5 Day / 5 Night Larapinta Trek
Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Red Centre trekking sections of the Larapinta Trail, one of the most popular wilderness walks in Australia. Covering up to 18 km’s of graded trail per day, there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the Australian outback. Discover the magic and mysteries concealed within this ancient environment and be swept away by the dreamtime of the area.
5 Day / 5 Night Larapinta Trek
Many people have an expectation that the region is a featureless plain of winding red sand hills with a smattering of grasses and bushes. Be prepared for the shock of a lifetime – Central Australia is home to the tallest peaks in the Northern Territory; the oldest dramatic landscape in Australia full of ravines , escarpments and sensational waterholes; life forms that will totally excite the curious mind and, above all, a truly great wilderness experience which will remove you to a place filled with peace and tranquility. You will be left speechless.
Tour guide, ground support crew and all transportation. Camping equipment and bedding including swags, pillows, sleeping bags and blankets. Meals and snacks as indicated on itinerary and below. Hot and cold drinks excluding alcoholic beverages (note that the purchase of alcohol can be arranged with your guide at the pre-trek meeting. Cold storage will be provided), fresh drinking water.
4 Breakfasts (B)
5 Lunches (L)
4 Dinners (D)
Basic bush camp with swags (tents upon request) (4 nights)
Flights, airport departure taxes, arrival and departure transfers, visa, travel insurance, optional tours and activities during free time, tips or gratuities and items of a personal nature. It is recommended that any additional alcohol/refreshments be purchased prior to tour departure** in Alice Springs. Storage will be provided
Arrival in Alice Springs – 2.00pm Start
Arrive at leisure today and check into your hotel.
We meet at 2.00pm in the foyer of the Doubletree Hilton (Barrett Drive) where you will meet the rest of the members of your group to discuss the coming days with your guide.
If you arrive earlier during the day you might like to enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling heart of the Red Centre before leaving it all behind for the desolate outback. Browse Aboriginal artworks at Central Australia’s best art galleries. This is also a good time to ensure you have all articles needed for your Larapinta Trail walk.
Overnight Alice Springs (own expense)
Walking Day 1 – Alice Springs to Simpson’s Gap (B/L/D)
An early start and its bye bye suburbia – hello wilderness! The majestic and serene West MacDonnell Ranges are rich in natural wonders and traditional culture and are considered the best there is in Australia. Our first walk is a 23.4km ‘leg stretch’ commencing from the outskirts of Alice Springs. Some beautiful views can be seen, particularly at Euro Ridge. Our walk is taken casually, a fitting way to relax and immerse in the wonder of the region and to ponder the coming 4 days.
Our Ground Support Vehicle will meet us at the picturesque Simpsons Gap and transfer us to our remote camping location. Let the true experience begin as we rest in a region synonymous in the dreamtime (Alcheringa) of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people.
For those who feel they cannot complete the entire 23.4kms, there is an opportunity to finish at Wallaby Gap at 13.5kms and return to the campsite with our support staff.
Walking Day 2 – Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam (B/L/D)
Today we head to the spectacular western half of the Larapinta Trail and onto a 13.4km section of the Larapinta Trail that is only suitable for well-prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. It offers exhilarating views of the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mt Zeil (the highest point in the Northern Territory).
Walking Day 3 – Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen (B/L/D)
Today we traverse the low lying regions surrounding Ormiston Gorge gradually working our way upward into the back reaches of the Finke River. This area is steeped in traditional folklore with several important sites being viewed including ‘Yapulpa’, which is part of the Carpet Snake Dreaming legend as well as the Emu and Kangaroo Man Dreaming.
Tonight our campsite is shadowed by Mount Sonder (Rwetyepme, The Pregnant Lady) and the imagery of the Yeperenye Hills. Relax at the campsite on the banks of the mighty Finke River as the sun sets and the colours of the night desert erupt into million star accommodation.
Walking Day 4 – Mount Sonder Climb (B/L/D)
An early rise is an understatement as we challenge the 8km climb to the peak of Mount Sonder. The vision of sunrise and the 360° view will leave you speechless – a truly unforgettable achievement. Enjoy time at camp for your last evening under the stars of the Milky Way.
Walking Day 5 – Ormiston Pound Walk to Alice Springs (B/L)
Regarded by many as the ‘primo’ small walk of the Larapinta Trail, the Ormiston Pound Walk is full of wow factor, wildlife and flora and a great finale to our walk. A location inspirational to Albert Namatjira, sensational viewings of the Chewing’s Range and Mount Giles – the entry into the Gorge will leave you dumb founded.
After another healthy lunch, we will pack and break camp for regrettably the last time and return to normality (hot shower and life as you know it awaits). Tonight we will reminisce the past 5 days and share some banter over a refreshing ale or cool drink at one of Alice’s classic outback restaurants (own expense)
What to Bring
Headlight or torch, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, fly net, water bottles (min. recommended capacity 3-4 litres total), walking shoes/boots, warm clothing, personal items such as toiletries and medications and towel. BYO alcohol (see note under inclusions).
Please note temperature variation is great in Central Australia. You will be required to carry all clothing required for that day and should plan accordingly. Temperature variations ranging from 0 – 30 degrees Celsius can be experienced each day.
All other clothing and luggage will be transported by the ground crew. Any items not needed for the trek can be stored at your accommodation in Alice Springs.
Travelling with Children
Due to the nature of this tour, the minimum age accepted for children is 12 years. Private Charters can be arranged by request and tailored for children’s needs accordingly.
Arrival in Alice Springs
Many hotels provide courtesy buses that meet most flights. To take advantage of this, you must call the hotel at least 24 hours before your arrival and provide your flight details and arrival time. Otherwise a taxi will cost approximately AUD$30. The airport shuttle costs AUD$15 per person and meets every flight, and will also take you directly to your hotel.
Outback Camping in Style
We like to camp in style and comfort which involves sleeping in enclosed swags or in large, wilderness style tents. A mattress, pillow, -5CC rated sleeping bags, sheets, woollen blankets are provided. A hands free headlight/torch is thoroughly recommended for after dark activities. Please note you will be required to carry your own day pack on this walk. All other equipment will be handled by our ground crew.
Respecting Indigenous Culture
Please note that itineraries that include visits to Indigenous sites may change at short notice, due to the cultural and ceremonial obligations of our Indigenous hosts and guide.
**Departure dates lists refer to your arrival days into Alice Springs and your night of accommodation. It is not the first day of trek.