Trek the Larapinta Trail

The Larapinta Trail, arguably one of the best desert trails in the world, explores Tjoritja or the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. Hike across snaking riverbanks, open desert plains and towering mountains on this seven-day trek. Cool off in bright green swimming holes, discover the Indigenous history of the area and hike across peaks scattered with diverse flora and fauna. Take in sights like Ormiston Gorge and ascend to the top of Mt Sonder. Take a moment to appreciate the vast red desert surrounds and weeping ghost gums and end the days camping under a blanket of stars.

7 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: PJXL
Style: Basix
Theme: Walking & Trekking


Countries Visited:  Australia
Accommodation: Camping (4 nights), Hotel (2 nights)
Transportation: Private Vehicle , Walking
Included Meals:

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 6 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Enjoy views of the rugged and diverse mountain range while you walk across Serpentine Ridge and cap your experience with the summit of Mt Sonder.

  • Camp in permanently set up tents underneath the breathtaking Milky Way, far away from any light pollution. All meals are included on this trip.

  • Find respite from the Australian sun at one of the stunning swimming holes at Redbank Gorge or Ormiston Gorge.

  • Hike the red slopes of the ranges and spot passing wallabies (maybe a cheeky emu if you’re lucky).

  • Deep dive into First Nations history and visit sacred sites like the Ochre Pits with your local leader, who takes care of all the details so you can concentrate on living the experience.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Alice Springs

Palya. Welcome to Alice Springs (Mparntwe in the language of the traditional owners of the land on which Alice Springs is now located), the heart of the Australian Outback. You’ll meet in the lobby of your hotel at 6pm for a welcome meeting. Here, your leader will tell you a little bit about the next seven days of hiking, camping and swimming under the warm Australian sun. Afterwards, head to a local restaurant for dinner to get to know your fellow trekkers.

Day 2: Larapinta Trail / Glen Helen

After breakfast, begin your trek on the Larapinta Trail. As you head out of town, you’ll get the first glimpse of the seemingly endless mountain ranges around you. After 9km of walking (with a pit stop for a spot of lunch), you’ll have made the first leg of the journey from Geoff Moss Bridge to Wallaby Gap. Enjoy some shade in the shadows of ghost gums, then make your way to our permanent tented camp at Glen Helen where you’ll spend the next four nights. Enjoy a two-course dinner with your trip mates and settle in for your first night under the magnificent outback sky.

Day 3: Larapinta Trail / Glen Helen

Fill up on breakfast this morning before hitting the road and setting off on one of the most popular walks on the Larapinta Trail, a 14km trek atop Serpentine Ridge. From the base of Serpentine Gorge, make your way to the top of the ridge and along the way discover some Mountain Hakea, the pink bush flowers of the outback (that sort of look like aliens from another world). Take a pit stop to appreciate breathtaking views of the red desert landscape at the top, have a bite to eat and remember to hydrate. Discover the most iconic photo op of the trail at Counts Point, from where you'll head back down towards Serpentine Chalet Dam. This evening you’ll enjoy dinner and swap stories with your fellow travellers by the glow of the campfire.

Day 4: Larapinta Trail / Glen Helen

Fuel up with breakfast and head out on the 9km Ormiston Gorge Pound Walk. A stunning trail that shows off all the beauty that Central Australia has to offer, Ormiston Gorge provides a nice respite. Among the towering red walls and local plant life, you’ll find a cool, algae-green swimming hole that acts as your mid-hike oasis. There will be plenty of time to relax at the swimming hole before you head to the Ochre Pits later in the afternoon, one of the most significant places for the local Arrernte First Nations people. Head back to camp for dinner and another gorgeous night under the stars. 

Day 5: Larapinta Trail / Mt Sonder / Glen Helen

Today is a very early start. Make your way to Redbank Gorge in the dark, then begin the 16km hike (about five hours) to the top of Mt Sonder. Make your way up some steep sections to get to the saddle (make sure to wear your sturdiest boots, don't forget your head torch and layer up in the winter months - it can get pretty cold up there) from where the going will be slightly easier. Once on top, take in the 360-degree views as the sun starts to climb over the horizon and lights up the vastness of the desert below you. Head back down the mountain along the saddle while appreciating the gorgeous scenery for a well earned breakfast back in the valley. Head back to Glen Helen for a free afternoon. Perhaps check out Glen Helen Gorge or simply have a relaxing afternoon after today's early start. Tonight enjoy your last dinner at Glen Helen.

Day 6: Larapinta Trail / Alice Springs

Today is your last day on the Larapinta Trail, so make sure you take in every moment. You’ll finish your trip with an 11km walk that beautifully summarises all the West MacDonnell Ranges has to offer. Head to Standley Chasm and experience the impressive Reveal Saddle walk. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a coffee or cool drink at the visitor’s centre before saying goodbye to the ranges. Make your way to your hotel accommodation in Alice Springs with your leader, where you’ll celebrate your amazing hiking experience with the group over dinner. 

Day 7: Alice Springs

Enjoy a spot of breakfast before it’s time for a final goodbye to your leader and trip mates. Your trip is now over and you can make your way back to the airport at your leisure.