Exceptional rock formations on the escarpment on the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

Our
commitment dedication passion
for Responsible Travel on the Larapinta Trail.

World Expeditions has been pioneering sustainable and responsible travel to some of Austalia’s most diverse destinations since it began its domestic operations in 1977. We became the first commercial operator on the Larapinta Trail in 1995 and our commitment to environmental sustainability has remained at the core of all we do. The Larapinta trail is one of the richest, most challenging, yet at the same time one of the most fragile and spectacular environments on earth. With education, experienced leadership and appropriate equipment and techniques, we have proven it is possible to travel responsibly in this region. For World Expeditions it is crucially important that our semi-permanent campsite treks and our wilderness camping treks does not diminish the natural values of the environment in which we operate.

Our exceptional standard of environmental care is based on our “Leave No Trace” camping techniques as well as strong responsible tourism ethics. In the field, our operations are managed to ensure that the natural values of the host region are undiminished in the long term. We do this by adhering to the 7 principals of Leave No Trace:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimise Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Your Hosts and Other Visitors

Now in its 6th year of production, the Responsible travel guidebook is written as an educational tool for our travellers and partners to outline the role they play in our Responsible Travel efforts. The booklet states our environmental objectives and practices, provides examples of responsible initiatives in place and outlines how travellers can play a part in reducing the impact on environments and cultures around the world. Every World Expeditions client receives a copy of this book.

World Expeditions wholly owns and operates our Australian operation. This enables us to directly enact our two main responsible travel principals: to conserve environments and preserve culture. We carefully select our guides to ensure that they align with our responsible travel philosophies and that they have a strong affiliation with the local culture. We ask our guides specifically to promote awareness and understanding of the local culture and traditions and to promote interaction with the local staff and culture.

In March 2013 World Expeditions launched two campsites along the Larapinta Trail (Northern Territory, Australia) to provide shelter to our trekking groups through a series of minimal impact structures. They are located within indigenous owned National Park some 30kms and 130kms west of Alice Springs. A sympathetic partnership between the landscape and the campsites has been established to maintain respect for country, to enhance sense of place and to provide a total environment experience of the Larapinta trek.

Each campsite comprises a shaded communal platform, an ablutions tent with two toilets, and two separate shower tents. Sleeping is in swags. Unoccupied throughout the hot summer, the camp is ‘packed down’. All water is imported and minimal water use encouraged. Toilet waste removed from the site and shower waste is dispersed below ground level. Solar LEDs provide light to the communal tent.

Our itineraries include authentic cultural exchange through various means such as:

  • use accommodation that is sympathetic to the needs of the environment and local culture (for example our semi-permanent campsites)
  • taking part in authentic cultural activities such as eating traditional cuisines or hearing from cultural experts
  • visiting attractions and landscapes that are operated locally by indigenous people or where the aim is to present an authentic experience of the local culture

World Expeditions is the only company in Australia to have the full endorsement of The Wilderness Society. This is in recognition of our responsible approach to travel in remote areas.

The Larapinta Trail walks have been accredited as Ecotourism ECO IV certified, awarded for our strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices, high quality nature-based tourism experiences, and in recognition of our optimal resources use, conservation practices and help towards local communities.

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