More Inspiration

Sharing Our Support For The Voice to Parliament

Respecting the traditions of First Nations people, working in partnership to promote education of cultural heritage, is one of the core tenets of our Thoughtful Travel Charter. As a company, we support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Not only by engaging with them in our operations as we currently do, thus bringing a precious perspective of the importance of connection to land, but also and on a broader level, their pursuit for equality and recognition. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold a unique status as the first peoples of Australia, having lived here for more than 65,000 years. We believe that it is time to acknowledge their connection to our great country. 

For almost 40 years we have worked with Traditional Landowners and local First Nations communities in order to bring to you some of Australia’s greatest adventure experiences. When the Garma Festival first allowed non-indigenous travellers to attend, the World Expeditions Travel Group were honoured to have been chosen to be the only company to assist with travel arrangements. 

Having long worked with remote and minority communities around the world, whether providing a community or Regenerative Project for our travellers, or Service Learning experience for schools, one key learning has been that only through consultation and feedback from the communities on matters relating to them can we hope to truly assist them. 

Based on our experiences, we believe what the Voice proposes is a very reasonable proposition.

Recognition: We agree that it is time our nation formally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first people of Australia. 

Voice to Parliament: A representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, sitting outside the parliament, providing advice – not a veto or decision-making capacity - on issues related to them, is a sensible way forward based on what we have learned assisting communities around the world. 

Referendum: To avoid such a policy becoming a political hot-potato, we agree that the only way for formal recognition is a permanent change in the national rule-book – the Australian Constitution. 

Since Federation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have advocated for constitutional reform to recognise their rights as the first people of our nation. In 1967, the Australian people overwhelmingly responded to change the Constitution to count First Nations people in our census. In 2023, they seek to be formally recognised on a land that they have occupied for over 65,000 years. 

For these reasons, we support the ‘Yes’ campaign for the Voice to Parliament.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. 

Uluru Statement From The Heart


In 2022, our Australian program was Triple Certified by Ecotourism Australia, which includes Respecting our Culture Certification.



Top 10 Preparation Tips for First Time Trail Walkers

Considering a walk on the Larapinta Trail but you’re not sure if you’re mentally or physically up to it? We hear you. Sometimes a walking holiday can be a little daunting, especially if you’ve never been on one before.

If you take a simple, step-by-step approach you will be well on your way to being fit for your chosen walking adventure.

We’ve consulted our expert staff and leaders to compile our top walking training and preparation tips—so you’ll feel ready to take on a rewarding and life-changing walking adventure.


Preparing Yourself Physically


1. Do exercise you enjoy

The more you enjoy something, the more motivated you will be to do it. If you really love swimming, rock climbing, Zumba, or yoga for example, then add it to your exercise plan. If you’re having fun, you won’t even notice your training.

Another thing to consider is joining an exercise group. Walking or running or doing anything with a group comes with great benefits like making new friends, and it helps provide motivation to get out and train. There are many exercise groups on Meetup and Facebook that can connect you with like-minded exercise buddies.

Group sports like soccer and volleyball, in which you train once or twice a week then compete on the weekends, are a great way to get in shape, as are individual sports like tennis and squash.


2. Mix up the terrain and weather conditions

It’s important you read through your trip notes to get an idea of the type of terrain you’ll be walking on during your walk. Try to do some walking that mimics the conditions you will experience on your trek as closely as you can.

Also don’t forget that hills are your friend. The more you practice on hills, the more prepared you’ll be for your walk, especially if you’re walking in the mountains. The same goes for stairs. Find some stairs at your local park and do a couple of sets each week—at least.

To prepare yourself even more, try running or walking on grass. Running or walking on sand is especially beneficial, through it can be frustrating.


3. Fuel your body well

Your energy requirements will increase while walking so it’s important to fuel your body well. Try to eat small, frequent meals while training to maintain your energy levels. If you are going for a long training walk, it’s essential to eat a well-rounded healthy breakfast and to drink plenty of water. The guides will provide you with trail mix and other snacks, so you won’t need to worry about bringing these on your trip.


Salkantay Pass, Peru |  <i>Mark Tipple</i>


Preparing Yourself Mentally


4. Remember to pace yourself

If it’s your first time walking don’t be put off by the thought of training. It’s normal to feel a little nervous. Just remember it’s not a race. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you so you can relax and soak up the surroundings along the way.

A guide will always walk towards the back of the group, so don’t feel like you need to keep up with the fastest walker. At the end of the day, walking is about putting one foot in front of the other at a pace you are most comfortable with.


At the end of the day, trekking is about putting one foot in front of the other at a pace you are most comfortable with.


5. Consistency and persistence is key

Aim to keep up a consistent amount of exercise each week, especially during the weeks leading up to your walk. It’s a good idea to schedule exercise sessions at the same time every week and to fit them into your daily schedule. If you struggle to find the time to exercise, try incorporating it into your everyday routine—like walking to work or running during your lunch break.

Don’t forget to start your training early, and don’t leave it to the last minute. The earlier you start your training the better. The fitter you are, the more you’ll get out of your trip. When it comes to training, try not to feel overwhelmed. Training doesn’t need to be over-complicated.

Also, remove as many barriers as possible, so you can’t come up with excuses not to train. For example, organise your gym clothes the night before, set reminders on your phone, and keep a workout calendar.

Many people write plans for training down so they can tick off the activity once it’s complete. There a certain sense of accomplishment in being able to scratch things off a to-do list.


6. Understand your trip grade

It’s important to understand your trip grading so that you know what type of walking you’ll face on your trip. The majority of our walks are rated from introductory (grade 3) to moderate (grade 5), with some challenging treks graded at 6. Understanding your trip itinerary will help shape your training sessions and give you guidelines on how much training you should do each week leading up to your trip.

There are many factors that contribute to the difficultly of your walk, including the length, terrain, altitude, and weather conditions. These grading factors do not take into account personal abilities or experience, so if you have any queries relating to your fitness do not hesitate to get in touch with your reservations consultant.

You can mix up your training to make it fun—say three days on, one day off. Bike riding, jogging, stairs in the local park, the rowing machine, and swimming are all good options—anything that will improve your endurance. Of course, nothing beats bush walking with a heavy pack—up the hill and down the hill. Then repeat.

Meeting local people on the lesser known trails of Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>


Preparing Your Gear


7. Consider using walking poles

We’d recommend you consider using trekking poles for your walk. Studies have shown that walking with poles can reduce the pressure strain on the opposite leg by approximately 20 percent (Dr G Neureuther, 1981). Furthermore, while walking on an incline, poles reduce the body weight carried by the legs by approximately 8 kilograms (5 kilos on flat terrain).

Using poles also allows walkers to lengthen their stride, putting less strain on their knees (American College of Sports Medicine Journal, 2001). Though it still may be an exhausting day on the trail, trekking poles can certainly make the long days easier and more enjoyable.


8. Practice walking with your backpack

The majority of our walks are fully supported, meaning you’ll only need to carry a day pack while the rest of your luggage is transferred to your campsite or hotel. You’ll most likely be carrying only as much as 5 kilos in your day pack, including items such as water, snacks, spare clothing, and a camera.

It’s important you choose a backpack that’s comfortable and includes back support and adjustable chest and waist straps so that you can position the bag correctly on your body. You may also consider getting one with a bladder so you can easily sip water on the go. Make sure you use your bag as part of your training so you can ensure it’s as comfortable as possible before your walk.

One suggestion is to fill your backpack with clothes and a couple of water bottles so it weighs approximately 7 kilos and hit the hills, stairs, the local park—anywhere you can walk where there’s a gradient. Remember it is just as important training going down as it is going up as we use different muscles for each.


9. Find the right footwear

Your shoes could make or break your trip. No other piece of equipment can impact your enjoyment of your walk more than your boots, so investing in comfortable boots is highly recommended. We advise going to a gear shop to be fitted by an expert who will talk you through the range of boots on offer and find the best boot to suit your foot type.

We recommend a full boot with ankle support and a sturdy Vibram sole on all of our treks that are grade 3 and above. While quality boots cost more, it’s worth the investment when you consider how long your boots will last and how much they can impact your trip. Try to go shopping for your boots in the afternoon when your feet have expanded slightly—to ensure you get the correct size.

Once you’ve bought your boots make sure you wear them as much as possible. They might feel a bit uncomfortable and stiff at first, but the more you wear them, the more they will mould to your foot. Start with short walks and build up to longer ones. It might take some time to wear them in, but it’s better you get blisters now rather than on your trip. We’ll talk more about blisters next!

A classic 'feet up' moment on the Larapinta |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>


10. Blisters can be avoided

After concerns about fitness, blisters are the second biggest worry for trekkers. Blisters are created from friction, heat, and swelling. When it comes to blisters—prevention is essential and is much better than trying to cure them once you’ve got them. Here are some of our top tips for preventing blisters:

Make sure your shoes fit properly—if they are too tight or too loose, they can cause issues.

Quality socks are essential—many trekkers prefer to wear a liner sock under a heavier hiking sock to wick moisture and keep the foot dry. Try a merino wool or polypropylene liner in cold conditions or a Coolmax liner for warm to hot conditions.

Keep dry—using foot powder with the right sock can really help prevent moisture from gathering.

Lubricant—Body Glide is great for reducing friction. Many runners and walkers use it on their feet as well as other friction points on their body to prevent chafing.

Blister blocks and second skin—if you have ‘hot spots’ that are prone to blisters, try applying these items prior to your walk. They can also be used for protection and cushioning after a blister has formed.

Wrapping and taping—tape any pressure points or hot spots each day with athletic tape or moleskin. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the tape that might rub. While a walk may seem daunting, particularly if it’s your first time, if you take the time to prepare yourself mentally and physically, you’ll be well on your way to being ready to take on the challenge. If you have any concerns about preparation and training, our experts are here to guide you.

The last piece of advice is to make sure you follow your dreams and do a trip if you want to. No one ever gained anything by spending an extra hour in the office or in front of a computer. At the end of your life, you’ll look back and it will be the things you didn’t do that will stand out more than the things that you did do.

Larapinta Guide Anna Dakin Wins NT's Top Guide Award

We often mention how our guides are the best in the business, and apparently the judges for Northern Territory’s Top Tour Guide award agree.

Our very own Anna Dakin has been crowned the Northern Territory’s Top Tour Guide for 2022 and will represent the Northern Territory at the upcoming 2022 Australian Top Tourism Awards.

Based in Alice Springs but originally from the UK, Anna believes it was her passion for the landscape of Central Australia that cemented her win.

‘I really like to go the extra mile and learn all of the nitty gritty facts about specific areas of interest to me, which are mainly culture and geology and astronomy,' she said. 'It was that passion in learning the information and sharing. I love doing what I’m doing. I couldn’t be happier.’

Certainly, her happiness comes bursting out when you meet her. And why not? She has been guiding the Larapinta Trail for five years, and still finds joy in every step. She began guiding the classic Central Australia walk for us in 2019. She’s walked the Larapinta Trail dozens of times and never tires of the walking or the scenery.

‘What I find special about the Larapinta Trail is there is an ancient energy in the landscape here that I think is really profoundly linked to the local culture, the Arrernte culture,' she said. 'And the more you’re here the more you kind of tune into it. I reckon there’s a strong presence of the ancestors in this landscape.’


Our guides will bring the small details of the Larapinta Trail to life


Anna, who grew up in northeast England, is quite at home in the Red Centre of Australia. She studied art in London, and in 2012 decided to visit the Northern Territory on a camping trip. In 2014, she walked the Larapinta Trail. She was immediately hooked. 

She then started bringing artist friends out to to the Red Centre and showing them the landscape. Oftentimes armed with art supplies, Anna and her friends would head off into the bush and indulge their passion for the environment and their art. The event-based group became known as The Artist Expedition Society. Eventually, Anna moved back to Australia and started working as a guide.

She is now a senior guide with Larapinta Trail Walking. She’s in the process of writing a book about the environment for artists and designers, explaining aspects of the flora and geology that might not seem obvious to a casual observer.

She still paints (watercolours), but in the past year or so she’s gotten into sound recordings.

‘There’s a relationship between walking and time-based experiences and sound-based art,’ she notes. ‘There’s something about listening to sound in the moment versus listening to it in an isolated environment later. There’s part of the experience that’s captured in sound that’s not captured in other media.’

For one project several years ago, Anna travelled to Iceland during the winter. There, she and a friend wandered around at night capturing sounds.

‘It was so surreal because the Icelandic landscape is very different to other landscapes,’ she said. ‘It’s kind of bubbling, it’s alive with geysers and steam and other things that make noise. It was a really interesting way to experience a place. And then to try and translate that into an experience for other people was pretty cool as well.’

Anna plans to capture things about the Central Australian environment in art for people who don’t have the opportunity to experience this place firsthand. Ultimately, she hopes to do some big installation and exhibition art projects using space and sound.



Astronomy is another of Anna’s passions. She loves teaching people about the stars when she guides trips and she often holds mini workshops, too, in which attendees paint at night without the use of artificial light—'Paint the Light by Moonlight,' she calls it.

‘It’s great in the centre because there’s no light pollution in central Australia and it’s almost always cloudless,’ she said.

The Larapinta still excites Anna, but she’s also excited about a trip she has created herself, Culture and Art of Central Australia with Anna Dakin, which begins with a visit to the famous Desert Mob art fair in Alice Springs.

‘After the Desert Mob market we’ll head out and visit a couple of remote art centers, including Hermannsburg, the community which is the birthplace of Indigenous artist Albert Namitjira, and we’ll go to Papunya, where contemporary dot painting originated,’ she said.

'It’s going to be really cool,' she added.

Indeed—it sounds really cool.

The Larapinta Trail: a spotlight on ancient Australia

Celebrating 25 years guiding award-winning walks on Northern Territory's Larapinta Trail, one of the Great Walks of Australia and named in National Geographic’s 100 Hikes of a Lifetime.

Most people lucky enough to have walked all or part of the 223km Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges, near Alice Springs, would agree it’s the combination of stunning scenery and the rich Indigenous history which make the Larapinta one of the most popular multi-day walks in Australia today.

There's the physical beauty of the many waterholes and gorges. The spectacular mountain ranges that contrast so sharply with the endless flat nothingness that we traditionally associate with a desert landscape.

Then there's the palpable feeling of ancientness and the knowledge that you are walking in the footsteps of people belonging to one of the longest continuing cultures on the planet.

Home to the Arrernte (pronounced Ah-runda) people, whose ancestors have inhabited the region for around 40,000 years, the Larapinta is part of Tyurrentye (as the area is known to the Traditional Owners) and is a living landscape with deep spiritual significance to the 16 traditional estates that make up the area.

The whole area abounds with sacred sites, archaeological sites and many dreaming tracks (or 'songlines' as they are commonly known), such as the taye (moon man) dreaming that takes place between Mt Sonder and Glen Helen Gorge.

Guide explaining some of the history of the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Linda Murden</i> The breathtaking Glen Helen Gorge on the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia. |  <i>Ayla Rowe</i> The Ochre Pits are a special site where Aboriginal people quarried ochre for trade and traditional artist use |  <i>Graham Michael Freeman</i> Sunrise on Mt Sonder from Fearless's Camp |  <i>Rachel Imber</i> Ellery Creek swimmimg hole |  <i>Latonia Crockett</i>

Perhaps it’s the echo of those Dreamtime stories, told so often over thousands of years that have permeated the landscape, but there’s a palpable ancientness that many find quite moving. Many marine fossils found high on the West MacDonnell Ranges prove that an inland sea once covered Central Australia and provide geological evidence of this ancientness.

There’s no doubt that the connection with the land is a big part of what’s special about the Larapinta and leading tour operator, World Expeditions, is a strong supporter of collaborating with the local Indigenous community to help clients gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture.

The Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort, for example, allow trekkers to sample delicious locally grown food and learn about their traditional uses by local Indigenous chef, Rayleen Brown, from Kungkas Can Cook. There’s also a chance to hear Dreamtime stories told by a member of the local Indigenous community in a “Cultural Conversation Experience” on some departures.

But how did the Larapinta become one of the Great Walks of Australia and named in National Geographic’s 100 Hikes of a Lifetime when, less than 25 years ago, it was largely unknown to non-Indigenous people?

A walk to remember

The transition began with a visit from a humble Himalayan guide by the name of Charlie Holmes, who first visited the region during the early ’90s.  Charlie was mesmerized with the beauty of the Larapinta Trail and immediately recognized its commercial potential. His enthusiasm for the trail was infectious and, fortuitously, he was well respected by the adventure travel company, World Expeditions, for whom he’d guided in Nepal.

World Expeditions has a long-established history of pioneering new trips, introducing to the Australian market firsts such as cycling holidays in India (1977) and China (1978) and trekking trips in Mongolia (1980). It didn’t hesitate to support Charlie’s vision to begin operating guided trekking expeditions to the Larapinta in 1995.

While Charlie and World Expeditions nutted out logistics of operating those first treks in the remote desert environment, the Trail was still being developed by the forward-looking Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT, initially to establish a long-distance trail along the spine of the elongated West MacDonnell National Park.

By the time the full length of the 223km trail was completed in 2002, many sections by low-security prisoners from the NT Correctional Services, the route had been adapted to take the modern route – and Charlie knew it well.

From day one, the Larapinta was popular amongst trekkers, with word of mouth recommendations driving growth. By 2005, the Larapinta Trail had become World Expeditions’ highest-selling itinerary worldwide, establishing a base in Alice Springs and employing a team of professional guides.

  •  Counts Point – a 5km ridgeline walk that offers extensive views of 100km in every direction
  •  The Ochre Pits – a traditional Aboriginal quarry for ceremonial Ochre, in a range of colours from white to yellow, orange and red.
  •  Serpentine Gorge – a stunning gorge cut in the red quartzite cliffs near Charlie’s Camp.
  •  Ormiston Gorge – widely considered the most spectacular in the West Macs. (The 10km Gorge walk is not officially part of the Larapinta Trail but is one of the best short walks in the NT)
  •  Mt Sonder – the summit of which is a wonderful place to witness the sunrise as the sun’s rays spread across the vast folds of the ranges.


Get comfy

The idea of establishing a network of semi-permanent, eco campsites to sustainably manage the increasing demand was first floated around this time but, with so many stakeholders involved, the idea remained on the back burner for several years, until the ownership of the West MacDonnell National Park was returned to the Aboriginal Traditional Owners in 2012.

With the Park being jointly managed by NT Parks and Wildlife Commission and the Traditional owners, negotiation of an exclusive sub-lease agreement progressed and the eco camps were completed in 2013, allowing World Expeditions’ Larapinta product to meet the criteria to become one of the founding seven “Great Walks of Australia”, supported by Tourism Australia and the state Tourism bodies.

Designed by the late Nick Murcutt of Neeson-Murcutt Architects, the eco campsites set a new international benchmark by providing superior standards of service and comfort for trekkers in outback regions, thereby opening the experience to greater numbers of people, who may not have been ready to take on a wilderness camping based trek.

The design incorporates sustainable technologies such as water-free composting toilets, solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment.

The stars of the desert sky are a stunning backdrop to our unique Semi-Permanent Campsites |  <i>Graham Michael Freeman</i> Soak up the sounds of the desert around our campfire |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> Trekkers relaxing on the porch of their campsites |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i>

The camps are semi-permanent and are dismantled in the off-season, to allow the land to recover, maintaining the idyllic natural setting of these wilderness sites.

The lounge is designed to keep occupants comfortable in a climate known for extremes, with a moveable stretch canopy providing a cool shady open-sided haven, while also offering a warm shelter during cool nights with the sides pulled down. Cafe style gas burners along with open fire provide heating at night and a commercial standard cooking area allows guides to prepare delicious meals. Hot showers give trekkers a welcome way to wash away the dust of a good days walk on the Larapinta Trail.

The next step

Today, the Larapinta campsites are operated by Australian Walking Holidays, the domestic brand of World Expeditions and, this year, the company celebrates 25 years on the Larapinta Trail. A testament to the quality of the guiding team and the experience itself, the Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort remains the company’s top-selling trip.

According to Australian Walking Holidays’ General Manager, Michael Buggy, long-term partnerships remain at the heart of the Larapinta experience:

As well as the ongoing collaborations with the Arrernte people and with the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT that underpin the whole operation, there have been some very significant contributions from individuals along the way that helped shape the Larapinta experience that we are able to share with people today.

“The camps have been named Charlie’s Camp, Nick’s Camp and Fearless Camp as a tribute to some of these wonderful people who played a pivotal role in their inception,” says Michael.

“Fearless Camp, close to Mount Sonder, seemed a very apt commemoration of the late Sue Fear and her life as a mountaineer and guide, and the fourth and newest of the camps is Sonder Camp, named for its sweeping views of the mountain.”

The four eco-camps are positioned along the trail, as a kind of moving basecamp, which allows walkers to carry only a day pack, with luggage transported by 4WD vehicles between camps.

Last season, Australian Walking Holidays employed 23 guides on the Larapinta Trail – 12 women and 11 men, each of whom bring a love of the land and a warmth that empowers people who walk the trail with them.

“As a participant on the walk, you can expect to have the luxury of being fully present in a way that is not possible in our usual lives; to engage all your senses and be humbled by the beauty of your surrounds and the knowledge that people have preceded you on this walk for millennia,” Michael says.

In addition to being a three times recipient of the NT Tourism’s Brolga Award for best eco-tourism product, the Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort is a 100% carbon offset trip, with emissions offset by Australian Walking Holidays, as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainable travel.

“We remain mindful that it’s thanks to the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Central and Western Arrernte Country, that we have the opportunity to explore and enjoy this ancient landscape,” says Michael, “and we hope that the experience ultimately helps build understanding and respect for their place as Custodians of the land.”

This edited article was originally published in Great Walks Magazine, April-May 2020.

Self Guided Walking tips from a past trekker

While hiking in the great outdoors with family and friends is a wonderful experience to share, if you're keen for a new challenge then a solo, self-guided trek might be just the ticket.


You have the luxury of being able to choose your own adventure, set your own pace and make your own decisions without having to factor in other people’s needs and wants. Though solo trekking can be reclusive, it's a refreshing break from the usual fast-paced lifestyle. Chances are you’ll be enjoying your hike so much, you relish the quiet isolation and the chance to be in your own company for a time.

But before you set out, here are some factors to consider which will help make your journey much more enjoyable.

Choose a realistic goal

If you have never attempted a solo overnight or multi-day hike before, start small with a three-day hike on a well-marked trail, then build up to bigger challenges and longer hikes as your confidence, fitness and skills grow.

Discovering the Aussie outback at my own pace.

Build up your fitness

Being in the best physical and mental shape you can be is vital for a safe, enjoyable trip. The length of time and amount of training you need to do will depend on your baseline fitness and the length of the trek you wish to attempt, but generally three to six months of solid training is a good guideline.

Aim for three to five sessions a week and mix it up with walking, swimming and cycling. Practice hiking in all weathers, over different kinds of terrain with a pack.

A self-guided trek is a great option for the independent traveller.

Generally, if you are on a multi-day hike, you can expect to be carrying around 15-20kg of gear, so get used to walking while carrying a similar weight. Yoga and pilates are also great for balance, centering yourself and staying grounded. You can also sign up for an adventure training program such as Luvmyhike.

Learn basic orientation skills

Without a leader to guide you, or a friend to confer with if you wander off the trail or hurt yourself, you will need to be as self-sufficient as possible. Learn basic map reading and first-aid skills and learn to use a compass. There are plenty of one-day courses on offer which cover these topics.

Taking a break by a picturesque waterhole.

Invest in good gear

Lightweight clothing that wicks the sweat away from your body makes for a more comfortable hike. Pack a few layers which you can add to or take off, depending on the temperature. A good hat that covers your neck will protect you from the hot sun. Choose comfortable, waterproof leather or Gore-tex boots and wear them while training prior to your trek.


Invest in a good pair of hiking boots for multi-day treks.

Pack light

The gear that is provided on our self-guided treks is lightweight, of excellent quality and easy to use. You will be provided with a tent and sleeping gear, cooking gear, rain jacket, lightweight trekking food, maps and an EPIRB (Emergency position-indicating radio beacon station) for emergencies.

Enjoying supplied snacks with a view.

The remaining gear you’ll need to bring includes your footwear and clothing, camera, first aid kit and personal toiletries. Pack what you need, but pack wisely.

Test your load on a day hike as preparation.

Remember that shaving off a few grams here and there with each item may add up to a couple of kilos, meaning a lighter load to carry.

Happy trails!

Words and images by Nicola Conville, who trekked solo on one of our Larapinta Self Guided Walks

Have some tips to add to the list? Share them in the comments below.

Why our Larapinta Walk Keeps Winning Awards

It’s been a great year for our Larapinta Trail products, we began the season with our new fourth campsite – Sonder Camp and ended with another prestigious award for Ecotourism of our Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort, our third win from the Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Awards (2019, 2017 & 2016),our Larapinta Trail trips as the best in the industry.

Sonder Camp is named in honour of the magnificent mountain positioned towards the end of the trail. Mount Sonder or Rwetyepme is a significant area for the local Western Arrernte Aborigines and is Albert Namatjira country, an artist’s heaven. It is one of the highlights of visitors climbing the mountain pre-dawn for a magical sunrise view from on top of one of the Northern Territory’s highest peaks.

The canopy style communal camp at the Nick Murcutt campsite, Larapinta, northern territory |  <i>Sophie Panton</i> Trekkers relaxing on the porch of their campsites |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> Our eco-friendly bathroom amenities use water efficiently |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i>

The fourth campsite is designed with the same architecture features as the multi award-winning eco-friendly private camps – Nick’s, Charlie’s and Fearless. The comfortable camps feature walk-in safari-style tents with off ground beds and pillow, eco-friendly sit down toilets, a large canopy for communal dinning and lounging, hot showers and many more facilities.

To complement our minimal impact philosophy designed to leave no trace whilst also delivering high quality walking experiences, we are always striving to do more. In November, we launched our carbon offset program where all our trips are 100% offset.

As we lead into the new Larapinta Trail walking season in 2020, it’s been 25 years since we pioneered the first commercial operating walking tour in 1995 on Australia’s iconic desert trail in the Red Centre. It’s humbling to know that our peers believe that our Larapinta Trail walks are still the best in the business.

“The company is thrilled to be recognised for its ongoing commitment to providing an outstanding trekking experience while minimising the impact on the environment. Sustainability has been at the heart of our operations since we pioneered the trek back in 1995. Our four architecturally designed, semi-permanent campsite facilities incorporate sustainable technologies such as water-free toilets, solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment. It’s been a huge commitment to deliver the standard of accommodation we do in a remote area, while remaining focussed on complete sustainability. We acknowledge the support of NT Parks and Wildlife and the Indigenous Land Council in receiving this Award.” Australian Walking Holidays General Manager, Michael Buggy.

The Larapinta Camps offer stylish and comfortable dining |  <i>Chris Buykx</i> Guides prepare fresh meals each day The Larapinta campsites offer stylish and comfortable facilities in an outback wilderness |  <i>Caroline Crick</i>

We are the pioneers on Australia's iconic desert trail, operating the first commercial guided small group walking tour on the Larapinta in 1995. Heading into our 25th year on the trail, it's humbling to know that our peers believe that our Larapinta Trail walks are still the best in the business.

Why is our Larapinta Trail experience the best?

It's our multi award-winning eco-friendly private campsites, the cultural and history experiences, the fresh local produce, our services from the start of your booking enquiry to the end of your holiday and most of all our professional passionate wilderness guides. Read more on our Larapinta Trail difference. 


On the Trail with Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar
Sarah Wilson is known as the author of best selling book I Quit Sugar and loves being in the outdoors. We caught up with Sarah to hear about her experiences on the Larapinta Trail with us.
Why did you chose to walk the Larapinta Trail? My sister has walked the trail and I had a few people who had mentioned it to me on the other hikes I've done. I knew the Larapinta Trail was a really great adventure. So, I've heard about it a number of different times and wanted to walk with other hikers. 
Were there any challenges you were expecting from the trek before you walked?  The group experience is always a challenge as I'm generally used to hiking on my own. Group dynamics just present a very different experience. I chose the Classic Larapinta Trek In Comfort because of the availability of water. I have an anxiety-related issue of needing to bathe before bed. It's something you just don't bare in mind when you're used to hiking in other wilderness areas with more water sources. I was aware that water on the Larapinta Trail was going to be really limited, due to the desert environment and being able to have a hot shower each evening was one of the reasons I chose the comfort trip. The other challenge is of course, the extreme temperatures. A lot of people, don't realise that the desert gets freezing at night. 
What were you looking forward to, before going on the walk?  Just the expanse of the desert. I just really love desert landscapes and I was really looking forward to the feeling of expansiveness it delivers. It's very hard to find when you're in day to day living in the city, and even hiking in forests it is not quite the same as getting right out into the vastness of the outback.  The expanse of the sky is incredible. At night there's that really clear, dry air and you get to see stars that you just don't normally see. It goes beyond seeing it, to the feeling of expansiveness that it creates. As humans, we crave it, and I think that's what's so special about being in the desert. 

You're the author of the best selling I Quit Sugar, and recently released, First We Make The Beast Beautiful, a new story of anxiety books. How has being active in the natural environment related to the ideas behind your books? It's a big part of it. I hike to be able to write and for me it comes back to that expansive feeling. In my book First We Make the Beast Beautiful I say walking happens at a steady pace - the same as thought when you're trying to write, you really need that steadiness. I believe the other aspect is the people you meet along the way. Facing a challenge together can make us feel very open and gives us an opportunity to share a lot in the process. I think a lot of people don't realise that hiking gives that opportunity. 
What were the highlights for you? The highlights of the Classic Larapinta Trek In Comfort trip were being able to lie out under the stars in a swag and that is is a wonderful experience that you just don't get when you're living in the city. The food was absolutely delicious and eating around the camp fire was a treat. When you camp on your own, you won't always have that luxury.

Were there any difficult times and how did you overcome them? The walk up Mount Sonder is probably the most challenging part, because you're doing it in the dark to reach the summit at sunrise. A lesson in hiking is about putting one foot in front of the other - we live in a society where we are so used to having a nice quick outcome, we want to know now and we want to be already there. With hiking you can't do that, you can't push that. I've done some really big hikes and I've done them on my own, where you really got to drill down into that strength, and so the trek up Mount Sonder was really great for that because you literally just put one foot in front of the other, even with a torch you couldn't see that much further. The other people on the trip really enjoyed the summit too. Sitting out there on top of the mountain, watching the the sun rise and seeing the massive landscape in front of you slowly emerge from the darkness is a magical experience. We live such sanitized lives where everything's spelt out for us and the hike was a great opportunity to tap into that more honest way of existing, where you're 100% living in the present. 

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about walking the Larapinta Trail?  Do it! Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothes, pack a hot water bottle and a water bottle. 
Read more on Sarah's experience through her blog.
Winner 2017 Brolga Ecotourism Award

For the second consecutive year, Australian adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has won the Northern Territory Tourism’s prestigious Brolga Award for its Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort.

World Expeditions won the 2017 Ecotourism award, which is the industry’s highest accolade and recognizes the NT’s best products and services, and qualifies the company to compete in the upcoming national awards.

According to World Expeditions Public Relations Manager, Michele Eckersley, the company is thrilled to be recognised for its ongoing commitment to providing an outstanding trekking experience while minimising the impact on the environment.

Sustainability has been at the heart of our operations since we pioneered the trek back in 1995,”  Michele said.  “Our three architecturally designed, semi-permanent campsite facilities incorporate sustainable technologies such as water-free toilets, solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment,” she said.

It’s been a huge commitment to deliver the standard of accommodation we do in a remote area, while remaining focussed on complete sustainability,” she said.  “and we acknowledge the support of NT Parks and Wildlife and the Indigenous Land Council in receiving this Award.”

The Eco Tourism Award recognises outstanding ecologically sustainable tourism products, with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

The Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Awards are open to tourism operators, industry suppliers and outstanding individuals.  Winners of the 2017 Brolga Awards business categories will represent the Northern Territory at the Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Darwin in early 2018.

Ecotourism Brolga Award Winner 2016

In 2016 we were announced as the winner of the 2016 Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Award in the category of ‘Ecotourism’ for our Classic Larapinta Trail in Comfort product.

The Brolga Awards is the official tourism awards program for the Northern Territory, recognising and encouraging tourism businesses that strive for excellence in every area of their operation. A Brolga award is the industry’s highest accolade and the recipients represent the best products and services in the Northern Territory.

The Ecotourism award recognises ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

The 2016 Brolga Award for Ecotourism was presented to World Expeditions Australian Domestic Product Manager, Heidi Smith, at Darwin Convention Centre on Saturday 12 November 2016.

Set in the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges of Central Australia, the Larapinta Trail is the quintessential Australian Desert walking experience, offering one of the greatest desert treks on earth.

“I am over the moon that our Larapinta Trail product has been recognised in this way,” Mrs Smith said.

 “Australian Australian Walking Holidays, a division of World Expeditions, pioneered trekking on the Larapinta back in 1995.

“At the heart of our Larapinta Trail trek is a commitment to provide an outstanding experience for trekkers while minimising our impact on the environment.

“Our three architecturally designed, semi-permanent campsite facilities incorporate sustainable technologies such as water-free composting toilets, solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment.

The Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards are open to tourism operators, industry suppliers and outstanding individuals.Winners of the 2016 Brolga Awards business categories will represent the Northern Territory at the Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Darwin in February 2017.

Best Travel Product - 2014 updates

Our Larapinta Trail was named Best Travel Product by the Australian Society of Travel Writers in 2014. This coveted award is presented to the most effective liaison that inspires the industry to write about the destination. It is open to international, domestic/state and regional tourism organisations. World Expeditions is thrilled with this achievement as it is awarded by the members of Australia's leading travel media industry body. 

The members of ASTW are constantly exposed to the cutting edge of all that happens in the travel industry and it's a major challenge for any travel product to rise above the pack and inspire such well travelled and experienced travel professionals. Thankfully the pioneering heritage, award winning architecture and deep engagement with Aboriginal Traditional Owners when combined with a stunning walk and outstanding service adds up to a compelling and inspiring travel experience.

We welcomed the Channel 9 Weekend TODAY Show on the Larapinta Trail to broadcast the weather live with Emma Freedman. Special thanks to Qantas and Tourism NT for getting the crew to Alice Springs. The group had a fantastic time and our guides kept them well fed and entertained. What a stunning location for a weather broadcast. 

Footage courtesy of Weekend Today, Channel 9

In May 2013 we launched an exciting major upgrade to our semi-permanent camps. For over 8 years we have worked with Neeson-Murcutt Architects to design innovative, stylish and sustainable semi-permanent campsite facilities that  enhance the experience of trekkers while at the same time minimising environmental impacts. These new facilities are available for our 3 Day Larapinta Experience and 6 Day Classic Larapinta trips for 2013. 

Our innovative new campsites give trekkers a relaxing base to enjoy the outback solitude between walks while enjoying the pristine desert scenary. The kitchen, lounge and dining shelter is set on a raised platform out of the dust and provides a cool and shady open sided haven on warm afternoons, while also offering a warm shelter during the cool nights.  The toilets are in a new clean and airy amenities shelter and will use a special system that breaks down waste without using water or chemicals. The hot showers will continue to give trekkers a welcome way to wash away the dust of a good days walk on the Larapinta Trail.

These campsites would not be possible without a strong partnership with Aboriginal Traditional Owners and the NT Parks and Wildlife who jointly manage the land. The exclusive sub lease ensures that the benefits of trekking tourism are shared equitably with the Aboriginal Traditional Owners whose land we walk and camp upon.


We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing custodianship of the land, waters and culture for over 60,000 years. We pay our respects to them and their elders past, present and emerging. We are privileged to learn from them in the way we care for and share Australia’s diverse nature and culture, and we strive to walk humbly in the footsteps of those who have walked these paths before us.

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