Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges in Australia’s Red Centre trekking sections of the Larapinta Trail, one of the most popular wilderness walks in Australia. The rugged rocky outcrops form a striking backdrop to scenic paths that cut a swath through scenic gorges and expansive plains. We have chosen walks along the best sections of the trail. A highlight is a challenging but rewarding climb up to the top of Mount Sonder (1380m), where we enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, plains, valleys and salt lakes.
- Fully Guided with Experienced and passionate guide
- Fully Supported with ground crew, meaning you only carry a day pack
- Meals (7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners)
- Camping equipment and Accommodation (Hotel 1 night, Basic bush camp 6 nights)
- Sheets, pillow, blankets, and a sleeping bag rated to -5
- Drinking Water (please provide your own bottle)
Walking Country offers fully guided and supported walks along the Larapinta Trail which extends for over 223km’s along the backbone of the Western MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. It begins at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges, climbing steeply over the rugged ranges with numerous stunning views to admire the spectacular landscape. The Trail takes in a variety of desert habitats before rewarding walkers with 360° vistas from Mount Sonder – the highest point and end of the Trail.
• Walks available from 7 days right through to 15 days on our End to End tour
• Fully Guided walks with experienced and passionate guides
• Learn myths and legends of the area applicable to the Arrente people
• Key attractions include Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen
• Support vehicle included meaning you only have to carry a day pack each day
• All camping equipment supplied and fully catered with ground support crew
Day 1 - Alice Springs to Simpson’s Gap (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
We start with a walk of approximately 20km beginning from the outskirts of Alice Springs west to Simpson's Gap. This walk features superb views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands and traces part of the historic Overland Telegraph Line route. Visitors also follow the Aboriginal Dreaming Track of an ancient euro (hill kangaroo), ancestor of the modern species of euro, also known as wallaroo and offers superb bird watching opportunities. In the afternoon we are transferred to our campsite on the Hugh River.
Day 2 - Birthday Waterhole to Standley Chasm (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Today we tackle Section 4, a 17.7km section of the Larapinta Trail, a good test of your fitness and walking experience. The trail starts from Birthday Waterhole then enters Stuart’s Pass, steeply ascending as it follows the high quartzite ridges of the Chewings Range to the summit of Brinkley Bluff where walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Descending from the bluff we work our way down to the Standley Chasm access road from where we return to Hugh River, our base for the night.
Day 3 - Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Section 7 is a 13.8km section of the Larapinta Trail that includes some steep ascents. The sharp rocks on the first part of the trail can be hard on tender feet, but gives us the opportunity to learn something of the long geological history of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Another highlight is the abundance of birds including the elusive spinifex bird, a unique species of warbler found only in Australia.
Day 4 - Serpentine Chalet Dam to Serpentine Gorge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Today we head to the spectacular western half of the Larapinta Trail and onto a 13.4km section that is only suitable for well prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. It offers exhilarating views of the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mt Zeil (the highest point in the Northern Territory).
Day 5 - Ormiston to Glen Helen (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
After breakfast we set off to walk Section 10, a 9.9km section that can easily be walked in a day. This is one of the shorter sections of the Larapinta Trail and winds through rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world’s oldest river systems.
Day 6 - Mount Sonder Ascent (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Section 12 is a 15.8km return section of the trail that is only suitable for well prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. The arduous climb to the peak of Mount Sonder (1380m) is well worth the effort and walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes all combine to create magnificent vistas. This is a great place to experience the grandeur of the desert landscape.
Day 7 - Ormiston Pound Circuit Walk to Alice Springs (Breakfast & Lunch)
In the morning we transfer to Ormiston Gorge where we spend our final morning on the Ormiston Pound circuit walk. Starting from the Visitor Centre the trail winds around some low peaks before descending into the 'pound', a flat area enclosed by mountains all around. There are numerous species of birds and mammals such as wallabies that can be seen in the gorge. It takes about 3 - 4 hours to complete the circuit and we finally return to the Visitor Centre via the main waterhole.
After another healthy lunch, we will pack and break camp for regrettably the last time and return to normality (hot shower and life as you know it awaits). Tonight we will reminisce the past 7 days and share some banter over a refreshing ale or cool drink at one of Alice’s classic outback restaurants (own expense).