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Larapinta Trail Trekking Guide

Experience comfort in the outback

The Larapinta Trail is Australia's greatest and most celebrated desert walk. Snaking 223 kilometres west of Alice Springs, through the ancient landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges of Central Australia, it provides a plethora of walking opportunities for those seeking more comfort, to those wanting a remote full-pack carrying challenge.

Jump to a section:
History on the trail
Watch: Life on the Larapinta Trail in 2 minutes
Larapinta Trail accommodation
When to walk the Larapinta Trail
Should you walk the Larapinta Trail guided or self guided?
Popular Larapinta Trail walking adventures
Conservation efforts on the Larapinta Trail


The Larapinta holds a very special place in our heart. It's first reconnaissance was in the early 1990's by one of our legendary guides, the late Charlie Holmes, who went on to connect sections of the trail together before the official trail was complete allowing us to pioneer the first commercial small group guided Larapinta walk in 1995. 

Over the past 25 years, we've continued to refine our offerings along the Larapinta Trail and it has become one of the most popular walking trips across our entire range.


As the trail grew in popularity, the introduction of our four stylish Eco-Comfort Camps opened the walk to those looking for creature comforts at the end of a wonderful days walk. 

Designed by a close company friend, the late architect Nick Murcutt, our Eco-Comfort Camps continue to set the standard on the Larapinta Trail, winning three Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Ecotourism Awards.

The four architecturally-designed Eco-Comfort Camps, which are exclusive to our trekkers, act as a refuge for walkers after a day spent on the trail, providing comfort on both warm days and cool nights. The innovative plans by Neeson Murcutt Architects draw upon state of the art design and technology to protect the remote and beautiful land it sits upon. 

Three of the four campsites are dedicated to people who were integral in our success on the Larapinta; Charlie Holmes, Nick Murcutt and the first Australian born woman to climb Mt Everest, Sue Fear.

Life on the Larapinta Trail in 2 minutes

A trek on the Larapinta Trail is an experience like no other, and can leave an impression on travellers long after they return home. From sweeping views across the sunburnt landscape, to fresh-water gorges that provide the ultimate refreshment, and sunrises that bathe the sky in vibrant hues of pink, orange and deep purple, it is an experience you simply must do!  Highlights include: - Trek the ancient landscape of the West MacDonnell Ranges - Summit Mount Sonder for a spectacular sunrise - Stay in award-winning, exclusive eco-campsites - Visit highlights along the trail including the Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Standley Chasm and more - Gain an deeper understanding for the ancient Indigenous culture and Traditional Owners of tha land - Relax in the evenings around a campfire as the guides prepare delicious 3 course meals   Visit for more information.

Multi award-winning comfort

2019 Brolga Award for Best Ecotourism Operator - Northern Territory 2017_Brolga_Ecotourism 2016_Brolga_Ecotourism Best in Adventure Travel

Larapinta Trail accommodation

Stay at Exclusive Eco-Comfort Camps

Experience our comfortable, multi award-winning Larapinta Trail Eco-Comfort Camps on many of our guided walks. These camps continue to set the standard, having won three times at the Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Award for Ecotourism (in 2016, 2017 and 2019).

   •  Comfortable walk-in ‘safari style’ tents, with large floor-to-ceiling windows for you to soak in the magnificent views.
   •  Above ground stretcher beds and pillow.
   •  Three course meals freshly prepared by the guides.
   •  Hot showers.
   •  Water-free toilets which save 143 litres of water each day.
   •  Camera/phone battery charging ports at each campsite, powered through our solar system.

The kitchen, lounge and dining shelter is set on a raised platform out of the dust and provides a cool and shady open sided haven on warm afternoons, while also offering a warm shelter during the cool nights with gas heating.

The camps incorporate new sustainable technologies including solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment. Its semi-permanent design also allows the land to recover during the off-season.

On treks that do not stay at these Eco-Comfort Camps, travellers can enjoy wilderness camping under a canopy of stars in the outback along the Larapinta trail.

Trekkers relaxing on the porch of their campsites |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> Soak up the sounds of the desert around our campfire |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> Our campsite blending in with the natural environment |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i>

When to walk the Larapinta Trail

The best time of year to walk the Larapinta Trail is any time in the cooler months from April to September, the peak season, being the winter months from May to August, offer more comfortable walking conditions.

The shoulder months of April - May and August - September can be warmer, so be prepared for temperatures in the 30’s (celsius) during the day and mild conditions at night. Central Australia is a climate of extremes; expect warm days and very cool evenings. Night temperatures can reach below freezing in June and July and it can stay chilly until late in the morning. Daytime temperatures can reach the 30°C’s, but are more regularly in the 20°C’s.

Should you walk the Larapinta Trail guided or self guided?

Opt for a guided walk for a stress-free way to discover a new destination as all the details of the trip have been organized for you. Led by our professional team of wilderness guides, who are what makes our treks so special, will share their passion and extensive knowledge about the flora, fauna, fascinating geology and history of the land.

The all-inclusive value of a fully supported trek means you'll have less to worry and more time to sit back and relax at our innovative campsites, enjoying the outback solitude between walks while taking in the pristine desert scenery. Plus, you'll have the chance to forge life-long friendships with like-minded travellers.

Our guided walks range from short 3-day trips that visit the top highlights of the Larapinta, to the Larapinta End-to-End, which tackles the entire 223km journey.

Opt for a self guided walk to take the hassle out of transport, food and logistics. Ideal for the confident and independent traveller with support in the background, active self guided treks are fun and flexible. You can choose from 12 different sections of the Trail as long as they are consecutive, with all of your food drops included. You will be carrying a full pack on our self guided walks and can choose from our 6, 9 or 12-day packages.

Whichever walking adventure you decide, you'll enjoy more inclusions at exceptional value, so that all you need to think about is being in the moment.

Conservation is at the heart of what we do

Our Larapinta treks are Ecotourism ECO IV certified. It has always been our motto that "we take only photographs and leave only footprints" and we hope that you will try to help us achieve our goal of keeping our impact to a minimum.

Principles to keep in mind when packing for your tour:

       As all waste is carried out, try and ensure that there is minimal packaging on any items you may take into the bush.
       All waste, even when disposed of properly, has an environmental impact. Consider products that have recyclable packaging.
       As life in the bush is simple, you can learn to enjoy life without the many little extras. Consider leaving behind all but the basic essentials (as specified on your gear list).

Know that when you travel with World Expeditions, your Larapinta Trail walking adventure is 100% carbon offset, leaving a positive impact to conserve local environments and wildlife, including a reforestation project in Victoria, Australia.

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