Larapinta Trail Adventure

$3,699.00

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Guided Larapinta Trail Adventure Trek in the Northern Territories West MacDonnell Ranges

8 DAYS | 7 NIGHTS

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Challenge | Discover | Fulfil

Overview

Larapinta Trail Adventure

Guided walking tour

Join Big Heart Adventures, trekking the Outback on the Larapinta Trail in Arrernte Country.

On this fully supported trek we invite you to explore the best sections of this iconic desert trail.  From the high ridge lines of the West MacDonnell Ranges you’ll see the vast flood plains that form this ancient land. You’ll be dwarfed by the immensity of Ormiston and Serpentine Gorge and soothed by their idyllic waterholes. You’ll be amazed by dramatic colour changes in the rock formations at Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm… and to top it all of you’ll climb to the lofty peak of Mt Sonder to watch the sunrise (1,380m).

At the end of each day we relax in comfort at our architect-designed exclusive semi-permanent wilderness campsites – including hot showers, comfortable lounges and heated dining shelter.

Bring your boots, your day pack and an adventurous spirit for this ultimate Larapinta Trail challenge.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrive Alice Springs

Arrive anytime today before 3pm.  There is plenty to explore in Alice Springs if you arrive early.  After checking in to the hotel, our compulsory briefing with our guides takes place this afternoon in central Alice Springs (walking distance or short taxi ride from our hotel) with the chance to head out and grab dinner afterwards at a local eatery.

Meals Included: –
Walking Distance: –

Day 2 | Walk Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap

We will be picked up from our accommodation between 7-7.30am and begin with a walk at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the official start of the Larapinta Trail.

From here the trail takes us west through witchetty bush, mulga scrub, and bird-filled shady woodlands. We climb high over exposed hills to the jagged outcrop of Euro Ridge, with expansive views over Alice Springs and the surrounding landscape, before descending to the deep narrow passage of Wallaby Gap.

Nick’s Camp is an exclusive award-winning campsite. Nestled in the bush with stunning views across the Heavitree Range and Alice Valley and can be walked to if you want to extend your walk for today.

Following your introduction to camp we will be greeted by local bush food specialist, Rayleen Brown, who will give an informative presentation about native bush foods with tastings.

Meals Included: Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 14km or 22km

Day 3 | Nick’s Camp to Simpsons Gap

From Nick’s Camp we continue west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. We may catch sight of Black-footed Rock Wallaby as we approach one of the most important waterholes of the area, Simpsons Gap.

A short transfer takes us to the stunning Standley Chasm where you will enjoy a talk about indigenous culture. We journey into Arrernte country for a cultural conversation – a private reserve still run by the traditional owners. After a delicious picnic lunch and a walk into the magnificent Chasm we transfer back to our campsite.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 9km

Day 4 | Serpentine Gorge to Charlie’s Camp

Today’s highlight is the 5km walk along the crest of the high ridge leading to Counts Point. From here we have clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon to Mt Zeil (1531m), the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail.

We can also see the huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff, a feature of the landscape for the next few days. We descend from the high ridgetop though mysterious stands of mulga trees. At the base of the ridge we follow a track of dolomite limestone toward camp; keep your eye out for fossil stromatolites under foot, one of the most ancient forms of life.

Stepping off the main trail, we follow our private track to Charlie’s Camp, named in honour of pioneering Larapinta guide Charlie Holmes. Tonight’s camp is nestled in secluded wilderness at the foothills of Counts Point. Spend the evening relaxing around the campfire while your guides prepare a scrumptious dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 17km

Day 5 | Charlies Camp to Ochre Pits

After another wonderful breakfast we walk out of camp to the breathtaking Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass, visiting Serpentine Chalet en route. We spend some time in the magnificent pass to enjoy the peace and marvel at the ancient cycad palms.

From here we trek south-west to an original ochre quarry, a sacred Aboriginal site. The rainbow of vibrant colours on the wave-like ochre wall makes for stunning photos.

We then break for a picnic lunch and an early finish in preparation for our big day tomorrow.

This afternoon you can relax at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge. We transfer west to one of our exclusive Camps. Fearless – named in honour of trekking guide Sue Fear, or Sonder Camp – named after the majestic Mt Sonder. Both Camps are located at the foothills of Mount Sonder.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 8km

Day 6 | Early Morning Sunrise Walk up Mt Sonder

Our guides will have us up early this morning (2-3am) for our pre-dawn walk up Mount Sonder. Weaving our way up to the 1380m summit of this majestic mountain following only the glittering light of our head-torches, surrounded by deep and peaceful darkness, is a truly inspiring experience… and watching the sunrise from the top is unforgettable!

Mount Sonder is the official end and highest point of the entire Larapinta Trail and as such we have expansive views across the entire vast landscape we have been exploring over the last few days. We descend to Redbank Gorge and can enjoy a great brunch back at camp.

If time permits in the afternoon we may visit the Glen Helen Homestead at the base of the range where we can relax with a drink. A short transfer returns us to camp looking back up toward Mt Sonder.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 16km

Day 7 | Ormiston Pound Walk then to Alice Springs

This morning we enjoy the best side walk of the entire Larapinta Trail: Ormiston Pound.

The Pound offers an immense variety of extraordinary scenery and is the perfect walk to complete our journey. We explore the upper reaches of the Gorge where we may see Rock Wallabies scamper about the imposing cliffs, and follow the track through scrub filled with native birds: Spinifex Pigeon, Budgerigar and Mistletoe Bird. Keep an eye out overhead for the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia’s largest raptor.

After lunch we board our vehicle and transfer to Alice Springs. Sitting back and watching the now familiar ancient desert landscape slide by the window gives most trekkers a sense of awe and satisfaction.

Congratulations on all you have achieved over the last six days! We will drop you to your accommodation at approximately 4-5pm. This evening we will arrange a celebratory dinner together at one of Alice’s great eateries.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks
Walking Distance: 8km

Day 8 | Alice Springs

Today our tour concludes as we farewell eachother after sharing an incredible outback adventure on the Larapinta Trail!  Please ask us how you can extend your stay – consider adding a package to Uluru, Kings Canyon and more!

Meals Included: –
Walking Distance: –

Need To Know

Inclusions

Travel
  • Comfortable private vehicle transport
Meals
  • All meals and snacks as per the itinerary
  • 2 course dinners
  • Grazing platters
  • B x 5 | L x 6 | D x 5
Accommodation
  • 2 nights comfortable hotel (twin share)
  • 5 nights award winning eco-friendly semi-permanent campsites
  • option to swag under the outback stars
Activities
  • Professionally guided walks
  • Aboriginal bushtucker experience
  • Night hike for sunrise on Mt Sonder
Safety
  • Group First Aid kit and emergency communication device
  • Leaders certified in Remote Area/Wilderness First Aid
  • Qualified Bushwalking Leaders
Environmental
  • Small group guided experience
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Invitations to connect with nature
  • Reduce waste through recycling, reusing and composting
  • National Park entry fees
  • Fees to Aboriginal Traditional Owners
Big Heart Extras
  • Big Heart Adventures designed ioMerino hiking top
  • Big Heart Adventures designed head sock
  • Big Heart Adventures journal
  • Guided pre-departure training walks and or program (trip specific)
  • Discount card for pre-departure purchases at Scouts Outdoor Centre
  • A charity contribution to our Give Back program

Exclusions

  • Flights to and from Alice Springs
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Meals and drinks not stated on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Sleeping bag

Packing List

A detailed packing list is provided prior to travel

  • Gear you will need:
  • Warm sleeping bag – we can assist with hiring if needed
  • Rainproof jacket and pants
  • Daypack (35 litre approx.)
  • Water bottles/hydration kit (min 3Ltrs)
  • Personal medications
  • Clothing suitable for bushwalking that is quick drying, warm layers if chilly – consider merino/synthetic clothing
  • Sun protection such as hat, sunglasses and suncream, insect repellent (if joining us in warmer months consider a head net for the flies)
  • Sleeping attire
  • Walking poles (optional and recommended) – we can assist with hiring if needed

Details

  • Type: Challenge Trek Guided
  • Adventure: Larapinta Trail Adventure
  • Destination: Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • Traditional Country: Arrernte
  • Group Size: Max 15 plus leaders

Fitness Requirement

  • A good level of fitness is required to walk the trails on this trip
  • You will be walking pack free (day packs only)
  • You will walk on a variety of surfaces including undulating trails, very rocky trails, steep inclines and declines, spinifex overgrowth  and desert sand
  • There is a night walk summit climb for sunrise
  • Our longest walking day is 22km and we walk 6 consecutive days on this adventure
  • Trail rating: Moderate-hard

Important Information

  • Read terms and conditions before booking
  • Itinerary and price subject to change at any time
  • Travel Insurance is recommended – get a quote from Covermore
  • Note weather, group member welfare and a range of circumstances outside our control can mean last minute changes to our itinerary are necessary once on tour
  • A limited number of single rooms are available on a first-come basis
  • Please contact us before booking any flights. Depending on flight arrival and departure times extra nights accommodation may be required at own expense
  • A minimum of 10 travellers are required for this trip to depart. If minimum numbers aren’t reached, we may decide to still go or we will provide a full refund, subject to third party conditions
  • If this trip departs during Fire Ban Season – last minute changes to our itinerary or walking days may be required for safety reasons
  • As we are partnering with local tour operator ‘World Expeditions’ there are additional terms and conditions, fitness requirements and documents that apply to this departure as a condition of our agreement with them.  These are provided at time of booking and are accepted when a deposit is paid
  • Twin share rooming applies
  • Private vehicle transport plus daily trail transfers is included

Adventure Leaders

Our team is qualified, experienced and super friendly. We will ensure you have a fun and connecting adventure. Leaders are certified in Remote or Wilderness First-Aid. All leaders carry a group first-aid kit, emergency communications device, emergency documentation and equipment.

Testimonials