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Larapinta Trail

Larapinta Trail

A 5 day Pack free walk

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 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.


A Pack Free Larapinta walk with all the creature comforts

Trek the Larapinta Trail with Life’s An Adventure – winner of 21 Tourism Awards of Excellence. Our tours have been created to offer all creature comforts, as well as offering two walking options on the more challenging days of the trail, to suit a variety of fitness levels.
A Pack Free Walk
Our specialty is providing Pack Free walking holidays so you can focus on enjoying the amazing landscapes, not the burden of carrying a heavy pack. Our guests won’t be asked to carry their clothes or overnight bags for the entire walk. With Life’s An Adventure you will carry as little as your water bottle, camera and lunch each day!
An ideal combination of camping and homestead accommodation
We feel our walks have the perfect combination of camping and accommodation. Life’s An Adventure is very lucky few to be able to camp at beautiful Ormiston Gorge (2 hours drive from Alice Springs). This allows us to walk directly into our campsite on night 1 and minimises our travelling time on other days being centrally located to all of our walks. After our walks each day there is nothing nicer than taking a refreshing dip in Ormiston Gorge waterhole. Experience 2 nights camping under the stars with walk-in tents and comfy off the ground beds. Enjoy a superb dinner each night around the campfire perfectly matched with fine Australian wines. Then when you crave it the most, we will spend 2 night at the historic Glen Helen Homestead. At the end of a day’s walk, there is nothing nicer than cooling off in the homestead’s swimming pool. With a warm cosy fireplace, a lovely restaurant serving hearty pub food, you’ll enjoy comfortable rooms with ensuites and hot showers at this historic homestead.
Our added ‘Wow’ Factor
There is nothing like seeing the Larapinta from the air to gain a perspective of its grandeur and beauty. Our guests will enjoy a spectacular helicopter flight with amazing views of the West MacDonnell Ranges and East MacDonnell Ranges. An amazing experience that you will always remember.
Genuinely all-inclusive
All tours are genuinely inclusive. From restaurant meals at the Homestead perfectly matched with Australian wines, to helicopter flight, park fees, guest speakers and even credit card fees. When you book our walks there will be nothing extra to pay.
Personalised Tours
Our tours are designed to be personal and intimate with a maximum group size of 12 people. We love the clients we attract on a Life’s An Adventure walking experience. Happy, down to earth people, who are passionate about walking and simply excited to be on holidays. We find our guests often form lifelong friendships on tour as they are travelling with wonderful like-minded people.
Our Guides
We call our guides CEOs – Chief Experience Officers and it’s their job to ensure your walking tour lives up to to your expectations. Our chief guides in the Larapinta Ed and Danny have a fun loving and caring nature as well as being passionate and knowledgable. Both have a wonderful can-do attitude and will go above and beyond to ensure your tour is every bit as memorable as you hoped.
Great meals featuring local produce – served with Australian wines
At the campsite, sit back to wonderful meals around the campfire prepared by our guides. You can expect to enjoy delicious meals with a local twist including lemon myrtle barramundi and bush tomato lamb. We support local businesses and purchase the majority of our food from a local providore in Alice Springs. When you arrive at Glen Helen Historic Homestead, your meals will be enjoyed in the homestead’s charming Namatjira Gallery restaurant, featuring pub-style fare served with wine.

Special Indigenous Guest Guide
Life’s an Adventure is proud to work with a local Arrente woman who was born and raised in Alice Springs. We meet with her on day one at Stanley Chasm and learn the Dreamtime story of how the chasm was created and many other insights into local Arrente culture.

“Any person who lives in Australia, and indeed any visitors, should gain some understanding of the indigenous culture and history of Australia. A couple of hours spent with our indigenous guide on the first day of Life’s An Adventure 5-day Larapinta Trail tour was hugely instructive in this regard. Her outlining the cultural connections of the Arrente people of the region very much set the framework for our walk along the Larapinta.” Huw Kingston, Environmentalist- Adventurer and Speaker

Life’s an Adventure would like to acknowledge the original custodians of the land – The Arrente people.

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Why should you choose us?

Are you interested in this tour?

Larapinta Pack Free walk inclusions

Trek the Larapinta Trail with Life’s an Adventure and enjoy a Pack Free walk with your overnight bags transported for you, leaving you free to walk with as little as water and a camera.

  • Pack Free fully supported walk with your overnight luggage transported to the campsite & homestead
  • Helicopter Flight for a unique view of the MacDonnell Ranges
  • 2 nights camping at magnificent Ormiston Gorge, centrally located so you can walk directly into camp on night one and take a swim after your walk. All guests will stay in walk-in tents with off the ground beds complete with deluxe camping mattresses.
  • Two nights at historic Glen Helen Homestead in comfortable rooms with ensuites. The Homestead has a refreshing pool you can take a dip after a day’s walking or walk down to the local swimming hole.
  • All meals including 4 dinner, 4 breakfasts and 5 lunches
  • On your last 2 nights at Glen Helen Homestead you will enjoy pub-style meals in the Homestead’s restaurant accompanied with fine wines.
  • Australian wine and soft drinks will be served during dinner each night at camp as well
  • Fresh fruit and trail mix to enjoy during your walk
  • Professionally guided – Our guides are passionate, entertaining, well trained and enthusiastic with the ability to bring to life a depth of information
  • Guest indigenous guide talk and ‘Welcome to Country’ at Stanley Chasm
  • Return transfers from Alice Springs on day 1 and 5 of your trip
  • National Park Pass

Please note: the only equipment you will need to bring is a sleeping bag which can be hired from us for a fee of $40. Our bags are dry cleaned after every use.

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Tour Itinerary

Day OneStarts in Alice Springs
Larapinta Trail

Welcome to Country - Stanley Chasm - Ormiston Gorge & Pound Walk

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. The walk takes you through a spinifex covered landscape. You will be amazed at the 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 Ormiston Gorge. Today we walk directly into our campsite to find our stand up touring tents erected and your overnight bags waiting in your tent. Take a dip in the refreshing waterhole before dinner, a great way to refresh after your day’s walk. 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

Day TwoMt Sonder
Larapinta Trail

A Wander to Mount Sonder

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 stunning colours 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 with time to have a relaxing swim in the waterhole before dinner. Tonight enjoy a wonderful dinner featuring local produce and Australia wine around the campfire.

Day ThreeOrmiston Gorge
Larapinta Trail

Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen Homestead

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 watercourses 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. Upon arrival enjoy free time to stroll along pretty Glen Helen Gorge take a swim in the homestead pool.

Tonight our group meets in The Homestead’s restaurant for our evening meal. Enjoy hearty pub style Australian wine. Retire to your room with ensuite and reverse cycle air conditioning/heating.

Day FourEagles Landing - Counts Point
Larapinta Trail

Eagles Landing to Counts Point

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 dinner in the restaurant featuring Australian wine and chat about the day’s adventures.

Day FiveReturn to Alice Springs
Larapinta Trail

Ochre Pits to Serpentine Chalet Gorge - Helicopter Flight

Today we hike an easy 4 km track along the Song Line of the Arrente track from Ochre pits which connect to Inarlanga Pass. The Ochre pits are still used by the traditional landowners, 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 an 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 and finish our journey with an afternoon scenic helicopter flight to see the dramatic landscapes from the air.  Take in breathtaking vistas of the West MacDonnell and East MacDonnell Range.  A truly inspiring experience. Afterwards, we head back to the Mercure Hotel arriving at approximately 5.30pm, the end of a fantastic journey.

.. and the resultCustomer Testimonials
Merel was one of the most knowledgeable guides I have experienced over many years of guided walking. She kept us safe, informed and on task. Overall impression of the tour Excellent. I walked Larapinta in 2005 (7 day trip) and thought the current trip was great for showing the highlights. The mix of camping and hotel stay was a good idea and well-suited for the demographic.
Helen Jones

Larapinta TrekPackage details

Guides Excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for our guides. Camping was Excellent. The Glen Helen homestead was well managed and had a lovely homely feel. Great scenic location as well. Loved the food and the professionalism of the restaurant. Overall impression of the tour - Excellent. Enjoyed the mix of camping and homestead accommodation. Thought 5 days was good for walkers of our level and age. The tour was great and gave us the Central Australian experience that we were hoping for.
Rod and Jewel Davies

Larapinta TrekPackage details

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Book Now Enquire

Tour Accommodation

Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail

Night 1

Camping Adventure

Location is everything – and we are very lucky to be able to take advantage of a campsite at beautiful Ormiston Gorge. Ormiston Gorge is a 2-hour drive from Alice Springs With a short walk to the swimming hole this is not only a beautiful location but central to most of our walks, minimising our transfer times each day – with our guests walking directly into camp on day 1. Each afternoon after your walk, you can stroll down to the waterhole for a refreshing swim. For the first two nights you will enjoy all the fun of a camping adventure, but with the little extras. You’ll arrive at camp to find your walk-in touring tent set up for your arrival including an off the ground bed with a deluxe camping mattress and pillow. There are toilet and shower facilities provided in the campground.

Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail
Larapinta Trail

Night 2

Glen Helen Homestead

We understand that 4 nights camping is not everyone’s idea of fun – that’s why we have designed our itinerary so that you spend our final 2 nights of the walk at the historic Glen Helen Homestead. At the end of a day’s walk, there is nothing nicer than cooling off in the homestead’s swimming pool. With a warm cosy fireplace, and restaurant featuring hearty pub food you’ll love the homestead comfortable rooms with ensuites and hot showers. We feel our two nights camping and two-night accommodation is the perfect combination.

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Are you interested in this tour?

Tour Availability

We run regularly 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 walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

Save $200 per person on all of the following dates when you book and pay in full at time of booking.

8 June 2019
15 June 2019
22 June 2019
6 July 2019
29 July 2019
5 August 2019
12 August 2019
19 August 2019

1 June 2019
8 June 2019
15 June 2019
22 June 2019
6 July 2019
15 July 2019
22 July 2019
29 July 2019
5 August 2019
12 August 2019
19 August 2019

2020 Dates:
Departures every Monday in June, July and August 2020.

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Tour Prices

Spot Specials $200 available on specific departures only.

Spot Special savings of $200 per person see availability page for dates.

2019 Spot Special Prices
$ 2695 /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

Spot Special Savings  $2695
SAVE $200 per person
Book and pay in full at time of booking on specific departures. Book by 31 January 2019.

Normal Price     $2895
$250 deposit required at time of booking.

Single Supplement $495
Note single supplement costs do not apply to those wishing to share a room with another solo traveller of the same gender


PRIVATE GROUPS (10 or more)
Private Group Special Price: $2645
Save $200 off per person in normal group price
Book & pay in full at time of booking

Normal Group Price: $2845
$250 deposit required at time of booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. We have organised through QBE Insurance for you to purchase travel insurance directly with them – please click here for details.

Booking Conditions

  • Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
  • A deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking unless taking advantage of Earlybird rates, where full payment is required at time of booking.
  • Note: If you are booking within 8 weeks of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
  • Prices are based on twin share of tents and rooms. If you are travelling solo you may be required to share with someone of the same gender. If this is not suitable you can request to pay a single supplement, however, limited single rooms and tents are available per trip so are on a request basis.
  • Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
  • NO Credit card Fees apply.
  • Early bird or Spot Specials discounts cannot be used in conjunction with another offer. To receive these special discounts, full payment must be made at the time of initial booking. Cancellations are not permitted for Earlybird Deals or Spot Specials, however, transfers to another date are permitted 8 weeks or more prior to departure. We advise taking out travel insurance, in case unexpected circumstances prior to the trip, prevent you from joining this tour.
  • We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc.
  • Where a tour is altered due to unsuitable weather conditions, our guides will provide the best alternative itinerary possible, no refunds are provided for cancelled activities on tour.

Click here to view Cancellation Policy and Conditions of Travel.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How fit do I need to be to do this walk?

The entire Larapinta trail runs from Alice Springs to Mt Sonder a total of 223kms, to walk it in its entirety would take around 16 days, though most people experiencing the trail opt to choose to walk sections of the best areas only. Life’s An Adventure have handpicked a number of sections of the trail to create a fantastic 5-day walking itinerary, encompassing the main highlights that you won’t want to miss.

You will need to have a good-to-excellent level of fitness to complete this walk. Clients do have the option to opt out of any day’s walking and relax at the campground or homestead. On day 2 we also give walkers the option to do an alternative easier walk for those not wanting to walk to Mount Sonder.

Do I need to pay extra for a portered walk?

No. All our guests will have their overnight bags transported to the campsite and accommodation each night.

So what will I need to carry?

This is a Pack Free walk. All our guests will just need to carry a small day pack with water, camera and any small personal items you want access to during the day.

What camping gear is provided?

All your camping gear and equipment including stand up touring tents, off the ground beds with deluxe mattresses, pillows, all your eating utensils, the campsite’s cooking equipment. Pretty much all you’ll need to bring is your clothes, a torch/flashlight and your personal items packed in an overnight bag. Please ask your hotel to store any large suitcases. Once final payments are received you will be emailed a Clothing and Gear checklist in your Pre-Departure Information. You’ll need to provide your own sleeping bag or hire one from us.

Do you cater for different dietary requirements?

Yes, we can provide for any special dietary requirements. When booking please specify your special dietary requirements with as many details as possible.

When is the best time of the year to do this walk?

The premiere time to do this walk is between May and August when the daytime temperatures are in the low to mid 20 degrees Celsius and skies are generally blue and clear. Night time temperatures during this period can be extremely cold averaging between 5 and 8 degrees but can drop below 0.

How do I check availability?

Click on the Tour Availability tab, click on the Select a date field and select your preferred date from the calendar. If no dates appear to scroll through the weeks by press the “Next Week” button until a departure appears. To request a new date please email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

How do I book?

A $250 deposit is required at time of booking to secure your place with final payments due 8 weeks prior to departure. Bookings can be made online by simply clicking on the Book Now button or by calling us. Note if you are taking advantage of earlybird or Spot Specials Savings savings you will need to book and pay in full at the initial booking stage.

Can you recommend any pre or post accommodation?

As our departures from the Mercure Alice Springs Resort for convenience, we recommend this hotel of choice for your pre-tour accommodation. This is the only drop off point at the end of the walk as well. The hotel is located in the centre of town and has fantastic facilities. To book accommodation please call the hotel on (08) 8951 4545 and mention “Life’s An Adventure Larapinta Tour” to receive your special rates.

Are there toilets and showers?

Shower and toilet facilities are provided at the campground. At the homestead, each room has its own ensuite with flushing toilets and hot showers.

How many people per tent?

Each tent is a 4 man tent which holds a maximum of 2 people.

Am I able to organise an exclusive group departure?

Exclusive departures may be able to be organised on other dates for groups of 10 people. Please email us with your requirements.

If I am travelling on my own do I need to pay extra?

If you are prepared to share with another single traveller of the same gender, there is no need to pay any extra. Thos requiring their own room will need to pay a single supplement which is subject to availability. Please inquire with our office for details.

What time does this adventure start and finish?

We meet in Alice Springs at 7.30am at the Mercure Alice Springs Resort on day 1. On the final day, you will return to the same hotel at approximately 5.30pm – 6 pm.

How many people are in each walking group?

We run our tours with a maximum of 12 walkers.

Is my tour guaranteed to go ahead?

All tours are subject to minimum numbers. Before you book, you are welcome to ring our office to check which tour dates are guaranteed to run. If minimum numbers are not met for your booked date we will call you to reschedule to another date. It is advised if you are not booked on a guaranteed departure, that when booking flights you choose tickets which allow you to amend your dates if required.

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Contact Us
  • Address: HEAD OFFICE: 4/23 Narabang Way,
    Belrose NSW 2085.
    (Regional office: 6955 Arthur Hwy, Port Arthur Tasmania. All enquiries to be directed to Head Office).
  • Phone: (02) 9975 4553
    After Hours: 0457 002 482
  • Email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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