AUSTRALIA Walk Larapinta Adventure Challenge

Walking along Australia's most iconic desert trek, along the ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges and staying at comfortable eco campsites.

Challenge Highlights

  • Raise vital funds for your charity
  • Trekking the West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Climb Mount Sonder
  • Exclusive semi-permanent wilderness campsites

Overview

Summit Mount Sonder.....trek the high ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges. We gain a rare perspective of vast flood plains, the razorback rocky outcrops and sheer scale of this ancient land. We follow an itinerary that will appeal to the active walker. You will need to carry only a light pack as a support vehicle will meet us at our campsites with bush tucker that will exceed expectations. The diversity of trail stages is impressive: at times the trail descends from the ridgeline into narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate fern and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand. On other stages we walk to the impressive Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and summit Mt Sonder (1,380m) a perfect vantage point from where we can trace the entire West MacDonnell Range.

Challenge Grade

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, the number of passes crossings and the length of the trek. The Larapinta 6 day trek is graded introductory to moderate. This trek involves 5 – 7 hours walking each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. Although this trek does not involve altitude, it can be tough and should not be underestimated. In order to complete this trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise three or four times a week for at least three months prior to your departure. Hill walking with a daypack is recommended.

Itinerary

We pick you up from your accommodation between 7-7.30am and begin our walk at the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the official start of the Larapinta Trail. From here the trail takes us west through witchetty bush, mulga scrub, and bird-filled shady woodlands. We climb high over exposed hills to the jagged outcrop of Euro Ridge, with expansive views over Alice Springs and the surrounding landscape, before descending to the deep narrow passage of Wallaby Gap. After a stop for refreshments you have the option to extend your walk and head to Nick's Camp on foot, or to transfer by bus. Nick's Camp is one of our exclusive award-winning camps, nestled in the bush with stunning views across the Heavitree Range and Alice Valley. Following your introduction to camp you will be greeted by local bush food specialist, Rayleen Brown, who will give an informative presentation about native bush foods with tastings. Walking Time: 5-8 hours

Meals:  D

From Nick’s Camp we continue west through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. We may catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby as we approach one of the most important waterholes of the area, Simpsons Gap. A short transfer takes us to the stunning Standley Chasm where you will be welcomed to country by Deanella Mack from Cultural Connections. Sunday and Wednesday departures will journey into Arrernte country for a cultural conversation; Friday departures will have a cultural conversation on night one. After a delicious picnic lunch and a walk into the magnificent Chasm – a private reserve still run by the traditional owners – we transfer to Charlie’s Camp. Named in honour of pioneering Larapinta guide Charlie Holmes, tonight’s camp is nestled in secluded wilderness at the foothills of Counts Point. Walking Time: 3-5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's highlight is the 5km walk along the crest of the high ridge leading to Counts Point. From here we have clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon to Mt Zeil (1531m), the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. We can also see the huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff, a feature of the landscape for the next few days. We descend from the high ridgetop though mysterious stands of mulga trees. At the base of the ridge we follow a track of dolomite limestone toward camp; keep your eye out for fossil stromatolites under foot, one of the most ancient forms of life. Stepping off the main trail, we follow our private track back to Charlie's Camp. An optional afternoon walk to Serpentine Chalet Dam reveals early history of the area and the chance for a refreshing swim. Spend the evening relaxing around the campfire while your guides prepare a scrumptious dinner. Walking Time: 5.5-6.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

After another wonderful breakfast we walk out of camp to the breathtaking Inarlanga (Echidna) Pass. We spend some time in the magnificent pass to enjoy the peace and marvel at the ancient cycad palms. From here we trek south-west to an original ochre quarry, a sacred Aboriginal site. The rainbow of vibrant colours on the wave-like ochre wall makes for stunning photos. We then break for a picnic lunch and an early finish in preparation for our big day tomorrow. Your guides will offer numerous afternoon activities such as: visit Finke River (estimated to be the oldest river in the world), relax at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, or take on a challenging 10km trek from Ormiston Gorge through diverse desert lowlands and creek country. We transfer west to our exclusive Camp Fearless – named in honour of trekking guide Sue Fear – at the foothills of Mount Sonder. Walking Time: 3-7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Your guides will have you up early this morning (3am) for our pre-dawn walk up Mount Sonder. Weaving your way up to the 1380m summit of this majestic mountain following only the glittering light of your head-torch, surrounded by deep and peaceful darkness, is a truly inspiring experience... and watching the sunrise from the top is unforgettable! Mount Sonder is the official end and highest point of the entire Larapinta Trail and as such we have expansive views across the entire vast landscape we have been exploring over the last few days. We descend to Redbank Gorge and can enjoy a great brunch on the Finke River. If time permits in the afternoon we may visit the Glen Helen Homestead at the base of the range where we can relax with a drink or even take a scenic helicopter fight over the West MacDonnell Ranges. A short transfer returns us to Camp Fearless looking back up toward Mt Sonder. Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we enjoy the best side walk of the entire Larapinta Trail: Ormiston Pound. The Pound offers an immense variety of extraordinary scenery and wildlife and is the perfect walk to complete our journey. We explore the upper reaches of the Gorge where Rock Wallabies scamper about the imposing cliffs, and follow the track through scrub filled with native birds: Spinifex Pigeon, Budgerigar and Mistletoe Bird. Keep an eye out overhead for the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia's largest raptor. After lunch we board the bus and transfer to Alice Springs. Sitting back and watching the now familiar ancient desert landscape slide by the bus window gives most trekkers a sense of awe and satisfaction. Congratulations on all you have achieved over the last six days! We will drop you to your accommodation at approximately 4-5pm. This evening your group may like to arrange a celebratory dinner together at one of Alice's great eateries. Walking Time: 3-4 hours

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • Farewell dinner to celebrate the Challenge
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • 2 nights exclusive Nick's semi-permanent wilderness campsite
  • 3 nights exclusive Charlie's semi-permanent wilderness campsite
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Professional wilderness guide and support staff
  • Off-road transport from Alice Springs

What's Not Included

  • Return Airfares
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag hire
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Head torches and other personal equipment

What You Carry

  • Trek Larapinta is a fully supported trek. You will need to carry just a day-pack with your water bottles, jacket, camera and other personal items. You should carry at least 3 litres of water each and every day. Your luggage will be transferred by the support vehicle between campsites. Please keep luggage to a soft duffle bag per person. Please do not bring hard suitcases or extra large duffles as these are hard to transport.

Fundraising Impact

Step 1: Choose your charity – determine which registered charity you’d like to fund raise for.

Step 2: Choose your challenge – choose from our range of iconic Adventure Charity Challenges. The Adventure Charity Challenges are all operated by our parent company, World Expeditions, and have been tailor made just for fundraisers. Complete the registration form and pay the registration fee. You can register online 24 hours around the clock or you can download the registration form online and post, email or fax the completed form to us.

Step 3: Charity authorisation - once we have received your registration form we will contact your chosen charity to seek authorisation for you to fundraise on their behalf. Following this the charity will contact you with your permission to fundraise, the minimum fundraising target and most likely directions for you to create an online fundraising page. Your registration will not progress further until the charity officially gives their authorization.

Step 4: Receive your Confirmation Kit - once you are booked on an Adventure Charity Challenge we’ll send you a Confirmation Kit containing:

• Welcome Letter

• Fundraiser’s Guidebook

• Responsible Travel Guidebook

• Trip Pre-Departure Information

• Medical Form (if applicable)

• Travel Insurance document

• Travel Invoice

Step 5: Start Fundraising - now here comes some of the challenge as you set about fundraising for your charity. The Fundraiser’s Guidebook we provide you with will assist you greatly in settling fundraising objectives and determining your fundraising activities. Your charity may have aligned with one of the many online fundraising portals in which case you can set up your personal fundraising page and link to your charity. It’s then a matter of getting your friends, family, colleagues and greater network to support you by pledging donations.

Step 6: Start Training - depending on the type of challenge you have chosen, it may be graded introductory through to challenging, you will need to set yourself a fitness program to ensure you're physically ready for the challenge component of your travel. Take a look at our website where we provide definitions for all levels of grading as well as provide some tips for ‘getting fit’ and some suggestions on the gear you’ll require.

Step 7: Take the Challenge - once the fundraising is done it is time to set off on your Adventure Charity Challenge ... good luck and enjoy the experience with the knowledge that you have made a much needed contribution to your chosen charity.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Non Refundable Registration Fee:USD$90 
Minimum Charity Donation/Fundraised:USD$400 

Videos

What it's like to walk the Larapinta Trail for Charity

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 17 Jun 201922 Jun 2019
Duration:6 Days
Activities:Trekking
Charity Challenge
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:OC2
Travel Cost:USD$2246

The key is to tap into your different networks, friends, family and the broader community and to try different ways of fundraising. From running a BBQ day, to hosting a movie night in local cinema, or an afternoon tea or fun dinner event. We also have a Facebook group just for our team members. Here, people share ideas and feedback on their fundraising. Plus our fundraising booklet with many fundraising ideas and how to make these super duper effective