Larapinta Trail, West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory
By REI Adventures
Spend nine days hiking in Australia's famed "Red Center." Go beyond the tour bus highlights and strike out on the Larapinta Trail to experience the freedom of deluxe tent camping under an immense sky. Hike Kings Canyon, Kata Junta and watch the red glow of monolithic Uluru at sunset, all while discovering the Anangu Aboriginals deep connection to this incredible land.
- Fully guided and supported exploration of Australia's Red Center
- Hike the rugged Larapinta Trail, staying in deluxe tented camps
- Wind your way through Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park
- Hike through the Valley of the Winds in Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park
- Authentic Aussie BBQ while watching the red glow of Uluru at sunset
- 4 nights in hotels (1 night Doubletree Alice Springs, 1 night Kings Canyon Resort, 2 nights Ayers Rock Resort – Pioneer Hotel) and 4 nights deluxe camping
- Professional guided hiking and transportation on the Larapinta Trail, Kings
Canyon – Watarrka National Park, Valley of the Winds – Kata Tjuta and Uluru
- Price includes: Double occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; park fees; one group airport transfer on day 1 and day 9; professional hiking guide, cook and camp staff; all group camping gear including tents, individual bedding, first aid; private coaster vehicles; taxes and tolls.
- Not included: Airfare to the start of the trip on day 1; airfare from Ayers Rock (AYQ) on day 9; optional guide gratuities; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; items of a personal nature such as soft drinks, bottled water or liquor, laundry fees, internet fees; cost of obtaining a passport; visas and immunizations; insurance of any kind.
Package duration: 8 nights
Book by: 10/09/2018
Travel from: 05/26/2018
Travel by: 10/09/2018
Day 1: Arrive Alice Springs, Australia - Gateway to the Larapinta Trail
Welcome to the Red Center! Our trip begins in the airport in Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory. After dropping of our luggage at this hotel, we'll visit the desert park to get our first introduction into this unique ecosystem. Over the next four days we'll enjoy an incredible sense of solitude and wonder on the Larapinta Trail, staying in three separate deluxe eco-camps. Dinner included.
Day 2: Break in our boots in Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park
After breakfast, we drive to the vast West MacDonnell National Park, a 350 million year old mountain range. Its red quartzite peaks, interspersed with layers of granite, sandstone and limestone have been carved into gulleys, valleys and gorges fed by springs of refreshing cold water. Our first hike is through Standley Chasm, a dramatic rock walled entry into the fascinating geology of the area before continuing on to Simpsons Gap. Tonight we'll be welcomed in by a local aboriginal community member. Lunch and dinner included.
Driving: 1.5 hours
Hiking: 2 miles, 1.5 hours
Day 3: Larapinta Trail Highlight Hikes through Slot Gorges and Billabongs
Today we get a real taste of the Larapinta Trail with a hike along one the most spectacular quartzite ridges of the West MacDonnell Ranges. We see the magnificent "ripple rock," evidence of the ancient shallow inland sea that once existed before these mountains were formed. For lunch, we'll picnic on the trail then begin our descent through Mulga forest before the landscape opens up again. We finish the hike at our deluxe campsite where we enjoy a beautiful sunset and a delicious dinner prepared by your guides. All meals included.
Driving: 1.5 hours
Hiking: 8 miles, 5-6 hours
Day 4: Search for Rock Wallabies on the Enchanting Ormiston Pound Walk
Today we diverge off the Larapinta Trail on a remote circuit of Ormiston Pound, a ring of mountains that punctuates the MacDonnell Range. This is an incredibly scenic walk that traverses a diverse range of habitats. Keep your eyes peeled for military dragons scampering across the rocks and wedge-tailed eagles circling above. Tonight we'll move on to our deluxe tented camp near the foot of Mt. Sonder. All meals included.
Driving: 1.5 hours
Hiking: 5 miles, 4 to 5 hours
Day 5: Sunrise Gike to Mt. Sonder Viewpoint - Visit Glen Helen
This morning we depart early from camp to embark on one of the crown jewels of the Larapinta Trail, Mt. Sonder, the 4th highest mountain in Australia's Northern Territory. Our trail winds up the rocky ridgeline to a picturesque viewpoint where we'll watch the first light of day illuminate the West MacDonnell range. We enjoy a visit to Glen Helen followed by our last night of camping underneath the stars. All meals included.
Driving time: 2 hours
Hiking: 3.6 miles, 3-4 hours
Elevation gain/loss: 600'
Day 6: Drive to Kings Canyon - Hike at Gosse Bluff Meteor Site en Route
This morning we explore Redbank Gorge, passing glowing red bluffs to where freezing waters guard the entrance to a slot canyon. Afterwards, we depart the Larapinta Trail and drive on towards the next major feature of the Red Center, Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. Along the way, we embark on a short hike at the remarkable Gosse's Bluff. Enjoy some creature comforts staying at a well-appointed outback resort adjacent to the National Park. All meals included.
Driving: 4.5 hours
Hiking: 1.3 miles, 2 hours
Day 7: Hike the Rim of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park
Today we're treated to one of the most famous hikes in the Red Center. An invigorating start, 500 stone steps lead us up to a panoramic view of the canyon. We skirt the sheer 300' high walls of the rim before descending into the canyon for a lunch break in a quiet oasis known as "The Garden of Eden". Next, we'll drive to Yulara and enjoy dinner at a local Outback pub.
Driving: 4 hours
Hiking: 3.7 miles, 4 to 5 hours
Elevation gain/loss 400'
Day 8: Hike Deep into the Valley of the Winds - Sunset BBQ Overlooking Uluru
After an early breakfast we drive into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. 300 million years of wind and rain have sculpted the "Valley of the Winds," resulting in a hikers playground. We'll walk through the Valley of the Winds and Walpa Gorge, treading deeper into the valley to explore between creek beds that weave their way between the ancient domes. Later, we enjoy a farewell BBQ dinner prepared by our guides with the sun setting on Uluru as our backdrop. All meals included.
Driving: 1.5 hours
Hiking: 5 miles, 4 hours
Day 9: Morning Hike at Uluru and Departure
This morning we end our journey with a visit to the gem of the outback, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. This sandstone monolith brandishes brilliant shades of red and is sacred to the people of the central Australian desert, whose occupation of the region dates back over 50,000 years. We'll spend the morning hiking around Uluru before transferring to the Ayers Rock Airport to conclude our REI Adventure. All meals included.
Driving: 1 hour
Hiking: 1-2 hours
Terms & Conditions:
*Special Payment, Cancellation, and Transfer Policy Payments:
A refundable deposit of $400 is required at time of booking to secure space. Full payment is required 60 days before departure date.
If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due when we receive notice of your cancellation:
91+ days prior to departure = $0
61 to 90 days = $400
31 to 60 days prior to departure = 50% of the total trip cost is non-refundable
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable
If you instead transfer to another trip, the following fees are due at the time of the request:
61+ days prior to departure = $0
46 to 60 days = $400
31 to 45 days = 50% of the trip cost is non-refundable/non-transferrable
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable/non-transferrable
To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations with a same-gender roommate. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement fee. If you do not wish to share and request single accommodations, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available. For more details about traveling solo, see our Solo Travelers page.
Single supplement 2018 - $1,399
Seasons in Australia are opposite from North America. We operate our trips in the winter months, from May–September, when the weather is generally cooler and more comfortable. In Australia's Red Center, the climate is semi-arid; daytime temperatures are warm (avg. 68° F) with surprisingly cold nights (avg. 37° F).
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. Additional trip information will be provided upon sign up.