Updated: Mar 6
From 1 July 2021 anyone walking the Larapinta Trail overnight will now need to pay a walking fee AND campsite fee.
NT Parks ( Parks and Wildlife Commission NT) announced today that hiking and camping fees will be introduced as of 1 July 2021 for all NT operated and managed national parks, which includes the Larapinta Trail in the Toritja/West MacDonnell National Park
So what are the fees?
There will be two new fees. The Walking Trail Fee and Campsite Fee
Walking Trail Fee ( Trail Fee)
The Walking Trail Fee is $25 per night (per person), up to a maximum of $125 for 5+ nights. So if your trek is for more than 5 nights such as the E2E (end to end), Trek 10 or Half6, you will pay a maximum of $125 per person. This does not include the campsite fees.
Here is a breakdown of the trail fees for 1 person:
• 1 day trek, no overnight: Free
• 2 day trek / 1 night: Trail Fee: $25
• 3 day / 2 night: Trail Fee: $50
• 4 day / 3 nights: Trail Fee: $75
• 5 day / 4 nights: Trail fee: $100
• 6 days/5 nights or more: Max fee is $125
The Camping Fee for Category B campsites (which is managed by NT Parks) is $4.00 per adult per night and $2.00 per child per night. This will increase in 2022 and 2023.
The campsites on the Larapinta Trail include all official NT campsites on the Larapinta Trail but you can expect to pay your fee based on how many nights you are out on the trail and not necessarily where you may camp in between.
Campsites include but are not limited to the following sites:
• Wallaby Gap
• Mulga Flat
• Simpsons Gap
• Jay Creek
• Millers Flat
• Stuart's Pass
• Brinkley Bluff
• Section 4/5 Junction
• Razorback Ridge
• Fringe Lily
• Hugh Gorge Junction
• Ghost Gum Flat
• Rocky Gully
• Ellery Creek North
• Counts Point
• Serpentine Gorge
• Serpentine Chalet Dam
• Mt Giles Lookout
• Hermits Hideaway
• Finke River
• Hilltop Lookout ( S11)
• Rocky Bar Gap
You will still need to pay for using Category D campsites (managed by commercial licenced caretakers/operators) such as:
• Ellery Creek South
• Ormiston Gorge
• Redbank Gorge (Vehicle based campsites)
Standley Chasm, a main food drop point, is a private enterprise and their fees remain the same. They charge an entry fee, camping fee and food drop fee.
Give me an example of the trail and camping fees so I can make sense of this all.
So if you’re hiking the Larapinta Trail end to end over 14 days and 13 nights, this is what you can expect to approximately pay:
• $125 per person ( adult) 14 days
• $44 camp fees per person (adult) ( 11 nights)
• Plus, the camping fees for Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek South and/or Standley Chasm (2 nights)
Total: Between: $170-$200 per person.
How will the fee payment and booking system work?
NT Parks will develop an online booking system which hikers will be able to use to book their walking permit and the campsite fees. The online booking system is yet to be activated but it will be ready to go by 1 July 2021.
When you book online, you will need to print the receipt/permit with the unique reference code and bring it with you on your walk from 1 July 2021 onwards. You will need to present this to any NT Park Ranger on request. Rangers will be regularly visiting campsites to check for permits.
LTTS and other transfer providers may also be required to check your permits if directed by NT Parks, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Standby by for more info about the online booking system. We'll post updates as soon as we know more.
Will there be a limit or restrictions on the number of hikers who can walk the Larapinta Trail from 1 July 2021?
Yes. The booking system will limit the amount of permits that will be issued. This means from 1 July 2021 onwards some campsites will be booked out and it is quite possible some start dates will also be booked out.
Is there a chance I could miss out if the trail or campsites are booked out?
It depend when you booked your transfers or trek packages.
For example, if you have already booked with LTTS for 2021 ( or still hold an active on-hold booking from 2020) it is highly unlikely hiker limit restrictions enforced by the booking system from 1 July 2021 will affect you.
If you are making a booking after 1 July 2021 you will be limited by the restrictions set by the booking system.
Why is NT Parks introducing this fee for the Larapinta Trail?
This is part of an NT wide implementation of park fees, not just Larapinta Trail. It's the first of its kind in the NT, because before all park fees, other than nominal campsite fees, were free.
In regards to the Larapinta Trail, anyone who has walked the Larapinta Trail will tell you how amazing the facilities are. The shelters are amazing, the toilets are great and the tanks are always full of water. None of this is free or easy to establish, maintain and operate, it all costs time and money. Since 2003 when the trail opened it has been free to walk, with the exception of some nominal camping fees for Ellery Creek and Ormiston. Fees to walk the trail are probably long overdue.
Like elsewhere around Australia, paying a fee to walk a world class trail is really a no brainer. The fees are put back into trail maintenance, new facilities, conservation, improving access and roads and everything else from new water tanks, to toilet paper supply on the trail to USB solar chargers and everything in between!
By far a majority of hikers support trail fees if those fees go back to maintaining the trail and the national park, which we have been assured it will.
Where can I read more about this or call someone in NT Parks?
Read the official info here?
Need to chat to NT Parks about your Larapinta Trail walk?