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Larapinta Highlights - Eastern End with Mt Sonder - 7 Day

Reconnect with nature on our extraordinary Larapinta Highlights – 7-day, guided walk

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Australia’s Red Centre with our exclusive seven-day trek through the eastern section of the iconic Larapinta trail. Park Trek have partnered with 100% Finke River Culture and Adventure to offer this truly unique hiking experience.

Showcasing the highlights of this incredible landscape we have handpicked the best walking sections of the eastern end of the trail. Then our final day gives you an insight into the western end by summitting the renowned Mt Sonder!

Immerse yourself in the ancient beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges as you traverse rugged terrain, towering cliffs and awe-inspiring gorges. With each step, discover the rich cultural heritage of the land, learning from Indigenous guides who share stories of the Arrernte people, the traditional owners who’ve called this landscape home for millennia.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, this journey offers a perfect balance of challenge and reward, with comfortable and exclusive camping accommodation and hearty meals provided. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime, where every moment is a testament to the raw beauty, colours and serenity of the Australian outback.

4350
7 days
80km
10
Alice Springs
Alice Springs
Grade 2 – 5
Contact us for more information.

**Confirmed departure dates allow you to book worry free. If you have any issues booking any departure date, please email us at info@parktrek.com.au  or call us on 03 9997 0500.

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  • Small group (10 or less), day-pack only walking tour with a magnificent variety of walks, sightseeing and opportunities to swim in wonderful waterholes!
  • Daily guided walks curated to immerse you in the region’s unique culture, landscape, history, flora and fauna. Highlights include walking each day with knowledgeable Indigenous Guides, Mt Sonder, Standley Chasm, Brinkley Bluff, Hugh Gorge and Birthday Waterhole.
  • Two local Indigenous guides who are experienced, accredited and safety gear equipped. Our guides play a versatile role ensuring a seamless and enriching tour experience, they are our story tellers, our chefs, and our legends in the field!.
  • Return transport ex-Alice Springs and all tour transfers in our comfortable 12-seater mini-coach with luggage trailer.
  • 6 nights comfortable, luxury private camping accommodation.
  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners, plus trail mix, nibbles, fresh fruit, snacks, tea and coffee, biscuits / cake and non-alcoholic drinks throughout.
  • We also include a smoking ceremony and Aboriginal Cultural experience at Standley Chasm.
  • All National Park entry fees.
  • Carbon offset program per our sustainability principles.

DAY 1 – Alice Springs to Standley Chasm camp

Distance: 50kms driving

Today your guides pick you up from Alice Springs, either from the airport or the Mercure Resort.

Following introductions, we drive to Simpsons Gap for your first taste of the Larapinta Trail and the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges. Here you may spot Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies and an array of birds local to the area. A great photo opportunity.

Continuing to Standley Chasm, we will shortly arrive at our glamping accommodation. This is home for the next 6 nights.

Your guides and camp host will show you around camp and you will have time to settle into your tents and enjoy the lovely surroundings.

Following this you will experience a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony to connect to the land and set intentions for a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience on the Larapinta Trail.

Each evening your guides will thoughtfully prepare a two-course meal with an emphasis on Australian produce and Indigenous ingredients.

Evenings are spent by the warmth of a campfire with your fellow walkers and guides sharing stories, star gazing and learning about the local culture of the Arrernte People.

Our comfortable camp base with hot showers and camp toilets is in a breathtaking location that captures the natural beauty of the area and immerses you in nature.

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

DAY 2 – Ellery Creek to Rocky Gully

Distance: 15kms
Grade: 4, Difficult

After our first stunning sunrise and breakfast we head out to our initial section of the Larapinta trial. Our 15km walk today takes us from Ellery Creek, the center point of the trail, east towards Rocky Gully.

Beginning at Ellery Creek Big Hole, in the Heavitree Range, we pause to enjoy the serenity and sounds of this incredible waterhole carved out over thousands of years. Beautiful ghost gums stand proud, hosting an array of birdlife. You’ll look for the Splendid Fairy Wren, Spinifex Pidgeon and Painted Firetail Finch today.

With incredible geology the trail passes through a steep saddle and then crosses rolling hills, ridgelines, valleys and sandy creek beds to Rocky Gully. From here you will be transported back to camp for the evening.

This evening enjoy a well-earned hot shower, star gazing by the warm crackling campfire and a delicious meal showcasing locally sourced Indigenous products cooked by your guides.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3 – Hugh Gorge to Birthday Waterhole

Distance: 16kms
Grade: 5, Difficult

Today is truly magnificent with a diverse range of views, rocky gullies, ridgelines and gorges filled with pools mirroring the beautiful surrounding reflections.

After breakfast and lunch making, we make our way to Hugh Gorge where we embark on one of our hardest, but most rewarding stretches of the Larapinta trail through rugged and breathtaking terrain.

Our walk begins with an amble along Hugh River, a rocky creek bed lined with river red gums and ghost gums. We make our way to Hugh Junction where we may need to negotiate pools of water depending on rain levels earlier in the season.

From here we continue to follow the water course towards Fringe Lily Creek before ascending the saddle that makes its way up and over the spectacular Razorback Ridge. 360-degree views along this narrow-shattered quartzite ridgeline extend out across this rugged and spectacular country including Paisley Bluff and Spencer Gorge.

As we descend the eastern end of Razorback Ridge, we scramble through a narrow canyon and into Spencer Gorge. The gorge is filled with relic plant species from wetter climates, very different and distinct to those seen in the surrounding arid range.

At the southern end of the gorge the vegetation changes to River Red Gums lining the creek. We continue east towards Birthday Waterhole, a semi permanent pool which is an important ecological site for waterbirds, desert rainbow fish, frogs and aquatic vertebrate. This is a great place for a cold-water swim!

From here we are transported back to our camp for the evening to relax and unwind.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 4 – Birthday Waterhole to Standley Chasm

Distance: 18kms
Grade: 4 – 5, Difficult

Another spectacular day of walking with panoramic views from Brinkley Bluff, sandy riverbed crossings, mint Buh springs surrounded by relic vegetation and zigzagging terrain through stunning scenery.

Setting off from where we finished yesterday’s walk at the magnificent Birthday Waterhole, we continue east through easy, level flats before reaching the bottom of the zig zagging track that leads up to Brinkley Bluff.

The trail begins with a gradual climb before reaching the base of a cliff where combined creeks tumble over Rocky Cleft. This waterfall is normally dry and offers a stunning view when scrambled around.

The rough track continues along a creek bed northeast where it leads into a gully and then a saddle where it climbs very steeply up the zig zags. At 1209m, one of the highest points along the Larapinta trail, a large cairn adorns the summit of Brinkley Bluff with magnificent 360-degree views of the breathtaking landscape.

Following the long, narrow, jagged ridge we continue east and then over a series of knolls and saddles before descending towards Standley Chasm.

A short side trip from the privately owned campground and kiosk to the Chasm rewards you with vertical red rock walls and stunning photo opportunities of one of the most renowned sites along the Larapinta Trail.

This evening nibbles will be served by your guides by the campfire, providing an opportunity to relax and connect with your fellow guests as the end of day light softly illuminates the nearby ranges.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5 – Standley Chasm to Jay Creek

 Distance: 14kms
Grade: 4, Difficult

Departing from our Standley Chasm camp we walk east towards Millers Flat and Jay Creek. With an initial steep climb to a lookout with rewarding views of surrounding ridges and plains, our trail undulates until we reach a steep descent to meet a creek.

Following the rocky creek bed we walk north to Angkale Junction. The track then leaves the creek and climbs steeply to Gastrolobium Saddle, named after a poisonous plant that grows here after fires.

Continuing the undulating track we pass a waterfall, remnant vegetation such as cycads, gullies, natural springs and lookouts.

From Millers Flats there are two options, a high route up and over the Chewings Range to Lorettas Lookout, or a low route via a rocky creek. The group will decide on the day which option will be taken.

From Tangentyere Junction we cross creek flats and several small rises to the end of the Chewings Range.

The spectacular sacred site called Fish Hole indicates we are on the home stretch to Jay Creek.

From Jay Creek we are picked up and transported back to our camp for the night where you can relax and enjoy a hot shower before turning in for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6 – Mt Sonder and Ormiston Gorge

Distance: 16kms
Grade: 4, Difficult

Today you are rewarded for all your hard work over the past 6-days with a final day ascent of Mt Sonder for sunrise!

Setting off from camp early in the morning you will be transported to Red Bank Gorge where you begin the climb up to the highest peak along the Larapinta Trail. Don’t forget your headtorch!

At 1379 meters above sea level, you will saviour first light from this breathtaking vantage point, watching the shadows cast over the surrounding ranges.

Changing colours and shapes will leave you awestruck, fulfilled and inspired as you reflect on what you have achieved over the past 6-days of walking. This is truly a magical way to finish your time on the Larapinta trail.

After you make your way off Mt Sonder you will have time to explore Red Bank Gorge before heading to Ormiston Gorge where you can enjoy a coffee and kiosk treat, another beautiful photo and swim spot! We then take you back to Standley Chasm for a cultural experience. The final afternoon at camp is free for you to relax around the campfire with your fellow walkers, new friends and guides.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 7 – Standley Camp to Alice Springs

This morning, we pack up our personal belongings, enjoy a final leisurely breakfast with our guides and fellow walkers and bid goodbye to our home of the past six nights.

Your guides will transfer you back to Alice Springs and take you to the airport, the Mercure Resort or to the center of town for you to embark on the next stage of your journey.

Meals: Breakfast

Each evening after our days walking, we return back to our luxury camp accommodation for some time to refresh and enjoy the lovely hot showers. Your guides will curate a beautiful nibbles platter for you by the campfire, providing the perfect setting for a relaxing evening. During this time, they will also conduct a briefing, offering insights into the days experiences and outlining your upcoming adventures. Using a map of the area, your guides will illustrate the various regions and walks we are set to explore in the days ahead.

Our exclusive accommodation for the duration of this walk is on the Arrernte homelands of traditional owners. Staying in private (four-person size) stand up tents with a comfy stretcher and swag you will enjoy creature comforts while being out on country under the stars.

Our camp has hot showers and on-site camp style toilets. Our camp also boasts nightly campfires and communal dining where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular sunsets and sunrises.

Accommodation style: We stay in private (four-person size) stand up tents with a comfy stretcher and swag. You are required to bring your own sleeping bag and camp pillow.

Rooming: Each tent has two or four stretchers. You have the option of having your own private tent to yourself or sharing with your friend, family or partner you booked with.

Bathrooms: There are multiple private showers and camp toilets on site.

Pick up Alice Springs 

We recommend you fly into Alice the day before departure to maximize time on country on day one.

Pick up location: We depart from: Alice Springs meeting at the airport or the Mercure Resort.

Our preferred hotel pick-up location is from the Mercure – 34 Stott Street, Alice Springs. Please contact us prior to booking to receive a special industry discount.

Pick up time from 8am – to be advised closer to the departure date.

Drop-off location & time: We return to Alice Springs on day seven at around 10am. We can drop off at the airport or at the Mercure Resort in Alice Springs.

If flying out that day, we recommend booking a flight at or after 12pm to be on the safe side.

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If you have any questions on this tour, get in touch here and we’ll come back to you shortly!

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