Trek the Larapinta Trail

If you’re looking to travel to the heart of the Australian Outback, then the Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park is your place. And there’s no better way to experience and immerse yourself in this unforgettable landscape than the Larapinta Trail. Hike along the red rock slopes of the West MacDonnell Ranges, enjoy the time to truly connect to Country and appreciate the importance of this place to the traditional custodians over thousands of years. Hike to shadowed gorges, snaking riverbanks, open plains and towering mountains filled with a rich diversity of animals and plants, taking in sights like Ormiston Gorge and a rewarding ascent of Mt Sonder. One of the world’s best desert treks is waiting for you.

5 days, from


per person


16 people max


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


Countries Visited:  Australia
Accommodation: Permanent tented camp (4 nights)
Transportation: Private Vehicle , Walking
Included Meals:

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 4 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • Experience the challenges and rewards of an active Australian adventure, with days of hiking and wild swimming, and nights around the campfire sharing Outback yarns.

  • Explore the majestic Ormiston Gorge, the most spectacular chasm in the West MacDonnell Ranges, and maybe cool off in the year-round waterhole.

  • Enjoy the unique experience of camping out overnight along the trail at Redbank Gorge, making the most of the remoteness and the star-filled desert skies.

  • Cap your Larapinta Trail experience with a summit of Mt Sonder, the highest point in the West Macdonnell Ranges, and the perfect place to look over the landscape and back at what you’ve achieved.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Alice Springs / Larapinta Trail

Meet your group and leader at 7 am this morning at our start point location in Alice Springs (Mparntwe in the language of the traditional owners of the land on which Alice Springs is now located). Then, head out to stretch your legs on Section 1 of the Larapinta Trail. You begin your walk from the official start of the trail at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The Station was founded in 1871 and used for relaying messages between Darwin and Adelaide. Follow the route of the old telegraph line through the rocky, rolling country that spreads out before you, winding along a path that makes its way over creeks and gullies. Walk along the scenic spine of the Euro Ridge and take in the excellent views of the surrounding Alice Valley, with the gnarled peaks of the West Macdonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) out in the distance, stopping for lunch on the way. Follow the trail downhill to Wallaby Gap, home to elusive black-footed rock-wallabies and a great place for birdwatching. Arrive at your first campsite of the trip, and enjoy dinner today while planning for another great day of walking tomorrow.

Day 2: Larapinta Trail / Ormiston Gorge

Begin early today with a walk on Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail. Weave your way from the Finke River to Ormiston Gorge through rolling limestone hills filled with unique plant life. The Finke is one of the oldest river systems in the world, and the local Arrernte name for this waterway gives the whole trail its name – Lhere Pinte, which means ‘salty river’. Today’s hike finishes at the beautiful Ormiston Pound, home to the most impressive gorge in the whole West MacDonnell region. There’s a near-permanent waterhole shaded by ghost gums and towering red rock walls that is more than welcoming to any walker for a chance for a dip and freshen up. Back at camp, rest up and revive for some very challenging days ahead.

Day 3: Larapinta Trail

The next two days are the most challenging but also rewarding section of your Larapinta hike. Start today with the first part of Section 11 of the track. Views are dominated by Mt Sonder (Rwetyepme), the highest point in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Cross the Davenport River then make the climb up to Hilltop Lookout, an ascent that’s rewarded with panoramic views of the peak and its surroundings. Descend through mulga woodland and past distinctive knobbly black rock to shady Rocky Bar Gap. You'll continue on Section 11 tomorrow after a night back at camp tonight.

Day 4: Larapinta Trail / Redbank Gorge

Start today by transferring back to Rocky Bar Gap where you finished your hike yesterday, and tackle part 2 of Section 11. The track meanders along the southern flank of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek. It’s an undulating hike across spinifex-covered hills, making your way through the foothills of the hulking mountain looming to your right. Camp out under the stars again tonight nearby, but bed down as early as you can as you'll be up well before dawn to summit Mt Sonder tomorrow.

Day 5: Larapinta Trail / Mount Sonder / Alice Springs

Hopefully, you got an early night yesterday as today you’ll be up with the possums for an early start to climb to the summit of the iconic Mt Sonder, constituting the final part, Section 12, of the Larapinta Trail. The early start allows you to climb in the cool morning air before the sun begins to beat down, but as this will be in the dark a head torch is essential. The mountain is known traditionally as Rwetyepme – in local Arrernte culture she's portrayed as a pregnant woman forever doomed to lay on her back and watch the sky. It’s not an easy climb, but the journey to the peak is worth the sweeping views in all directions of Central Australia, taking in the trails you’ve covered over the past few days, the Tanami Desert in the north, meteor craters in the south, and the NT’s highest mountain in the west. It’s the perfect way to cap off the trip. After decending back to camp and a well earned breakfast, you’ll return to Alice Springs arriving by late afternoon, at which time the trip comes to an end. If you are staying longer, perhaps celebrate your journey with an optional farewell dinner together with your fellow hikers tonight.