Sumary of Gaining traction on one of Australia’s greatest hiking trails:
- At 1380 metres, Mt Sonder marks the highest point on the 223-kilometre Larapinta Trail.
- It affords views north-west to Mt Zeil, at 1531 metres the highest mountain west of the Great Dividing Range.
- Snaking towards it is the Finke River, which ends its journey 600 kilometres away in the sands of the Simpson Desert, while the distinctive outline of Gosse Bluff, a crater left by a meteorite strike 150 million years ago, rises from the plains in the distance.
- After pausing to rest beside a waterhole that wouldn’t have looked out of place if it had been populated by hippos and crocodiles, we removed our shoes to cross Ormiston Creek, inside a gorge where ochre-coloured walls rose 300 metres, reflecting the fiery afternoon sun.
- For the third and fourth nights we stayed at the Ormiston camp ground in safari-style tents and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and three-course meals beneath brilliantly starlit skies – way more atmospheric than staying in a city hotel.
- And evidence of the region once being buried beneath seawater remains embedded in the rocks.