Larapinta Trail, S6: Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek North
Arrernte Country

10 h 30 min to 2 days

28.1 km
oneway segment

↑ 406 m
↓ -475 m

Hard track
Starting from the designated campground along Hugh Gorge, Burt Plain, this walk takes you to Ellery Creek North, exploring the vast Alice Valley along the way. This is the newer sixth section of the 223km long Larapinta Trail, starting/finishing at the Ellery Creek North trailhead shelter. This new part of Larapinta differs from the old section only in the last ten percent of the route, meaning you’ll get to see most of the features and highlights on the older route. The relatively undulating nature of this section is a welcome change after a jagged and rough hike, but its length still makes this part somewhat demanding. Rocky Gully and Ghost Gum Flat campsites both offer you a peaceful night in the desert, but remember that only the Rocky Gully has water tanks. You’re in luck if you’re into birdwatching as this part of the Larapinta lets you spot some interesting bird species such as the Spinifex Pigeon. Finally, the new trailhead shelter is relatively secluded and features elevated tent pads, a water tank and a toilet. Keep in mind that you will need a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get to the Hugh Gorge trailhead, and the Ellery Creek North trailhead is inaccessible by a vehicle. 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 (-23.7025859,133.2593399)
Mode Car (Keep in mind that you will need a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get to the Hugh Gorge trailhead.)
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 9.4 km
  • Keep right onto Larapinta Trail Access and drive for another 22.8 km
Finish (-23.7722999,133.0732642)
Mode (end)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Hugh Gorge Campground, Burt Plain, head southwest along the dirt track, moving directly away from the creek bed/gorge. Stay on the designated track and cross two creek beds to continue along Larapinta Trail, S6: Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek North.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Hugh Gorge Larapinta Trail Camp Site (about 4 m back from the start).
After 25 m pass the water tap (on your right).
After another 125 m pass the "Hugh Gorge Campsite" (20 m on your left).
After another 4.1 km come to the "Hugh View" (on your left).
After another 2.7 km pass a seat (6 m on your left).
Then come to the "Ghost Gum Flat" (on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This side trip takes you to Rocky Gully Campsite (and the group campsite further away), which is located on the bed of a usually dry stream. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 8 km (at the intersection of Larapinta Trail Section 6 & Larapinta Trail) turn right, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 6.
After another 2.4 km cross the ford.
After another 610 m cross the ford.
After another 230 m cross the ford.
After another 3.3 km cross the ford.
After another 1.4 km 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 east and want to use the old southern alignment, take this route. Details below.
After another 2 km turn sharp right.
After another 2.2 km continue straight.
After another 1.1 km turn right.
After another 140 m come to "Ellery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7)".
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 east and want to use the old southern alignment, take this route.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Larapinta Trail Section 6.
After 4.5 km cross the ford.
After another 30 m turn right.
After another 50 m come to the "Ellery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP" (50 m on your left).
Turn left.
After another 15 m come to "Larapinta Trail Information".
About 30 m past the end is a toilet.
The end.

This side trip takes you to Rocky Gully Campsite (and the group campsite further away), which is located on the bed of a usually dry stream.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Larapinta Trail Section 6 & Larapinta Trail Start heading along Larapinta Trail (a walking track).
After 280 m pass the toilet (8 m on your right).
Then come to the "Rocky Gully camp site" (15 m on your left).
After another 15 m pass the water tap (on your right).
After another 360 m come to "Rocky Gully group camp site".
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 660 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Larapinta Trail, S6: Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek North


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 28.1 km
Time 10 h 30 min 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 Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
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 4 on route, on average they are 7.8 km apart with the largest gap of 15.1 km.

Shelter: There are 4 on route, on average they are 7.5 km apart with the largest gap of 29.2 km.

Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 12.6 km apart with the largest gap of 15.2 km.

Seat: There is one 6.9 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
-4 mHugh Gorge Larapinta Trail Camp Site
Shelter
150 mHugh Gorge Campsite
Camp site
6.9 kmGhost Gum Flat
Toilet
14.9 km[toilet]
Camp site
14.9 kmRocky Gully camp site
Camp site
14.9 kmRocky Gully group camp site
Camp site
24.8 kmEllery Creek Big Hole - West MacDonnell NP
Shelter
24.8 kmLarapinta Trail Information
Toilet
24.8 km[toilet]
Shelter
28.1 kmEllery Creek North - Larapinta Trailhead Shelter (6/7)
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