4 h to 5 h 30 min

12 km
oneway segment

↑ 227 m
↓ -169 m

Hard track
Starting from the Ellery Creek North trailhead shelter, Namatjira, this walk takes you to the Serpentine Gorge Car Park via the new northern alignment of the Larapinta Trail: Section 7. This is the newer seventh section of the 223km long Larapinta Trail. Compared to the old route, this new track is much more defined and easy-going, letting you focus on your surroundings. Lift your head up every once in a while to get panoramic views of the vast Alice Valley combined with the West Macdonnell Ranges. You’ll pass through the Heavitree Range on your way to Serpentine Gorge, merging with the old route at West Junction. Speaking of, Serpentine Gorge (known as Ulpma in Western Arrernte language) is a great place to take a break and embrace the scenery, keeping an eye out for the wide variety of animals coming here for water. The new shelter at Ellery Creek North features elevated tent pads, a toilet and a water tank. Although keep in mind that there is no vehicle access to this trailhead. Also, you might need to change up your food dropping plan and resupply at Serpentine Gorge as Ellery Creek South Day Use Area will require a considerable off-track detour. 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
Segment This is part of longer journey and can not be completed on it is own.
Full Journey Larapinta Trail
Start (-23.7722999,133.0732642)
DirectionsFrom Telegraph Terrace, 87, Alice Springs.
  • 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 32.7 km
  • Turn right and drive for another 4.4 km
  • Keep left and drive for another 12.4 km
  • Keep left and drive for another 1.4 km
Finish (-23.7594664,132.9793467)
Mode (end) Car  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the trailhead shelter at Ellery Creek North (just north of Ellery Creek Big Hole), head south towards the Big Hole along the creek, then veer right as you follow the track marked with blue arrows. Stay on the said track as you start heading west, keeping the Macdonnells to your left. Keep your general direction as you continue along Larapinta Trail, S7: Ellery Creek North to Serpentine Gorge. NOTE: If you're coming from the east and took the old southern alignment, use the instructions below. 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.
Find the Ellery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7) at the start.
After 7.6 km cross the ford.
After another 670 m cross the ford.
After another 120 m cross the ford.
After another 115 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an alternate access track. An alternate access point from/to Ellery Creek Big Hole Campsite & Day Use Area (old Section 7 trailhead). If you're coming from the west and want to use the old southern alignment, take this route. Details below.
After another 20 m turn right, 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 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.

An alternate access point from/to Ellery Creek Big Hole Campsite & Day Use Area (old Section 7 trailhead). If you're coming from the west and want to use the old southern alignment, take this route.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After 420 m cross the ford.
After another 1.4 km cross the ford.
After another 1.9 km come to the camp site (on your right).
Then pass the "Trig Point".
After another 3 km come to the camp site (5 m on your right).
After another 1.8 km continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 7.
After another 6 m pass the "Dolomite Walk".
After another 800 m cross the ford.
After another 160 m pass the toilet (15 m on your right).
After another 8 m come to "Larapinta Trail Information".
About 35 m past the end is "Ellery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP".
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.
After another 20 m pass the "Serpentine Gorge" (10 m on your right).
After another 10 m continue straight, to head along Serpentine Gorge Walk.
After another 145 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: Ellery Creek North to Serpentine Gorge


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 12 km
Time 4 h to 5 h 30 min
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 5 on route, on average they are 8.5 km apart with the largest gap of 16.3 km.

Shelter: There are 4 on route, on average they are 6 km apart with the largest gap of 18.1 km.

Toilet: There are 3 on route, on average they are 7.5 km apart with the largest gap of 18.1 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
0 mEllery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7)
Camp site
8.6 km[camp site]
Camp site
8.6 km[camp site]
Toilet
8.6 km[toilet]
Shelter
8.6 kmLarapinta Trail Information
Camp site
8.6 kmEllery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP
Shelter
11.2 km[shelter]
Camp site
11.2 kmSerpentine Gorge camp site
Toilet
11.3 km[toilet]
Camp site
11.9 kmLarapinta Trail Camping
Shelter
12 kmLarapinta Trail Information
Toilet
12 km[toilet]
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