This fantastic route along the Larapinta Trail will take in the most spectacular highlights along the 223km track. The camping based trek will allow you more time to explore and soak in the beauty of the Central Australian desert as you traverse the most scenic stages of the Larapinta Trail.
Carrying just a day-pack, this walk will delight the wilderness lover and challenge even seasoned walkers. The Larapinta Trail offers one of the greatest desert treks on earth and is a bucket list experience for anyone who enjoys walking holidays. Following the spine of the West MacDonnell range, this extended walk along the Larapinta Trail will take in the sections along the Larapinta Trail that simply cannot be missed. It also provides a more achievable objective for walkers not yet ready for our 14 day Larapinta End to End trip. There will be some demanding stages as you pass over remote ridges and canyons, walking up to 30kms on some days.
The group camping gear is transported to each campsite by our professional support crew, freeing walkers to enjoy the diverse desert scenery, revel in the camaraderie of like-minded travellers and focus on achieving your goal.
To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, the number of passes crossings and the length of the trek. The Larapinta 9 day trek is graded moderate to challenging. This trek involves 6 – 12 hours walking each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. This trek should not be underestimated as it can be tough and challenging.
In order to complete this trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise five days a week for at least three months prior to your departure. Hill walking with a daypack is recommended.
From Simpson's Gap we walk through pleasant, grassy flats and low, rocky hills bearing the scars of early cattle grazing, evidence of the fragility of this arid environment. Graceful Ghost Gums are also to be seen on this section, coated in a white powder with powerful antiseptic properties used by Aborigines. One of the most peaceful parts of the trail is Spring Gap. We observe a wide variety of plant life and watch for birds at the waterhole. We then walk on through ever changing countryside to our idyllic camp at Jay Creek.
Leaving Jay Creek we are on sacred ground, where the Aboriginal custodians ask that we walk only in the creek bed. Today's walk is nothing short of spectacular. We continue on through varied terrain dotted with Mulga and Witchetty Bush to Tangentyere Junction. Here the track diverges to follow the ridgeline above the Finke River. We trek to our lunch spot at Millers Flat, from which we climb through rocky terrain before descending into Standley Chasm from the north. Camp is at Standley chasm.
From Standley Chasm, we follow the spectacular Bridle Trail, an old trading route used by the early settlers in the region. We follow the ridgeline to Brinkley’s Bluff for superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell’s. After lunch we take on a steep descent to our welcoming campsite at Birthday Waterhole.
An early rise today for one of the most challenging and rewarding sections on the trail. We head into Paisley Gorge before moving on to our lunch spot at Spencer Gorge. Our trek this afternoon takes us on a rough spinifex journey through this semi-arid region allowing breathtaking views of Hugh Gorge, our camp spot for the night.
Today we are walking through the vertical-spined dolomite country of the Bitter Springs formation. These 800 million year old rocks contain fossilised stromatolites, the cyanobacteria that were amongst the first life on this earth. The trail is again through woodlands and spinifex. Arriving mid afternoon at our camp provides an opportunity to relax or wander at leisure around the hills of our campsite.
A crisp early morning 4WD to Serpentine Gorge we begin today’s trekking. This section offers breathtaking views as the trail runs along the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges. We ascend to Counts Point where we are able to take in clear views of Centralia’s western horizon, out past Mt Zeil and Mt Sonder and as far as the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. We descend through mysterious old Mulga stands to camp tonight at Serpentine Chalet.
Today is one of the highlights of the trip that begins with a sunrise departure. This trek takes us into the rugged heart of this country on a track only opened as recent as 1997. This section is a little more difficult as we ascend to 1088 metres, but is well worth the reward of the clear views across the Alice Valley to the wow factor of Mt. Giles.
The best side walk of the trail is of the Ormiston Pound. The Pound offers some extraordinary scenery and wildlife and is our final walk which explores the upper reaches of the Gorge and the chance to see the many Rock Wallabies as they scamper about the imposing cliffs. We will stay at Finke campsite and relax for the afternoon before our day 9 begins
Today the group will get up early (3am) for a pre-dawn walk for our ascent of Mount Sonder. We aim to be at the summit for sunrise to see views as the sun spreads across this vast country. We descend to Redbank Gorge and can enjoy a great brunch on the Finke river. After a rest we will transfer to Alice SPrings and we aim to drop you off by 3pm.
Per Person, Twin Share