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4
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 5 days trekking
Accommodation
  • 4 nights camping
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 4 Breakfasts

5 Days$2595AUD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 12-16 people


Trip Code: LA5

Larapinta Challenger Trek Trip highlights


  • Walk the highlights of the Larapinta trail
  • Experience wilderness camping under the stars
  • View a spectacular sunrise from the top of Mount Sonder
  • Enjoy 3 course evening meals after a big day of trekking
  • Learn about the trail with your expert guide
  • Trek with like minded, adventurous hikers

Why Book With Us

  • Unrivalled experience, first on the trail in 1995
  • Carry just a day pack on this fully supported trek
  • Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks

For those short on time this five day trip allows you to experience the highlights of the Larapinta Trail, including Standley Chasm, Serpentine Gorge, the Orchre Pits, Ormiston Pound and Mt Sonder.

This camping based trek gets you close to the real action of the trail, where you are completely encapsulated by the rugged beauty of the Central Australian desert. Carrying just a day-pack you will walk between 8 to 16km each day, passing over remote ridges and canyons, whilst winding your way along the West MacDonnell Ranges.

All luggage and camping gear is transported by our professional support crew, freeing you to enjoy the diverse desert scenery, revel in the camaraderie of like-minded travellers and focus on achieving your goal.

Activities:

Itinerary

We pick you up from your accommodation between 7-7.30am and begin our walk at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the official start of the Larapinta Trail. Please ensure you've had breakfast before the pick up (you may need to pre-purchase food as most cafes will be shut before 7am). From here the trail takes us west through witchetty bush, mulga scrub, and bird-filled shady woodlands. We climb high over exposed hills to the jagged outcrop of Euro Ridge, with expansive views over Alice Springs and the surrounding landscape, before descending to the passage of Wallaby Gap. After the walk we will drive to Standley Chasm and set up camp. There is an option walk around the Chasm this afternoon. Walking distance: 14km (+2km optional walk) Driving time: 45 minutes

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast we will drive to Serpentine Gorge to start section 8 of the trail. This section offers breathtaking views as we walk along the high quartzite ridge lines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges. We ascend to Counts Point where we are able to take in clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon, to Mt Zeil (1531m) the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. We can also see the huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff, a feature of the landscape for the next few days. We descend from the high ridgetop though mysterious stands of mulga trees to our camp at Serpentine Chalet. Walking distance: 13km Driving time: 45 minutes

Meals:  B,L,D

After another breakfast we walk out of camp to the breathtaking Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass. We spend some time in the magnificent pass to enjoy the peace and marvel at the ancient cycad palms. From here we trek south-west to an original ochre quarry, a sacred Aboriginal site. The rainbow of vibrant colours on the wave-like ochre wall makes for stunning photos. After a picnic lunch we will drive to Finke River with an opportunity to stop for a swim at Glen Helen Gorge. We will camp tonight at Finke River. Walking distance: 8km Driving time: 15 minutes

Meals:  B,L,D

Your guides will have you up early this morning (2-3am) for our pre-dawn walk up Mount Sonder. We'll drive to Redbank Gorge to begin the walk. Weaving your way up to the 1380m summit of this majestic mountain following only the glittering light of your head-torch, surrounded by deep and peaceful darkness, is a truly inspiring experience... and watching the sunrise from the top is unforgettable! Mount Sonder is the official end and highest point of the entire Larapinta Trail and as such we have expansive views across the entire vast landscape we have been exploring over the last few days. We descend to Redbank Gorge and can enjoy a great brunch back at camp. There are options for this afternoon, including resting at camp or swimming at Glen Helen. Walking distance: 16km Driving time: 25 minutes

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we enjoy the best side walk of the entire Larapinta Trail: Ormiston Pound. The Pound offers an immense variety of extraordinary scenery and is the perfect walk to complete our journey. We explore the upper reaches of the Gorge where we may see Rock Wallabies scamper about the imposing cliffs, and follow the track through scrub filled with native birds: Spinifex Pigeon, Budgerigar and Mistletoe Bird. Keep an eye out overhead for the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia's largest raptor. After lunch we transfer back to Alice Springs. Sitting back and watching the now familiar ancient desert landscape slide by the bus window gives most trekkers a sense of awe and satisfaction. Congratulations on all you have achieved over the last six days! We will drop you to your accommodation at approximately 4-5pm. This evening your group may like to arrange a celebratory dinner together at one of Alice's great eateries. Walking distance: 8km Driving time: 25 minutes (to Ormiston Gorge) and 1.5 hours (to Alice Springs)

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Professional wilderness guide and support staff
  • Swags for sleeping (but not sleeping bags)
  • Catering & eating utensils
  • Off-road transport from Alice Springs
  • Vehicle supported camping throughout
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • Comprehensive group first aid kit
  • Emergency radio/sat phone

  • Airfares
  • Accommodation in Alice Springs before and after the trip
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag hire (must be booked at least 14 days in advance)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Face masks and hand sanitiser

Accommodation


Suitability

Introductory to Moderate

4

This trek is graded introductory to moderate. This trek involves walking 5-7 hours each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. The trail conditions of the Larapinta Trail are rocky, rugged, hard surfaced and dry. While a number of sections of the trail wind through open plains, undulating areas and relatively flat country, overall, the trail is characterised by rocky, stony and mountainous terrain which can rise from 680m above sea level to more than 1,200m along some sections. Suggested preparation: We recommend regular exercise 3 or 4 times per week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) in the months leading up to your trip. At least once a week, you should walk with a weighted day pack (5–7kg) for several hours for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. The best way to train for an active holiday is to simulate the activity you will be undertaking on the trip. Train for uneven terrain by finding a hilly, rough narrow bush track, and go for a lovely long walk in your trekking boots


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
Note:
High season supplement applies from 1 June to 15 August, and for any trips that overlap with a public holiday.

Total Priceper person from

$2595AUD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Larapinta Highlights trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Frequently Asked Questions

A majority of the terrain on the Larapinta Trail is rough and rocky, particularly on high ground, in gorges, creek and river beds. The ground is often distorted with embedded or loose rock depending on the trail variations.

The trail conditions of the Larapinta Trail are rocky, rugged, hard surfaced and dry. While a number of sections of the trail wind through open plains, undulating areas and relatively flat country, overall, the trail is characterised by rocky, stony and mountainous terrain which can rise from 680m above sea level to more than 1,200m along some sections.

You will need an excellent level of fitness for this trek on the Larapinta. You need to be capable and prepared for long, fast paced walks. Previous experience on multi day walks is highly recommended. If you have any questions about your suitability please give us a call and speak with one of our staff members. We are more than happy to discuss additional information about what you can expect.

You must arrive in Alice Springs the day before your trek begins. The trip commences with a COMPULSORY pre-departure briefing in the afternoon on the day before departure. It is ESSENTIAL that you make your travel arrangements to enable you to attend this briefing.

Yes. The terrain on this trek is rugged, and the Quartzite rocks are famous for shredding even the most trusted old pair of hiking boots. For your comfort, you must have high supported boots with a heavy duty grip. There are lots of rocky, uneven and unstable sections, so ankle support will be beneficial.

The Larapinta Challenger Trek is fully vehicle supported. You will carry just a day pack containing the items you need during the day (including water, sun hat, snacks, lunch, camera, waterproof and warm layers). This is likely to weigh between 5-7kg.

Any excess luggage can be stored at your pre/post tour accommodation in Alice Springs.

Hiking poles can definitely assist you with going up and down the inclines and for stability. If you have not used them previously, we recommend that you do some training with them before you head out on the hike.

It is possible to charge batteries using an inverter run off the vehicle battery. However this can be slow and is limited to times when the vehicle is driving, so we advise carrying extra sets of batteries for your cameras and/or portable chargers.

Not frequently. Sporadic reception can be received depending on your carrier, but generally only for the first day and when on top of Mt Sonder.

Our Larapinta Trail trekking season runs from April to September, when trekking conditions are most favourable. Winter is arguably the best time to experience the Larapinta Trail, as it offers prime trekking conditions, more stable temperatures and endlessly blue days.

Autumn (April and May) - Trekking conditions in autumn are pleasant, with temperatures averaging between 12-27C. Unlike the winter months when evenings become quite chilly, autumn evenings are cool and trekkers can comfortably pull their swag out from their tents and sleep outside under the blanket of stars. While the official wet season is over, you can still expect rain up until late May, as well as some cloud coverage during these months.

Winter (June to August) - During the daytime, temperatures hover at low-mid 20C with refreshingly cool breezes, however evenings temperatures can drop close to 0C, particularly in the valleys, and the frost that covers the ground can create a snow-like appearance. Many people are surprised to find out how cold it can get in the middle of winter, so trekkers need to make sure they are adequately prepared for cold nights with insulated sleeping bags, beanies, gloves and thermal underwear.

Spring (September) - Temperatures in September begin to rise leading to sporadic thunderstorms which creates the perfect environment for the landscape to come alive with wildflowers and lowline flowering shrubs. With cooler temperatures suitable for hiking, and clear skies for picture-perfect sunsets, it's no surprise that September is a popular season to trek the Larapinta Trail.

No. A water tank will be carried in the support vehicles and the guides will provide you with drinking water each day.


Larapinta Challenger Trek Trip reviews


Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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