Larapinta Trail Homepage // Trail Snapshot / Trailheads / Facilities / Conditions / Trail Grading System Larapinta Trail Facebook Page
The Larapinta Trail is located in Central Australia, an arid region with extreme climatic conditions of intense heat and freezing conditions. Choosing the right time to walk the trail is vital, not only for your own enjoyment and leisure, but also your health and safety. Winter offers the best and most ideal walking conditions with low-mid 20C temperatures, cool breezes and cold, sometimes freezing nights. Rain does fall in the region throughout the year, sometimes in downpours. Always check the forecasts before walking the trail.
Key Points
Point Best time to walk the Larapinta Trail: May - August
Point Worst time to walk the Larapinta Trail: October - January
Point Ideal time to walk the Larapinta Trail: June-July
Point Temperatures can vary up to 20 degrees C in 24 hours
Point Temperatures can drop below freezing in winter
Point Temperatures can rise to the high forties in summer
Point UV exposure levels are very high to extreme
Point It does rain in Central Australia, sometimes in downpours causing flooding
Source: Bureau of Meteorology external_link
Temperature Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean maximum temperature (°C) 36.4 35.1 32.6 28.2 23.0 19.8 19.7 22.6 27.2 30.9 33.6 35.4 28.7
Mean minimum temperature (°C) 21.5 20.7 17.5 12.6 8.2 5.0 4.0 6.0 10.3 14.8 17.9 20.2 13.2
Rainfall Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean rainfall (mm) 38.6 43.8 32.3 16.3 18.9 13.6 15.4 9.2 8.5 21.4 29.1 36.9 284.3
Coverage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean daily sunshine (hours) 10.3 9.8 9.6 9.5 8.5 8.4 9.1 9.8 10.0 10.0 10.1 10.0 9.6
Mean number of clear days 13.1 12.1 16.6 16.7 15.8 17.0 21.0 22.5 20.6 17.8 13.5 12.9 199.6
Mean number of cloudy days 6.5 6.5 5.3 5.0 7.4 5.6 4.3 3.3 3.0 4.3 5.4 6.9 63.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology, Data Source Link, Source Data Location: Alice Springs Airport (Note: Temperatures may vary once in mountain ranges: See blog)
Always check the BOM website for weather updates and forecastsexternal_link
Winter Considerations
Winter is the best time to walk the Larapinta Trail. There are clear blue skies, low-mid 20C temperatures and cool breezes - ideal walking conditions. Nights are often quite cool. It is not uncommon for frequent 3-5C nights, particularly in the gorges and valleys. Temperatures can drop below freezing (see below) during winter.
Key Points
key point Low-mid 20C temperatures and cool breezes
key point Frequent 3-5C cool nights, particularly in gorges, valleys
key point Temperatures can vary up to 20 degrees C in 24 hours
key point Clear blue skies. High UV and exposure
key point Temperatures can drop below zero degrees C
Summer Considerations
Summer in the Red Centre ( and along the Larapinta Trail) is characterised by intense heat ( mid 40's C), hot winds, low humidity and high UV. On the Larapinta Trail these temperatures are often more intense because the surface temperature is significantly higher due to the heat captured and generated by the rocky mountain ranges.
Key Points
key point Extreme heat ( mid 40's C) during the day, very warm nights
key point Extreme exposure to UV radiation
key point Very low humidity and very dry air/wind
key point Surface temps are often 5-8 degrees C hotter than air temps
key point Rain is most likely dui ring summer months
Freezing Considerations
Freezing temperatures are not uncommon on the Larapinta Trail, particularly in the months of June or July. Temperatures can drop below 0C and has been known to drop down to -7C. Frost can also occur and is not uncommon. See our blog for more information.
Key Points
key point Temperatures can drop to zero and below
key point Frosty nights are common during winter
key point Temperatures have dropped down to -7C
key point Temperatures can vary up to 20 degrees C in 24 hours
key point Freezing conditions most likely in gorges, valleys & low areas
Rain in Central Australia (and along the Larapinta Trail) is not uncommon and can occur any time of the year. All Larapinta Trail hikers should prepare for wet weather, particularly drizzle which can last for days. Heavy rain, while not common during winter, can and does flood rivers and creek lines. Heavy rains earlier in the year are a good indicator that hikers should expect 'wet crossings' of waterhole's and creeks, particularly in gorges.
Key Points
key point Mean annual rainfall is 284mm
key point Rain can occur anytime in the year
key point Rain in winter is mostly drizzly and can last for a few days
key point Heavy rain can flood rivers, creeks and waterhole's
key point Heavy summer rains often mean likely wet crossings in winter
Wind Considerations
Wind is quite common along the Larapinta Trail particularly on high ground, in valleys and along ridgelines and saddles. Camping on high ground without windy conditions is uncommon, so expect incessant wind for most of the nights. Wind chill considerations are also important, particularly during the colder months. Note that wind also contributes to dehydration.
Key Points
key point High ground is often windy, sometimes continuously
key point Valleys, ridgelines, saddles & gorges can also be 'wind tunnels'
key point Wind contributes to dehydration, particularly dry wind.
key point Camping on high ground will likely be windy and noisy
key point Wind chill is a factor of consideration on the Larapinta Trail
UV and Sun
Sun and clear skies are almost constant throughout the year with an average of 20-25 days of sun each month. UV exposure during the day is almost 100% even when its cloudy. Exposure to sun and its effects are one of the most important considerations for walkers particularly in regards to dehydration, sun burn and heat exhaustion.
Key Points
key point 20-25 days of sun each month
key point UV exposure is very high to extreme.
key point UV exposure is still high even on cloudy days
key point Sun factors are a major contributor to injuries on the trail
key point See Alice Springs Ultraviolet (UV) Index Forecast Graph (BOM)
Winter on the Larapinta Trail
A typical winter afternoon shot on the Larapinta Trail - cloudless blue skies, sun & cool
Summer on the Larapinta Trail Sun & UV exposure on the Larapinta Trail
Summer on the trail can feel like a furnace
Sun & UV exposure on the trail is constant
Rain on the Larapinta Trail
The prelude to rain on the trail: Heavy clouds
Rain can occur anytime of the year
Freezing nights are not uncommon on the Larapinta Trail Flowing creeks on the Larapinta Trail after rain
Freezing nights are not uncommon
Good rain fills creeks quickly
More images
More Video
More Video
Larapinta Trail Website
Disclaimer | Copyright | Privacy | Terms of Use | Webpage Updated Jan 2016
© World Expeditions 2024