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The Larapinta trail weaves through the spectacular backbone of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to one of the highest peaks in Australia’s Red Centre, Rwetyempe/Mt Sonder.


Described by Australian Geographic as “one of the world’s best long-distance arid-zone walks”, the Larapinta trail weaves through the spectacular backbone of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to one of the highest peaks in Australia’s Red Centre, Rwetyempe/Mt Sonder.

This vast and spectacular section of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park is an outstanding example of an ancient landscape sculptured over time by climatic extremes. High exposed ridge lines with exhilarating views, lush gorges, dry river valleys and secluded waterholes provide endless scenic pleasure. Our private campsite, located within the National Park is the perfect base from which to walk and explore this awe-inspiring country. We provide luxury fully enclosed swags with mattresses, underlays, cotton sheets, pillows and pillowcases or spacious touring tents offering privacy, two single beds, a rug on the floor and a small reading lamp. They are of standing room height and have space for your luggage. Our three bush showers, eco friendly toiletries and composting toilets are welcome comfort in this remote area. Our stylish safari style living and dining tent is a great place to relax with a book after a sensational day on the trail. Dinner is served either sitting around the open fire under the stars or in our safari tent at our custom-made dining table.

Every evening, our talented trail guides transform into exceptional cooks and food and wine hospitality experts to serve a delicious three course meal, which previous guests have praised as restaurant quality. A selection of boutique wines are served with dinner and non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

Walk carrying only a daypack with expert guides who can interpret and explain to you with their passion the history, geology, rare plants and stunning wildlife of the desert.

What Makes Our Larapinta Trail Tour Unique?

Right from the time you commence this journey with us the quality is evident.

  • Comfort and space in our Mercedes Sprinter bus or Toyota Landcruiser.
  • Sensational food using predominantly organic produce – home made cakes, soups, stocks and snacks. We use the freshest and best quality ingredients available.
  • A choice of premium wines from delicious flinty rieslings, to elegant chardonnays and pinot gris, earthy pinot noirs and rich dark cherry shiraz.
  • A nice cold beer, G&T or Campari and soda for sundowners.
  • Great coffee to get you going in the morning and a beautiful selection of Larson and Thomson teas.
  • Luxury fully enclosed swags with mattresses, underlays, cotton sheets, pillows and pillowcases.
  • The option of being in a tent offering both privacy and standing room with a rug on the floor, a bedside lamp and comfortable beds.
  • Luxury and comfort in our safari style dining and living tent.
  • Three stylish outback showers with eco friendly toiletries.
  • Two composting toilets.
  • Experienced guides who are adept at wearing many hats. They are your hosts, interpreters of the landscape, cooks, carers of blisters and friends for the journey. They may be environmental scientists, chefs or outdoor education specialists. Above all they’re fun – the kind of fun that makes you want to sit around the fire and chat with them at the end of a day on the trail. They are passionate about their work and the environment.
  • We genuinely love and care for the environment in which we are fortunate enough to work and make sure we recycle our bottles and cans, return all our vegetable and fruit scraps to hungry little chooks in Alice each week and all our human waste is removed from the site. At the end of the season we leave no trace of our presence and in fact we work to improve the site through things like our buffel grass eradication program.
  • As part of our arrangements with the Traditional Owners of the land on which we have our semi permanent camp, we pay an annual rental fee and a percentage of our annual turnover to the Traditional Owners.

*Contact us for exclusive use availability for your private group or family trip where we can design a tour specifically with your interests or celebration in mind.

TourDates

Tours depart every Sunday from 24 April to 11 September 2022
Currently our 2022 season is fully 
booked. We will update availability here should this situation change. Do contact us to register your interest in the 2023 season.

24 April, 1 May, 8 May, 15 May, 22 May, 29 May, 5 June, 12 June, 19 June, 26 June, 3 July, 10 July, 17 July, 24 July, 31 July, 7 August, 14 August, 21 August, 28 August, 4 September, 11 September

How itUnfolds

DAY Day 1: Standley Chasm - Chewings Range 3kms

After our briefing in Alice Springs on the first morning, we board the bus and head out towards the red ridges of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges to start our walking adventure at Standley Chasm. After a visit to the peaceful narrow gorges the guides will take you off the beaten track into a portion of section 3 of the Larapinta trail. This is our only opportunity to visit the rugged Chewings Range section of the trail, a less accessible part of the Tjoritja/ West MacDonnell Ranges.

We descend to a shady creek bed for lunch.
We then transfer to our private and exclusive campsite for the next five nights.

DAY Day 2: Ormiston Gorge to the Finke River 14 kms

We depart camp and head back to Section 10 of the Larapinta trail. Ormiston Gorge to the Finke River offers a less demanding day's walk where you can move easily through the landscape at your own pace.

Heading west from Ormiston Gorge we travel through the undulating foothills of the range. Views back towards Ormiston in the morning light are an absolute delight, and ahead you will see the majestic Rwetyempe/Mt Sonder.

We cross tributaries of the Finke River, including Ormiston Creek. These grand sandy waterways are vibrant habitats for plants and animals. The trail takes walkers to a high point offering views to Glen Helen Gorge in the Pacoota Range, back to Mt Giles and Ormiston Pound and down to the confluence of the Davenport and Ormiston Creeks.

After a peaceful lunch in the shade of the river red gums in the sandy riverbed, we follow the river on its western side.

A two-minute transfer takes us to the classic remote Central Australian ‘resort’ Glen Helen for refreshments.

DAY Day 3: Serpentine Gorge - Counts Point - Serpentine Chalet Dam 16kms

This is another spectacular day of walking with exhilarating views in all directions. Today is one of the more challenging walks, as it offers a chance to climb up onto the range. You are rewarded with impressive views from the ridgeline across to the Chewings Range, and into a dramatic indented valley. After an initial climb the track levels out and runs along the high quartzite ridgetops that typify the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges.

We walk along the ridge to Counts Point where panoramic views stretch across to Mt Zeil, the highest mountain in the Northern Territory. The afternoon takes us steeply off the range. We descend through old growth Mulga forest and through Lomandra Gully - named after this unique Irongrass species endemic to the eastern creek gullies of the West Macs. The final leg of the days walk is on a 4x4 trail, offering gentle walking to stretch out your legs. We then meet the vehicle for a short transfer back to camp.

DAY Day 4: Ochre Pits - Inarlanga Pass - Serpentine Bush Camp 9 kms

Today we drive the short distance from our campsite to the Ochre Pits – the site of an Aboriginal quarry – to start our day walking.

We approach the Larapinta trail on the Arrernte (Aranda) Walk, meandering through the foothills just above creek lines filled with river red gums. The striking colours of the landscape and surprising botanical diversity are a delightful introduction to the Red Centre, Arrernte culture, and Tjoritja / The West Macs.

As we approach the range, a rocky pass comes into view. Named after the elusive nocturnal echidna, Inarlanga Pass is a spectacular narrow gorge through the Heavitree Range.
The section of the trail through the Pass is part of section 9 of the Larapinta.

We explore the length of this enchanting gorge and settle in under the twisted metamorphic rocks and ancient Cycads for lunch. From here we continue through the foothills of the range to Serpentine Bush Chalet ruins and the remains of the dam that served the 1950s chalet. We then meet our vehicle on the easier terrain of a scenic 4x4 track and drive back to the Epicurious campsite.

DAY Day 5: Redbank Gorge to Rwetyempe/Mount Sonder 16kms

Today is the most rewarding day of the trek as we climb to the peak of Rwetyempe/Mount Sonder. This morning is an early start, but it is worth it when you reach the summit and are greeted with some of the most spectacular views in the Tjoritja / West MacDonnells.

The first 3kms climbs steeply, however once the ridge is gained the walking gets easier and the views continue to expand. The last leg to the summit is steeper, but offers a truly stunning vantage of Central Australia.

DAY Day 6: Ormiston Gorge - Ormiston Pound Walk 9kms

Today we take a relaxing walk through Ormiston Gorge and around the beautiful escarpment of Ormiston Pound. We start the walk at the mouth of the gorge and waterhole. The walk then takes us through the rolling spinifex covered hills and rocky floral gullies to the lip of Ormiston Pound where a lookout offers wonderful views of the remarkable formation below.

We enjoy lunch somewhere on the meandering Ormiston Creek before we make our way slowly through the rocky gorge. Towards the end of the gorge is a permanent pool of water that is sometimes deep enough to warrant wading through; a perfect way to refresh tired feet after a long walk. From here we gently climb the contours of the gorge wall along the aptly named Ghost Gum Walk, which offers stunning views back into the gorge.

Following a short break to recuperate, we climb into the bus for the last time and head back into Alice Springs. We get back into Alice around 4-5pm, and drop you off at your respective accommodations.

Meet your Guide:

Nina Neyland – Australia

Nina is from Bruny Island in Tasmania and has been guiding for the last few years on The Bruny Island…

Meet more of our guides

Interested in thisJourney?

Contact us for bookings and enquiries.

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GuestStories

  • The Larapinta adventure was that and so much more! With incredible guides and a beautiful camp to enjoy after the hiking, this trip was truly a sensational experience for myself and the group of friends who did it. Can’t recommend Epicurious enough in supporting us on our thirst for adventure and the need to get off grid.

    Larapinta Trail – Bea Lambos, May 2021

  • We can highly recommend the Larapinta Trail with Epicurious Travel. The itinerary is well thought out – it’s challenging but not overwhelming. The scenery is always stunning. The enthusiastic guides are well researched, good fun and wonderful cooks – breakfast, lunch, sundowners, 3 course dinner & wines all delicious. A wonderful camp setup. We had everything we need, but nothing was superfluous – the perfect outback experience!

    Larapinta Trail – Kellie Martin May 2021

  • We absolutely loved our week hiking the Larapinta trail with Epicurious travel. The guides were amazing, the food delicious, the accommodation and surrounds were stunning and we were so well looked after. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you Epicurious.

    Larapinta Trail – Emma Buxton, May 2021

  • The Larapinta trail is a stunning walk and the Epicurious tour enhances the experience with fine food, comfortable beds, hot showers and great guides. Small groups and attention to detail make this a very memorable trip.

    Larapinta Trail – Jo Cruickshank, May 2021

  • Our guides José and Kyle were fantastic, along with the newby Amy, their attention to detail was outstanding and all with a sense of humour (a rare gift). Our accom was great, sleeping under the stars in a warm swag was a new experience and I loved it.
    The food was wonderful, hot breakfasts on a cold morning and lunches on the trail were fresh and filling (along with the flies!) sumptuous dinners around the fire with a wide array of wines that suited perfectly.
    All in all I can not recommend this highly enough. We look forward to planning our next tour with Epicurious.

    Larapinta Trail, Didi and John Gilder May 2019

  • I just wanted to send a quick thank you for the fabulous Larapinta trip last week.  It exceeded all our expectations, the guides, the daily hikes, the facilities and of course the food were phenomenal.
    I will definitely recommend Epicurious Travel (I have already been looking at your India trips).

    Larapinta Trail, Trish Marshall May 2019

  • Experienced, friendly, fabulous guides. Luxurious campsite. Fabulous food.
    Could not recommend highly enough.

    Larapinta Trail, Loretta Toohey May 2019

  • I travelled with Seven other girls and we had an absolute ball.Had lots of laughs on the walks and around the fire at night. The tour guides we fabulous they were very informed with questions we asked and the boys were fabulous with our meals. The tents and bedding was very comfortable and it was a treat to sleep out in a swag under the stars if you liked the stars were amazing.I would rate my trip 9 out of 10.

    Larapinta trail, Jenny Michelmore May 2019

  • The Larapinta tour by Epicurious travel was exceptional value for money. The country is stunningly beautiful and the walks well organised and manageable (I am 70!). The young tour guides were very knowledgeable about the geology, history, Aboriginal stories and beliefs, the flora and fauna and bird life. I loved the campsite and having delicious meals around the fire at night before heading off to a comfy bed in my tent. The three guides were one of the highlights of our tour.

    Larapinta trail – Fiona Stanley, 2016

  • Being a newcomer to camping in the outback I was amazed to find such a well organized campsite run by a team of three multi-talented people – Adrian, Kyle and Rhiannon – who looked after and fed us extremely well. In addition, tailoring our daily walks to our level of ability and fitness. Breakfasts in the cold mornings, lunches in the sun atop an escarpment or in a dry river bed, and dinners around the campfire were all delicious and the high quality of produce much appreciated. Loved the landscape and ancient feeling of the country with its red rock gorges, chasms, and escarpments, white ghost gums and pale yellow spinifex. Even the fire-affected landscape had its own beauty. Many thanks for an unforgettable experience.

    Larapinta Trail – Sue Ferguson July 2019

  • From the first day pick up to the final day drop off we thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The organisation was first class-we felt spoiled every day by our guides who were friendly, knowledgeable and great company.  After enjoyable daily walks, a hot shower, afternoon drinks and amazing evening meals and wine, who could ask for more!!

    Larapinta trail – John and Robyn McCambridge, May 2018

  • The whole trip was a highlight [maybe the Mt Sonda walk edged in front?]
    Our guides were fabulous, inspirational young professionals who catered to a wide range of individual quirky personalities!!!
    They were extremely personable and knowledgeable. We felt very safe in their care on the tracks. They were supportive of a wide range of physical abilities.
    THE FOOD WAS AMAZING!!!
    I mean: who has smoked trout quiche and roasted vegetable tossed salad with elderberry cordial in the middle of the McDonnells???
    Clearly the other tours didn’t and it was very enjoyable boasting to them!!!
    The afternoon teas and snacks were sensational home made treats
    Evening meals were just wonderful and the company of the guides was a joy.
    We had a few genuine food intolerances which were very respectfully catered for [doesn’t always happen]
    We left the trip feeling like it was a beautiful week: thank you: the care thought and planning of the week was excellent but you have a GREAT team of wonderful young women and men at the coalface delivering a wonderful experience.
    ps Beds showers and toiletries were lovely

    Larapinta trail – Janet Coleman July 2019

  • I just finished the Larapinta trip.  Impressive level of professionalism which I am sure reflects on much thought and training on the part of Jennifer.  Congratulations on an extremely impressive operation.

    Larapinta trail – John McBride July 2019

  • Thank you to our awesome guides – Adrien, Jose and Kyle. You truly were amazing. Your attention to detail, kindness, knowledge and sheer professionalism made this trip a truly unforgettable experience.

    Larapinta trail – Natalie Jones August 2019