5 Day Trek Across The Larapinta Trail

Tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks!
Alice Springs, Australia
5 days, 4 nights
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
16 years old
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Alice Springs
Camp under the stars!
What's Included

  • Tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks!
  • Days filled with hiking and wild swimming, and nights around the campsite fire sharing Outback yarns
  • Explore the majestic Ormiston Gorge, the most spectacular chasm in the West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Enjoy the unique experience of camping overnight along the trail, making the most of the remoteness and the star-filled desert skies
  • Summit Mt Sonder, the highest point in the West Macs
  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Private vehicle and walking
  • Swag camping for 4 nights


Where We Visit:

  • Alice Springs
  • Ormiston Gorge
  • Finke River
  • Davenport River
  • Redbank Gorge
  • Mount Sonder
  • Alice Springs
What to Expect

If you’re excited to travel to the heart of the Australian Outback, then the West MacDonnell National Park is your place! 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 Macs and enjoy time to connect to the Country and appreciate the importance of this place to the local people 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.


Day 1: Alice Springs - Ormiston Gorge

Begin this beautiful bushwalking track today by stretching your legs on Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail. The tour begins the walk from the official start of the trail at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station at 7 am. 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 Macs out in the distance. Follow the trail downhill to Wallaby Gap, home to elusive black-footed rock-wallabies and a great place for birdwatching. After this, you’ll be met by a 4x4 vehicle and transferred to your campsite for the night in Ormiston Gorge, right in the heart of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. Sleep beneath countless stars in your swag tonight.

Walking Distance: 14km - approximately 6 hours


  • Swag Camping (1 Night)


  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 2: Ormiston Gorge - Finke River

Today is your first full day of hiking, beginning 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. 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. You’ll return to your camp in Ormiston Gorge tonight with time to enjoy dinner and swap stories around the campfire.

Walking Distance: 10km - approximately 5 hours


  • Swag Camping (1 Night)


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Days 3-4: Davenport River - Redbank Gorge

The next two days are the most challenging but also rewarding section of your Larapinta hike. This trail and its views are dominated by Mt Sonder, the highest point in the West MacDonnell Ranges. It’s an undulating 26 kilometres across spinifex-covered hills, making your way through the foothills towards to the hulking mountain. 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 and along the southern flank of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek. You’ll have to sacrifice hot showers for the next two nights as you camp out overnight along the trail (a transport truck meets the tour each night), but the incredible scenery is more than worth it. You’ll finish Day 4 at a campsite in Redbank Gorge, in the shadow of the mountain itself.

Walking Distance: 26km over two days


  • Swag Camping (1 Night)
  • Swag Camping (1 Night)


  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)

Day 5: Mount Sonder - Alice Springs

Hopefully, you got an early night yesterday as today you’ll be up with the possums at 1 am for an early start to climb to the summit of the iconic Mt Sonder. The early start allows you 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, you’ll make your return to Alice Springs, where you’ll enjoy a well-earned shower and time to rest and celebrate your journey with a farewell dinner.

Walking Distance: 16km - approximately 6 hours


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Frequently Asked Questions

This trip starts at 7 am at Alice Springs YHA.

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Accommodation for this trip is Swag Camping, including bedrolls containing mattress, pillow, and sleeping bag.

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

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  • Backpack/Suitcase (not exceeding 60L, without wheels)
  • Day pack with waist harness (minimum 25L - 30L) and waterproof cover
  • Good quality reusable water bottles/ bladder (minimum 3L)
  • Walking shoes or boots
  • Spare comfortable shoes, for around the campsite or if your main walking shoes get wet
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat (preferably broad-rimmed)
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain / windproof jacket with storm hood attached. Recommended waterproof breathable fabric
  • Warm Jacket suitable for below 0 temperatures
  • Warm Jumper
  • Comfortable walking attire (no jeans or cotton). We recommend lightweight, quick-drying materials
  • Thermals (both top and bottom - suitable for below 0 temperatures)
  • Warm Trousers for nighttime around camp
  • Spare comfortable shoes or sandals to wear around camp
  • Warm gloves
  • Beanie
  • Swimmers and travel towel
  • Head torch and spare batteries (essential)
  • Insect repellent cream
  • Toiletries - biodegradable soap and waterless hand sanitizer gel
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • A book
  • Camera (optional)
  • Walking Poles (optional)
  • Biodegradable baby wipes (optional but highly recommended)
  • Snacks
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Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs and the Uluru/Kata-Tjuta region, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences Australia’s four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring, with large variations in temperature from season to season.


In summer (December–February), average temperatures range between 20C (68F) and 35C (95F). In winter (June– August), the average temperature range is 3–20C (37–68F). Spring and autumn in Central Australia see warm days and cool evenings. Temperatures in Central Australia can be extreme and can drop below 0C (32F) overnight in winter, and rise above 40C (104F) in summer.

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On this trip, you will be accompanied by two group leaders and a host. The two group leaders will trek with you at the front and back of the group and will ensure your safety and then you get the most out of your trekking days. The Host will drive ahead to your campsite for the night with the food and swags, and begin preparations for your amazing night under the stars.

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Travel insurance is compulsory for this trip for those travelling internationally. The tour requires that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are traveling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. 

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All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. 

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Terms & Conditions:

  • You must provide all requested details with the balance of the trip price. Necessary details vary by trip; they include but are not limited to full name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, passport number, passport issue and expiry date and any pre-existing medical conditions you have which may affect your ability to complete your travel arrangements. On some more demanding trips, you are required to complete and forward a Self-Assessment form. Failure to provide the requested details may result in additional charges or non-refundable cancellation of your trip.
  • Not all Intrepid tours are 'confirmed bookings'. When this is the case, our Backpacker Deals Agents will reach out to confirm with Intrepid and notify you within 48hrs that your booking is confirmed
  • The land price of your trip does not include: international or internal flights unless specified airport transfers, taxes and excess baggage charges unless specified meals other than those specified in the Essential Trip Information visa and passport fees travel insurance optional activities and all personal expenses
  • A minimum age at the time of travel applies. There is no upper age limit though we remind you that the trip can be physically demanding and passengers must ensure that they are suitably fit to allow full participation. All travellers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, or in lieu of a legal guardian, by an escort over the age of 18, appointed by their legal guardian. The legal guardian or their designee will be responsible for the traveller under the age of 18 day to days care. 
  • You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries which you will visit during your trip. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the duration of the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits, and certificates for your trip.
  • Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers on this tour and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. It is recommended as it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it.
  • The itinerary provided for each trip is representative of the types of activities contemplated, but it is understood that the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to alteration without prior notice due to local circumstances or events.
  • While the tour endeavors to operate all trips as described they reserve the right to change the trip itinerary. The definition of a major change is deemed to be a change affecting at least one day in five of the itinerary. When a major change is made you may choose between accepting the change, obtaining a refund of money paid on the land portion of the trip only, or accepting an alternative tour offered. after departure:The tour reserves the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or events outside of our control. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. 
  • Group trips are run by a group leader. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any person participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right to refund. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our responsible travel guidelines.
  • Optional activities not included in the trip price do not form part of the trip or this contract. You accept that any assistance given by your group leader or local representative in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and the activity provider. 
  • This itinerary is updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.
  • A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don't include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials have been sighted and assessed. 
  • On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour. This tour is activity and participation-based. You will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer. All food for this trip is purchased and packed prior to your group leaving on day one. You may be asked to pay for any additional food if you have not advised us of any special dietary requirements. Due to the often remote nature of our trips, food is basic but plentiful and delicious. The tour can provide easily available substitutes, please bring your own staples (nuts, bars, snacks) if you require a diet differing from the following. Vegetarian Gluten Free Dairy Free (soy available ) Pork Free
  • Meeting point: Alice Springs YHA Cnr Parsons Street and Leichhardt Terrace Alice Springs Alice Springs 0870 AUSTRALIA
  • While the tour endeavors to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. There may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip.
  • You will be camping under the stars in swags (bedrolls containing mattress, pillow and sleeping bag).
  • Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs and the Uluru/Kata-Tjuta region, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences Australia's four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring, with large variations in temperature from season to season. In summer (December-February), average temperatures range between 20C (68F) and 35C (95F). In winter (June-August), the average temperature range is 3-20C (37-68F). Spring and autumn in Central Australia see warm days and cool evenings. Temperatures in Central Australia can be extreme and can drop below 0C (32F) overnight in winter, and rise above 40C (104F) in summer. Please check the weather conditions in the days leading up to your trip.
  • On this trip, you will be accompanied by two group leaders and a host. The two group leaders will trek with you at the front and back of the group, and will ensure your safety, and then you get the most out of your trekking days. The Host will drive ahead to your campsite for the night with the food and swags, and begin preparations for your amazing night under the stars.
  • Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewelry at home - you won't need it while travelling. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.
  • As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. The very best trips are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Cancellation by the traveller If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:
    • 30 days or more prior to departure, we will retain the deposit
    • Between 15 and 29 days prior to departure, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost
    • 14 days or less prior to departure, we will retain 100% paid by you in connection with the booking
  • Note that different cancellation conditions apply to some trips and additional services. Your booking consultant will advise if differences apply. Please note that for certain travel arrangements the cancellation charge may be higher than those shown. In certain cases a 100% cancellation fee applies as soon as the booking is made and the ticket is issued. You will be advised of different cancellation charges at the time of booking. You are strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance at the time of booking, which will cover cancellation fees. If you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. If you fail to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made. The above cancellation fees are in addition to fees that may be levied by accommodation providers, travel agents, or third party tour and transport operator fees.
  • Cancellation by the tour: They may cancel a trip at any time up to 30 days before departure, subject to clause 13. They may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If the tour cancels your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. The tour is not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess, or non-refundable flights. 

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