Larapinta Trail Transfers

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Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby tomorrowssunday » Mon 28 Mar, 2016 5:53 pm

Hi,

I'm setting out to do the Larapinta Trail in May and have begun getting quotes for transfers to the trail head. I'm planning to start at Simpsons Gap and end at Ellery Creek.

I'm doing the trail solo which I understand makes transfers more expensive - but the quotes I am getting are costing me more than the flights (i.e. $500 and up), which is a little above my budget. Simpsons Gap is only 25km out of Alice, so it surprises me that it costs upwards $180 for a lift out there!

I'm wondering if anyone has any bright ideas on how to get to the specific trail heads for a reasonable price (I'd be willing to pay up to $300 for both drop off and pick up)? I'm aware hitchhiking is an option - but just how reliable is it?

Any info or ideas would be greatly appreciated. OR, if anyone lives in Alice and wants to make some cash - please let me know).

Thank in advance.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby Eremophila » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 6:48 am

Might be worth trying some of the private hire car companies... In addition to taxis, in Alice there are a number of private hire companies which offer taxi service, the difference being that you must pre-book by phone and can't just flag them down on the street.
Try Centre Private Hire Cars as a starting point. Also if you google Alice Springs Private Hire Cars, some of the results will provide mobile numbers for individual owner/operators. I used to have all their business cards when I lived there!
You could certainly hitchhike from Flynns Grave, but this requires your schedule to be pretty flexible - you don't know how long it's going to take to get a lift.
The YHA might be willing to put a notice up for you on their notice board.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby DanShell » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 9:26 am

Leave a note on the Big 4 McDonnell Range caravan parks notice board that your willing to pay $100 cash for a lift to Simpson gap, someone will run you out there. You never know you may even get a nice old couple happy to do it for free :) Id even go as far as ringing the cp and putting it too them as someone will do it.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby north-north-west » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 5:16 pm

If you can't scare up a ride by advertising at the CPs, hitching is definitely worthwhile. Easier to get back than 0out, but you'll still find that people will generally stop for you once you're out of the city.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby tomorrowssunday » Tue 29 Mar, 2016 6:45 pm

Thanks all for the responses - much appreciated. I'll have a look into both the private hire cars and look at getting a notice put up at the caravan parks.
I'm also toying with the idea of adding Section One to my trip, meaning I won't need the trip out to Simpsons Gap.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby cyberphi » Fri 01 Apr, 2016 9:41 pm

Hey,
I'm also planning a solo Larapinta trip but in July, and thinking of walking Ellery to Alice, in part to only have to deal with the evil scalping transfer operators and their silly-money prices once. I've emailed around a bunch of providers and, like you, I'm getting absurd quotes for transfers.

So I like the CP notice board idea, although that relies on getting a note up in advance - any thoughts on how to get that done?

What I'm looking into in the meantime, though, is tour companies like Emu Run/Greyhound that do one-day tours along the West Mac ranges stopping at Ellery - I don't know if they'd be OK with me bringing a big backpack along, and it's a hassle to have to faff about on a tour along the way, but they cost about $120. Much more reasonable.

Do keep me posted, though, on anything useful you find out/think of. I'm definitely not going to be paying the $380 or 600 that two transfer companies so far have quoted me. So frustrating that they make it so hard...!
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby Eremophila » Sat 02 Apr, 2016 9:50 am

cyberphi wrote:So I like the CP notice board idea, although that relies on getting a note up in advance - any thoughts on how to get that done?


I'd simply phone them and ask, and have a notice pre-prepared that you can email to them if they agree. I'd also add an "expiry date" to the notice, eg "please remove this notice after......(date)". Or ask them if they want you to contact them when it's due to be taken down.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby neaira » Sat 02 Apr, 2016 9:02 pm

If you're a facebook user, you could try posting to the Alice Springs Buy, Swap, Sell group to see if you can arrange a lift with one of the enterprising locals there. Lone Dingo (outdoor shop) might be worth a call too.

What dates are you looking at in May?
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby tomorrowssunday » Tue 05 Apr, 2016 9:23 am

I'll be departing May 7 for Ellery Creek. I've decided to just walk back to Alice so I don't have to deal with a second transfer.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby fatboyboy » Tue 05 Apr, 2016 3:57 pm

I dont know if this makes sense because I am not too sure about where Ellery is. I have only just started researching the area. I want to walk the Larapinta trail in June and I found that the end of the trail is only about 5km from Glen Helen Resort. When I checked out the Glen Helen Resort website they said that their staff go on regular weekend trips to Alice Springs. I was thinking that when I get to the end I would just hang around the resort and offer a petrol share until the staff or a guest who are going that way give me a lift. From experience in the SE corner of OZ you can usually get a lift when you are in the countryside but it is not guaranteed. I think the longest I have walked without a lift is 30km and I was on a fairly remote road close to many hiking areas so most of the people who went past me were also there for hiking/4W driving! I have found it easy to get lifts by offering cash to people at petrol stations. It is much easier to get a lift round here when people get a chance to see you first and talk to you- in these kind of cases a lift is very likely.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby Eremophila » Tue 05 Apr, 2016 7:45 pm

The end of the trail is quite a bit more than 5km from Glen Helen!

Your best bet is to buy the package of maps from Parks NT.

Note that Glen Helen hosts a folk music festival on the June long weekend, might be every 2nd year. The place pretty much fills up.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby north-north-west » Wed 06 Apr, 2016 8:01 am

fatboyboy wrote:When I checked out the Glen Helen Resort website they said that their staff go on regular weekend trips to Alice Springs. I was thinking that when I get to the end I would just hang around the resort and offer a petrol share until the staff or a guest who are going that way give me a lift.

When I did the Larapinta I walked back from Redbank to Glen Helen. It took less than 10 minutes to get a ride from there, and all I did was stand by the road with my thumb out. People in the Centre are usually pretty good about that sort of thing.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby fatboyboy » Wed 06 Apr, 2016 6:53 pm

How far is the end from the Glen Helen Resort?
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby north-north-west » Wed 06 Apr, 2016 7:55 pm

Ummmm, good question . . . around 25km from Redbank, I'd say. I descended Rwetyepme, topped up the water at Redbank, climbed a couple of lumps just off the track, collected more water at Rocky Bar Ck, and set up a pretty early camp on Rocky Bar Lookout. The next day I was at the highway before midday. So, starting from Redbank it's an easy day to the track junction, with a good campsite between there and the highway. This is the section of track in question:
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby fatboyboy » Thu 07 Apr, 2016 6:34 pm

Thanks for that- 25km still makes my plan workable. I was just looking at this problem on google maps. From your experience of the area is it possible to crash off the side of Mt Sonder to the South until you hit highway 2 and then walk along the highway to Glen Helen Resort? Good to know that it is easy to hitch around that way.  
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby north-north-west » Thu 07 Apr, 2016 7:32 pm

I wouldn't. The MacDonnells tend to steep cliffy bits, particularly on the southern sides of some sections, and Rwetyepme is one such. You'd be doing a lot of very difficult pack hauling and scrambling - or falling. Just look at the image on GoogleEarth and at the maps.
Note that camping on Sonder/Rwetyepme is verboten. Even if the descent on the southern flanks were easier it would still be quicker and safer to do the summit leg as a return trip from Redbank. You can always save a little time and distance by breaking camp early and leaving your pack at the track junction before doing the summit trip and then heading off on the return leg to Glen Helen. Or, if you get to Redbank early enough, doing the summit trip in the afternoon/evening.
Depends where you camp the night before - there are plenty of potential unofficial campsites. The big thing about the official sites is that they have water, but careful management of collection and carrying means you can pitch pretty well anywhere (within reason).
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby fatboyboy » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 6:28 pm

I didn't know that about the camping. That is good to know- is it for safety reasons or aboriginal cultural reasons? I don't have any maps or guidebooks yet. From what you have said I am beginning to think that for going off-track, apart from a lack of water, one of the big dangers of hiking in this area is getting ledged in by cliffs during descents and then having to work your way back to more open areas and trying again.  
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby north-north-west » Fri 08 Apr, 2016 7:54 pm

fatboyboy wrote:I didn't know that about the camping. That is good to know- is it for safety reasons or aboriginal cultural reasons? I don't have any maps or guidebooks yet. From what you have said I am beginning to think that for going off-track, apart from a lack of water, one of the big dangers of hiking in this area is getting ledged in by cliffs during descents and then having to work your way back to more open areas and trying again.  

Mainly cultural reasons - which is also why the true summit of Rwetyepme is out-of-bounds - although the environmental impact of campers up there may also have been a factor.
There is a lot of very good off-track walking in the MacDonnells. You just have to be particularly aware of the potential for drop-offs getting in the way.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby Ivymantled » Thu 01 Feb, 2018 1:21 pm

Hi,

Late to the party - how did you end up transferring?

I'm looking for an economical way to transfer to Redbank Gorge in May this year.



tomorrowssunday wrote:Hi,

I'm setting out to do the Larapinta Trail in May and have begun getting quotes for transfers to the trail head. I'm planning to start at Simpsons Gap and end at Ellery Creek.

I'm doing the trail solo which I understand makes transfers more expensive - but the quotes I am getting are costing me more than the flights (i.e. $500 and up), which is a little above my budget. Simpsons Gap is only 25km out of Alice, so it surprises me that it costs upwards $180 for a lift out there!

I'm wondering if anyone has any bright ideas on how to get to the specific trail heads for a reasonable price (I'd be willing to pay up to $300 for both drop off and pick up)? I'm aware hitchhiking is an option - but just how reliable is it?

Any info or ideas would be greatly appreciated. OR, if anyone lives in Alice and wants to make some cash - please let me know).

Thank in advance.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby Suz » Sat 26 May, 2018 11:17 pm

Just an FYI for people who are looking at Larapinta Transfers...

Another option that is not well known is to call Glenn Torney at Ten Bods (a local tour operator and hire car company). Catch him on 0497 647 898.

You'll get cheap and cheerful service on transfers although you'll need to sort some of the logistics yourself - like getting a key from the visitor centre for the food drop storage and also providing your own food drop containers.

If you are also doing other things while in the area, he offers trips to Uluru and Kings Canyon, among other places.

I can promise fun times with a memorable character!
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby safari » Tue 03 Jul, 2018 1:16 pm

Just came off the trail on Saturday, had a blast West to East over 7.5 days...gorgeous scenery.

To get to Redbank Gorge I took the much appreciated suggestion of a poster in this thread and advertised for a ride in the Alice Springs Buy Sell Swap Facebook group. I received 3 keen replies in 5 minutes and promptly pulled the ad. I settled on the first bloke who answered who offered to scoop me up from the airport, purchase a gas canister beforehand and take me to Redbank in one hit for $150.

So I basically flew from Launceston to Melbourne to Alice, got my pick up and started off up Mt Sonder from Redbank at 3:15pm all in one day (2 hours to the top, back to my tent by 7pm by headlamp) saving a heap of hassle and money. I gave him $200 cash in the end as he was great company and an honest genuine bloke.

I carried all my food (8 days worth supplementing with meals at the kiosks at Ormiston & Standley) avoiding the evil scalping LTTS.

Just a heads up showing it can be done without the 'tour companies'. Next cheapest option would be to hitch I guess but that's what I did so thanks to all who have posted in this thread and helped me out. :)
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 03 Jul, 2018 3:53 pm

7.5 days!
You must have pulled some serious miles.
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Re: Larapinta Trail Transfers

Postby safari » Tue 03 Jul, 2018 4:04 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:7.5 days!
You must have pulled some serious miles.


Yeah but I had a blast out there, I forgot how stunning the center of Aussie is. The scenery got me pumped I spose, plus I had the incentive to eat my way to a lighter pack... :D
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