SHORTLIST

Trek the Larapinta Trail

If you’re looking to travel to the heart of the Australian Outback, then the Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park is your place. And there’s no better way to experience and immerse yourself in this unforgettable landscape than the Larapinta Trail. Hike along the red rock slopes of the West MacDonnell Ranges, enjoy the time to truly connect to Country and appreciate the importance of this place to the traditional custodians over thousands of years. Hike to shadowed gorges, snaking riverbanks, open plains and towering mountains filled with a rich diversity of animals and plants, taking in sights like Ormiston Gorge and a rewarding ascent of Mt Sonder. One of the world’s best desert treks is waiting for you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

ITINERARY CHANGES
Please note that due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19, including supply and staff shortages, this itinerary is subject to change at short notice. Camping locations and facilities may vary depending on your departure date. Your leader will advise of any changes from this itinerary on Day 1.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
You’re in for a challenging walking trip and an excellent level of fitness is essential. You must be prepared to trek for multiple hours and up to 20km a day with little shade, climbing peaks and ridges over uneven and rocky terrain with a daypack carrying a minimum personal supply of 3 litres of water. The total distance walked on this trip exceeds 70km.

START & END TIMES
This trip starts strictly at 7am at Alice Springs YHA and finishes back in Alice Springs in the late afternoon of day 5. Please take this into consideration when booking arrival and onward travel.

ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation for this trip is a mix of basic permanent tented camps and swag camping under the stars, including bedrolls containing mattress, pillow and sleeping bag.

ALCOHOL
It is prohibited to take alcohol on this trip as the National Park is a dry zone.

SELF ASSESSMENT FORM
A Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip. Your booking agent will provide you with this form when you book to fill out before arrival.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
$1,983
Number of Days
5
Start Location
Alice Springs, Australia
End Location
Alice Springs, Australia
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 16
Tour Style
Basic
Tour Themes
Adventure
Physical Rating
Moderate to Challenging
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Alice Springs / Larapinta Trail
Meet your group and leader at 7 am this morning at our start point location in Alice Springs (Mpartnwe), then head out to stretch your legs on Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail. You begin your walk from the official start of the trail at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The Station was founded in 1871 and used for relaying messages between Darwin and Adelaide. Follow the route of the old telegraph line through the rocky, rolling country that spreads out before you, winding along a path that makes its way over creeks and gullies. Walk along the scenic spine of the Euro Ridge and take in the excellent views of the surrounding Alice Valley, with the gnarled peaks of the West Macdonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) out in the distance, stopping for lunch on the way. Follow the trail downhill to Wallaby Gap, home to elusive black-footed rock-wallabies and a great place for birdwatching. Arrive at your first campsite of the trip, and enjoy dinner today while planning for another great day of walking tomorrow.
Day 2: Larapinta Trail / Ormiston Gorge
Begin early today with a walk on Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail. Weave your way from the Finke River to Ormiston Gorge through rolling limestone hills filled with unique plant life. The Finke is one of the oldest river systems in the world, and the local Arrernte name for this waterway gives the whole trail its name – Lhere Pinte, which means ‘salty river’. Today’s hike finishes at the beautiful Ormiston Pound, home to the most impressive gorge in the whole West MacDonnell region. There’s a near-permanent waterhole shaded by ghost gums and towering red rock walls that is more than welcoming to any walker for a chance for a dip and freshen up. Back at camp, rest up and revive for some very challenging days ahead.
Day 3: Larapinta Trail
The next two days are the most challenging but also rewarding section of your Larapinta hike. Start today with the first part of Section 11 of the track. Views are dominated by Mt Sonder (Rwetyepme), the highest point in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Cross the Davenport River then make the climb up to Hilltop Lookout, an ascent that’s rewarded with panoramic views of the peak and its surroundings. Descend through mulga woodland and past distinctive knobbly black rock to shady Rocky Bar Gap. You'll continue on Section 11 tomorrow after a night back at camp tonight.
Day 4: Larapinta Trail / Redbank Gorge
Start today by transferring back to Rocky Bar Gap where you finished your hike yesterday, and tackle part 2 of Section 11. The track meanders along the southern flank of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek. It’s an undulating hike across spinifex-covered hills, making your way through the foothills of the hulking mountain looming to your right. Camp out under the stars again tonight nearby, but bed down as early as you can as you'll be up well before dawn to summit Mt Sonder tomorrow.
Day 5: Larapinta Trail / Mount Sonder / Alice Springs
Hopefully, you got an early night yesterday as today you’ll be up with the possums for an early start to climb to the summit of the iconic Mt Sonder, constituting the final part, Section 12, of the Larapinta Trail. The early start allows you to climb in the cool morning air before the sun begins to beat down, but as this will be in the dark a head torch is essential. The mountain is known traditionally as Rwetyepme – in local Arrernte culture she's portrayed as a pregnant woman forever doomed to lay on her back and watch the sky. It’s not an easy climb, but the journey to the peak is worth the sweeping views in all directions of Central Australia, taking in the trails you’ve covered over the past few days, the Tanami Desert in the north, meteor craters in the south, and the NT’s highest mountain in the west. It’s the perfect way to cap off the trip. After decending back to camp and a well earned breakfast, you’ll return to Alice Springs arriving by late afternoon, at which time the trip comes to an end. If you are staying longer, perhaps celebrate your journey with an optional farewell dinner together with your fellow hikers tonight.
Inclusions
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transport: Private Vehicle, Walking
  • Accommodation: Permanent tented camps & swag camping (4 nights)
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
20 Aug 2022 24 Aug 2022 2 $2,970
27 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 Fully Booked $2,805
10 Sep 2022 14 Sep 2022 5 $2,452
17 Sep 2022 21 Sep 2022 12 $1,984
24 Sep 2022 28 Sep 2022 7 $2,291
05 Oct 2022 09 Oct 2022 9 $2,116
15 Apr 2023 19 Apr 2023 13 $2,885
19 Apr 2023 23 Apr 2023 16 $2,885
22 Apr 2023 26 Apr 2023 16 $2,885
29 Apr 2023 03 May 2023 16 $2,885
03 May 2023 07 May 2023 9 $2,935
10 May 2023 14 May 2023 16 $2,885
13 May 2023 17 May 2023 16 $2,885
20 May 2023 24 May 2023 16 $2,885
24 May 2023 28 May 2023 15 $2,885
27 May 2023 31 May 2023 16 $2,885
31 May 2023 04 Jun 2023 16 $2,885
03 Jun 2023 07 Jun 2023 15 $2,885
07 Jun 2023 11 Jun 2023 16 $2,885
14 Jun 2023 18 Jun 2023 16 $2,885
17 Jun 2023 21 Jun 2023 15 $2,970
21 Jun 2023 25 Jun 2023 16 $2,970
24 Jun 2023 28 Jun 2023 16 $2,970
01 Jul 2023 05 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
05 Jul 2023 09 Jul 2023 15 $2,970
08 Jul 2023 12 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
15 Jul 2023 19 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
19 Jul 2023 23 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
22 Jul 2023 26 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
26 Jul 2023 30 Jul 2023 16 $2,970
02 Aug 2023 06 Aug 2023 16 $2,970
05 Aug 2023 09 Aug 2023 13 $2,970
12 Aug 2023 16 Aug 2023 16 $2,970
16 Aug 2023 20 Aug 2023 16 $2,970
19 Aug 2023 23 Aug 2023 14 $2,970
23 Aug 2023 27 Aug 2023 16 $2,970
26 Aug 2023 30 Aug 2023 14 $2,970
02 Sep 2023 06 Sep 2023 16 $2,885
06 Sep 2023 10 Sep 2023 16 $2,885
09 Sep 2023 13 Sep 2023 16 $2,885
13 Sep 2023 17 Sep 2023 16 $2,885
23 Sep 2023 27 Sep 2023 16 $2,885
27 Sep 2023 01 Oct 2023 16 $2,885
30 Sep 2023 04 Oct 2023 16 $2,885
04 Oct 2023 08 Oct 2023 16 $2,885