Late April to early September
Twin-share in 3-star hotels and comfortable camping
Hiking the Larapinta Trail
The Larapinta Trail is regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks. From the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, the trail stretches 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
As part of this 7 day adventure, you will stand on ancient escarpments and gaze out upon the ochre-coloured landscapes of Central Australia. You will follow Aboriginal Dreaming tracks and trek beside one of the world’s oldest river systems.
By day, you will experience the diversity of desert habitats and learn the unique history of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. At night, you will fall asleep to the sounds of native wildlife under a blanket of stars.
Why you'll love this adventure
- Experience Central Australia and explore the mountains, valleys, rivers and desert landscapes of the Red Centre
- Uncover the history of Australia’s traditional owners and gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture
- Ascend Mount Sonder, one of the Northern Territory’s highest peaks
Day 1: Arrive in Alice Springs
The adventure of a lifetime begins! Upon arrival in Alice Springs, please make your way to our hotel in the heart of Central Australia. The rest of the evening is free at your leisure to explore this ruggedly beautiful town in the heart of Australia.
Day 2: Alice Springs - Ormiston Gorge
Welcome to your Larapinta outback adventure! It’s an early start, as we begin our walk from the official start of the trail at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station at 7am. The Station was founded in 1871 and used for relaying messages between Darwin and Adelaide. Following the route of the old telegraph line through the rocky, rolling country that spreads out before you, we wind along a path that makes its way over creeks and gullies. We continue 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 Macs out in the distance. The trail then winds down to Wallaby Gap, home to elusive black-footed rock-wallabies and a great place for birdwatching. After this, we’ll be met by our 4x4 vehicle and transferred to our campsite for the night in Ormiston Gorge, right in the heart of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. Sleep beneath countless stars in your swag tonight and take in the dulcet sounds of the desert.
Trekking Distance: 14km
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Ormiston Gorge - Finke River
We begin today at the beautiful Ormiston Pound, home to the most impressive gorge in the 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. The trail weaves its way from Ormiston to the Finke River 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 a salty river. We make our way to 2 Mile Campground with time to enjoy a tasty dinner and swap stories around the campfire.
Trekking Distance: 10km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Davenport Creek - Redbank Gorge
Today we 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. As we trek, we are rewarded with spectacular views of Mount Sonder (‘Rwetyepme’, The Pregnant Lady) in the distance. Tonight, we return to our campsite shadowed by Mount Sonder and watch as the sun sinks behind red sands and the colours of the night desert erupt into million-star accommodation.
Trekking Distance: 11km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Redbank Gorge - Mount Sonder
This trail and its views are dominated by Mt Sonder, the highest point in the West MacDonnell Ranges. We descend through mulga woodland and past distinctive knobbly black rock to shady Rocky Bar Gap and along the southern flank of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek. Day 4 ends at a campsite in Redbank Gorge, in the shadow of the mountain itself, ahead of our ascent early tomorrow morning.
Trekking Distance: 15km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Mount Sonder - Alice Springs
It’s a very early start to climb to the summit of the iconic Mt Sonder today, the most memorable day of our adventure. The early start allows us to climb in the cool morning air before the sun begins to beat down. 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. Afterward, we’ll return to Alice Springs for an arrival in the late afternoon, where we’ll take some time to rest and maybe celebrate your journey with a farewell dinner.
Trekking Distance: 16km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Depart Alice Springs
This morning, we bid farewell to Alice Springs, the Red Centre and our Larapinta adventure. You will be filled with the memories and moments that have made this adventure one you will never forget. Please make your own way to the airport for your flight home.
Frequently asked questions
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ABOUT THE ADVENTURE
How challenging is this adventure?
Your adventure is ranked 3/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. The Larapinta trek is a physical challenge, and the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It is essential that you prepare for this challenge. We recommend that in the months leading up to your trip, you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise.
Who will I be travelling with?
Our average group size at Inspired Adventures ranges from 10 to 20 people. You can be sure that you have all come together with the shared purpose of making a difference to others and having the adventure of a lifetime.
The group will be led by a local tour leader with expert knowledge of the region. Many groups will also be accompanied by an Inspired Adventures Tour Leader to support and motivate the team.
Where applicable, a charity representative may also join the team. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your chosen charity and their work.
Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?
Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.
What is the general age range of participants?
The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–80+ take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.
FITNESS AND TRAINING
How do I train for this adventure?
We will provide you with basic information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register.
We recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.
It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than ideal.
What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation on this adventure is twin-share in 3-star hotels and at camping at a private semi-permanent campsite specifically selected for their locality to walking trails and the sheer beauty, peace and quiet they engender.
Will I be sharing accommodation?
Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. Single rooms are available at an additional cost and subject to availability.
I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?
If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.
WHAT TO EXPECT
What are the toilets like?
While camping, there will be chemical toilets. There are no toilets along the trail.
Are showers available?
No showers are available the campsite. If you would like to freshen up after a day's hike, bring a wash cloth and soap or wet wipes or just dip into one of the water holes along the trek.
What is the food like?
Food will vary from team to team, but below are some examples.
Breakfast: A choice of cereals/muesli, toast cooked on the campfire, porridge, fruit, coffee and tea.
Lunch: Lunch is typically served en route during trekking days. Your local guide will pack lunch food in their pack, and then lay it out buffet style when you stop for a lunch break. Featuring everything from gourmet meats and beans to delicious condiments and cheese, you’ll be able to make hearty wraps and more.
Dinner: By night, your tastebuds will be treated to traditional Australian outback campfire cookery, with a diversity of dishes ranging from steak and salad, jacket potatoes and barbecues to risotto, pasta and chicken stir-fry.
I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?
Of course, we will happily arrange for any dietary requirements you’ve noted during booking to be catered for. A special meal can always be prepared to meet individual needs specified in advance.
What weather can I expect?
Central Australia is an arid region with extreme climatic conditions that can climb above 35°C and drop below 3°C. During the Larapinta season (winter) mornings, evenings and nights are cold and daytimes are mild to warm. While blue, clear skies shine throughout most of the year with low rainfall, we recommend checking local weather forecasts closer to departure for more up-to-date information.
Is there mobile phone reception?
You will not be able to use your phone while out in the bush – but don’t worry; it’s all part of the experience! If you’re lucky, you might get some coverage at high points on the trail, but this is quite unlikely.
Will I have access to electricity?
There is no electricity available at the campsite. We recommend bringing along a portable recharging device, some of which can be recharged using solar energy.
What do I need to pack?
You will be sent a comprehensive packing list after you register for the adventure with everything you need to consider.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
All Inspired Adventures guides and Team Leaders are first aid trained. Our guides carry a satellite phone to be used if further assistance is required.
How will you manage the risk of COVID-19?
See the COVID-19 section of our website for full details.
How do I fundraise?
Never fundraised before? Not sure where to start? No worries, we don’t expect you to do it alone. You will have regular support from the Inspired Adventures fundraising team, who will help you make a fundraising plan to meet your target. Alongside personalised coaching, we will also send you lots of ideas and resources on how to fundraise. From online fundraising to trivia nights, to bake sales and out-of-the-box ideas, we have years and years of tried and tested tips to make your fundraising a success.
What happens if I don’t meet my fundraising target?
It’s normal to worry you won’t meet your fundraising target, but we know you can do it. In fact, with the support of Inspired Adventures, almost everyone goes on to raise far more than they imagined.
By registering for the adventure, you agree to raise the minimum fundraising amount specified. Like you, we are looking to make a significant impact for our charity partners, so the goal is for each person to have met their fundraising target before departure. If you fail to raise the minimum fundraising target by this time, we will review the situation on a case-by-case basis.
I’m travelling with a friend, can we fundraise together?
Absolutely! Fundraising with a friend is a great idea. Just remember the fundraising target is per person, so you will each need to meet the minimum fundraising goal to participate. We know you can do it.
COSTS AND PAYMENTS
What’s included in the travel cost?
Package inclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details.
Generally, the travel cost includes:
- Transfers as per itinerary in air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle/s
- Twin-share accommodation in 4-Star hotel and at comfortable campsite
- Accredited First Aid trained Outback Tour Guides
- Camping equipment including swags with mattress, sheets, sleeping bag and pillow
- All meals as per itinerary and water on trekking days
- All National park entrance and trekking fees
What’s not included in the travel cost?
Package exclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details.
Generally, the travel cost does not include:
- Airport transfers
- Personal expenses, such as laundry and alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Tips and gratuities
Is the travel cost guaranteed?
We will do our best to keep the travel costs as quoted. However, please bear in mind they can change due to group size, currency fluctuations or factors out of our control. If absolutely necessary, Inspired Travel may have to add on an additional supplement fee should the current social distancing measures continue. This fee would be required if our operator needs to add on additional vehicles, equipment and/or staff.
Why do I need to pay a registration fee?
When you register, you will be required to pay a registration fee to secure your spot on the team. From the minute you register until you return from your adventure, the team at Inspired Adventures will provide you with everything you need - including a personalised fundraising plan, fitness advice and support with travel preparations. You will receive access to your online adventure portal complete with your own online fundraising page and lots of resources to help you along the way. Your registration fee goes towards our cost of managing the adventure and supporting you on your journey.
How much spending money do I need?
We recommend that you allow $45 per day to cover any meals not included in the trip costs, souvenirs and gifts, bottled water and any additional activities you wish to participate in. It is possible to travel well on a smaller budget.
Is it customary to tip?
Tipping is not compulsory or expected in Australia, and you are encouraged to tip only an amount you find appropriate.
What happens if I need to cancel?
If you find yourself unable to attend, please notify us as soon as possible.
- Cancellation within 5 days of registration will receive a full refund.
- Cancellations more than 90 days prior to departure will receive a full refund minus the $950 deposit.
- Cancellations within 90 days of departure will receive no refund. Please contact us and we can assist with writing you an insurance letter to claim your refund.
TRAVEL INSURANCE AND VISAS
Do I need to have insurance?
Travel insurance is highly recommended for domestic adventures to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel-insurance-information.
All information is subject to change and will be confirmed upon your registration.
Do you want to take your supporters on an adventure-of-a-lifetime?
Enquire today about an itinerary in the Larapinta for your organisation.