Written by Dale Krol, National Sales Manager of Mining & GPC Commercial

I just finished the Starlight CEO Larapinta Trek, with 100km/150,000 steps of rough, rocky and beautiful terrain covered with a great group of people.

Day 1, We made our own way to Alice Springs where the adventure of a lifetime began! Upon arrival in Alice Springs, we gather together to attend a traditional ‘Welcome to the Country’ ceremony and also sat through a briefing from our guides.

Day 2, We said goodbye to the city and hello to the wilderness! The majestic West MacDonnell Ranges are rich in natural wonders and traditional culture; they’re considered to be the best in Australia. Our first walk begins on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Here, we witness some vast and beautiful stretches of Australian land. The view is particularly inspiring at Euro Ridge. On our walk, we immerse ourselves in the wonder of the region and get a taste of what’s coming in the next four days.

Day 3, We transfer to the western section of the Larapinta Trail. Today’s trek is more challenging; however, we are rewarded with spectacular views of the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mount Zeil, the highest point in the Northern Territory.

Day 4, We traverse the low-lying regions surrounding Ormiston Gorge, gradually winding upwards through rolling limestone hills towards the back reaches of the Finke River—one of the world’s oldest river systems. As we trek, we catch a glimpse of Mount Sonder (‘Rwetyepme’, The Pregnant Lady) in the distance.

Day 5, This morning we rise early at 1.30am and transfer from our campsite to Redbank Gorge at the base of Mount Sonder (1,380m). The climb to the summit is arduous along a rocky and loose path that occasionally disappears into brush. However, once again, our efforts are rewarded with incredible 360° views of the ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes below. Here, we will take time to catch our breath and bask in the grandeur of the desert landscape.

Day 6, Today we transfer to Ormiston Gorge to trek the Ormiston Pound circuit. Punctuating the West MacDonnell Ranges, this circuit is regarded as one of the best small walks of the Larapinta Trail and offers sensational views of the Chewing’s Range and Mount Giles. Setting off, the trail winds around low peaks before descending into the ‘pound’, a flat area enclosed by a ring of mountains.

I got to experience the large array of scenery and colour and also the contrasting/confronting impact of how outback bushfires affect our native flora and fauna. I have a new appreciation for the power of story and the indigenous connection with land and I look forward to reconnecting with this in the future. I was also overwhelmed with the willingness of our Guides and group to share some insightful personal reflections. It was such a great honour to be walking with a diverse and wonderful group of friends who all hold the Starlight Foundations values in their heart. Thank you to everyone for the support and donations which made the event possible.