Day 1: Arrive Alice Springs. Arrive at leisure today and check into your hotel. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling heart of the Red Center before leaving it all behind for the desolate outback. Browse Aboriginal artworks at Central Australia’s best art galleries, or take in a twilight didgeridoo performance. This is also a good time to ensure you have all articles needed for your Larapinta Trail walk. We meet at in the evening to discuss finer points of the coming days with your guides. Overnight Alice Springs accommodation (Twin share).
Day 2: Ormiston Pound Trek. An early start and its bye bye suburbia – hello wilderness! The majestic and serene West MacDonnell Ranges are rich in natural wonders and traditional culture and are considered the best there is in Australia. Our first walk is regarded as the "primo" small walk of the Larapinta. The Ormiston Pound Walk is full of wow factor, wildlife and flora. A location inspirational to Albert Namatjira, tonight we camp in the vicinity of the mighty Finke River, synonymous in the dreamtime (Alcheringa) of the Western Arrente Aboriginal people. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 3: Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen. Today we traverse the low lying regions surrounding Ormiston Gorge gradually working our way upward into the back reaches of the Finke River. This area is steeped in traditional folklore with several important sites being viewed including "Yapulpa", which is part of the Carpet Snake Dreaming legend as well as the Emu and Kangaroo Man Dreaming. Tonight our camp site is shadowed by Mount Sonder (The Pregnant Lady) and the imagery of the Yeperenye Hills (Caterpillar Dreaming). Relax at the campsite as the sun sets and the colors of the desert night erupt into million star accommodation. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Glen Helen Gorge/ Redbank Gorge. The tempo lifts as a 23km trek awaits. This is a challenging section of the Larapinta. Variety is the theme for today with undulating open Spinifex plains giving way to a gradual climb to the Half Way Rocky Bar Gap, through constant up and down at the base of Mt Sonder. Enter the eerie caverns in one of the Red Center's less traversed gorges. Squeeze through narrow passageways, between polished, multi-hued walls that block out the sunlight, its cathedral atmosphere and vivid colors are well worth the effort. Enjoy the evening around the campfire with your fellow walkers for another night of friendly banter and a hearty meal. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Mount Sonder Climb. An early rise is an understatement as we challenge the 8km climb to the Peak of Mount Sonder. The vision of sunrise and the 360 degree view will leave you speechless – a truly unforgettable achievement. After lunch we will travel towards Simpsons Gap where your walk tomorrow commences. Spend the night here where we will camp for your last evening under the stars of the Milky Way. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Simpsons Gap/ Alice Springs. Stretch those legs one final time en route to where Alice Springs all began – The Old Telegraph Station. Some beautiful views can be seen, particularly at Euro Ridge. Today, our 21km walk is taken casually, a fitting way to relax and immerse in the memories of the previous 4 days. Visit the Old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and wander through the 19th century stone buildings. Enjoy the sweeping sunset across Alice and Mt Gillen from the giant stone boulders marking the end of the Larapinta Trail. Your vehicle will greet you at the Telegraph Station and transport you back to your hotel. A return to normality (hot shower and life as you know it awaits). Tonight we will reminisce the past 6 days and share some banter over a refreshing ale or cool drink at one of Alice’s finest restaurants (own expense). Overnight Alice Springs accommodation (Twin share). Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Alice to Uluru. Our journey this morning begins heading south to Erldunda traveling through the Waterhouse and James Ranges with a stop at The Camel Farm for refreshments and a Camel ride if you’re keen plus. We also stop at Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse where you can view or purchase Aboriginal artifacts. On the way to Uluru (Ayers Rock) we stop to view Atila (Mount Connor), a mesa tableland and the first significant rock formation of our trip. After a stop for lunch and our arrival at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, we head to the Cultural Centre and the opportunity to learn about the local Aboriginal law and religion (Tjukurpa) before a short guided walk at the base of Uluru. At this point you can take a walk around the base or join an Aboriginal guided Kuniya walk. Of course no Uluru tour would be complete without experiencing the famous changing colors of Uluru at sunset, complete with sparkling wine and nibbles. It’s a great time to kick back and contemplate the day and the vastness of the desert. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 8: Uluru/ Kata Tjuta. From a lookout close to our campsite we can view sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) before rolling up the swags and heading off to Kata Tjuta for a leisurely 7km walk through the "Valley of the Winds". After a stop at the Resort for fuel and refreshments, we’re off to Kings Creek Cattle Station for our second night’s bush camp, complete with bush toilet and shower. With nobody else for miles, this camp has stunning views out over the George Gill Ranges and gives you a real feel for the outback. Dinner around the campfire makes for a very social time with another night out under the stars. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Kings Canyon/ Alice Springs. A leisurely start to the day before we head off to Watarrka (Kings Canyon) for a mind blowing 7km walk through the towering walls, crevices and plateaus of Watarrka. We’ll visit the Amphitheater and the Lost City plus a swim in the tranquil "Garden of Eden" if you wish. Later we start making our way back to Alice Springs traveling on a typical outback dirt road and then 4-wheel driving, crossing riverbeds and sand dunes. We’ll drop you back at your hostel/hotel early evening and usually all meet later for a bit of a night on the town (Alice seems like the big smoke after 3 days in the bush). Meals (B), (L).
Day 10: Depart Alice. Free today to depart Alice at any time.
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