The American man who died last week while hiking the Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs has been named as LGBTI rights activist Matt Palazzolo.
He was a well-known member of the LGBTI community in Los Angeles and a member of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, ABC News has reported.
His father Pat Palazzolo posted an emotional tribute to his son.
“There were times when I reacted with resentment when people acted or spoke badly towards or about my son Matt because of his sexuality. But he seemed to always react with compassion, love and understanding,” he wrote.
“He told me once that everybody has their own timetable for understanding what they previously didn’t understand.
“But he was also a determined advocate for gay rights, determined to bring awareness and knowledge to those who didn’t yet have it.”
Friend Ivor Pine posted, “He was a wonderful guy and a really important part of our community. I hope that the fact that his life was incredibly meaningful and that he touched so many people will be a source of comfort for you.”
Palazzolo, 33, died after setting out to climb Mount Sonder and was found near Redbank Gorge, three hours after he was last seen by his walking companion.
The temperature had been 42 degrees Celsius in Central Australia.
Police said they had not identified any suspicious circumstances around Palazzolo’s death.
“It’s about 1,300 metres tall and the actual walk that they undertook was about 16 kilometres there and back—so quite a hike,” said Duty Superintendent Rob Burgoyne.
“They both descended the mountain, unfortunately it appears the deceased took a wrong turn at that stage.”