Our complete traverse of the Larapinta is an inspiring trek that will delight the wilderness lover and challenge the seasoned walker. Walking the entire 223km length of the Larapinta Trail is a challenging objective, but one that comes with an equal sense of reward as you complete this outstanding trek in Australia's Red Centre.
The Larapinta Trail offers one of the greatest desert treks on earth and is one of Australia's most famous walking experiences. Following the spine of the West MacDonnell range, this trek will allow you to walk the entire length of the Larapinta Trail utilising the knowledge and experience of the pioneers of this now iconic trail. There will be some challenging stages as you pass over remote ridges and canyons, walking up to 30kms on some days.
As with all our guided treks on the Larapinta Trail, you will only carry your day pack. The group camping gear is transported to the next campsite by our professional support crew, freeing trekkers 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 End to End 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 highly recommended.
We pick you up from your accommodation between 7-7.30am. Our walking begins at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station which also marks the beginning of the Larapinta Trail itself. The stone buildings here date back to 1872 and housed the first Europeans to live in Central Australia. Initially the trail from here winds among boulders of granite, the highest of which offer fine views of the town and Mt Gillen.
The trail passes through Witchetty bush and Mulga scrub, over exposed hills and shady woodlands before we arrive for lunch at Wallaby Gap. From Wallaby Gap, we follow the trail west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. We may catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby as we approach Simpson's Gap and our remote campsite.
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 ridge line 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 head up to follow the ridge line over Reveal Saddle to Brinkley’s Bluff. From this high point, just over 1100m, we are rewarded with superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After lunch we take on a steep descent and pass Mintbush Spring, named for the native plant that grows here, a beautifully mint-scented bush related to sage and lavender. Our welcoming campsite tonight is at the peaceful Birthday Waterhole.
An early rise today for one of the most challenging and rewarding sections on the trail. We head into Spenser Gorge and Paisley Gorge then up to Windy Saddle and Razorback Ridge for expansive views. The trail continues down to Fringe Lily Creek and follows the Linear Valley. 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.
For the next two days we stay on the south side of the West MacDonnell Ranges whose soaring presence dominates our vista. The trail remains low, undulating gently through lower level woodlands and spinifex fields, taking us past Hugh View and Ghost Gum Flat. We hope to chance upon some of the Larapinta's unique birdlife, such as the Splendid Fairy-wren, Spinifex Bird and Painted Firetail Finch. We camp at the remote Rocky Gully Campsite on the evening of Day 6 and Ellery Creek on the evening of Day 7.
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 rich in birdlife. Arriving mid afternoon at our camp provides an opportunity to relax or wander at leisure around the hills of our campsite.
This section of the trail offers breathtaking views as we walk along the high quartzite ridge lines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges. We ascend to Counts Point where we are able to take in clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon, to Mt Zeil (1531m) the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. We can even see the fascinating, huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff. A descent through mysterious old Mulga stands brings us to our camp at Serpentine Chalet, where we enjoy another great evening meal together.
An early start is required to fit in all of the highlights of this section of the trail. Today takes us into the rugged heart of this ancient landscape on a track only opened to the public as recently as 1997. The trail today is again challenging as we ascend to 1088 metres. And again, as always on the Larapinta, our epic climb is rewarded with expansive views. The view opens up across the Alice Valley to the giant, bulky mass of of Mt. Giles, one of the Northern Territory's highest peaks at 1389m.
A shorter stage of the Larapinta Trail today, leading us into the head of the Finke River. The local Arrernte name for the river is 'Lhere Pinte', meaning salty river, which is where this trail gets its name from. The Finke is also estimated at being the oldest river in the world. Arriving at Glen Helen Homestead there is the opportunity for a well deserved “remote” beer, ice-cream and hot shower.
These two days have views and trail dominated by the bulk of Mt Sonder, whose colours change magnificently throughout the day. We initially head north-west through spinifex before crossing Davenport Creek, a tributary of the Finke River. We climb over a low section of the range and descend into Rocky Bar Gap, our camp for the night. The next day we head west under the flanks of Mount Sonder passing through some dense Mulga and mallee woodland until we reach the beautiful Redbank Creek and our nearby camp.
This morning we are up early for our ascent of Mount Sonder – known as the pregnant lady by the local Aranda Aboriginal people. An early start allows us to climb in the cool morning air, before the sun heats up the landscape. To view the surrounding country from the top, knowing we have just climbed one of the highest peaks west of the Great Dividing Range, is an unforgettable moment of this trek – what a reward for all that we have done over the last two weeks!
Having reached the highpoint – many consider it the highlight – of the Larapinta Trail we drive back to Alice Springs, concluding around 5 or 6pm. This evening your group may like to get together in Alice for a celebratory meal.
Larapinta is a great trek and gives you a greater appreciation of the inner area of Australia. We were lucky enough to see many of the seasonal wildflowers that spring up after a little rain. Beautiful vistas and fascinating geology.
J. Reed, Moryafield, QLD
I had a great time on this trip. Everything seemed well planned and prepared. The guides were knowledgeable and helpful. I would definitely recommend this trip to others I know.
Allison Dane, NSW
I thought I would just drop you a note and let you know that the Larapinta Trek George & I did a couple of weeks ago was absolutely sensational. The group, the weather, the scenery, the terrain, the food, the campsites, the stars at night, and not to forget our fabulous 2 guides, Max S!! and Victor Trail was just a holiday that will stay with us for a long time. The group of people was just fantastic and everyone just got on well and as for Max & Victor, if I ever plan another Australian adventure I will do my utmost to ensure one of them if not both were the guides, the nicest, funniest and most of all very professional fellows, they kept the group in great spirits and the knowledge they both have is just outstanding, especially Max for such a young fellow. They did a great job in camp setting everything out for us, all we had to do was enjoy it. I can't sign off without mentioning the food, what these 2 guys whipped up for us everyday, breakfast, lunch on the track was just unbelievable what they carried and dinner - always 3 courses and always different, I doubt anyone lost too much wait on this trek. It was just a great pleasure to have meet 2 such great fun fellows.Now to go off and think about what I will do next !!!!
Lorraine Allen, Victoria, Australia
Dan and Kate's local knowledge was exceptional making the walk much more interesting. Dan, Kate and Brad went above and beyond to ensure our walk was 110%. They were all very attentive and caring. Their cooking skills are amazing! They were professional at all times and very helpful.
Sally Wise, South Yungerup, WA
Darby and Ann made a great holiday exceptional!
Christine Johnson, Bulimba
Having Ann as a leader and sensational cook was very lucky. Richard was a great assistant guide - helpful, obliging, great company, knowledgable of the area and passionate about it. The 2 week trek far exceeded any expectations for beauty of the Larapinta and quality of the World Expeditions Trek. It was incredibly challenging and rewarding, a truly memorable experience to cherish
L. Stevens, NSW, Australia
My friend and I have just returned from our Larapinta End to End 21 July 13. No doubt helped by ideal weather, the whole trip ran very smoothly and our guides Pete and Angela were very good and experienced. The meals were extremely good with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. The day to day walking was good with keeping us informed on local history, plants and flowers, track conditions etc. Our whole group got on very well together, and in fact Pete, Ang and the walking group all went out for a meal together on our arrival back in Alice Springs. A wonderful trip and I would not hesitate to recommend World Ex or Pete and Ang. We met other hikers along the way and those that had been with you before all said they were happy with World Ex. So well done and many thanks for your help.
R Bolch, Christchurch, New Zealand
Have just spent 14 days on the Larapinta track out of Alice Springs. I would recommend it to anyone out there who wants a challenge. Just do it. Such amazing views every day. World Ex are recommended.
Lynne Freeman, WA, Australia
The most memorable part was the scenery, the landscapes, and top it all off was the magical sunrise from Mt Sonder, the guides because they were very experienced, they knew what they were talking about, and the great cooks too - always very polite and helpful. The people I went with also made the trip memorable and unforgettable.I have never taken on a trekking/walking holiday quite like Larapinta end to end, it was a very physically challenging holiday and you must prepare well fitness wise before the trip. Expect the unexpected and be extremely open-minded, otherwise undertake take on the 6 day Classic Larapinta Trek/Walking Holiday
Nicholas Tarjan, ACT, Australia
Larapinta End to End is a brilliant trek. The constant physical challenge is perfectly complimented by the spectacular scenery and beautiful landscapes. The food was delicious and I'd like to thank Nicole and Will for their care and support during this trip.
L. Carbone, Perth, WA, Australia
We recently completed the Larapinta End-to-End trip. The walking was as challenging as the brochure says so I'm glad we were fit and healthy. Mental toughness is also required for city folk (like us) who are use to their home comforts. So tenting, head torches, no technology, etc. all add to the challenge of the trip. Our guides were Will from Tasmania and Nicole from NZ. I can't speak highly enough about these two young adults. They were impressive in every way. Their knowledge, skills,and leadership were all inspiring. We had a terrific group of 8 walkers. This size was perfect for this trip. We loved it. Thank you.
M. Carlyle, Elanora Heights, NSW Australia
This is not a trip for the faint-hearted, but that said is challenging and very rewarding. Our guides, Will and Nicole were both outstanding and both did their utmost to ensure we all had a very positive and enjoyable experience - I can't speak highly enough about both of them. We ate very well, the meals our guides provided were all varied and delicious and were very much enjoyed by our group. I was a solo traveller who was lucky enough to be with a great group of people who all helped each other out where and when necessary and that also added to the enjoyment of the experience. I would highly recommend this trip to someone who enjoys a challenge and a mini adventure.
J. Hughes, Kununurra, Western Australia
Wow what an amazing trip the Larapinta End to End is. If you love walking and camping and want a challenge then this has the most amazing beautiful breathtaking scenery of central Australia you willever see. The guides were fantastic, zen master Jordie was truely wonderful and just so considerateand patient with all the different kinds of people on the trip. If you want a trek that is just carrying a day pack and still roughing it by camping and challenging and supported by great guides then do this trip.
P. Stoney, Victoria, Australia
I can't speak highly enough of our guides Harriet and Josh and couldn't be happier with World Expeditions. We were totally and thoroughly looked after. Both guides were professional and informative with loads of knowledge plus a willingness to help if needed. The meals they cooked us were so well prepared and delicious, it was hard to imagine they were prepared in a camp oven in the outback. The tracks, walks and climbing was difficult at times but we were always rewarded with spectacular views, the Australian outback landscape holds nothing back! It was loads of fun climbing and hiking our way up and around the peaks of the west MacDonnell Ranges. We couldn't have asked for a better experience! Thanks so much to our guides and World Expeditions for making out trip so memorable.
Louise Toohey, Gladesville, NSW
We witnessed the interior of Australia at its flowering best. Seeing this area on foot is a great privilege, as you gain a unique perspective on its scale and limitless geological wonders, but also a profound sense of what connected Aboriginal people of the area to Country. Transformative.
Linda Munns-Conry, NSW
Third trip with World Ex and they haven't disappointed. The support, logistics and itinerary were well executed as expected and the guides, Nicole Mulcahy and Pete Deegan were truly fantastic in their everyday, all-day, cheery practical and hard working personas! We'll be back!
Peter Hall, Birchgrove, NSW
The Larapinta End to End trek was simply amazing. It is a trip where you need to expect the unexpected, it challenges your being in every way. Our guides Ryan & Alice worked together like a well oiled machine, providing us with all that we needed from motivation to an awesome variety of delicious meals. As Coeliac I did not miss out on a thing, in fact came home with a come of new recipes. If you are looking for that next challenge and want to see some of the most awe-inspiring country and night skies, I would highly recommend getting out and doing this trek. It is adventure personified.
Cherie Graham, Pheasant Creek, VIC
What an amazing trip. Wonderful exercise, beautiful unspoilt country, fantastic scenery and colours, fun company, excellent guides and delicious food. I want to tick off all of the WorldEx walks in Australia.
Craig Butcher, Manly, NSW
I have trekked in Nepal and the Inca trail and found Larapinta tough but spectacular. The trail is not well defined, some parts are rocky, others steep with loose shale, and then there are sand or boulder hopping river beds. Swam in chilly gorges and rivers. Amazing views from ridges. Fantastic camp sites, sleeping in swags under the stars. Great food served usually by camp fires. Our guides Angela and Peter were leaders, guides, medics, chefs, drivers and so much more. Nothing was too much trouble. Food was fantastic, they dressed our cuts and blisters and we enjoy?ed each other's company. Our group of 6 got on well and fit enough to keep to a similar pace. A trip that will never be forgotten.
S. Anderson, Corlette, NSW, 30 May 2017
Larapinta End to End. Always going to be a challenge! With temperatures 7 degrees above average, having to carry 4 litres of water everyday, with feet swelling & some people with blisters, nothing deterred the quiet confidence of our guides Ange & Peter, that under their watch we would all complete the journey. And they gave all of us that opportunity! Ridges, valleys, boulders, rocks, sandy river beds, razorback, buffalo & kangaroo grasses, reeds & spinifex! Trees so magnificent you cannot photograph them even a days worth of them! Gorges so breathtaking, with waterholes so cold, that we finally understood elite athletes & their obsession with the "ice bath!" Even a snake! Flora, fauna, birds of so many varieties. History both ancient & recent. Wonderful discussions over open fires, sleeping in swags with the moon waxing & waning (with some people learning the difference) & unimaginable stars! Even falling stars, perhaps other objects seen by some in those night skies too! Learning to read those stars & the dark spaces in-between, which from the Dreamtime, suddenly become real & we finally understand what can be seen! Oh, the food. Everyday without exception, perfection! So fortunate to have fellow hikers whose company became more comfortable as daily we respected each others strengths & weaknesses, as is life! The photographs being shared an exceptional record of our journey. Thank you Ange & Pete & our special Irish co walker Sandy, who gave us fellow Aussies walkers a very unique outlook on all of our lives. Tough in every way! Never to be forgotten.
M. Thomas, Ivanhoe East, VIC, 30 May 2017
This is an amazing trip experiencing the Australia out back at its best. To get the most out of it you need to be fit and enjoy the whole camping aspect.....sleeping under the stars is a major highlight. So go with an open mind and enjoy.
S. Rooney, Dunshaughlin, Ireland, 05 Jun 2017
The trek was brilliant from start to finish made that way by the guide who went out of their way above and beyond to ensure we had a great experience.
G. Yeates, Donvale, VIC Australia, 07 Jun 2017
Many thanks to our guides Ryan and Ed for making the experience truly special for the whole group. Loved the minimal no fuss camping, but also delighted by the unexpected surprise treats the boys made happen. Everything very well planned and prepared, beautiful meals, fabulous walking, amazing country. Thankyou for an exceptional experience.
J. Raabe, Dalmeny, NSW, 15 Jun 2017
No-one was prepared for the most awe inspiring, stunningly rich landscape in which we were immersed. We were blown away ... walking on land formed 2.2 billion years ago!! There was an absolute abundance of tortured metamorphosed sediments .. mica schists.. possibly the oldest in the world! You will have to experience the massive folded ridges along the trail. To negotiate the narrow razorback ridge with spectacular views dropping off on both sides. The most majestic of all was to finally climb up from Waterfall Gorge to view the stunningly rugged Mt Giles at 1389m .. it was breathtaking, literally! The dark 8km climb up Mt Sonder (1739m) was so well rewarded with the thin red line of dawn, a cuppa and a piece of Madeira cake! The emergence of the travelled landscape before us was beyond belief as we viewed the land we had traversed.
A. Philip, Narooma, NSW, 14 Jun 2017
Guides and food were fantastic. Information given out on the trip was very informative and helpful.
B. Jenkins, Narooma, NSW Australia, 14 Jun 2017
Our guides were encouraging and helpful and a lot of fun, which certainly helped us on the long, hot days! They were also excellent camp cooks and we looked forward to the delicious meals at the end of the hard day! Swagging it every night under the stars also added a wonderful element to the adventure!
H. Ferguson, Narooma, NSW, 15 Jun 2017
Our leaders were fabulous. Considerate, encouraging, helpful and excellent camp cooks. Fitness training essential to complete and enjoy what is a demanding trek without a rest day.
M. Lynch, Narooma, NSW Australia, 21 Jun 2017
I absolutely loved this walking holiday. The track knowledge and practical support provided by our two person guide-and-support team made this an achievable adventure for even such a rank outdoor novice as myself. The pleasure of walking Central Australia with its vast natural vistas, intense colour and sparse (human) population carrying only a day pack with guides and all meals and camping equipment supplied makes this trip oh so do-able. The immediacy of each day was blissfully successful in wiping clean the mental slate. Feel like I have come back whole and clean and ready to start anew. A walk to cleanse the soul and many other benefits!
H. Hollie, Queensland, Australia, 26 Jul 2017
An amazing and magical trek,managed really well by World Expeditions and our guides were fabulous. Couldn't fault the whole trip.
J. Page, Western Australia, 02 Aug 2017
Jordie and Earl were fantastic guides. Their outstanding friendly service and attention to detail made this a wonderful memorable trip.
K. Baker, Albany, Western Australia, 02 Aug 2017
The Larapinta trail is a challenging journey that was made possible for me to complete by the excellent knowledge of the guides. I felt quite pampered by the delicious catering and constant care they offered.
J. Brownrigg, Fairfield, VIC, 02 Aug 2017
The Larapinta End to End is a fantastic trip. Jordie and Earl our two guides provided great food,great knowledge, with a good dose of humour. I thoroughly recommend World Expeditions.
J. Le Carpentier, Gerringong, NSW Australia, 01 Aug 2017
Larapinta End to End was a challenging 14 day walk - it is difficult to compare with any previous hikes I have done. Most days were long & had their own torments - spindifex grass sharp rugged rocks steep ascents & even steeper descents. Rock scrambling forceful winds hot weather, night hiking to view an amazing sunrise at Mt Sonder - one of the many highlights of my hike. Having said this each long day was rewarded by arriving at our many beautiful campsites to a great dinner warming campfire & frequent opportunity for a shower or swim in a waterhole or river. Sleeping in a cosy swag looking up at the stars was just heavenly. Alice our head guide was an exceptional leader & with Ed worked long & hard to keep us fed & rejuvenated for the long days of walking. Larapinta 14 day End to End is - no walk in the park - it is a challenging hike that requires stamina & fitness !! The rewards are seeing an amazing & remote part of Australia that most people will never see!!
M. O'brien, Queenscliff, NSW Australia, 29 Jul 2017
Awesome! The Larapinta Trail End to End has been the best holiday ever. Personally challenging - yet totally fulfilling. 8-10 hours of walking daily in ancient central Australia was such a privilege: so many breath-taking views, walking along amazing ridges, rock-hoping up stunning gorges. The professionalism and thoroughness of the World Expedition guides made it the perfect walking holiday. Thank you.
C. Howitt, Ellenbrook, Western Australia, 28 Jul 2017
The Larapinta End to End walk was a most enjoyable challenge. To brush closely with the landscape in body and mind was a joy. Our guides looked after us so well. Skilled, professional and so personable, they very much enhanced this experience. This was my first major walk and I'll do more from this experience. Thank you World Expeditions. PS: the food was great.
K. de Vahl Baker, Alice Springs, Australia, 13 Aug 2017
It was a great trip - and whereas the landscape and sleeping out were big attractions the trip was made by the care, attention, humour and overall professionalism of the guides. They were a true delight.
P. Bonifacio, Kew, VIC, 29 Aug 2017
We did the 14 day Larapinta end to end with World Expeditions and couldn't have been happier. The tour guides were top notch. Both professional and informative with loads of knowledge plus a willingness to help if needed. The meals they cooked us were so well prepared and delicious, it was hard to imagine they were prepared in a camp oven in the outback. The tracks, walks and climbing was difficult at times but we were always rewarded with spectacular views, the Australian outback landscape holds nothing back! It was loads of fun climbing and hiking our way up and around the peaks of the west MacDonnell Ranges. We couldn't have asked for a better experience! Thanks so much to our guides and World Expeditions for making out trip so memorable.
D., Sydney, NSW
It would be very difficult to rate the Larapinta end-to-end higher. The trip was utterly and completely amazing. The colours and textures of the scenery were awesome. Plus, I gained a feeling of accomplishment and it’s increased my desire go on more multi-day treks. Our tours guides - Peter and Emma were exceptional. They provided consistently excellent support during the trip. Of particular note is that they managed to produce a variety of consistently high quality and delicious meals. It was clear that they had put some considerable effort in planning the menu. I was particularly impressed with the care they took to cater for my wholly plant-based diet. This included a pre-trip phone call to discuss options.
H. Oniszk, Aldgate, SA, 03 Sep 2017
Amazing journey made so enjoyable by the best two guides from World Expeditions -Jordie and Earle. Two great personalities who ensured that we all had the best time. Jordie''s knowledge of the Trail, the culture, history and environment was like an encyclopedia. We could tell he loved the place and Earle's great humour and infectious smile made us relaxed and laughing all the time.The smooth running of the camp and everything organised so well was a reflection of Jordie's and Earle's abilities. The food was amazing!! Camp cooking at its very best. Loved sleeping in our swags looking at the universe. A challenging walk made worth while by the incredible views.
Steve W., Australia, 27 Jul 2017
I walked the Larapinta Trail end-to-end over 12 days in June, 2017 and it was absolutely incredible!! Each section is different in both the stunning scenery and physical challenges. Being a relative rookie walker I don't have much gear and as a student with just 2 weeks holidays I didn't have much time to plan logistics either. I booked my trip with World Expeditions and they organised all my food, food drops, flights, airport transfers and out to Mount Sonder and supplied me with maps and all the gear I needed (and there was a lot!). I've used World Expeditions before for a trip to Nepal and they always have brilliant customer service. I think 16 days would have been a better time frame though, giving us more time to enjoy the gorges and rest our bodies. We did the trail self-guided but met a few of World Expeditions' guided tours along the way and they all spoke very highly of their experience and of World Expedition's permanent campsites. For us, the best campsite was Brinkley Bluff and our favourite spot along the trail was Ormiston Gorge - great for a swim and cheeky ice cream from the kiosk.
H. Clem, 17 Jul 2017
Per Person, Twin Share