Stress Free BookingRelax with ourflexible cancellation terms
6
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
  • 14 days trekking
Accommodation
  • 13 nights camping
  • 2 nights hotel
Meals
  • 14 Dinners
  • 14 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

16 Days$4795AUD

Hit the trails with confidence

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

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

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: SOG6768

Larapinta Trail Full Trek Trip highlights


  • Trek the entire 223km length of the Larapinta Trail
  • Experience wilderness camping under a canopy of stars in the Outback
  • Climb Mount Sonder for sunrise, one of the NT's highest peaks
  • Traverse remote ridges and canyons through this semi-arid region
  • Experience Central Australia's most breathtaking scenery
  • Trip escorted by Maryanne Spiers

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

Our complete traverse of the Larapinta is an inspiring trek that will delight the wilderness lover and challenge the seasoned walker. Walking the entire 223km length of the Larapinta Trail is a challenging objective, but one that comes with an equal sense of reward as you complete this outstanding trek in Australia's Red Centre.

The Larapinta Trail offers one of the greatest desert treks on earth and is one of Australia's most famous walking experiences. Following the spine of the West MacDonnell range, this trek will allow you to walk the entire length of the Larapinta Trail utilising the knowledge and experience of the pioneers of this now iconic trail. There will be some challenging stages as you pass over remote ridges and canyons, walking up to 30kms on some days.

As with all our guided treks on the Larapinta Trail, you will only carry your day pack. The group camping gear is transported to the next campsite by our professional support crew, freeing trekkers to enjoy the diverse desert scenery, revel in the camaraderie of like-minded travellers and focus on achieving your goal.

Activities:

Itinerary

On arrival in Alice Springs make your own way to the group hotel, the Double Tree by Hilton, 83 Barrett Drive Alice Springs. At 3:30pm there is an essential briefing at Lone Dingo Store, 6/63 Todd Street. This briefing will cover equipment and preparation for the trek. Dinner this evening is at your leisure.

Meals:  Nil

We pick you up from your accommodation at around 7:00am. Our walking begins at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station which also marks the beginning of the Larapinta Trail itself. The stone buildings here date back to 1872 and housed the first Europeans to live in Central Australia. Initially the trail from here winds among boulders of granite, the highest of which offer fine views of the town and Mt Gillen. The trail passes through Witchetty bush and Mulga scrub, over exposed hills and shady woodlands before we arrive for lunch at Wallaby Gap. From Wallaby Gap, we follow the trail west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. We may catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby as we approach Simpson's Gap and our remote campsite.

Meals:  L,D

From Simpson's Gap we walk through pleasant, grassy flats and low, rocky hills bearing the scars of early cattle grazing, evidence of the fragility of this arid environment. Graceful Ghost Gums are also to be seen on this section, coated in a white powder with powerful antiseptic properties used by Aborigines. One of the most peaceful parts of the trail is Spring Gap. We observe a wide variety of plant life and watch for birds at the waterhole. We then walk on through ever changing countryside to our idyllic camp at Jay Creek.

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving from Standley Chasm today's walk is nothing short of spectacular. We continue on through varied terrain dotted with Mulga and Witchetty Bush to Millers Flat. Here the track diverges to follow the ridge line above the Finke River. We first follow the 'high route' which takes up on top of the mountain range and offers us expansive views of our surrounding environment. We descend to Tangentyere Junction where we then follow the 'low route' which has us follow creek and river lines scattered with the unique Macdonnell Range Cycad. This track return us to Millers Flat, from which we climb through rocky terrain before descending back into Standley Chasm from the north. Camp is at Standley Chasm.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Standley Chasm we follow the spectacular Bridle Trail, an old trading route used by the early settlers in the region. We head up to follow the ridge line over Reveal Saddle to Brinkley’s Bluff. From this high point, just over 1100m, we are rewarded with superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After lunch we return along this spectacular trail now offering us expansive views to our east and showcasing the landscape we have spent the last few days exploring. Our welcoming campsite at Standley Chasm is awaiting our return.

Meals:  B,L,D

From today we stay on the south side of the West MacDonnell Ranges whose soaring presence dominates our vista. The trail remains low, undulating gently through lower level woodlands and spinifex fields, crossing Alice Valley. We hope to chance upon some of the Larapinta's unique birdlife, such as the Splendid Fairy-wren, Spinifex Bird and Painted Firetail Finch. We will spend time at Ellery Waterhole in the afternoon upon completion of our walk. We camp at Serpentine Chalet.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we are walking through the vertical-spined dolomite country of the Bitter Springs formation. These 800 million year old rocks contain fossilised stromatolites, the cyanobacteria that were amongst the first life on this earth. The trail is again through woodlands and spinifex rich in birdlife. Arriving mid afternoon at our camp provides an opportunity to relax or wander at leisure around the hills of our campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

This section of the trail 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 even see the fascinating, huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff. A descent through mysterious old Mulga stands brings us to our camp at Serpentine Chalet, where we enjoy another great evening meal together.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start is required to fit in all of the highlights of this section of the trail. Today takes us into the rugged heart of this ancient landscape on a track only opened to the public as recently as 1997. The trail today is again challenging as we ascend to 1088 metres. And again, as always on the Larapinta, our epic climb is rewarded with expansive views. The view opens up across the Alice Valley to the giant, bulky mass of of Mt. Giles, one of the Northern Territory's highest peaks at 1389m.

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 spend our day after the challenging day prior. 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 relax by the waterhole and marvel at all we have achieved so far in this beautiful landscape.

Meals:  B,L,D

A shorter stage of the Larapinta Trail today, leading us into the head of the Finke River. The local Arrernte name for the river is 'Lhere Pinte', meaning salty river, which is where this trail gets its name from. The Finke is also estimated at being the oldest river in the world. In the afternoon we may visit Glen Helen Gorge.

Meals:  B,L,D

These two days have views and trail dominated by the bulk of Mt Sonder, whose colours change magnificently throughout the day. We initially head north-west through spinifex before crossing Davenport Creek, a tributary of the Finke River. We climb over a low section of the range and descend into Rocky Bar Gap, our camp for the night. The next day we head west under the flanks of Mount Sonder passing through some dense Mulga and mallee woodland until we reach the beautiful Redbank Creek. Our camp spot for both nights will be on the Finke River.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we are up early for our sunrise ascent of Mount Sonder – known as the pregnant lady by the local Aranda Aboriginal people. An early start allows us to climb in the cool morning air, before the sun heats up the landscape. To view the surrounding country from the top, knowing we have just climbed one of the highest peaks west of the Great Dividing Range, is an unforgettable moment of this trek – what a reward for all that we have done over the last two weeks! Having reached the highpoint – many consider it the highlight – of the Larapinta Trail. We enjoy a relaxing afternoon by one of the many local waterholes.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we head to Palm Valley in the Finke Gorge National Park, a hidden gem south west of Alice Springs. This area is an outdoor lovers paradise with some unique walks and local environments. Palm Valley is home to a diverse range of plant species, many of which are rare and unique to the area. This includes the Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae) for which the Park is well known. The Red Cabbage Palm is only found in this area in Central Australia with a population of approximately 12,000 plants. After our walk we board the bus and transfer 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 14 days! We will drop you to your accommodation at approximately 3-5pm. This evening there will be a celebratory group dinner together at the Hanuman Thai Restaurant.

Meals:  B,L,D

Your trip arrangements conclude this morning.

Meals:  Nil


Inclusions

  • 13 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 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
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping bag hire
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

BU Adventures was established in 2020 by Maryanne Spiers.

Maryanne spent the last two years with Wild Women On Top as a coach and guide, running their Wild Adventures business. She has guided many women-only trips including Snowshoeing in Kosciusczo National Park, Mt Solitary in The Blue Mountains, Walls of Jerusalem TAS, Jatbula NT, Larapinta Trail NT, Crete and Greece. Maryanne encourages everyone to experience where nature rules, from water to peak and back. Expect the unexpected and rest assured that Maryanne’s forte is to nurture you and lift your spirits along the way to conquer challenges both physical and otherwise.

Olympic downhill skier, first female professional lifeguard in Australia, World Champion Triathlete…. just a few things this woman can do! A lifetime spent coaching, mentoring and training everyday women to find a healthier place for themselves and seek out challenges and the exuberance of life. She has completed expeditions to The Haute Route in France, Mt Blanc, Three Peaks and Cape to Cape in Australia and more recently the New York Marathon, Ultra-Trail Australia & The Haute Craigieburn on Mountain Touring Skis in New Zealand

Maryanne encourages us to gather together in nature and share experiences that foster enlightenment and community. Her coaching prepares you to try anything once and to always be learning something new, expanding consciousness of thought and being. Take every opportunity to further your journey by taking on challenges, adventuring, staying active, having fun and sharing this with others to improve and enrich your wellbeing.


Accommodation


Suitability

Moderate to Challenging

6

This trek involves 6-12 hours walking 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. This trek should not be underestimated as it can be tough and challenging. Suggested preparation: We recommend one hour of strenuous exercise 4 times per week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) interspersed with relatively demanding bushwalks carrying a day pack. 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

BP
Base Price

Total Priceper person from

$4795AUD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Larapinta End to End with Maryanne Spiers 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Larapinta End to End 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.

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.

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.

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


Larapinta Trail Full 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.