- 10th June
- 8th July
- 5th August
Arrival Day. Arrive in Alice Springs - 6.00 pm Start. Arrive at leisure today and check into your hotel. We meet at 6.00 pm in the foyer of the hotel where you will meet the rest of the members of your group to discuss the coming days with your guide.
If you arrive earlier during the day you might like to enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling heart of the Red Centre before leaving it all behind for the desolate outback. Browse Aboriginal artworks at Central Australia's best art galleries. This is also a good time to ensure you have all articles needed for your Larapinta Trail walk.
Overnight Alice Springs Accommodation.
Walking Day 1 - Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpson's Gap (B,L,D)
We start with a walk of approximately 20 km beginning from the outskirts of Alice Springs near the Alice Springs Telegraph Station 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 along with superb bird watching opportunities. We arrive at our camp in the late afternoon after a long but exhilarating first days walk.
Walking Day 2 - Simpson's Gap to Jay Creek (B,L,D)
Section 2 is a 24.5 km section of the Larapinta Trail. Some of the highlights for this section include passing through the home of one of the few brushtail possum colonies in central Australia and exploring a landscape of rock outcrops that is over 2,000 million years old.
Walking Day 3 - Jay Creek to Standley Chasm (B,L,D). Today we tackle Section 3, a 13.6 km section that is quite challenging and covers some of the steepest and most rugged country in the ranges.
Walking Day 4 - Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole (B,L,D)
Section 4 is a 17.7 km section of the trail that 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. Steeply descending from the bluff the trail enters Stuart’s Pass, an upper branch of the Hugh River. It then follows the river valley to Birthday Waterhole, our base for the night.
Walking Day 5 - Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge (B,L,D)
Section 5 is a challenging 16 km section of the Larapinta Trail that passes through Spencer Gorge before negotiating the spine of Razorback Ridge and then down narrow Linear Valley to the junction with the Hugh River. The trail then follows natural watercourses and it may be necessary to negotiate pools of water within Hugh Gorge.
Walking Day 6 - Rest Day Hugh Gorge (B,L,D)
We take the opportunity to rest up in the spectacular surrounds of the Hugh Gorge and Hugh River with opportunities for short walks in this spectacular location. Time to recharge the batteries before the next day’s big walk.
Walking Day 7 - Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek (B,L,D)
Section 6 is a 31.2 km section of the Larapinta Trail. This long and challenging section traverses across the Alice Valley from Hugh Gorge in the Chewings Range to Ellery Creek Big Hole in the Heavitree Range. It is one of the longest and most difficult sections of the Larapinta Trail.
Walking Day 8 - Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge (B,L,D)
Section 7 is a 13.8 km section that includes some steep ascents with sharp rocks on the first part of the trail which can be hard on tender feet. It does however present an opportunity to learn something of the long and fascinating 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.
Walking Day 9 - Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam (B,L,D)
Section 8 is a 13.4 km section of the Larapinta Trail that 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).
Walking Day 10 - Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge (B,L,D)
Section 9 is 28.6 km long and is one of the more difficult sections taking us into the rugged heart of the range country. There is no reliable surface water along the way, so we must be prepared to carry a considerable amount of drinking water for the walk.
Walking Day 11 - Ormiston to Glen Helen (B,L,D)
After breakfast we set off to walk Section 10, an easier 9.9 km section of the Larapinta Trail. This is one of the shorter sections and winds through rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world’s oldest river systems.
Walking Day 12 - Glen Helen to Redbank Gorge (B,L,D)
Section 11 is 25.2 km long and begins meandering across low spinifex-covered hills with the spectacular backdrop of Mount Sonder in the background. It then crosses the Davenport River and climbs to a hilltop lookout before descending to shady, tranquil Rocky Bar Gap at the foot of Mount Sonder. We then pass through this gap and travel along the southern flank of Mount Sonder to Redbank Creek.
Walking Day 13 - Mount Sonder Ascent (B,L,D)
Today sees us tackling one of the primary goals of the Larapinta Trail, the 16 km return climb to the summit of Mount Sonder (1,380 m). The arduous climb to the peak 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.
Walking Day 14 - Ormiston Pound Circuit Walk to Alice Springs (B,L)
In the morning we transfer back to Ormiston Gorge where we spend our final morning on the Ormiston Pound circuit walk. Regarded by many as the “primo” small walk of the Larapinta Trail, the Ormiston Pound Walk is full of wow factor, wildlife and flora and a great finale to our 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 14 days and share some banter over a refreshing ale or cool drink at one of Alice’s classic outback restaurants (own expense).
- Additional accommodation: Extend your holiday by booking some pre or post tour accommodation - ask us or your travel agent
- Arrival: Please make your own way to our starting hotel in Alice Springs by the evening of Day 1. You will meet your tour leader and fellow travelers at a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm that evening. Alice Springs Airport is located 14 kilometers (15 minutes drive) south of the city. Alice Springs Airport Shuttle operates buses from the airport to town. No bookings necessary - just tell the bus driver where you need to go
- Outback Camping in Style: We like to camp in style and comfort which involves sleeping in enclosed swags or in large, wilderness style tents. A mattress, pillow, sleeping bag, sheets, towel, soap and a torch/ kerosene lamp are provided
- Respecting Indigenous Culture: Please note that itineraries that include visits to Indigenous sites may change at short notice, due to the cultural and ceremonial obligations of our Indigenous hosts and guides.
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