Larapinta Trek Mount Sonders

Larapinta and West MacDonnell Ranges – 4 days

Spend 4 days walking the best of the Larapinta trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Explore Central Australia’s most dramatic and inspiring landscapes on a 4-day guided walking holiday showcasing the best parts of the Larapinta trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Visit  the dramatic Standley Chasm and Simpsons Gap, tour the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs Desert Park and visit the inspiring Araluen Arts Centre.

This breathtaking trip expertly combines great walking opportunities along with beautiful sightseeing and cultural activities. A walking journey through a truly incredible landscape!

Highlights

  • 4 days touring the best of central Australia including parts of the Larapinta trail, the West MacDonnell Range, Standley Chasm and Simpsons Gap
  • Excellent variety of walks and sightseeing
  • Small group of 10 or less
  • Olive Pink Botanic Garden and Alice Springs Desert Park
  • Comfortable 4.5 star ensuite accommodation

Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Departs: 8am Alice Springs –  20, 25 and 30 May and 21 July

Price: From $1,850 per person
Tour inclusions as noted below

Itinerary

Relaxing by a water hole in Alice Springs

Day 1: Alice Springs Desert Park  – Standley Chasm
2-4 kms (easy- moderate) approx. 1-2 hours walking

We start our day with pick up in Alice Springs and then head to the Alice Springs Desert Park to gain an understanding of the environment, plants and animals we will see during our four-day walking tour.  The park is also an important breeding facility for the Mala, a small finely built hare-wallaby which is now extinct in the wild. Then we head off to stunning Standley Chasm where we will enjoy some lunch and then head out for a walk.

We enjoy two walks at Standley Chasm. The first is a 40 minute return walk through the rocky and shaded gorge. The rare MacDonnell Ranges Cycads are common in the special, sheltered gorge and Black-footed rock wallabies are also common. The walls blaze with reds and oranges as the sun hits the chasm walls, which is particularly spectacular around midday but equally stunning at other times of the day. The second walk is one hour return and it takes you up into one of the valley spurs for great views both east and west of the range. This walk was developed by local Aboriginal people.

We will then check into accommodation at Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs and enjoy pre dinner nibbles in the outdoor bar area next to pool, where you may also want to take a dip. Two-course set menu in hotel restaurant. Meals – lunch and two course dinner (drinks at own expense). Overnight accommodation: Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs

Day 2: Larapinta Trail – Serpentine Gorge
10-16kms (moderate) approx. 6 to 8 hours walking

Today we start with a continental breakfast and the group will to make sandwiches for lunch and pack trail mix and fruit. For our walking today we follow arguably the best section of the Larapinta Trail. The walk begins at Serpentine Dam and we enjoy lunch atop Counts Lookout which afford magnificent views. While this is a challenging section the pace of the walking with only small backpacks is gentle and steady enabling you to absorb your surrounds. The ridge line walk from Counts Point to Serpentine Gorge is absolutely stunning with huge views looking north and south as well as along the spine of the West Mac’s. We also have a softer walking option for those who are not keen on the ascent which includes walking from the Ochre Pits out across a gently undulating trail that sits underneath the steep surrounds of the nearby ranges. Return to Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs, nibbles and drinks followed by two-course meal in restaurant (drinks at own expense) and overnight stay. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation: Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs

Day 3: Larapinta Trail – Red Bank Gorge – Mount Sonder
16kms walking (moderate) approx. 8 hours of walking

After breakfast and lunch making we set out on one of the most exciting walks on the trip. After a drive to Red Bank Gorge we start the ascent of one of the most stunningly beautiful and rewarding walks in the Western MacDonnell Range. Mount Sonder lies at the end and final stage of the Larapinta trail and offers one of the most amazing summit views in Central Australia.

The walk follows a well-worn path to the ridge line before traversing to the summit itself. From here you will witness a simply breathtaking view over the entire length of the MacDonnell Ranges. Return to Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs, nibbles and drinks followed by two-course meal (drinks at own expense) in restaurant and overnight stay. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation: Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs

Day 4: Simpsons Gap – Olive Pink Botanic Gardens – Araluen Arts Centre
2 kms walking (easy) approx. 1 hour of walking

After breakfast and lunch making we check out. This morning we head to Simpsons Gap and take the 1.5km Cassia Hill Walk. This lovely trail takes about one hour and features interesting native flora and great views. The walk winds up a small, rocky hill that gives an excellent elevated view of the surrounding mountain ranges and Simpsons Gap. We will then visit the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens where we can stroll through 16 hectares of themed plantings and surrounding bushland where you’ll find over 250 central Australian plant species, not to mention the black-footed rock wallaby, western bowerbirds, and a multitude of butterflies and birds.

We finish the day on a cultural note with a trip to the amazing Araluen Arts Centre. Here we get a glimpse into the art, culture and heritage of Central Australia, and meet some of the local Arrernte identities that helped develop the region. Including the Albert Namatjira Gallery which exhibits a selection of paintings by this famous artist, his descendants and contemporaries. It also includes some early Papunya boards showing the emergence of western desert dot painting and contemporary trends in Aboriginal art. Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Grade

This walking tour is graded Medium. We recommend participants have a moderate fitness level. We walk at the groups pace with plenty of stops to enjoy this stunning part of Australia.

Group Size

  • Maximum 10 people
  • Minimum age for participation is 14 yrs of age
  • Participants under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult
  • This trip offers guaranteed departures subject to minimum 5 people travelling

Conservation Impact

Central Australia arid landscape is home to important plant, animal and culturally significant sites. Over the years our conservation efforts have supported numerous conservation outcomes in the region including removal of the invasive buffel grass, building the Larapinta Walking Track and supporting Mala wildlife breeding efforts.

A Mala is a small finely built hare-wallaby with reddish brown fur. Once widespread and common in the Sand Country of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia but are now extinct in the wild. The Alice Springs Desert Park is a key location for the conservation and breeding of Mala. Our conservation efforts have assisted with the construction of the Mala Breeding Pens and we are currently helping upgrade the 4.5 hectare Mala Breeding facility at Alice Springs Desert Park.

Location and Transportation

The Larapinta Trail is an extended bushwalking trail running west from Alice Springs along the spine of the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges.

The drive from Alice Springs is in a forward facing air conditioned 2WD mini van.

Accommodation

Nestled at the foot of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges our accommodation in Alice Springs is at the  4.5 star Crowne Plaza Alice Springs hotel. Facilities include WiFi, a heated pool, a spa bath, 24-hour health and fitness centre and various restaurants and bars. The hotel is situated near the banks of the Todd River.

Prices

Adults Twin Share: $1,850 per person (usually $1,950)
Adults Single Share: $2,150 per person (usually $2,250)

Tours are suitable for children 14 years and above.

Inclusions:
Professional guide/driver, transfers ex Alice Springs • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners (two-course dinner at Lasseters Hotel Alice Springs each night) • Park and entry fees • 3 nights accommodation.

Exclusions:
Alcoholic drinks • items of a personal nature • travel insurance • travel to the Alice Springs departure point.

Departure Dates

2018 Dates
Sunday 20 – Wednesday 23 May BOOK NOW
Friday 25 – Monday 28 May BOOK NOW
Wednesday 30 May – Saturday 2  June BOOK NOW
Saturday 21 – Tuesday 24 July BOOK NOW

Depart: 8am Alice Spring – Crowne Plaza Hotel
Returns: 5pm Alice Springs – Crown Plaza Hotel

Private group departures are available on request; subject to availability and a minimum of 5 people.
Email us to enquire or book.

Downloads

Download Booking Terms and Conditions

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