Victorian Hiker Alistair Thomson Found Dead After Week-Long Search on Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory

Victorian Hiker Alistair Thomson Found Dead After Week-Long Search on Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory

A Victorian man, Alistair Thomson, who went missing over a week ago on the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, has been found dead.

Initial Contact and Disappearance

Thomson, 64, an experienced hiker, embarked on the trail alone on May 13. He last communicated with his family via text message on May 21, informing them of his plan to reach Hugh Gorge by May 22. However, he failed to make further contact and did not check into his hotel as scheduled.

Search Efforts Intensified

The search for Thomson began last Wednesday, focusing on ‘Section 6’ of the trail and the area south of it. The operation included the use of an Australian Defence Force aircraft, a helicopter, motorbikes, and volunteers on foot.

Confirmation of Thomson’s Death

Authorities confirmed that Thomson’s body was found near a water hole in Hugh Gorge on Sunday night. Details surrounding the circumstances of his death were not disclosed.

Official Statement and Recovery Operation

Acting Superintendent Michael Budge described the outcome as ‘extremely terrible.’ Thomson was located approximately 90 kilometers west of Alice Springs on the Larapinta Trail through drone surveillance. The police are now focused on retrieving his body and returning him to his family.

Family’s Response

The Thomson family expressed their devastation at the loss and extended heartfelt thanks to the Northern Territory police, emergency services, Australian Defence Force members, volunteers, and community members who assisted in the search. They conveyed their gratitude for the support during this difficult time.

Tribute from Strathbogie Shire Council

Thomson had served as a councillor on the Strathbogie Shire Council in regional Victoria from 2016 to 2020. Peter Stephenson, the council’s administrator, offered sincere condolences to Thomson’s family and friends, acknowledging his significant and lasting contributions to the community.

About the Larapinta Trail

The rugged Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges is a popular destination, attracting thousands of hikers annually who tackle various sections of the trail.

Coroner’s Report Pending

A report will be prepared for the coroner to investigate the circumstances of Alistair Thomson’s death.