Trekking the Larapinta Trail for Amnesty

Earlier this year Tony Wright trekked the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory to raise money for Amnesty. Read about his epic journey and find out how you can help us in our fight for human rights.

Making a difference

I love an adventure, a decent physical challenge, an opportunity to visit new places and to meet new people with common interests. If I can do all that and make some positive difference in the world, well, I feel that extra exhilaration.

That is why I took on my third challenge with Inspired Adventures for Amnesty International. My criteria, in the past, has included visiting a country or continent that I have not previously visited. In 2012 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and in 2014 I hiked the Inca Trek to Machu Picchu. This year I decided to visit the heart of my own country, taking on the Larapinta Trail.

As a professional and personal coach I encourage others to push their boundaries. So it seems important to me to ‘walk the talk’.

A photograph of the participants of the 2017 Inspired Adventures/Amnesty International Larapinta Trail trek. The image shows a group of men and women standing in the middle of the trail, surrounded by red earth and trees and standing next to a sign that says 'Larapinta Trail, Section 9, Pound Walk, Wading through cold water required.'
The participants of the 2017 Inspired Adventures/Amnesty International Larapinta Trail trek © Tony Wright

Highlights of the trip

What a beautiful place is the centre of our land. Colossal expanses of red and russet rocks enhanced this year by the soft and subtle greens engendered by the once in 50 years rains that fell in February.

A highlight of trekking the Larapinta Trail was the colourful description by an Indigenous community member of how the first peoples learned to live, survive and thrive in such an arid and harsh environment. Speaking simply and with clarity he painted a powerful picture.

Other highlights included:

  • camping at the foot of Mount Sonder provided the most glorious views from the outside dunny!
  • climbing Mount Sonder at night to revel in the sunrise at the top as it created an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colours on the surrounding landscape
  • swimming in bracing but refreshing waterholes.

Our small team of special people had their own reasons for taking the journey over rough and challenging terrain. Each one an inspiration in their own unique way. Gathering around the campfire at night, sleeping out under the stars, sharing walks through breathtaking scenery brought a group of strangers into a special and memorable friendship.

Raising money for human rights

The challenges of fundraising barely seem worth mentioning to enjoy such an experience and yet it is, of course, integral to the whole experience. Fortunately I have found that Amnesty has a special place in many people’s hearts and conscience. When I have sought funds for Amnesty I have met mostly a ready and willing audience. Whether it be standing outside markets with a collection box or approaching colleagues and friends. Putting the emphasis on Amnesty, with warmth and a smile, and taking it away from myself, helped me double the basic target of $3,000.

Another successful way of raising money is to provide a similar experience of an adventure which brings good to others. So a trivia night, a world cup soccer breakfast, a bring and buy sale, a swimathon challenge for swimmers, have all brought in useful funds.

I turned 72 this year, will I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Every dollar you raise for Amnesty makes a difference. Find out how you can get involved today.