Our many years experience running Pack Free walks on the Larapinta has enabled us to create the ultimate 5 day itinerary, that our guests just absolutely love. Combine this with the local knowledge of our indigenous guest guide, an amazing helicopter flight to see the Larapinta from the air, 2 nights at our campsite centrally located at magnificent Ormiston Gorge, 2 nights at the historic Glen Helen Homestead with its wonderful restaurant and swimming pool to cool off after a day’s walk and you have a guided Pack Free walk with all the creature comforts.
This trail was voted by National Geographic as one of the top 20 trekking experiences to be had on the planet. Surprisingly this ancient landscape is abundant with natural beauty including magnificent gorges, high ridges with breathtaking views and peaceful waterholes. The Larapinta Trail Walk offers over 600 species of plants, abundant wildlife and glimpses of the longest continuous cultural history in the world, the Arrente People who have been in the region for the last 50,000 years.
Our day starts in Alice Springs at the Mercure Alice Springs Resort at 7.30am where you will meet your guides for a pre-tour briefing and head for a “Welcome to Country” before exploring famous Stanley Chasm.
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 are very lucky to be able to take advantage of a campsite at beautiful Orimston Gorge. Today we walk directly into 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.
Climb 110 metres and descent 110 metres
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 walk to Mt Sonder.
European’s were first acquainted with the mountain in the watercolour painting of the famous aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira. This section’s walk to the summit showcases the stunningcolours of the range and amazing views for hundreds of miles into the distance. Initially we climb through bushland, then the tree’s gradually become more stunted as the track rises on open spinifex covered slopes. At the top we will enjoy sweeping views of where we have been and record our achievement in the Visitor’s book. 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 walking to the top of Mount Sonder we offer an alternative easier walk.
We return to our campsite for a wonderful dinner featuring local produce and Australia wine around the campfire.
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. (pictured above right). This afternoon our guests will enjoy a scenic helicopter to see the dramatic landscapes from the air. Take in breathtaking vistas of the West MacDonnell Range, Glen Helen Gorge, Finke River, Ormiston Gorge, Mt Sonder and Gosse Bluff. A truly inspiring journey.
There is also time to take a stroll along pretty Glen Helen Gorge for an insight on the history and ecology of this unique area or take a swim in the homestead pool.
Tonight our group meets in the Homestead’s restaurant for an a-la-carte meal. Enjoy modern cuisine with an Australian twist with your choice of barramundi, lamb, pork, kangaroo and more, matched with Australian wine. Retire to your room with ensuite and reverse cycle air conditioning / heating.
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 walk at Serpentine Gorge chalet. We then transfer back to our hotel accommodation at Glen Helen Homestead. Enjoy a superb dinner in the restaurant featuring Australian wine and chat about the day’s adventures.
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 arriving at approximately 5.00pm, the end of a fantastic journey
We run regular scheduled tours from May to August every year. To check real time availability on all our walking tours please see information below. If you after a special group departure date please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPER EARLYBIRDS AVAILABLE FOR 2019 DEPARTURES NOW.
Save $400 per person on all July departures and $300 per person on all other 2019 departures when you book and pay in full at time of bookings. Super Earlybird offers end 30 November 2019.
Super Earlybird Prices. Save up to $800 per couple
Super Earlybird Specials are available for 2019 departures. Book any July 2019 departure and save $400 per person or save $300 on all other 2019 departures. Super Earlybird discounts available when you book and pay in full at time of booking. Super Earlybirds discounts end 30 November 2018.
Super Earlybird Price from
$ 2495 /p
|Pack Free Walk|
|Magnificent Helicopter Flight|
|Australian wine served with all dinners|
|4 x dinner including 2 restaurant meals|
|5 lunches & 4 x breakfasts|
|2 x nights camping at beautiful Ormiston Gorge|
|2 x nights at Glen Helen Homestead with ensuites|
|National Park Pass|
|Return transfers to/from Alice Spring to the walk|
|No credit card fees|
Super Earlybird JULY Departures Special $2495
Super Earlybird Special: All other departures $2595
Normal Price $2895
Single Supplement $495
PRIVATE GROUPS (10 or more)
Normal Group Price: $2845
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