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There are 41 campsites along the Larapinta Trail, 34 of which are designated official campsites. There are no restrictions on where hikers can camp along the trail, however water and access will be the two main factors influencing your decision where to camp. Tent pads vary from soft sandy creek beds to hard ground. See variations below.
Key Points
No Fires Strictly No Campfires or Open Fires at any campsite
Point There is no booking system for campsites. First in best dress system
Point Some campsites have camping fees
Point Fees can be paid in 'cash only' at the campground
Point Park Rangers check camping fee receipts
Point Strictly no fires at any campsites. On the spot fines apply for illegal fires
Point Avoid clearing areas for campsites
Point All trailhead campsites have water tanks
Point Some trailheads have large shelters
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Most common tent pad variations along the Larapinta Trail
Rocky or Shaley Hard Ground
Very common along the high ground areas of the trail. Ground is solid and consists of compacted loose shale or rock or both. Ground can get very cold during winter. Some rock obtrusions can make the ground a little bumpy to sleep on.
Gravely Hard Ground
Gravely sand with very few rocks or shale makes this one of the more comfortable tent pad variations. Ground is still solid and hard, but nice and clear of obtrusions. Not too common though. Often found at the base of scree slopes and mountains.
Sandy (Creek or River bed) Soft ground
By far the most comfortable tent pad variation along the Larapinta Trail. There are only a few official campsites located on river or creek beds, but the trail traverses over a number of dry watercourses, offering scenic and comfortable campsite options.
Hard Earth and Dusty
This is the most common tent pad variation along the Larapinta Trail. Hard ground, often solid earth, with a thin layer of soft sand or dust, but mostly clear of any rocks or shale. Windy days swirl the dust around freely and annoyingly.
Park 'Furniture' Table
Park 'furniture' is not a common feature along the trail, but can be found at all the main trailheads and at some remote locations such as Ghost Gum Flat. An average 2 person tent can fit on these tables, but are mostly used for sitting on and general table use.
New Trailhead Shelter Tent Pads
The new trailheads offer excellent facilities, namely large flat sheltered areas to sleep on. Some hikers put their tents on these pads but most just use their mattress and sleeping bags. Three hikers can sleep comfortably on one pad. Two pads per shelter.
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