Larapinta Trail

Trek the ruggedly beautiful Larapinta Trail: 7 Days, moderate terrain, approx. 70km $3,095pp in cabin accomm

Arguably one of the best desert trails in the world, the Larapinta Trail is a walkers delight. Experience the rugged beauty of the famous West MacDonnell ranges, vast desert vistas, stunning gorges and cool waterholes framed by weeping ghost gums.

On this 7 Day tour we will take you to some of the highlights of this 223km trail. With knowledgeable and fun guides you will be challenged to scale the mighty Mt Sonder, trek along Reveal Saddle and explore some of the unique gorges of this area including Ormiston gorge and Serpentine gorge. Each evening after a full days adventure you will return in your trusty 4WD desert chariot to your accommodation for a shower and a delicious la carte meal, recapping the days highlights with new friends.

Larapinta Trail 7 Day Tour includes;

  • Fantastic moderate walks including Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen, Mt Sonder, Serpentine Gorge and Reveal Saddle.
  • 7 day tour starting and finishing in Alice Springs
  • All meals, including a la carte dinners, healthy packed lunches and buffet breakfasts.
  • All transport: private bus to and from Alice Springs; as well as transport to and from the track each day
  • Professional guiding and support each day
  • Small group size
  • Emergency support: fully trained guides carry satellite phones and a full first aid kits     
  • Excellent itinerary and planning drawn from many years of experience
  • Comfortable cabin style accommodation, $3,095 ($450 single supplement) ex Alice Springs

Click here to Download our Larapinta Trail-Info For Walkers Document

Click here to Download our Larapinta Trail – Tour Itinerary Document

Tour Length:
7 Days
Distance walked:
Shortest walk is 2km, longest walk is about 16km
Difficulty:
moderate – some walks are short and some of the longer walks will allow you to choose how much of the walk you would like to do. Most of the surface is rocky and uneven underfoot and some walks will require you to do some rock hopping – a moderate level of fitness is recommended. SEE FAQ; See FAQ
Dates:
1 – 7. Jun 2020
13 – 19. Jun 2020
24 – 30. Jul 2020
See the PDF file for printing

Highlights of this walk

Walk some of the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail, one of the worlds best desert trails. Highlights include the West Macdonnell ranges, Ormiston and Serpentine Gorge, Mt Sonder, Glen Helen and Reveal Saddle.

Walking Tour Itinerary

A guide will accompany you each day as you discover the highlights of the Larapinta Trail. On some of the more challenging walks two guides will accompany the group, to offer more options.

Some of the walks on The Larapinta Trail include quite steep and rocky sections; but, with a moderate level of fitness, each walk is enjoyable! We highly recommend that you do some training beforehand, especially walking steps and doing some training on rocky terrain.

You are always welcome to take a day off walking. We will try to help you find suitable alternative activities.

*The itinerary may alter depending on extreme weather conditions and heat.

Day 1: Alice Spring Arrival Day. Afternoon walk to scenic lookout.

Day 1: Alice Spring Arrival Day. Afternoon walk to scenic lookout.

No walking

Flights from major capital cities arrive into Alice Springs around noon each day. Make your way to your accommodation at the Mercure. The tour will begin at 3:30pm with an afternoon walk to a scenic lookout. This is a great time to acclimatise and familiarise yourself with your surroundings.

In the evening we will enjoy a delicious chef prepared a la carte meal and prepare for our full days walk on the Larapinta Trail the next day.

Accommodation: The Mercure, Alice Springs

Meals: D

Day 2: Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap

Day 2: Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap

13.5km

We depart Alice Springs town after breakfast and head just out of town to the Telegraph Station. From here we start our walk on the Larapinta Trail and as we head along the ridges just behind Alice Springs town we start getting our first glimpses of the seemingly endless mountain ranges all around us. From Wallaby Gap we will head back to Alice Springs for one more night.

Accommodation: The Mercure, Alice Springs

Meals: B, L, D

Day 3: Reveal Saddle and Standley Chasm

Day 3: Reveal Saddle and Standley Chasm

12km + 2km

Today we drive out to Standley Chasm, where we start our walk on the Larapinta Trail up to Reveal Saddle and back. As we make our way along the creek bed and then slowly start climbing up through the valley to the top, you would never have anticipated the stunning views you get rewarded with once at the top. Spot the odd Cycad hidden away in the gullies and enjoy an array of flowers and River Red Gum Trees in the creek bed. In the afternoon you will have time for the short walk (2km) up into Standley Chasm. From Standley Chasm we then make our way to Glen Helen to settle in at our accommodation for the next 4 nights.

Accommodation: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam

Day 4: Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam

14km

Journey to one of the most popular walks on the Larapinta Trail. From Serpentine Gorge carpark we make our way up to the top of the ridge. Discover some Mountain Hakea along the way and enjoy the breathtaking views once we get to the top. Discover the most iconic picture of the Larapinta Trail at Counts Point from where we head back down towards Serpentine Chalet Dam.

Accommodation: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5: Ormiston Gorge Pound Walk and The Ochre Pits

Day 5: Ormiston Gorge Pound Walk and The Ochre Pits

9km

Today we head back to the picturesque West MacDonnell Ranges . The Ormiston Gorge Pound is a stunning walk that shows off all the beauty Central Australia can provide. At the end of the walk we will head to the famous Ochre Pits to have a look around one of the most significant places to the local Arrente Aboriginal people.

Accommodation: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6: Mt. Sonder

Day 6: Mt. Sonder

16km

Today is our last days walk on the Larapinta Trail and its an absolute cracker! We make our way to Redbank, from where we will start our walk to the famous Mt Sonder. From the valley floor we slowly make our way up some steep sections to get to the Saddle. As we walk along the Saddle take in the vastness of the area before ascending to the top of Mt. Sonder. Enjoy your well deserved lunch as we take in the spectacular 360° views.

Accommodation: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7: Glen Helen Gorge Walk to Alice Springs

Day 7: Glen Helen Gorge Walk to Alice Springs

6km

Enjoy awakening to the sounds of the Australian Bush before we head back to Alice Springs where you will be able to catch an afternoon flight home.

Meals: B

Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.
Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc. See the PDF file for printing

Accommodation

We will be staying at two different accommodations on the Larapinta Trail.

  • The Mercure, Alice Springs, 2 nights
  • Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, 4 nights

The motel style accommodation is allocated on a double or twin share basis. If you are a solo traveller we will room you with another solo traveller of the same gender. Limited single supplements are available for an additional $450.

On our first two nights we will be staying at the Mercure in Alice Springs. The rooms are standard 4 star hotel rooms and we will come together at the Mercure restaurant for meals.

We then move to Glen Helen for the remaining 4 nights of the tour to get closer to our walks on the Larapinta Trail. At Glen Helen we will be staying in the motel rooms with ensuite bathrooms. We will eat breakfast and dinner at the lodge’s restaurant.

 

What to bring

Due to health and safety requirements, please limit your luggage to one medium sized, soft sided bag per person. Length + width + height should not exceed 140 cm. The maximum weight of the bag shouldn’t exceed 15 kg. If you’re travelling as a couple, please pack two smaller bags rather than one large one. Your day pack is in addition to your main luggage bag.

Suggested items to pack for your Central Australia walking tour:

  • Day-pack – one with a waist strap is best to help take some weight off your shoulders
  • Shorts or trousers and shirts for walking – lightweight and quick-dry material are best
  • Casual clothing for evenings and rest days
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Socks – whichever thickness you’re comfortable in (thick explorer socks can get quite hot)
  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes or boots (ankle support is recommended as manysurfaces are rocky and uneven)
  • Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (and consider your clothing)
  • For campers: need a towel
  • Toiletries, hand sanitiser and personal medication
  • Reliable headlamp with spare batteries (can be quite dark going in between the cabinsand useful when sharing a room)
  • Any preferred first aid supplies such as blister treatment (Your guides will also carry afirst-aid kit)
  • Water bottle/s – 3 litre capacity at least
  • Insect Repellent

** At this time of year (June/July) the days are typically quite clear and mild (average max 25°C) and the nights can be quite cold (average min 0°C)

Food

Three meals each day plus morning tea and snacks are included in the price of your tour (unless otherwise specified – see tour itinerary for details).

If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know when you book, we are happy to adapt our tasty, nutritious meals to suit a variety of dietary needs.

Transport

Transport is by an air-conditioned custom built four wheel drive (4WD) tour coach, designed for comfort in outback conditions. Vehicles are modern, comfortable and regularly serviced to ensure their safety and reliability. They are also fitted with long-range high frequency radios and recovery gear in case of emergency.

In the case of breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances affecting the vehicle or guide, the operator reserves the right to substitute vehicles and guides other than those specified, to ensure the operation of a tour.

Seat Allocation: Seats on tour vehicle are not pre allocated. To ensure all participants get to enjoy window seats we encourage a daily seat rotation system.

This walk includes

icon-meals
Continental breakfast at your accommodation

Start the day on the right foot with a simple, healthy breakfast

Emergency support

Wilderness first aid trained guides carry radios, satellite phones and a full first aid kit so you can walk without worry.

Excellent itinerary and planning

Drawn from 14 years experience.

icon-meals
Healthy packed lunches

Enjoy a fresh packed lunch each day out on the trail

icon-meals
Home made morning tea each day

Enjoy a slice of home-baked cake and a hot cuppa each morning on the track – we’ll even carry the thermos for you!

National Park entrance fees

Transport built for outback conditions

Transport is by an air-conditioned custom built 4WD tour coach, designed for comfort in outback conditions. Regularly serviced to ensure safety and reliability. Fitted with communication and recovery gear in case of emergency.

icon-tour-guide
Two fun and professional Inspiration Outdoors guides

We’ll feed you, tell you stories, help you achieve the walks safely and make sure everything goes to plan so that you don’t have to worry about a thing

Larapinta Trail Tour FAQs

How hard are the walks on this tour?

The walks on the Larapinta Trail are quite challenging, whereas the walks around Kings Canyon and Uluru and Kata Tjuta are not too difficult. Please be aware that all walks will be on quite rocky and uneven surfaces. The itinerary however is built in way so we can take our time and don’t have to rush to complete the walks.

On some of the longer and more strenuous walks there is an option to shorten the walk and you may choose how far you would like to go.

The more training on rocky and uneven surfaces you do the more fun the tour will be.

Posted in: Larapinta Trail Tour FAQs

What will the weather be like in June, July and early August?

The average temperatures in June, July  hover around the 20°C mark during the day and the nights around the 5°C mark.  Although the weather is cooler at this time of the year, it is a popular time to visit Central Australia as the summer +30°C sun makes it quite uncomfortable to stand in, let alone embark on a walk! Come prepared with layers so you can stay warm or cool throughout the day. The chance of getting rain in this period is very small, but still always come prepared.

Humidity is usually quite low in Central Australia (the average relative humidity in Alice Springs is 24%), which makes drinking enough water very important to feeling well. Make sure to bring enough water bottles with at least 3l capacity. 

Another thing to look out for is the UV index or UV radiation intensity. Protect yourself from sunburn by using SPF30+ sunscreen and  wearing sun-smart clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.

Posted in: Larapinta Trail Tour FAQs

Can I buy snacks and alcohol once we leave Alice Springs?

Yes, but options will be quite limited. Glen Helen Station and Kings Canyon Resort are very small properties and will have limited stock. Yulara township is very small and will also only offer a limited selection. Due to us travelling on the Mereenie Loop Road, cask wine and keeping glass to the minimum would be greatly appreciated. If you need to stock up in Alice Springs on the first day, please let us know and we will endeavour to make a stop at the shops.

Posted in: Larapinta Trail Tour FAQs

Do I have to share a room or tent with other people?

No, if you decide to camp you will be provided with your own tent.

If you decide not to camp you don’t have to share either as there are single supplements available at an extra cost. There is a limited amount of single supplements available though. If you decide to share your motel room, it is on a twin-share basis and we will team you up with somebody of the same gender. If you are interested in a single supplement give us a call or send us an email for further information.

Posted in: Larapinta Trail Tour FAQs

About Walking Tours In General

How hard are the walks?

The difficulty of the walks ranges from tour to tour, from easy to challenging. We design all of our walking tours to be achievable for those with a moderate level of fitness. We do recommend doing some training before most tours, because physical activity is always more enjoyable if you are physically prepared. We will send you information about how to train when you book.

When on tour we find that a positive mental attitude is most important and that if you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, and not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. You can always have a day or sometimes an afternoon off to relax if you feel like it. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete a walk, give us a call on (08) 6219 5164 and we can talk you through it.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Do I have to twin-share accommodation? Can I have my own room?

Our tour prices are based on rooms being twin share (two single beds in one room) or double (one double/queen bed in a room, shared by a couple). If you are travelling alone, we will give you a room with someone of the same sex. Sometimes, depending on the accommodation, it is possible to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have a room to yourself – please ask us if this option is available when you book. We won’t always be able to guarantee your own bathroom with a single supplement due to the types of accommodation we use for group bookings. Often we stay at 2 or 3 bedroom chalets so that we can cook and have a common area for the group to relax and mingle at the end of your days walk. If having your own bathroom is important, give us a ring and we will see if it is possible.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Will I hold up the group if I’m a slow walker?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a walking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 – 6 km per hour and we tend to average just over 3 km per hour on bush tracks. It’s not a stroll but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What is the average age of Inspiration Outdoors’ guests?

About 80% of our walkers are aged between 45 – 75. Our youngest guest has been about 35 and our oldest was 82. We get a roughly 60/40 female to male split.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

What’s the food like? Can you cater for my dietary needs?

We serve simple, nutritious and delicious food on tour, using fresh and local ingredients as much as possible. Of course, if you like, you can indulge in some less nutritious treats as well – you’re on holiday after all and Emily bakes a mean cake. Breakfast, home-made morning tea, lunch, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and a two course evening meal are all included. We are happy to adapt our menu to suit many dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets – please ask when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Are your walking tours just for “bushwalkers”?

Our walks are for anyone who enjoys walking and nature – bushwalkers or not. Our walks are conducted in safe, supportive and fun environments and you don’t need specialised equipment or experience to undertake them. We give you information about what you will need to bring and how you should prepare for each tour and we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

Do I have to walk every day on tour?

Of course not – it’s your holiday and you should do what you feel! Relax at the accommodation, come for a drive, get dropped off in town or go for a stroll of your own. On some days there is also the opportunity to walk for part of the day. This last option depends on whether there is vehicle access to the track.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What do I have to carry when I walk?

Very little. A water bladder or bottles, a rain jacket, some personal first aid supplies and, on some days, lunch. You will probably want a camera as well. We return to accommodation each evening so there is no need to carry a large backpack.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Beautiful walks in the daytime, relax with fellow walkers each evening

As much as this walk on The Larapinta Trail is a fantastic outdoor experience, it’s also a social experience, giving you a chance to enjoy the companionship and support of like-minded people.

Enjoy a cuppa with a slice of home-made cake for morning tea and a fresh healthy lunch, surrounded by nature. Every day is finished off by a delicious and nutritious dinner together with the group.

What people have said

I have been on many Inspiration Outdoors tours and I keep coming back. There is so much effort put in to make the trip enjoyable. Love the walks, love the food, love the guides. Can’t recommend highly enough.

Judy, Northcliffe to Walpole

Thank you once again for the great care your team take, making us feel so safe and able to go beyond what we could manage ourselves. I hope to travel with you again…

Jeannie, Pilbara & Karijini 2015

Pricing

$3,095pp in basic cabin accomm. ($450 single supplement)

Secure your seat with a $350pp deposit

Money-Back Guarantee

Our number one priority at Inspiration Outdoors is to ensure our guests have a great experience on EVERY tour.
We can't guarantee the weather, bush fires or events beyond our control, but we do guarantee that:
– your guides are professional, friendly and hard working.
– your itinerary is well organised and thought out.
– the particulars of your tour (accommodation, transport, food etc), are as described on the website and in the tour notes.
We stand behind our guarantees. If you come on a tour with Inspiration Outdoors and we do not fulfil these promises, we will give you your money back.

Ask about this tour:

If you would like to book this tour, or just want to learn a bit more about it, please fill in the enquiry form below and we will get back to you to confirm availability or to answer your questions.

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Other ways to get in touch

What happens after I book?

After you have paid a deposit and filled in a registration form, we will send you any extra information you may need, including a list of what to bring and how best to prepare for the tour.

Payment in full is required at least six weeks prior to the tour (bookings can still be made within six weeks of tour start date if there are places available). We will email or call you to remind you when this is due.

Finally, we will contact you prior to your tour to confirm pick-up times and locations. If you have any questions or concerns at all before or after you have booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can go through them with you.

What are my payment options?

Payment can be made by:

  • Direct deposit
  • Cheque
  • Credit card

Can I cancel my booking?

We hope that you do not need to cancel your booking. However, if you do, our cancellation fee, based on the notice given prior to the departure date, is:

  • More than 12 weeks: $50 administration fee
  • 6 to 12 weeks: loss of deposit
  • 4 to 6 weeks: 25% of full tour cost
  • 2 to 4 weeks: 50% of full tour cost
  • less than 2 weeks: 100% of full tour cost, no refund

If you have any concerns about cancelling, please take out travel insurance covering this contingency. This policy will be adhered to despite the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.

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