The Namatjira Stage Descriptions

Covering shorter distances each day, the Namatjira allows runners with less experience to be part of this phenomenal event. The course is still tough as it covers 85km over 4 days and visits all the highlight features each day in a more accessible version.


  • Stage 1: 13.5km around Alice Springs > From the Old Telegraph Station to The Mercure
  • Stage 2: 20km from Standley Chasm > to Standley Chasm (a loop run)
  • Stage 322km Birthday Waterhole to Standley Chasm
  • Stage 4: 27km from Counts Point turn off to Ellery Creek Waterhole

The Namatjira – STAGE 1

NEW Stage for 2024 (“the reverse” direction compared to previous years)

Date:16 August, 2024
Start location: Old Telegraph Station in Alice Springs
Finish location:Mercure Hotel
Length:13.5km. Elevation: 158m up and 166m down
Start time:18:10
Water point:Approx 8km pt.
Runners must start with a minimum of 750ml hydration with you
Cut off times:Start Time + 1hr45 at the water point (~8km pt)
Difficulty rating:Easy/Medium

Runners start just before sunset and then run through twilight and into darkness for the unique experience of running through the desert at night time, under a universe of stars and the outback world around you. All runners must start with a head torch that you can turn on when darkness descends (at 6:15pm).

The course starts amidst the ghost gums and the original Alice Spring at the Old Telegraph Station north of the town. The course follows a scenic route on some of the running and MTB trails that surround the town, including many spectacular sections providing views over the surroundings ranges as they are illuminated by the sunset light. The Namatjira course takes a few short cuts compared to the longer Malbunka course but all runners will continue into darkness with the stage finishing on the grass inside the Mercure Hotel.

These trails are not overly technical (with the exception of a couple of short sections), but they do have a great sense of ‘flow’ and will provide a terrific introduction to the Central Australian terrain you’ll enjoy over days to come.

The Telegraph Station is just 5km from the centre of Alice Springs. Shuttle buses will operate to take you out to the start line.

PUT THE MAPS ON YOUR PHONE: Scan the QR Code above (or CLICK HERE) to download the terrific CAPRA mapping app and receive the stage 1 map on your phone. (Follow the prompts to create an account and you’ll find the map in the app’s ‘Library’).

The Namatjira – STAGE 2 

Stage 2 is a very challenging but incredibly scenic run that takes runners across some challenging (but spectacular) terrain.

Date:17 August, 2024
Start location:Standley Chasm – 45min drive from Alice Springs
Finish location:Standley Chasm – 45mins drive from Alice Springs.
Length:20km. Elevation: 997m up and 997m down
Start time:8:00am
Water point:Runners must start with a minimum of 3lt hydration with you.
WP1: 13km point at the western end of the ‘High Route’ ridgeline. Runners may access a maximum of 1lt per person at WP1.
Cut off times:All runners must have departed the Millers Flat (5km pt) by ‘Start Time + 2hrs’
Difficulty rating:Hard – steep and technical terrain

All runners must start with a minimum of 3lt hydration. Starting at Standley Chasm runners almost immediately complete a steep and hard climb and descent around the Chasm to Angkate Junction. The course then goes through more undulating terrain in the valley bottom but is made tougher by being very rough and technical under foot, climbing down a short ‘cliff’ at one point before descending to Millers Flat at the 5km pt. Turn right and continue along the ‘low route’ for some slightly easier going to Tangentyere Junction at the 9km pt where you turn left (and join the Malbunka Course at their 31km pt).

After Tangentyere Junction you complete a tough climb onto the ‘High Route’ and the top of the Chewings Range with spectacular views across the continent. Proceed west along the ridge to the manned water point at the western end where you may access max 1lt per person. Take care descending the ridge to return to Millers Flat where you turn right and return along the 5km trail you did earlier, finishing back at Standley Chasm.

The entire course is on very rough, technical and slow terrain and runners should be prepared for a BIG DAY.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Competitors please note this is the hardest stage of the event with long rocky sections providing slow going and many climbs and ascents that can proove tough in the heat – so please come prepared to embrace all elements the course throws at you.

PUT THE MAPS ON YOUR PHONE: Scan the QR Code above (or CLICK HERE) to download receive the stage 2 map into the Capra app.

The Namatjira – STAGE 3

A spectacular stage that was first raced in 2021 and is often a highlight for many runners. It visits some very rugged and remote sections of the Larapinta Trail, in some ways similar to Stage 2 (but a little bit easier)

Date:18 August, 2024
Start location:Birthday Waterhole track – 1hr drive from Alice Springs (last 10km 4WD only)
Finish location: Standley Chasm – 45mins drive from Alice Springs
Length:22km. Elevation: 740m up and 680m down
Start time:Split Wave Starts: slower half of the field start at 7:30am, faster half start at 8:50am
Water point:NA. All Namatjira runners must start with a minimum of 3lt of hydration
Cut off times:NA
Difficulty rating:Medium / Hard – steep and remote terrain

Stage 3 runners start on the Birthday Waterhole Track, 10km in from the junction with the Red Centre Way. Runners commence with 4km of easy running along the 4WD track past the Birthday Creek water hole and then onto the section 4-5 track junction.

Past the shelter at the junction and the trail skirts the base of some ridges before a very steep and tough climb up to the iconic Brinkley Bluff – the course climbing 550m in just 3km as it zig-zags its way up the side of this steep ridge, passing many false summits and steep drops on the way up. The views from the top make it well worth it as you are high up in the Chewings Ranges with views across the continent.

From the summit it is largely ‘all downhill’ for 10km to the finish line at the Standley Chasm café although the highly technical terrain and loose rock remains that makes it a taxing descent through Reveal Saddle and then the finish arch further on.

PUT THE MAPS ON YOUR PHONE: Scan the QR Code above (or CLICK HERE) to download receive the stage 3 map into the Capra app.

The Namatjira  STAGE 4

Stage 4 covers some great terrain, visiting one of the MacDonnell Ranges’ favourite lookouts before finishing at our favourite waterhole for a swim.

Date:19 August, 2024
Start location:Counts Point track – 1hr10 drive from Alice Springs
Finish location:Ellery Creek Waterhole – 1h drive from Alice Springs
Length:27km. Elevation: 730m up and 800m down
Water point:13.5km pt pt at Serpentine Gorge
Race start:7:30am
Cut off times:Start time + 4hrs15 at the Serpentine Gorge water point 13.5km pt
Difficulty rating: Medium

Runners commence with 3.5km along an easy 4WD track to join the Larapinta Trail as it climbs steeply up the ridge to the spectacular Counts Point lookout on the main ridgeline (runners complete a short 700m out and back to visit the iconic lookout and get their name ticked off.)

The spectacular running continues along the ridgeline and then drops down to water point at Serpentine Gorge at ~15.5km and continues along the undulating trail below the ridgeline to the ultimate finish line at the Ellery Creek Waterhole. This last section between the water point and the finish is very rocky, sharp and harsh, runners must keep concentrating all the way to the finish.

We will have a ‘beach party’ style set up at the waterhole with chairs, shade, music, food and drinks – and of course the magnificent waterhole to swim in – to help celebrate the end of the 2023 Run Larapinta. It will be a finish line to remember!

PUT THE MAPS ON YOUR PHONE: Scan the QR Code above (or CLICK HERE) to download receive the stage 4 map into the Capra app.


All competitors MUST have the map for ALL 4 STAGES loaded into a mapping app on their phone. We recommend runners use the excellent CAPRA MAPS maps app that makes it easy to download the maps to your phone. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the CAPRA maps app and follow the prompts to create an account.
  2. Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera or search ‘Run Larapinta’ in the app and tap the event logo to open the collection.
  3. SAVE FOR OFF-LINE USAGE: Tap the Stage 1 you are running (eg Malbunka or Namatjira) to open the info screen for that stage, then tap the 3 dots ‘…’ at the bottom right of the info screen, tap ‘Save for offline’
  4. Tap the ‘View Map Details’ button for that stage so you can see the map. Exit back out of this screen.
  5. Repeat point 3 and 4 for each stage you are running (ie. you need to save tap ‘Save for offline’ and open the map for each stage you are running).

NOTE the following regarding mandatory maps on your phone:

  • All stages must be saved for offline and visible as ‘Offline maps’ in your Profile at bottom right to pass mandatory gear check during registration.
  • We strongly recommend the Capra mapping app for all competitors, however we will also accept the courses being saved to other apps provided those apps work when out of phone reception (eg. Maps.ME, Guru and Gaia GPS). Having the courses saved soley on your watch is not sufficient.
  • You can also download the GPX files for each stage from Capra so you can import them into other mapping apps.