Please note this trek is graded as moderate to hard, so a reasonable amount of fitness is expected. If you need any help with your pre-trek training, let us know. We have training programs to ensure you are fit and strong and ready for this trek.
- Trek the ancient landscape of the West MacDonnell Ranges
- Summit Mount Sonder for a spectacular sunrise
- Stay in multi award-winning, exclusive eco-campsites
- Visit highlights along the trail including Ormiston Gorge and Standley Chasm
- Gain a deeper understanding of the ancient Indigenous culture and Traditional Owners of the land
- Relax in the evenings around a campfire as the guides prepare delicious 3 course meals
- View spectacular and abundant endemic bird-life along the whole trail
Please refer to our Track Gradings tab for information relating to gradings.
Day 1 – Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap (14km) Grade 3
We pick you up from your accommodation between 7-7.30am and begin our 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 passage of Wallaby Gap. After a stop for refreshments, we are transfered by bus to Nick’s Camp. Nick’s Camp is nestled in the bush with stunning views across the Heavitree Range and Alice Valley. Following your introduction to camp you will be treated to a spread of local bush foods prepared by local specialist Rayleen Brown. Walking Time: 5-8 hours (L,D)
Day 2 – Nick’s Camp to Simpson’s Gap (7km) then onto Standley Chasm (2km) – Grade 3
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. All departures will journey into Arrernte country for a cultural conversation. After a delicious picnic lunch and a walk into the magnificent Chasm – a private reserve still run by the traditional owners – we transfer to back to our campsite. Walking Time: 3-5 hours (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Serpentine Gorge to Charlie’s Camp (16.5km) Grade 3
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. Walking Time: 5.5-6.5 hours (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Charlie’s Camp to Ochre Pits (8km) – Grade 3
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. Walking Time: 3-7 hours (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Early morning sunrise walk up Mt Sonder 1380m (16km) Grade 3
Your guides will have you up early this morning (2-3am) for our pre-dawn walk up Mount Sonder. Weaving your way up to the 1380m summit of this majestic mountain following only the glittering light of your head-torch, 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. Walking Time: 6-7 hours (B,L,D)
Day 6 – Ormiston Pound Walk (8km) transfer to Alice Springs – Grade 3
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 the bus and transfer to Alice Springs. Sitting back and watching the now familiar ancient desert landscape slide by the bus 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. Walking Time: 3-4 hours (B,L)
Flights from Alice Springs leave at around mid day each day, so you will miss a flight on the 8th Sept. Please book accommodation for the night of the 8th and a flight to leave the following day 9th Sept.
No bush walking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. Walks no greater than 5km.
No bush walking experience required. The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10km.
Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bush walking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.
Bush walking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.
Very experienced bush walkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20km.
What to bring
Each day our luggage is transferred to our next camp, so there is no need to carry heavy backpacks.
You will need:
A day pack that is big enough to carry water, snacks and wet weather clothing eg jacket.
Water bottles or camel pack that can hold at least 2 litres of water.
Clothing suitable for hiking, including sturdy hiking boots. Please note runners are not suitable as the ground is very rocky.
Sunscreen and a broad brimmed hat are essential, as we are out in exposed areas a lot of the time.
A duffle bag for your luggage that will be transferred each day.
Personal medications, toothbrush, toothpaste. Toiletries for the hot showers are supplied as they are environmentally suitable for the eco-camps.
Any alcoholic drinks (these can be purchased from Alice Springs the night before the trek). Hot tea and coffee are supplied each day.