« Larapinta Trek ex Alice Springs, NT

Walks and Hikes
May 27th, 2018 – June 2nd, 2018
Start Time:
7 Days
ex Alice Springs, NT


Our 7 days in the Western MacDonnell Ranges will cover some of the best sections along the world renowned, Larapinta Trail. You will walk on a variety of sections, graded moderate to hard, however with the right preparation, the support of our fabulous guides and only carrying a daypack, you'll find this experience very achievable and extremely rewarding.




Sunday 27th May, 2018 - Day 1
Standley Chasm Cultural Experience & Larapinta Trail (Total Walk 4k /approx 3hrs / Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult)

Our day begins with a short drive out to stunning Standley Chasm where we’ll spend half a day exploring this aboriginal sacred land, under the guidance of one of the area’s local custodians. It’s an opportunity for us to appreciate the deep understanding the Western Arrernte people have of the local flora, fauna, as well as learning about the site’s rich cultural symbolism. We’ll walk to the Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye) a significant “womans’ dreaming” site (40 mins return), take part in cultural conversation, welcome to country and get our hands dirty at a dot painting workshop, where we explore traditional painting techniques … a chance to create our own artwork to take home.

After enjoying a picnic lunch, we introduce you to the Larapinta Trail!  We walk along section 3 of the trail from the trailhead, through to Angkale Junction.  Although short in distance, be warned this little section is rugged …. however you will be rewarded with breathtaking views, some of the best to be seen on the Larapinta!  We return to Alice Springs and enjoy our first meal together.

Quest Apartments, Alice Springs
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Monday 28th May, 2018 - Day 2
Simpsons Gap to Wallaby Gap (Walking 10.3k / approx 4 hours / Grade 3 Moderate)

Today we set off for Simpsons Gap, one of the most famous sights along the West MacDonnell Ranges.  Set in the tranquil surrounds of a permanent waterhole shaded by towering cliffs and ghost gums … it’s a place you’ll never forget.  Water flows through a small gap in the ranges providing a sheltering haven for a range of native wildlife, including the resident black footed rock wallabies.  

After enjoying a guided tour to learn more about this astonishing wonder, we’ll have a bite to eat before heading off along Section 1 of the Larapinta towards our end point for the day, Wallaby Gap.  We will then return to Alice Springs for one more night in a ‘real’ bed and enjoy the comforts of apartment living.

Accommodation: Quest Apartments, Alice Springs
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tuesday 29th May, 2018 - Day 3
Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam Car park (Walking 15k / approx 6 hours / Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult)

This morning we pack up our gear and head into the outback…. Tonight the real adventure begins, we’ll be sleeping under a blanket of stars!   Our walk today is from Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam, Section 8 of the Larapinta.  This is reasonably challenging walk and the walking conditions vary markedly.  

Just over half way and after some effort to get there, we reach The Larapinta Trail’s signature lookout, Counts Point. Balanced at the tip of a ridge from Serpentine Gorge, here the view seems endless, encompassing the meteorite impact crater of Gosses Bluff and distant Mt Zeil, the Northern Territory’s highest peak.  The rest of the Larapinta is laid out ahead of us like a mud map, with Mt Sonder visible for the first time….. truly rewarding.  We end our day by visiting the nearby Ochre Pits, as the late sunshine highlights the patterns, hues and colours of the small cliffs, beautiful to photograph. It’s then a short drive before we reach our private camp at Glen Helen, where we’ll be settling in for the next three nights.

Accommodation:  Private Safari Tents
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wednesday 30th May, 2018 - Day 4
Ormiston Pound Loop Trail & Glen Helen Gorge (Walking 7km / approx 3 to 4 hours / Grade 3 Moderate)


The best side walk of the Larapinta Trail is the Ormiston Pound loop trail and today we experience this beautiful hike.  The Pound explores the upper reaches of Ormiston Gorge, offers some extraordinary scenery and wildlife viewing and provides us with a chance to see the many Rock Wallabies going about their business within the imposing cliffs.  


After today’s hike, we return to Glen Helen and enjoy a little leisure time.  We recommend taking a short 10 minute walk from our camp to the sublime Glen Helen Gorge carved through the MacDonnell Ranges by the Finke River.  Take a swim or climb the ridge for a magnificent view across the beautiful rock formation known by the local indigenous people as Kwarre Tnemaye, which translates as ‘Girl Standing’, it’s a special place for native women to gather.  To westerners, this place is known as “The Organ Pipes”

Accommodation: Private Safari Tents
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Thursday 31st May, 2018 - Day 5
Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen Homestead (Walking 11k / approx 5 to 6 hours / Grade 3 Moderate)


Today we walk section 10 of the Larapinta Trail, taking us from Ormiston Gorge to the historic Glen Helen homestead, situated on the mighty Finke River. The Finke is one of the oldest watercourses in Australia and is very impressive with its splendid array of birdlife and massive River Red Gums lining the banks. At the end of the day we have plenty of options ….another swim in the gorge or river, relax and have a coldy, or take a scenic helicopter flight over the ranges.  

Accommodation: Private Safari Tents
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Friday 1st June, 2018 - Day 6
Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder & Return (Walking 16k / approx 6 to 7 hours / Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult)


It’s an early start today prior to sunrise, as we set out on the last section of the Larapinta Trail .. the ascent of Mt Sonder. There are fantastic views all the way and as the sun rises we’ll see the colours of the landscape along with the changing vegetation come into play.   As we approach the top of our climb the sense of achievement hits home, a vast 360 degree panorama of Central Australia surrounds us, rugged and yet from up here, so very peaceful. Here we’ll enjoy a well earned rest & refreshments, before beginning our descent to Redbank Gorge.

From Redbank, we head off to Ellery Creek Big Hole, one of the ‘must sees’ in the West MacDonnells.  We’ll enjoy a swim, picnic lunch and some relaxation time here and really soak in the beauty of this place, before returning to Alice Springs.

Once in Alice, we check into our accommodation, have a rest, freshen up and head out to a nearby restaurant to enjoy our last meal together.

Accommodation: Quest Apartments, Alice Springs
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Saturday 2nd June, 2018 - Day 7
Alice Springs (or join optional Tour to Uluru, Kings Canyon, Kata Juta)

Today marks the end of our Larapinta Tour, however we can provide many suggestions of places to visit, if you wish to stay on in Alice for an extra day.  

If you haven’t visited the Red Centre before you may like to spend an extra 3 days in the area and join in the Uluru, Kings Canyon & Kata Tjuta extension we have on offer. (Price on Application)

Meals: Breakfast






You require a medium to high level of bushwalking/walking fitness.  The trail is unrelentingly rocky and hard underfoot and weather extremes can be experienced at any time of year, so the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the experience.  Having said that, with the correct preparation prior to the walk, you can achieve this level of fitness and enjoy the experience. We have used the Australian Walking Track Grading System (a national standard) to help you work out if this walk will suit your level of fitness & experience - Please see the chart below:


Walking track grading system


What to Expect When You Walk With Us:

Our style of walking is to take plenty of time to enjoy the birds, plants, animals, scenery and the fact of just being in the bush. We don’t race from A to B..... That way, you can enjoy both the challenge and the beauty of the trail and surrounds.


Sleeping Arrangements:

You will be sharing with another lady from our group in a Twin Share situation, both in the Apartments at Alice Springs and in our Private Safari Tents.  There is no single supplement on this tour!  We recommend earplugs if you want a good night's sleep, as it's just the way it is... tiredness, wine, outside factors and we don't want anyone to feel segregated! The person you're sharing with in Alice Springs will be different to the person you will share with when we camp - this helps to bond the group and alleviate any potential annoyances ... we use a 'room draw' method.  If you are actually travelling with a friend and prefer to stay with that friend, please let us know prior to commencement of the tour.

The Safari Style Tents - Very Comfortable, each tent has a fan and a light but no electrical plug.  They also have proper beds with the option of linen being available.  You can either BYO Sleeping Bag/Pillow, or you can hire linen at an additional cost of $25pp per night while at Glen Helen.




We love FOOD ... and pride ourselves on providing our clients with healthy, fresh food every day, sometimes with a 'naughty' twist.  Catering for dietary requirements is no problem at all, just let us know in advance.



Everything Else You Need To Know:

What to pack, notes on feet, facilities, weather etc ...will be provided to you well in advance of commencement of tour.



PRICE PER PERSON TWIN SHARE: $2795 / or Join Our Adventure Club as a Financial Member and only pay $2595




Transport provided in commercially registered 4WD Touring Coach with accredited Driver
All NT Licences & National Park Entry Fees
2 Professional & Fun Loving Adventurous Women Tour Guides (Both qualified - Senior First Aid/Wilderness First Aid)
Quality Meals as stated in the itinerary
3 Nights Camping in comfortable Private Safari Tents
All camping fees / catering equipment
3 Nights Accommodation in Quest Serviced Apartments, Alice Springs
Comprehensive Wilderness First Aid Kit & Equipment for Remote Areas 
Standley Chasm Cultural Experience




Flights to/from Alice Springs
Airport Transfers
Travel Insurance (Must have in place prior to travel)
Pre/Post Accommodation
Meals not stated in the itinerary






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Very professional operation. The guides, Sue and Sarah, are amazing superwomen. They were professional, friendly, fun and very competent. Everything ran so smoothly, they made it…Read more

Cape to Cape Walk WA
Celia Burke - 02 Sep 2017

This was another excellently organised trip by AW. I always look forward to these short breaks.

South West Adventure Tour WA
TERESA - 2 Oct 2017
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