Larapinta Trail & Uluru/Kata Tjut

The 223km long Larapinta Trail is one of Australia's most spectacular bushwalking and trekking experiences. It is also one Australia's newest trails and is quickly emerging as one of the most popular trails in Australia and the world.

It is also one Australia’s newest trails and is quickly emerging as one of the most popular trails in Australia and the world.

This fabulous trip will take you right into Central Australia, also known as the Red Centre. This huge outback region in the Northern Territory spans dusty red desert, mountain ranges and gorges.

We will start our journey in the town of Alice Springs before travelling into the MacDonnell Ranges. This is a spectacular area showcasing extraordinary geology sculptured over millions of years.

From here we will travel to Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park. We will tackle the Rim Walk, so named as we will walk along the edges of sheer cliffs, which will afford us spectacular views of this magnificent area.

The next part of our journey takes us to Uluru / Kata Tjuta where we will spend time at Uluru, or Ayers Rock, a massive rock monolith and sacred Aboriginal site. We will take a guided tour around the base and learn about the Anangu people, their traditions and customs. The Cultural Centre is also a great source of information.

Our final day takes us to Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas, a group of 36 immense ochre rock domes. We will tackle the challenging Valley of the Winds Walking Trail before returning to our hotel for a quick shower and transfer to Yulara Airport.

This is an awe inspiring glimpse into our own history, our own geology and our own culture. This is not to be missed.

Price: on application

Duration: 10 Nights/11 Days

Trek Ratings: Activity 2&3 / Conditions 3 / Accommodation 3 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: April, May, June, July, September

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Alice Springs

Trip Ends: Yulara

Destination: Lake Argyle

Trip Route: Alice Springs-Wallaby Gap-Birthday Waterhold-Standley Chasm-Ellery Creek-Serpentine Gorge-Serpentine Chalet Dam-Ormiston-Glen Helen-Mt Sonder Ascent-Ormiston Pound-Kings Creek Station-Uluru

Trip Style: Guided Trekking

Activity: Trekking

Activity Per Day: Approximately 6-7 hr walking

Day 01 Arrival into Alice Springs
Day 02 Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap
Day 03 Birthday Waterhole to Standley Chasm
Day 04 Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge
Day 05 Serpentine Chalet Dam to Serpentine Gorge
Day 06 Ormiston to Glen Helen
Day 07 Mount Sonder Ascent
Day 08 Ormiston Pound Circuit Walk to Kings Creek Station
Day 09 Kings Creek Station to Uluru
Day 10 Yulara – Uluru
Day 10 Yulara – Ayers Rock Airport

Day 01 ARRIVAL INTO ALICE SPRINGS
Arrive at leisure today and check into your hotel.
After an afternoon briefing, you will have time to spend in the township of Alice to buy any last minute requirements. We have the option to make our way to the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens where we will be greeted by Traditional Owners and ‘Welcomed to the Country’ in an authentic and traditional way (at extra cost) After this we head back to our hotel before retiring early for the evening.

Overnight at Hotel
Dinner Included

Day 02 ALICE SPRINGS TO WALLABY GAP
We start with a walk of approximately 15km beginning from the outskirts of Alice Springs west to Wallabys Gap. This walk features superb views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands and traces part of the historic Overland Telegraph Line route. Visitors also follow the Aboriginal Dreaming Track of an ancient euro (hill kangaroo), ancestor of the modern species of euro, also known as wallaroo and offers superb bird watching opportunities. In the afternoon we are transferred to Simpsons Gap. Here we have the option of a traditionally cooked dinner by Bob Taylor (at extra cost) After dinner we drive to our campsite where we can sit around the campfire and reflect on our first day of trekking.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 03 BIRTHDAY WATERHOLE TO STANDLEY CHASM
Today we tackle Section 4, a 17.7km section of the Larapinta Trail, a good test of your fitness and walking experience. The trail starts from Birthday Waterhole then enters Stuart’s Pass, steeply ascending as it follows the high quartzite ridges of the Chewings Range to the summit of Brinkley Bluff where walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Descending from the bluff we work our way down to the Standley Chasm access road from where we return to Hugh River, our base for the night.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 04 ELLERY CREEK TO SERPENTINE GORGE
Section 7 is a 13.8km section of the Larapinta Trail that includes some steep ascents. The sharp rocks on the first part of the trail can be hard on tender feet, but gives us the opportunity to learn something of the long geological history of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Another highlight is the abundance of birds including the elusive spinifex bird, a unique species of warbler found only in Australia.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 05 – SERPENTINE CHALET DAM TO SERPENTINE GORGE
Today we head to the spectacular western half of the Larapinta Trail and onto a 13.4km section that is only suitable for well prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. It offers exhilarating views of the high quartzite ridgelines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mt Zeil (the highest point in the Northern Territory).

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 06 ORMISTON TO GLEN HELEN
After breakfast we set off to walk Section 10, a 9.9km section that can easily be walked in a day. This is one of the shorter sections of the Larapinta Trail and winds through rolling limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world’s oldest river systems.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 07 MOUNT SONDER ASCENT
Section 12 is a 15.8km return section of the trail that is only suitable for well prepared and experienced walkers with a good level of fitness. The arduous climb to the peak of Mount Sonder (1380m) is well worth the effort and walkers are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. Ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes all combine to create magnificent vistas. This is a great place to experience the grandeur of the desert landscape.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 08 ORMISTON POUND CIRCUIT WALK TO KINGS CREEK STATION
In the morning we transfer to Ormiston Gorge where we spend our final morning of the Larapinta Trail on the Ormiston Pound circuit walk. Starting from the Visitor Centre the trail winds around some low peaks before descending into the ‘pound’, a flat area enclosed by mountains all around. There are numerous species of birds and mammals such as wallabies that can be seen in the gorge. It takes about 3 – 4 hours to complete the circuit and we finally return to the Visitor Centre via the main waterhole. After another healthy lunch, we will break camp and make our journey along the Meereenie Loop to Kings Creek Station, making various stops along the way.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 09 KINGS CREEK STATION TO ULURU strong>
This morning we enter the Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park, home of a mighty chasm with sheer red rock faces which soar over 100 metres above lush palm forests. The rim of Kings Canyon is a 6km round trip walk and you will visit the Amphitheatre, Lost City and tranquil Garden of Eden. After lunch we travel to Yulara, the town closest to Uluru. Tonight we watch the ever changing colours of Uluru at sunset. After dinner, some stories and stargazing, it’s time for a good night’s rest at our private campsite before another active day tomorrow. After dinner this evening, you may choose to view the Field of Light art installation (at extra cost)

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 10 YULARA – ULURU strong>
We finish with a short easy paddle to our end point, where we are picked up by boat and taken back to Kununurra. We are transferred back to our hotel to enjoy a hot shower and cold drink! Tonight we can relax around the pool and recount our recent adventures before enjoying a well deserved meal in the hotel’s restaurant.

Overnight at Campsite
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Day 11 YULARA – AYERS ROCK AIRPORT.
Your guide will wake you bright and early to experience the famous Uluru sunrise. From here we will make our way to the base of Uluru where you can walk around, approx. 10km’s. We will then make our way to the Cultural Centre to learn a little more about the land and traditional owners before your guide drops you back off at the Airport. Please Note: Tour can finish in Alice Springs on the 10th evening and if required we can organise lunch, dinner and accommodation on Day 10 and breakfast on Day 11 if required.

Breakfast Included

NOTE: During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimise its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

Please contact us for further information and upcoming departure dates.

Cost Includes

10 Day fully escorted tour
All ground transfers
Alice Springs Accommodation – Hotel
Trek – Accommodation in semi-permanent campsites
Meals as indicated
Detailed Risk Management Plan
Public Liability Insurance

Cost Does not Include

International and Australian domestic flights
Passport & Visa costs
Travel insurance
All items of a personal nature, including trekking equipment
Meals other than those specified on itinerary
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.

Recommended Equipment

Trekking

 Jacket, breathable with hood
 Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
 Long Sleeve Shirt
 Short Sleeve Shirt
 Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
 Fleece Pants
 Shorts
Skins (optional)
 Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
Gaiters or Spats
Bathers
Afternoon / Evening Clothes
 One lightweight set of non-walking clothes. These are the clothes you will change into after the days walk.  We recommend a short sleeve shirt and second pair of shorts – you will generally arrive at your day’s destination early afternoon when it is still warm.
 Polar Fleece or one warm woolen jumper (not too bulky) and long pants. These are to protect against mosquitoes at dusk, and cold at night.
Set of “thermals” if you are a cold sleeper

Headwear

 1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
 1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
 1 – Bandana (optional)

Handwear

 1 – Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)

Footwear

 1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
 1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
 3 – Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
 3 – Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)

Accessories

 Camel pack / Water bladder. This is mandatory as it is critical that you maintain hydration at all times.
 Water bottles for spare capacity and to mix up supplements. We recommend total water capacity to be around 3-4 litres.
 Walking stick or poles (optional). Please try using poles during your training to determine if this is right for you.
 Small section of foam mat to sit on
Sunglasses
 Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
 Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
 Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
 Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Sleeping

 A medium weight hollow-fill sleeping bag.
 A silk or cotton liner or light sheet (for hot coastal conditions)
 Small pillow

Equipment
 Trekking Poles (recommended)
 Head lamp, with extra batteries
 Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear while trekking

Other

 Toiletries
 Prescriptions
 Sunscreen
 Lip Balm
 Insect Repellent
 Hand Sanitiser
 Toilet Paper
 Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional) we provide snacks and biscuits.
 Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

What level of fitness do I require?

Your experience is directly related to your level of fitness!!  It is very important to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead.  We have a recommended training schedule on our website, this is a guide only.

Many of our trekkers have used a similar training guide for Kokoda and Tasmania and have found it very helpful in their preparation. You cannot train on too many hills. The more training you do now, the more successful and enjoyable your trek. You should also be training with a pack as you will need to carry your own pack approximately 15kg.

Please contact us for information on training walks in Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns.

Fatigue, overheating and dehydration are conditions that you need to avoid and be aware of on the trek. Lots of fluid with re‐hydration formulas such as Gastrolyte will help. It is important to wear light clothes, as it is very hot and humid in the Kimberley. You must train in the clothes that you intend to wear whilst trekking! It is also very important to make sure that you have good walking boots.

Good footwear is important for a successful trek. Prior preparation is the key to a successful trek. The Kimberley can be an arduous trek and should be treated with the highest respect.

Getaway Trekking reserves the right to refuse participation or retire any trekker/s if they are deemed to be unfit or unprepared to complete the journey.

What should I wear on the plane?

You will be arriving in a hot humid environment. Wear appropriate clothing; if you are travelling from a cold environment carry a lightweight set in your hand luggage that you can change into when you arrive.

Can I stay a little longer?

Getaway Trekking includes in your trek price pre accommodation in Alice Springs, which means the night before your trek starts.  If you require extra nights’ accommodation please let us know and we can book this for you.

Do I need travel insurance for this trek?

Yes. It is a mandatory requirement to travel with Getaway Trekking on this trek.

We suggest you take out insurance as soon as you make any form of payment; in unforeseen training accidents or family emergencies, you may have some protection.

Travel insurance can be arranged through our Travel Manager.

You MUST ensure your insurance covers Helicopter evacuation in medical emergencies.

If you purchase travel insurance through our Travel Manager, we will receive a copy of your policy. If you arrange your own insurance, please supply us with a copy of your Travel Insurance Policy and ensure we have the following information:

  • Travel Insurance Company’s 24 hour emergency contact phone number
  • Your Name
  • Policy No.
  • Travel Dates and Destination
  • Date of Birth etc…

Please note:
If you retire from the trek for reasons other than medical, you will need to pay for the evacuation “up front” (normally with credit card or a cash transfer to the relevant company) Other extra costs are of course accommodation, meals.

What is the accommodation like?

We stay in semi-permanent campsites with good facilities, including a camp kitchen and eco toilet. The campsites do not have showers, however you will have the opportunity to wash each day using a bucket of fresh water.

When is the trek briefing?

Your Trek Leader will run a briefing at your hotel the night before your trek. This informative session is designed to let you know of departure times, changes, ask questions etc. It also allows you to get acquainted with the rest of the group if you’re not already.

Do I need money on the trek?

You are in a remote area where there is no opportunity to purchase any goods.

Are there Communications on the trek?

We carry a satellite phone on our treks.  The purpose of the satellite phone is for emergency use only. It is used to ring in to the office with updates, GPS position or used in an emergency (where a helicopter may be needed).

As there is no electricity along the trek we cannot charge the battery.  The Trek Leader may only switch the phone on a couple of times a day (to save the battery).  The battery is fully charged before the trek starts.

The satellite phone is not to be used by our trekkers for personal use.

If a trekker wants to keep in touch with family or work whilst they are trekking they need to bring their own satellite phone.

How can I be contacted if there is an emergency at home?

If an emergency requires your attention the following procedures should be followed. It must be understood that communications in these areas is not guaranteed due to weather and other environmental conditions.

  1. Your family member contacts our office (who will assess if it is a genuine emergency; a sick cat would not fit this criteria!) The sat phone is required for “on track” emergencies and battery life is limited.
  2. Our office will text a message to the satellite phone; when the trek leader initialises the phone at 6.00pm each night, he / she will receive the message and immediately contact the office for instructions.

What happens with food?

No matter where we take you, food is an important component of any trip. This trek is no exception! There is an excellent camp kitchen at each of our campsites, complete with fridge, so the meals are fantastic!

All meals are outlined within the Itinerary.

Getaway Trekking needs to be advised when booking if there are any particular dietary requirements.  We do our best to manage your requirements but please be aware we are operating in a remote area where everything needs to be carried in (and out). We are able to supply Gluten Free and Vegetarian menus on request.

Should I take electrolytes and how much water is enough?

You will need to carry a minimum of 3 litres of water on you. It is essential you hydrate in this environment. Your Trek Leader will advise the best places to fill up your water. It is essential that you take electrolytes/Gastrolyte/Hydrolyte etc with you.  Put electrolyte in your water, every time you fill up, it prevents dehydration from high perspiration due to exertion and high humidity.

Dehydration can become a major issue in all hot environments.  It is very important to keep drinking fluids on the trek. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products. Water purifying tablets can be taken as a precaution. The water is generally very good in the Kimberley but always check with the Trek Leader about the quality of the water.

With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea can occur. Please ensure you bring adequate medication as per our personnel first aid kit.

Are there opportunities for me to shower?

The campsites do not have showers, however you will have the opportunity to wash each day using a bucket of fresh water.

Why do some days start at a different place from where we finish the previous day?

  • This is what we refer to as an ‘out and back’ trek. Each night we will stay in semi-permanent campsites, from which we will be transported to the start of the day’s trek. At the end of the day, we will be transferred back to camp.

Are we supported on this trek?

Throughout this trek we will be fully supported by a support vehicle. This vehicle will take all your luggage from one overnight stay to the next so all we need to carry is our day pack.

What are the conditions like?

The conditions on the track vary due to the changes in the season. The seasons are broken up into the dry season and the wet season. These seasons also have sub seasons which fringe the wet and dry season. The dry season is normally from late May to late October. Good conditions can still be expected in April and November. It is possible to get rain during any season or month. Late November, December, January, February and March are wet with flooded river systems. The temperature will range from 24‐28 degrees under the canopy and up to 40 degrees out in the open
areas. The night time temperature can fall below 8 degrees at night.