6-Day Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

 Australia

Trek the beautiful Red Centre along one of Australia’s premier walking tracks – the Larapinta Trail.

Trip duration:

6 days

Challenge duration:

4 days

Challenge grade:

3/5

Departure months:

Late April to early September

Accomodation:

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 6 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.

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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

Trip notes

Day 1: Arrive in Alice Springs

The adventure of a lifetime begins! Upon arrival in Alice Springs, please make your way to the hotel in the heart of Central Australia. In the early evening, meet in the hotel lobby where you will meet your guides for a briefing of the coming days. The rest of the evening is free at your leisure to explore this ruggedly beautiful town in the heart of Australia.

Meals: None

Day 2:  Geoff Moss Bridge - Wallaby Gap

After breakfast and packing up lunch, we’ll have a short transfer to the start of our trek. We begin our Larapinta Trail adventure walking Geoff Moss Bridge to Wallaby Gap, where we will witness some vast and beautiful stretches of Australian land. On our walk, we allow ourselves to be immersed in the wonder of the region and get a taste of what’s coming in the next few days. Afterwards, we’ll drive out to our remote campsite within the MacDonnell Ranges National Park. The true experience begins as we settle into rest in a region synonymous in the dreamtime of Western Arrernte Aboriginal people.

Trekking Distance: 12km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Finke River - Ormiston Gorge - Ochre Pits

This morning we will weave our 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 Gorge, 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. Later in the day, we’ll explore the Ochre Pits before returning to camp in the late afternoon and enjoying another dinner in the wilderness. 

Trekking Distance: 13.6

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Redbank Gorge - Mt Sonder

This morning we rise before the sun and transfer from our campsite to Redbank Gorge at the base of Mount Sonder, where we start our ascent to the peak. 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. The climb to the summit is arduous along a rocky and loose path that occasionally disappears into brush. We are rewarded with a sunrise and incredible 360° views of the ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes below. Here, we will take time to catch our breath and bask in the grandeur of the desert landscape - and the incredible summit achievement. After descending, we transfer back to our campsite where we enjoy our last evening under the stars of the Milky Way.

Trekking Distance: 15.5km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Standley Chasm to Reveal Saddle 

For our last day of trekking, we will transfer to Standley Chasm and trek to Reveal Saddle. Known traditionally as Angkerle Atwatye, meaning “Gap of Water”, Standley Chasm is an icon of great cultural cultural relevance, nestled amongst the West MacDonnell Ranges. After exploring the area, we’ll transfer back to Alice Springs, arriving in the early evening. Tonight, we’ll join for a final celebration meal and reflect on our achievements of the past few days. 

Trekking Distance: 8km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Frequently asked questions

Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via email (info@inspiredadventure.com.au) or phone (1300 905 188). We’re always here to help!

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.

ACCOMMODATION

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.

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:

  • Airfares
  • 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. 

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.

Reviews

Past adventurers rated their overall experience on the Larapinta Trail as 4.79 out of 5

★★★★★


“Fantastic experience with a great team of people on a sensational trek.” 

 

Clyde Campbell

Shake It Up's Trek for Treatment: Larapinta 2019

★★★★★


"The most humbling and emotional time of my life with a group of people who share a common bond and believe in the future."

 

Trevor Neil King

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation: Trek4BrainCancer Larapinta 2019

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


"An amazing and uplifting experience with a bunch of like minded, inspiring people; led by a gifted and passionate guide and supported by a highly skilled professionals from Inspired Adventures."

 

Wendy Phillpotts

SU QLD: Journey for Hope Larapinta 2019
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Responsible travel

Caring for our adventurers, the communities we visit and the wellbeing of the planet is the heart of everything we do. This adventure is no exception.

Meaningful connections: Hear from Aranda Elders who will tell us about the history of the area.

Environment: We offset the emissions from this trip through carbon credit programs in partnership with Carbon Neutral. 

Treading lightly: Trekking is a great, low-impact way to explore.

Small group travel: Our teams consist of a maximum of 25 people. Better for you, and better for the planet.

Responsible business: We’re a certified B-Corp, committed to using business as a force for good

Upcoming adventures

April 2024
May 2024
July 2024
August 2024
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