A 7 Day walking tour along some of the best sections of the famous LARAPINTA TRAIL in Central Australia
7 Day / 6 Night Larapinta Trek
The Larapinta Trail is considered one of the best wilderness walks in Australia, traversing the West MacDonnell Ranges. Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges in Australia’s Red Centre trekking sections of the Larapinta Trail, one of the most popular wilderness walks in Australia. The rugged rocky outcrops form a striking backdrop to scenic paths that cut a swath through scenic gorges and expansive plains. We have chosen walks along the best sections of the trail. A highlight is a challenging but rewarding climb up to the top of Mount Sonder (1380m), where we enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, plains, valleys and salt lakes.
We start with a walk of approximately 20km beginning from the outskirts of Alice Springs west to Simpson’s Gap. This walk features superb views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands and traces part of the historic Overland Telegraph Line route. Visitors also follow the Aboriginal Dreaming Track of an ancient euro (hill kangaroo), ancestor of the modern species of euro, also known as wallaroo and offers superb bird watching opportunities. In the afternoon we are transferred to our campsite on the Hugh River.
Today we tackle Section 4, a 17.7km section of the Larapinta Trail, a good test of your fitness and walking experience. The trail starts from Birthday Waterhole then enters Stuart’s Pass, steeply ascending as it follows the high quartzite ridges of the Chewings Range to the summit of Brinkley Bluff where walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Descending from the bluff we work our way down to the Standley Chasm access road from where we return to Hugh River, our base for the night.
Section 7 is a 13.8km section of the Larapinta Trail that includes some steep ascents. The sharp rocks on the first part of the trail can be hard on tender feet, but gives us the opportunity to learn something of the long geological history of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Another highlight is the abundance of birds including the elusive spinifex bird, a unique species of warbler found only in Australia.
Today we head to the spectacular western half of the Larapinta Trail and onto a 13.4km section 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).
After breakfast we set off to walk Section 10, a 9.9km section that can easily be walked in a day. This is one of the shorter sections of the Larapinta Trail and winds through rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world’s oldest river systems.
Section 12 is a 15.8km return section of the trail that is only suitable for well prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. The arduous climb to the peak of Mount Sonder (1380m) is well worth the effort and walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes all combine to create magnificent vistas. This is a great place to experience the grandeur of the desert landscape.
In the morning we transfer to Ormiston Gorge where we spend our final morning on the Ormiston Pound circuit walk. Starting from the Visitor Centre the trail winds around some low peaks before descending into the ‘pound’, a flat area enclosed by mountains all around. There are numerous species of birds and mammals such as wallabies that can be seen in the gorge. It takes about 3 – 4 hours to complete the circuit and we finally return to the Visitor Centre via the main waterhole.
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 7 days and share some banter over a refreshing ale or cool drink at one of Alice’s classic outback restaurants (own expense).
Note: Due to the adventurous nature of our safaris, unpredictable weather / road conditions and long travel times, Walking Country strongly recommends travellers take out Travel Insurance including Cancellation Cover
- 7 Breakfasts (B)
- 7 Lunches (L)
- 6 Dinners (D)
- Hotel (1 night)
- Basic bush camp (6 nights)
Flights, airport departure taxes, arrival and departure transfers, final night’s accommodation, visa, insurance, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips or gratuities and items of a personal nature.
Extend your holiday by booking some pre or post tour accommodation – ask Walking Country or your travel agent.
Arrival in Alice Springs
Please make your own way to our starting hotel in Alice Springs by the evening prior to Day 1. You will meet your tour leader and fellow travellers at a Welcome Meeting at 6pm that evening. Alice Springs Airport is located 14 kilometres (15 minutes drive) south of the city. Alice Springs Airport Shuttle operates buses from the airport to town. No bookings necessary – just tell the bus driver where you need to go.
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, sleeping bag, sheets, towel, soap and a torch/kerosene lamp are provided.
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 guides.
**You need to arrive no later than the day prior to departure to join this tour.