Create memories to last a lifetime as you cross the Red Centre's wild and untamed landscapes on this highlights packed short walking tour. Over three days you will enjoy the perfect introduction to walking in the outback with a selection of day walks along our favourite sections of the Larapinta Trail. Winding along high exposed ridge lines and through deep, sheltered gorges, this gentle introduction to desert walking traverses one of the world's most evocative and ancient landscapes.
Each evening you stay at Nick's Camp, one of our comfortable and stylish semi-permanent wilderness campsites which come complete with hot showers, dining tent and raised individual beds – exclusive to our travellers. Our support vehicle transfers all your luggage and camping equipment, leaving you only to carry a day pack while out walking and exploring for the day. Your professional guides are passionate about providing you with the most unforgettable food, stories, and experiences. If you are short on time or new to walking holidays, there is no better short experience on the Larapinta Trail.
To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, and the length of the trek. The Larapinta Experience is graded introductory to moderate. This trek involves walking 5-7 hours each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. In order to complete this trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise three or four times a week in the month prior to your departure. Hill walking with a day pack is recommended.
Your Larapinta Experience begins at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the official start of the iconic Larapinta Trail. The historic stone buildings here date back to 1872 and housed the first Europeans to live in Central Australia. This morning's walk weaves into the heart of the West Macdonnell National Park, giving us a feeling for trekking toward the desert ranges. A short transfer brings us to Simpsons Gap, one of the most important waterholes of this region and a likely place to spot the rare Black-footed Rock-Wallaby.
In the afternoon we visit Standley Chasm, a private reserve still run by the Traditional Owners. Here we do the Loop Walk – a spectacular trek around and into the stunning red-rock Chasm – where spring-fed pools attract abundant birdlife. In the late afternoon we transfer to Nick's Camp, our exclusive set-up nestled in bushland near Honeymoon Gap.
Walking Time: up to 5 hours
Today's highlight is the 5km walk along the crest of the high ridge leading to Counts Point. From here we have 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 also see the breathtakingly huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff. We descend from the high ridgetop though mysterious stands of mulga trees to the base of the ridge and follow a track of dolomite limestone. Keep your eye out for fossil stromatolites under foot, one of the most ancient forms of life.
Our walk finishes at Serpentine Chalet Dam where we learn some of the fascinating early history of the area and have a chance for a refreshing swim in the deep, cool water of the chasm. The evening is spent relaxing around the campfire while your guides prepare a scrumptious dinner.
Walking Time: 6 hours
This morning’s track takes us from Serpentine Bush Camp to the breathtaking Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass. We spend some time in the magnificent pass to enjoy the peace and marvel at the ancient cycad palms. From here we trek south-west to an original ochre quarry, a sacred Aboriginal site. The rainbow of vibrant colours on the wave-like ochre wall makes for stunning photos.
After a picnic lunch your guides will offer an afternoon walk. Depending on timing we can visit The Finke River (estimated to be the oldest river in the world) or Ormiston Gorge. Both regions offer wonderful wildlife: Spinifex Pidgeon, wild Budgerigar, Rock Wallabies and Mistletoe Bird to name a few. Having experienced some of the unforgettable highlights of the Larapinta Trail, we return past the scenic West Macdonnell Ranges to Alice Springs. We will drop you at your accommodation at approximately 5-6pm.
Walking Time: 3-5 hours
Per Person, Twin Share