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5 Day Larapinta Trail Trek

Tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks and score up to 10% off
Alice Springs, Australia
Duration
Duration
5 Days 4 Nights
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Available
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
16+
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Advanced
Meals
Meals
Included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Alice Springs

What's Included

  • Get up to $200 cash back per person when you book with us

  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners

  • Accommodation: Permanent furnished tented camp with shared facilities (4 Nights)

  • Transport: Private Vehicle

  • Experience the challenges and rewards of an active Australian adventure

  • Enjoy 5 days of hiking and swimming

  • Spend 4 nights around the campsite fire sharing outback yarns

  • Explore the majestic Ormiston Gorge

  • Camp out overnight along the trail at Redbank Gorge

  • Embark on a summit hike of Mt Sonder, the highest point in the West Macs

  • Dedicated local leader to guide you throughout the tour

What to Expect

If you’re looking to travel to the heart of the Australian Outback, then the West MacDonnell National Park is your place.

 

See, do and experience all this incredible region has to offer across 5 days on this Larapinta Trail Trek.

 

There's no better way to experience and immerse yourself in this unforgettable landscape than by hiking along the red rock slopes of the West Macs and enjoying some time connecting to Country.

 

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 - so book today and save!

 

Where we visit

 

Day 1: Alice Springs / Larapinta Trail

Meet your group and leader this morning at our start point location in Alice Springs (Mpartnwe), then head out to stretch your legs on Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail. You begin your walk from the official start of the trail at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station. 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 MacDonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) out in the distance. Follow the trail downhill to Wallaby Gap, home to elusive black-footed rock-wallabies and a great place for birdwatching.

Please note: It’s very important that you are ready at 7am in the hostel lobby for collection as you will head out onto the trail right away this morning.  Due to the compounding economic effects of Covid-19, supply shortages (due to the recent floods) and issues with staffing (due to government mandated ‘close contact’ isolation requirements) the trip's itinerary may be subject to changes at short notice, particularly in regards to the accommodation. Camping locations and availability of facilities may vary depending on your departure date. Your leader will advise on Day 1.

Physicality: Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail is approximately 14km long and takes approx. 6 hours.

 

Day 2: Larapinta Trail / Ormiston Gorge
Begin early today on Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail. Weave your 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 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.

Physicality: Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail is approximately 13.5km long and takes approx. 6 hours.

 

Day 3: Larapinta Trail
The next two days are the most-challenging-yet-most-rewarding section of your Larapinta hike. Start today with the first part of Section 11 of the track. Views are dominated by Mt Sonder (Rwetyepme), the highest point in the West MacDonnell Ranges. 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.

Physicality: Section 11 Part 1 of the Larapinta Trail is approximately 18.5km long and takes approx. 14 hours.

 

Day 4: Larapinta Trail / Redbank Gorge
Start today by transferring back to Rocky Bar Gap where you finished your hike yesterday, and tackle Part 2 of Section 11. The track meanders along the southern flank of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek. It’s an undulating hike across spinifex-covered hills, making your way through the foothills of the hulking mountain looming to your right. Tonight’s overnight stay will be at a campsite in Redbank Gorge, in the shadow of the mountain itself, where you will spend the night under the stars in a swag, an experience not to be missed.
Physicality: Section 11 Part 2 of the Larapinta Trail is approximately 11km long and takes approx. 5 hours.

 

Day 5: Larapinta Trail / Mount Sonder / Alice Springs
Hopefully you got an early night yesterday as today you’ll be up with the possums for an early start to climb to the summit of the iconic Mt Sonder, constituting the final section (Section 12) of the Larapinta Trail.

The early start allows you to climb in the cool morning air before the sun begins to beat down. Don't forget your head torch! 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 for an arrival in the late afternoon, at which time the trip comes to an end. Perhaps celebrate your journey with a farewell dinner.

Physicality: Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail is approximately 14km long and takes approx. 7 hours with a 750m elevation gain.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’re in for a challenging walking trip and an excellent level of fitness is essential. You must be prepared to trek for multiple hours and up to 20km a day with little shade, climbing peaks and ridges over uneven and rocky terrain with a daypack carrying a minimum personal supply of 3 litres of water. The total distance walked on this trip exceeds 70km.

If you’re already exercising regularly, it might be an idea to up your game a little. Run those extra laps, or take few longer walks, ideally with a day pack on your back. If you’re not exercising regularly, it’s important you do so in the weeks leading up to your departure (4-6 weeks prior at least). Your best choice would be to start walking regularly 2-3 times a week including at least one longer walk (up to 15 km). It’s important to not only walk on flat surface, so if you cannot access hilly terrain easily, walking up and down stairs is a good replacement. Top that up with some general fitness exercises and any other cardio related classes and you will see a huge progress in your fitness levels.

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Alice Springs YHA
Cnr Parsons Street and Leichhardt Terrace
Alice Springs
AUSTRALIA

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Accommodation for this trip is a mix of basic permanent tented camps and swag camping under the stars, including bedrolls containing mattress, pillow and sleeping bag.

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LUGGAGE LIMIT
Please keep your luggage size and weight to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15 kg in total per person) is essential due to limited space for luggage in our vehicles. We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store in the vehicle and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings.

LUGGAGE TRANSFER
Your main luggage will be transported by a support vehicle between overnight stops, so you will just need to carry your day pack during the day, containing water, camera, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc.

CLOTHING
Central Australia has a semi-arid climate and temperatures can be extreme on either side of the scale. Day time temperatures can reach well above 40C/104F in summer (albeit we do not schedule this trip to run at that time of year) and can drop to below 0C/32F at night. Please pack warm clothes as well as light fitting and comfortable clothes for hiking during the day. It is not necessary to ‘dress’ for evening meals; casual, comfortable clothing is sufficient. Below are some clothing items we recommend:
● Several pairs of walking socks
● T-shirts (lightweight, quick-drying fabric)
● Long-sleeved trekking shirts
● Shorts
● Rain jacket
● Long-sleeve shirt with collar (for sun protection)
● Long-legged pants (or shorts with long gaiters)
● Warm jacket and hat
● Warm fleece/gloves/beanie

WALKING BOOTS
Waterproof walking boots with full ankle support are recommended for walking trips. Make sure your footwear is well worn in and comfortable. We also recommend hiking socks with at least one spare pair, as you will find these minimise the chance of getting blisters. The key to preventing blisters and avoiding unnecessary pain is to eliminate friction.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS
● Comfortable daypack (25–35 litres) with rain cover
● Water bottle(s) or hydration bladder (3+ litres minimum)
● Comfortable and well worn in hiking shoes or boots
● High-factor sunscreen and high UV sunglasses
● LED head torch with spare batteries

RECOMMENDED
● Toilet paper and small ziplock bags for rubbish
● Blister pads and/or tape for hotspots or blisters on your feet
● Lightweight quick drying towel and swimwear (summer months)
● Rehydration salts, mosquito repellent and first-aid kit including any personal medication

OPTIONAL
● Waterproof cover for day pack
● Long gaiters
● Walking poles
● Flip flop or /comfortable ‘evening’ shoes

 

WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

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Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs and the surrounding desert, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences large variations in temperature from season to season. Temperatures can be extreme on either side of the scale. They can rise above 40C/104F in summer and can drop below 0C/32F overnight in winter.

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In remote areas of Australia travelling even a small distance from populated areas will see phone coverage drop off dramatically. The extent of coverage will depend on your phone provider. If you are spending longer in Australia it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card. Telstra and Optus deliver better coverage in rural and regional areas, while Vodafone can be very patchy. Wifi is common at accommodations in urban areas of Australia, but many of the more remote properties may not offer this service, and some properties may charge a fee for usage.

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Policies

Terms & Conditions:

  • Please note that due to the compounding economic effects of Covid-19, supply shortages (due to the recent floods) and issues with staffing (due to government mandated ‘close contact’ isolation requirements) the trip's itinerary may be subject to changes at short notice, particularly in regards to the accommodation. Camping locations and availability of facilities may vary depending on your departure date. Your leader will advise on Day 1.

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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 travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

  • Due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local First Nations communities may be unavailable from time to time. Some cultural experiences may be seasonal and only available at certain times of year. Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides are unavailable, activities will be replaced with a suitable alternative. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Intrepid reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.

  • A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

  • All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.


Cancellation Policy:

Please visit the Intrepid Booking Conditions page for more information.


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