The Larapinta Trail is one of the top 5 walks in Australia. Walking the high ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges we gain a rare perspective of vast flood plains, the razorback rocky outcrops and sheer scale of this ancient land. We follow an itinerary that will appeal to the active walker. You will need to carry only a light pack as a support vehicle will meet us at our campsites with bush tucker that will exceed expectations. The diversity of trail stages is impressive: at times the trail descends from the ridgeline into narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate fern and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand. On other stages we walk to the impressive Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm or climb Mt Sonder (1,380m) a perfect vantage point from where we can trace the entire West MacDonnell Range. Ignite Your Heart of Adventure and Travel - Play – Live!
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.
On arrival into Alice Springs please make your own way to the Aurora Hotel.
We will gather at 3pm for a meeting with your guide for a brief about the trek.
The meeting will be held at Lone Dingo Outdoor Store: 64 Todd Mall, Alice Spings (on the corner adjacent to Gregory Terrace). It is essential that you make your travel arrangements to enable you to attend this briefing.
The briefing will be approximately 2 hours in duration and will include:
-Opportunity to meet your fellow group members
-Overview of the itinerary and objectives of the tour
-Cross-check of required gear and clothing
-Outline of inherent risks of the trip and our emergency procedures
-Explanation of conservation strategies and Leave No Trace principles
-Forecast weather conditions
-Confirmation of pick up times and locations for the following morning’s departure
-A chance to ask our experienced guides any questions you may have
After our briefing we will enjoy dinner together at Kungkas Can Cook, a locally owned restaurant serving up delicious bush tucker, to swap tales and to learn about our group.
We pick you up from your hotel accommodation between 7am and 7.30am. Our walking commences from the eastern terminal of the trail next to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The trail passes through witchetty bush and mulga scrub, and over exposed hills and shady woodlands, we wave goodbye to Alice at the top of Euro ridge before we trek through the deep narrow passage of Wallaby Gap. We head to our semi-permanent campsite from here to start our afternoon of a bush tucker and local cultural stories. Nicks Camp is named to remember its original architect Nick Murcutt.
Culture and Cuisine Afternoon
You will be introduced to the traditional and modern methods of gathering and cooking bush foods at our semi permanent campsite. Guided through basic cultural information and shared insights into one of the oldest cultures.
From Nick's Campsite, 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. A short transfer takes us to the stunning Standley Chasm where we undertake a walk to the top of the lookout and visit the Chasm that is still run by the traditional owners. We transfer to Charlies campsite in an exclusive wilderness location nestled in the foothils below Counts Point. Charlie's camp is named in honour of pioneering Larapinta Guide Charlie Holmes
The highlight of this day is the 5 km walk along the crest of the high ridge leading to Counts Point. From the summit we have views west to Mount Sonder, and where for the first time we can see the comet impact crater, Gosse Bluff, a feature of the landscape for the next few days. The descent from the high ridgetop takes us down though a surprising forest of old Hill Mulga Trees. At the base of the ridge we trek along the dolomite limestones toward camp, keep your eye out for fossil stromatolites one of the most ancient forms of life. We trek in to our exclusive Charlie's Camp and a relaxing afternoom amongst the hills. An optional walk (2 km return) to Serpentine Chalet Dam reveals some early history and the chance for a swim in the dam, if your game to chance the cold water. We camp at Charlie's Camp, our exclusive semi-permanent campsite
We start the day (if we didn't do it the day before) with an optional walk to Serpentine Chalet Dam reveals some early history and the chance for a swim in the dam. We then trek to Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass to take in the quietness and marvel at the ancient Cycads and continue to the vibrant colour of the Aboriginal quarry at the Ochre Pits. We then break for an early afternoon finish at the Finke river (Oldest in the world) or relax at Glen Helen Resort in preparation for our big day tomorrow. We do have an option to continue for the afternoon though with a 10km walk from Ormiston Gorge to the Finke River which takes us through the diverse lowlands and Creek country. We transfer west to our exclusive camp at foot of Mount Sonder. This camp is named Camp Fearless in honour of trekking guide Sue Fear.
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 and if time permits in the afternoon we may visit the Glen Helen Resort at the base of the range. We can relax with a drink or even take an optional helicopter fight over the West MacDonnell Ranges. A short transfer returns us to Camp Fearless looking back up toward Mt Sonder.
Our trip comes to a finish today with a transfer back to Alice Springs for your onward flights.
I've just completed the 6 day Larapinta Trail in Comfort run by World Expeditions - it was so thrilling, challenging, different and yet friendly and luxurious. The guides (Jen, Ben, and Emma) were lovely, knowledgeable and experienced and provided great advice and insight. The accommodation standards for the semi permanent camp sights was really good and the food was 5 star - luxurious meals - really great quality after a long day hiking....thank you very much and would recommend this company.... Jen you are a star!!
Anna L., Melb, VIC, 08 Aug 2017
Per Person, Twin Share