Why trek the Larapinta Trail?
The Larapinta Trail is one of the newest and most popular wilderness walks in Australia. With 12 sections and stretching over 223kms, the trail’s rocky outcrops form a striking backdrop to scenic paths that cut passages through awe-inspiring gorges and expansive plains.
Enjoy the best of the unspoiled Red Centre as you challenge yourself across the rugged terrain, swim in pristine waterholes, catch a sunrise over Mt Sonder and learn about this ancient environment from expert guides.
- Climbing to the top of Mount Sonder (1380m), the fourth highest mountain in the Northern Territory. Once at the summit, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, plains, valleys and salt lakes
- Enjoy exhilarating views of the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mt Zeil – known as the highest point in the Northern Territory
- Take out your camera at the Serpentine Gorge lookout which offers one of the most magnificent panoramas in the Red Centre
- Be mesmerised by the rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world’s oldest river systems
- Glen Helen Gorge is a well-known and popular spot, surrounded by towering sandstone and has views of Mount Sonder, which is known to change colour with the light
- Experience unique flora and fauna only found in the Northern Territory
- Keep an eye out for the local wildlife such as the grey-headed honeyeater, the desert mouse and long-nosed dragons – there will also be plenty of opportunities to spot birds of prey, such as the wedge tailed eagle and the peregrine falcon
When to go?
Winter is the best time to trek, there are clear blue skies, low-mid 20°C temperatures and cool breezes — ideal walking conditions. Nights are often quite cool. It’s not uncommon for frequent 3–5°C nights, particularly in the gorges and valleys. Temperatures can drop below freezing during winter, so pack your thermals, layers and maybe even a hot water bottle.
Alternatively, Autumn and Spring also provide comfortable trekking conditions, with warm days and cool nights. Temperatures average between 12-27°C in Autumn and 13-30°C in Spring. Evenings aren’t quite as chilly as they are in winter, so pulling your bed out from your tent to sleep under the stars can be a much more desirable option at this time of year.
When not to go….
Trekking along the Larapinta Trail in Summer is not recommended due to the intense heat, hot winds and high UV exposure. With daily temperatures hovering in the mid 40’s, and surface temperatures sitting 5-8°C higher, trekking in Summer presents an increased risk of heatstroke.
Accommodation With Soulful Concepts is based on twin-share at 4-star hotels before and after your trek and comfortable camping while on the trail. You will be sleeping in traditional Aussie swags that include a mattress, sheets, pillow and a sleeping bag. Tents (single or double) are available upon request.
Portable toilets will be set up at the campsite but while trekking – it will be as nature calls!
Some nights you can use shower facilities for a small fee at Glen Helen Homestead. Otherwise, you will encounter freshwater holes along the way where you can swim or bathe. Please make sure you bring soaps and shampoos that are biodegradable when washing in the water holes.
Meals & drinks:
You will enjoy continental breakfasts (cereals, toast, spreads, tea and coffee), sandwiches and wraps for lunch, and a variety of hot pots for dinner – like spaghetti bolognaise, BBQ and stir fries. Nutritious snack foods will also be supplied but if you have some favourites – do bring them along! Please let us know in advance if you have dietary requirements and we will do our best to cater for you.
There will be fresh water for you to refill your bottles, but you need to provide your own hydration pack and/or water bottles. We recommend you bring along hydrolytes to ensure maximum hydration.
Alcohol is permitted but we recommend bringing it along with you.
We have put together a comprehensive Gear List to make sure you have everything you need for your trip. Keep in mind thermals and layering! Any items that you aren’t taking on the trek can be left in the secure storage room at the hotel in Alice Springs.
When travelling to Alice Springs, we recommend you pack your essentials such as hiking boots, trekking poles and first day trekking gear in your hand luggage in case of lost luggage. Wear your boots on the plane too.
We recommend that you carry a 30-40L daypack while trekking. This bag should have hip and chest straps to give you adequate support. You wouldn’t want to carry more than 7kg in there (this includes your water).
Your day pack at a minimum would include:
- Small personal first aid kit
- Water bladder (2-3L)
- Spare water bottle (thermal/ metal)
- Repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
- Waterproof gear (such as a light weight jacket)
Please keep in mind that your day pack must not weigh too much when trekking – pack light where possible.
Being phsically prepared:
This is a physical challenge rated and involves trekking in undulating terrain with long days of walking and some steep terrain. The trail is characterised by rocky, stony and mountainous terrain with often scrubby vegetation. A person of moderate fitness who is willing to train will enjoy the challenge most.
You can find out more about the terrain conditions here.
Training that includes hills, stairs, and uneven natural trails will prepare you well. Make sure you build into your training program some longer weekend walks including back to back days. Alternatively if you live in a city or a flat landscape, get yourself some home equipment so you can still train regularly, this article gives a breakdown of the best ellipticals under $500 to help you choose.
Why travel with Soulful Concepts?
When you travel with Soulful Concepts, you travel with purpose – from forging friendships that will last a lifetime, to raising vital funds for charity!
Soulful Concepts is an industry accredited travel company specialising in philanthropic travel design. We provide hand-crafted travel experiences for charities, corporates and individuals ensuring each of our experiences have a positive impact on an important cause and 100% of your donation goes directly to a charity or project connected to your trip.
We offer socially conscious travellers a special collection of responsible travel experiences that give back to the communities and environment in the destinations we visit. Our focus is on culture, community development, conservation, personal well-being and sustainability. We make sure we always work with partners and suppliers that are equally committed to responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly tourism that positively engages the local people and reduces negative environmental impact.
For more information on our commitment to responsible travel, please visit our website.
Our own backyard:
2020 was huge for many of us – experiencing drought, devastating bushfires, floods and hail and then the lock down of our country and the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Which has all had a massive impact on the travel industry and the local communities which rely heavily on tourism.
As the restrictions begin to be lifted, the demand for domestic travel has already increased. Many of us want to get out and explore our own backyard and reconnect with nature, our land and people once again.
Now – more than ever the charity sector is also needing our continued support to help us all get through this difficult time.
Find out more!
If the Larapinta Trail or exploring the Australian Outback has been on your bucket list, NOW is the time to get on board and register for your trip to the Red Centre!
We currently have two Larapinta treks available:
- Endeavour Foundations Larapinta Adventure – 7 Day Journey
- indigo foundation Larapinta Trek for Change – 7 Day Journey
We hope to see you soon!
The Soulful team xx