The price quoted on the departure date for ''more than a day'' tours covers all days of the tour.
Duration Five days
Operates Regular departures from May to August.
June 1, 8, 15, 22
July 6, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19
Destinations Alice Springs, Larapinta Trail
Departs from Alice Springs
Departure/Pickup Instructions Departs Aurora Hotel Hotel in Alice Springs at 7.30am.
Departure Time 7.30am
Returns/Ends At Approx 3pm in Alice Springs
Suitable for Mature walkers 50 plus
Itinerary DAY ONE: STANLEY CHASM, ELLERY BIG HOLE & ORMISTON GORGE & POUND WALK
Our day starts in Alice Springs at the Aurora Hotel at 7.30am where you will meet your guides for a pre-tour briefing and head to Stanley Chasm. The chasm is a must see highlight of the Larapinta. We then travel to Ellery Creek big hole for a quick stroll for morning tea enjoying the surrounds with a quite cuppa.
Back in our state of art fully air conditioned 4 wheel drive bus we travel to Ormiston Gorge which is one of the main highlights of the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park. Enjoy a beautiful and spectacular walk up to high escarpment overlooking the pound and then we descend into the pound for lunch. Make sure you pack your swimmers.
The walk takes you through a spinifex covered landscape. You will be amazed with extensive population of wildlife surrounding the many waterholes along the way. Upstream as you walk through the gorge rising spectacularly on either side are cliff faces which look like RED Lego blocks. You will see ancient pines, river red gums and you may even see the famous Sturt Desert rose.
We head to our campsite to find our stand up touring tents erected and your overnight bags waiting in your tent. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee and tea when you arrive. Relax as a delicious dinner served with Australian wine is prepared for your enjoyment. Sit around the campfire, toast marshmallows and chat about the day's adventure with your new friends/.
Trip Notes: 6 Hours walking – 10 kms - Climb 110 metres and descent 110 metres - Grade: Medium
DAY TWO: A WANDER TO MOUNT SONDER (Section12)
We have carefully planned your journey so that the most challenging day to Mt Sonder (the highest point of the trail) is at the start of the tour when you are fresh and more energetic,. then we gradually make each day easier as the tour comes to an end. We start the day early so we can enjoy a glorious sunrise from Mt Sonder.
European’s were first acquainted with the mountain in the watercolour painting of the famous aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira. This section walk to the summit early to enjoy the best colours of the range and we return via the same trail. Further north you can see for 100’s of miles into the Initially we climb through bushland the tree’s gradually become more stunted as the track rises on open spinifex covered slopes. The lookout has a can with a visitor’s book. We will enjoy on top sweeping views of where we have been and enjoy our achievements. It is an amazing experience to see the sun slowly arise exposing the rugged mountain peaks as they emerge from the Darkness.
The trip to the peak of Mount Sonder comprises an 8km walk from the gorge over rocky and steep terrain suited to fit bushwalkers.
NOTE: For those not up to conquering Mount Sonder we offer an alternative easier walk day..
Trip Notes: Total climb 710 metres and descent 710 metres - 6 Hours walking – 16 kms - Grade: Hard
DAY THREE: ORMISTON GORGE TO GLEN HELEN HOMESTEAD (Section 10)
Today our walk will take us from the Ormiston Gorge to the Historic Glen Helen Homestead. Our walk starts with a magnificent Red Mallee forest, wildflowers after rains if you’re lucky and a dis-used cattle corral, which reminds us of the past pioneers of this rugged cattle country. Mount Sonder looming in the distance and plains stretching as far as the eye can see. We descend over gently undulating terrain when we come to the junction of Ormiston and Davenport creeks which is the start of the famous Finke River. The Finke was called Larapinta by the Arentee People which means salt creek and it is one of the oldest water courses on this planet. We cross the Finke River to the west bank and rise through a patch of river red gums to an open plain. An easy walk leads to the oasis of the Historic Glen Helen Homestead which is our accommodation for the next two nights. (pictures above right). After settling in we can take a quick stroll to Glen Helen Gorge for an insight on the history and ecology of this unique area or take a swim in the pool. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks, and a cheese platter overlooking the gorge. Afterwards we head to the restaurant for an a-la-carte meal in the homestead. Modern cuisine with an Australian twist enjoy your choice of barramundi. lamb, pork, kangaroo and more with a glass of wine. (Special dietary requirements can be catered for). Retire to your room with ensuite and reverse cycle air conditioning.
Trip Notes: 12 kms and 7 hours walk - Total climb 100 m and decent 130 m – Grade: Medium
DAY FOUR: EAGLES LANDING TO COUNTS POINT (Section 8)
Today we walk section 8 of the Larapinta Trail. We climb to Eagles landing which in the Aboriginal dreamtime tells the story of an Eagle ancestor who patrolled the range from Ochre pits to Serpentine Gorge. After a morning tea stop at Eagles landing, we then continue to Counts Point. This vantage point offers a wonderful opportunity to see the overall geology of the ranges. Views along this straight Quartz ridge lines give a spectacular view of Mt Sonder. To the right in the distance is the highest peak in the Northern Territory Mt Zeil. In our opinion the best view along the whole length of the trail. After lunch we descend the range into the plains to the end of our days walk at Serpentine Gorge chalet. We then transfer back to our hotel accommodation at Glen Helen Homestead.
Trip Notes: 15 Kms / 8 hours - Climb 460 metres and decent 380 metre – Grade Hard
DAY FIVE: OCHRE PITS TO SERPENTINE CHALET GORGE
Today we hike an easy 4 km track along the song line of the Arrente track from Ochre pits which connects to Inarlanga Pass. The Ochre pits are still used by the traditional land owners, Arrente people. The track follows high ground to some of the best views of the whole Larapinta trail. We enter into the Inarlanga Gorge the smoking green fronds of the McDonald ranges Cycads stand out against the glowing red walls of the gorge formed 300 million years ago. The gorge has been the ceremonial place and important watering point for the Western Arrente people for thousands of years. We walk the descent back through spinifex foothills over a low saddle through mulga back to our starting point. We travel back to Alice Springs for a celebratory drink, the end of a fantastic journey.
Trip Notes: 12 Kms / 6 hours - Climb 210 metres and decent 210 metre – Grade medium
Note: as the last flights out of Alice Springs are at 1.10pm. You will need to book accommodation in Alice Spring for tonight.
Inclusions Our 5 day tour package if for those that want a walking holiday with the creature comforts, we'll transport your luggage to the campsite and accommodation and have a walk in touring tent set up and ready for your arrival.
Exclusions Your own flights to and from Alice Springs.
Pre and post tour accommodation.
Fitness Level Good to Excellent
What To Bring A packing list will be provided once booked.