Larapinta Trail, S4: Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole
Arrernte Country

8 h 30 min to 2 days

16 km
oneway

↑ 924 m
↓ -990 m

Very challenging
Starting from the kiosk at the end of Standley Chasm Road, Hugh, this walk takes you to the Birthday Watherhole via the Larapinta Trail (Section 4), visiting Bridle Path Lookout and Brinkley Bluff Summit along the way. This is the fourth section of the 223km long Larapinta Trail. The Brinkley Bluff will surely dazzle you with the breathtakingly picturesque views it offers, and that’s when you’ll know why the Larapinta is amongst the best hikes you can do in the whole world. Besides the eye-candy, the remoteness of the experience coupled with the challenge of steep ridges and the dry environment makes this hike an epic journey. Stuart’s Pass (named after explorer John McDouall Stuart) features a soft and sandy campground that is located on a riverbed, yet you may want to consider camping at Brinkley Bluff just for the views and the general experience. Customize your journey and plan well to not be beaten by the quartzite ridges of Chewings Range. Keep in mind that you’ll need a 4WD vehicle to access the Birthday Waterhole trailhead. For your information, the actual Birthday Waterhole is 900 metres down south of the said trailhead. Let us begin by acknowledging the Arrernte people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Full Journey Larapinta Trail
Start (-23.7219607,133.4694608)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Telegraph Terrace, 87
  • Turn on to 6 then drive for 25 m
  • Continue onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 850 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 880 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 38.1 km
  • Turn right onto Standley Chasm Road and drive for another 9.3 km
  • Turn left and drive for another 20 m
Finish (-23.7185171,133.3481562)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (Keep in mind that you’ll need a 4WD vehicle to access the Birthday Waterhole trailhead.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Standley Chasm Kiosk, head south as you move away from the chasm, keeping the road to your left. Shortly after, turn right at the 3-way intersection. About 290 metres later, keep right at another 3-way intersection. Start following the creek bed in the distance as you stay on the marked track to continue along Larapinta Trail, S4: Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a toilet (about 95 m back from the start).
Standley Chasm (about 80 m back from the start).
Standley Chasm (about 30 m back from the start).
Find the Standley Chasm Kiosk at the start.
Find the Larapinta Trail Information at the start.
After another 20 m turn right, to head along Scenic Loop Walk.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This little side trip takes you to a lookout where you can get great southerly views over the land. Expect 5 minutes of moving time out & back. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 275 m continue straight, to head along Scenic Loop Walk.
After another 275 m cross the ford.
At the intersection of Larapinta Trail Section 4 & Scenic Loop Walk turn sharp right, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
After another 295 m cross the ford.
After another 265 m cross the ford.
After another 90 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Bridle Path Lookout. Expect impressive views of rockfaces and the valley below. To start this optional side trip turn sharp left here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 3.1 km veer right, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
After another 560 m come to the "Reveal Saddle" (5 m on your left).
After another 4.5 km come to the camp site (5 m on your right).
After another 10 m pass the "Brinkley Bluff" (on your left).
After another 2 km continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
Keep left.
After another 730 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
After another 310 m cross the ford (about 35 m long)
After another 10 m find the "Stuart's Pass Campsite" (6 m on your left).
Stuart's Pass Campsite
Stuart's Pass Campsite

A basic campsite that offers you no amenities, so you need to be self-sufficient. The ground is soft and sandy as the campsite is along a riverbed. The place is named afterJohn McDouall Stuart, who was an explorer that passed through here in 1860.
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A basic campsite that offers you no amenities, so you need to be self-sufficient. The ground is soft and sandy as the campsite is along a riverbed. The place is named afterJohn McDouall Stuart, who was an explorer that passed through here in 1860.

After another 2.8 km veer right, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
After another 350 m continue straight, to head along Larapinta Trail Section 4.
After another 360 m pass the water tap (on your right).
Then pass the shelter (on your right).
A toilet.
About 15 m past the end is "Section 4/5 Junction".
The end.

This little side trip takes you to a lookout where you can get great southerly views over the land. Expect 5 minutes of moving time out & back.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 115 m come to "Standley Chasm lookout".
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 115 m to the main route.

This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Bridle Path Lookout. Expect impressive views of rockfaces and the valley below.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 110 m come to "Bridle Path Lookout".
Continue another 0 m to find Bridle Path Lookout at the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 110 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Larapinta Trail, S4: Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 16 km
Time 8 h 30 min to 2 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep and difficult rock scrambles (5/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 4 on route, on average they are 3.2 km apart with the largest gap of 9.4 km.

Shelter: There is one 16 km from the start.

Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 5.4 km apart with the largest gap of 16 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-93 m[toilet]
Camp site
-82 mStandley Chasm
Camp site
9.4 km[camp site]
Campsite
12.4 kmStuart's Pass Campsite
Shelter
16 km[shelter]
Toilet
16 km[toilet]
Camp site
16 kmSection 4/5 Junction
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