Trek the Larapinta Trail

Alice Springs, Australia

Trip Highlights

  • Heart of the Australian Outback
  • Visit Ormiston Gorge
  • Remote Desert Experience
  • Camp at Redbank Gorge
  • Summit Mt. Sonder
  • Wild Hiking & Swimming
  • Diverse Flora and Fauna


If you’re looking to check the Australian Outback off your bucket list, than this is the trip for you. Travel through the Tjoritja-West MacDonnell National Park on the Larapinta Trail, one of Australia’s most famous multi-day trails. Immerse yourself in this stunning landscape as you hike along red rock slopes, towering gorges, lush riverbanks, and open plains that are all brimming with unique species of plants and animals. Learn about the history of this land and the meaning to the traditional caretakers of it, and book end your trip with a visit to Ormiston Gorge and a summit of Mt Sonder with the best of desert hiking in between. 

Operated by Intrepid Travel

This trip is offered and operated by Wildland’s parent company, Intrepid Travel. Intrepid is an international adventure travel company committed to offering sustainable, experience-rich journeys across the globe. They’ve led the way with ethical, small-group travel since 1989, helping guests discover the magic of travel more than 30 years! When you sign up for this trip, you will be taken into Intrepid’s registration system, and book directly with them.

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$2335 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Intrepid Walking Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-16
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 44.5MI / 71.6KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip follows some well-maintained trails with some more rugged sections. It includes mostly moderate hiking distances and elevation with some more strenuous distances and elevation. Excellent physical fitness is required to complete this trek.

Hiking Distances:

11.5MI / 18.5KM

Backpack Weight:

10-20 pounds


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up To 2460FT / 750M

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on some maintained trails with more rugged sections that may involved walking in the sand.


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this hiking tour a Level 3 for solitude. You can expect as much as a few hours of solitude at a time.

This trip can be booked as a private tour directly with Intrepid Travel by calling  1-800-970-7299.

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Inclusions: meals from day 1 lunch through day 5 lunch, local transportation, accommodations

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Day 1: Alice Springs

  • Orientation Meeting: 7am 
  • Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner 
  • Hiking Distance: 8.6MI / 14KM
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: Moderate

Your tour begins at 7am sharp this morning when you’ll meet your leader in Alice Springs (Mpartnwe) before setting out on your first section of the Larapinta Trail. You’ll start at the official beginning point of the Larapinta trail at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station which was once used for relaying messages between Darwin and Adelaide when it was founded in 1871. Your group will follow the old telegraph route through the rugged terrain laid out in front of you that boasts rocky, rolling country spotted with streams and valleys. Travel along Euro Ridge and appreciate the sweeping vistas of Alice Valley with views of the jagged West MacDonnell Range (Tjoritja) peaks in the distance. After a quick lunch, continuing hiking to Wallaby Gap where you are more likely to see various species of birds instead of the reclusive black-footed rock-wallabies before arriving at your first campsite. Sit around the fire while you enjoy dinner and plan for tomorrow. 

It’s paramount that you meet your group leader at 7am sharp in the hostel lobby so that you can provide insurance and emergency contact information before immediately beginning on the trail. This itinerary does not allow the group to wait for late arrivals. 

Day 2: Ormiston Gorge

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Hiking Distance: 8.3MI / 13.5KM
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: Moderate

Today will be another early start as you and your group set out on section 10 of the Larapinta Trail. Rolling hills of limestone are the common feature of the scenery today as you naviagte from the Finke River to Ormiston Gorge, both of which boast unique plant life. As one of the oldest river systems in the world, the Finke river is quite unique and its local Arrernte name— Lhere Pinte, translating to “salty river”— gives the entire trail it’s name. Your hike today ends at Ormiston Pound which boasts one of the most impressive gorges in the MacDonnell region. You’ll get a chance to take a swim in a nearly year-round waterhole here surrounded by ghost gums and soaring red rock cliffs. Get a good night’s rest tonight beneath the desert stars for a few challenging days ahead. 

Day 3: Larapinta Trail

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Hiking Distance: 11.5MI / 18.5KM
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: Moderate

Today and tomorrow’s hike are the most strenuous of this trip, but the views and rewards are well worth it. You’ll begin with the first part of Section 11 of the Larapinta Trail where the vistas are dominated by Mt. Sonder (Rwetyepme), the highest peak in the West MacDonnell Range. After crossing the Davenport River, your group will climb to Hilltop Lookout, a steep but very rewarding trek. Finish with a downhill hike through mulga woodland studded with the unique knobby black rocks distinctive to this region before coming to Rocky Bar Gap where you’ll spend the night. 

Day 4: Redbank Gorge

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
  • Hiking Distance: 6.8MI /11KM
  • Elevation: Moderate/Difficult

Today brings another fantastic day of hiking in the Outback. Start by enjoying a transfer drive back to Rocky Bar Gap where you ended your hike yesterday and take on part 2 of section 11. Trace the southern arm of Mt. Sonder to Redbank Creek while threading through foothills that lead up to massive mountains on an undulating trek through a spinifex covered landscape. This brings you to your campsite for tonight, but make sure to get some rest as you’ll be awake before the sun tomorrow to summit Mt. Sonder. 

Day 5: Mount Sonder

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch 
  • Hiking Distance: 9.3MI / 15KM
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2460FT / 750M

Today brings you to the last trek of your tour and the last section of the Larapinta Trail: summiting Mt. Sonder. You’ll be up with the opossums before the sun this morning to begin your trek in the cool of the early morning air, but make sure to bring a headlamp as it will still be entirely dark and you will need one. This iconic mountain is locally called Rwetyepme and in Arrernte culture is depicted as a pregnant woman cursed to forever lay on her back and stare at the sky. It certainly isn’t an easy climb, but the views are well worth it, beginning before you reach the top and stretching in all directions. Central Australia is simply stunning and this hike affords views of the trails you’ve hiked the last few days, the Tanami Desert to the north, meteor craters to the south, and the highest mountain in the Northern Territory to the west. You’ll descend all the way back down after taking in the views and have breakfast before loading up for the trip back to Alice Springs, arriving in late afternoon. Your trip comes to an end here, but you are welcome to go out with your group for an optional farewell dinner or book additional accommodations through Intrepid should availability allow. 

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

This trip is offered by Wildland’s parent company, Intrepid Travel. Click on any date below to register for this trip on Intrepid’s website!

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details


  • Meals: All meals are included on this trip from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 5
  • Transport: Private vehicle, walking
  • Accommodation: 4 Night, Permanent tented camps & Swag camping

Important Notes

  • A single supplement is not available on this trip.
  • Due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, this itinerary may change on short notice. Your group leader will notify you of any changes to the itinerary on day 1.
  • You’re in for a bit of a challenge on this hike with moderate to difficult hiking distances often with significant elevation. Excellent fitness is paramount on this trip as you will need to be able to hike up to 20KM with a day pack with little shade for multiple days and be able to carry a personal supply of water.
  • This trip begins at 7am sharp (the itinerary cannot accommodation late comers) in Alice Springs on day 1 and ends upon arrival in Alice Springs on day 5
  • While we do call this backpacking trip, it varies from traditional backpacking as you will not be required to carry your own equipment (tent, sleeping bag, food, etc.), but it will be provided for you at camp Accommodation for this tour is a mixture of basic, permanent camps with tents and swag camping under the stars including bedrolls, mattresses, pillows, and a sleeping bag. Between June and August when temperatures at night can drop below freezing, it is recommended that bring your own sleeping bag for extra comfort.
  • Alcohol is prohibited on this trip as this national park is a dry zone.
  • A Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip. This will be provided by your booking agent when you book to fill out before arrival.

Essential Packing List

  • Small to Medium Day Pack: used for carrying essentials on treks
  • Hiking Clothing: mix of lightweight quick-drying clothes and warmer layers
  • Hiking Boots: comfortable with good tread that you can walk in all day
  • Camp Shoes: comfortable footwear for wearing in the evenings and on shorter walks
  • Sport or Water Sandals
  • Warm Jacket or Fleece
  • Rain Jacket and/or Windbreaker
  • Water Bottle or Bladder for a Hydration Pack
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Toiletries

Optional Packing List

  • Small First Aid Kit (Your guide will have a large one)
  • Sleep Aids: such as ear plugs or eye mask
  • Trekking Poles
  • Gaters
  • Toilet Paper and Zip Lock Bag for Trash
  • Camera, Spare Batteries, Power Bank (You will have access to power to recharge your items)
  • Swimwear
  • Good Book or Journal

Itinerary & Accommodations Disclaimer

The itineraries on Intrepid trips are updated frequently to reflect the current state of the destination and based on guest comments. Therefore it is essential that you review the itinerary information directly before your trip as there may have been changes since you booked with us. Additionally, weather, holidays, local conditions, transportation schedules, and a variety of other factors may cause us to change the itinerary during your adventure. Your guide will inform you of any changes to your trip as soon as the information is available.

Similarly, the accommodation types listed here are meant to be used as a guideline and are not guaranteed.  It is sometimes necessary to make alternative arrangements due to a lack of availability or a change in itinerary. In these situations, we will use like standard of accommodation.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

Starting Point

  • This tour begins at 7am sharp in Alice Springs. The itinerary cannot accommodate late comers.
  • Meeting point: Alice Springs YHA, Cnr Parsons Street and Leichhardt Terrace, Alice Springs, AUSTRALIA

Ending Point

  • This tour ends upon arrival in Alice Springs on day 5
  • Alice Springs YHA, Cnr Parsons Street and Leichhardt Terrace, Alice Springs, AUSTRALIA

Health and Safety Considerations

The health and well-being of guests and guides is Intrepid’s top priority. Please review our itinerary and activities carefully to assess whether you are able to cope with and enjoy this particular trip. If our group leader or any local guide determines a guest is not able to participate in the itinerary without undue risk to themselves or others in the group, we reserve the right to deny said guest access to all or a portion of the trip without refund.

Group Size & Age Requirements

  • Minimum Age: 16
  • Minimum Group Size: 1
  • Maximum Group Size: 16

Weather in Central Australia

The weather in central Australia, which includes Alice Springs, Uluru and its surrounding desert, can be extreme on either end of the spectrum. The area boasts a semi-arid climate with temperatures that can reach up to 40C/104F in summer and can drop below 0C/32F overnight in winter. Visitors will need to be prepared for any weather that they might face as well as for both and hot and cold weather on the same trip. It is recommended that you check the local weather at your destination before embarking on your adventure.

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