Important trip notes – Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort
A typical day
The detailed itinerary indicates the walking distances for each section of the trail. We walk from gorges to ridgelines, and as such there is a reasonable degree of uphill and downhill climbing and the rocky ground can be rugged at times. Each day, each group, and each guide influences itinerary details but the following gives you an idea of daily timing:
Mornings start with a hot drink call from your guides. They then prepare a scrumptious breakfast while you pack up your equipment and prepare for the day. After breakfast we set off for the day’s walk. The morning walk is usually 3‑4 hours with numerous breaks along the way. A leisurely picnic lunch is served on the trail which provides the chance to take off your pack, put your feet up and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
The afternoon walk is usually shorter than the morning walk, getting us to camp with time for a hot shower, exploring, or just relaxing by the campfire with a drink and a chat. Some sections of this tour require a short vehicle transfer to and from the start of the trail. Over a delicious three‑course dinner your guides will give a briefing on the following day’s activities and tell a few stories before heading off for the night’s rest.
Trip grading – introductory to moderate
The Classic Larapinta Trek is graded introductory to moderate. This trek involves walking 5–7 hours each day over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. The trail conditions of the Larapinta Trail are rocky, rugged, hard surfaced and dry. While a number of sections of the trail wind through open plains, undulating areas and relatively flat country, overall, the trail is characterised by rocky, stony and mountainous terrain which can rise from 680m above sea level to more than 1200m along some sections.
Suggested preparation: We recommend regular exercise three or four times per week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) in the months leading up to your trip. At least once a week, you should walk with a weighted day pack (5–7kg) for several hours for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. The best way to train for an active holiday is to simulate the activity you will be undertaking on the trip. Train for uneven terrain by finding a hilly, rough narrow bush track, and go for a lovely long walk in your trekking boots.
Pre-tour briefing – compulsory
This trip commences with a COMPULSORY one-hour pre‑tour briefing at 3:30pm in Alice Springs the day before your departure. The briefing will be held at: Lone Dingo Camping and Outdoor Store 6/63 Todd Street, Alice Springs. It is ESSENTIAL that you make your travel arrangements to enable you to attend this briefing as it will include:
- Opportunity to meet your fellow group members
- Overview of the itinerary and objectives of the tour
- Cross‑check of required gear and clothing
- Outline of inherent risks of the trip and our emergency procedures
- Explanation of conservation strategies and Leave No Trace principles
- Forecast weather conditions
- Confirmation of pick up times and locations for the following morning’s departure
- A chance to ask our experienced guides any questions you may have
- Please note: The kilometres below are based on the total distance walked each day, including between our camps and the trail, and some side trips, so may differ slightly from the distances on the official Parks and Wildlife Larapinta maps.
In the Red Centre, the four traditional seasons are more distinct and temperatures are more extreme than in most other parts of Australia. Trekking in winter (June–August) is very pleasant with light winds, and daytime temperatures averaging 15‑25C or 60‑80F. However, winter nights often plummet below freezing and there are frequent frosts; please make sure that you prepare for the cold evenings on winter treks.
The shoulder seasons of April, May and September are also wonderful for walking: nights are milder and frosts are unlikely. Temperatures during the day are generally hotter which sometimes requires an adjustment to the itinerary, ie: less walking and more swimming! Though rain is not common on the Larapinta Trail, it is necessary to be prepared for all weather at all times. Extreme wet, dry, hot and cold conditions are all part of the experience of Outback Australia.
What you carry
The Larapinta Trek is a fully supported trek. You will carry just a day pack containing the following items:
- Water for the day’s walk (3L)
- Sunhat, sunglasses & sunscreen
- Snacks for the day, provided by your guides
- Waterproof and warm layers
- Camera and any other personal items.
Depending on the amount of personal items you decide to carry, your day pack will weigh approximately 5‑8kg. Your luggage will be transferred by the support vehicle. Please keep luggage to one soft duffle bag per person; please do not bring hard suitcases or extra large duffles as these are hard to transport.
Specialist gear is required include walking boots, head torch and daypack. You will receive a comprehensive gear list for this tour with your confirmation documents. This list has been compiled with our experienced knowledge of the local conditions and we ask that you read and adhere to it; having the correct equipment will ensure you stay comfortable and get the most out of your wilderness experience.
Accommodation on the trip
During the trip you will stay at exclusive semi‑permanent wilderness campsites. Nestled amongst the hills just off the Larapinta Trail, these camps offer a relaxing and comfortable stay in remote locations. The exclusive campsites are fully set up, so there is no need to worry about pitching or packing away tents. Each site has a large covered area in which to relax at the end of a day of walking, with lounges, dining table and kitchen. Beside this shady communal space is our campfire, the perfect place to gather as the sun sets.
The toilet facilities are clean and comfortable. All toilet waste goes into a composting tank, ensuring the environment is protected. There are simple shower facilities: a bucket of water heated over the fire is strung up, providing a few minutes of wonderful hot shower. All water is brought in by tanker as there are no suitable local water sources in the arid ranges.
The safari‑style tents offer plenty of room for two people and gear. Luggage should be kept in the tent at all times, preventing dingoes from taking shoes and other items. You sleep on a stretcher bed in a swag. The stretcher beds raise you 40cm off the ground and offer a firm, flat base for the comfy swag mattress. The swag is a 5cm thick foam mattress inside a canvas cover. We provide a cotton fitted sheet, pillow, and pillowcase which you keep for the entire trip. You can take your swag outside the tent and sleep under the stars if you are looking for that real outback experience.
Sleeping bags are essential for warmth. You can bring your own or hire (please contact us if you would like to hire). A silk sleeping bag liner will be provided if you are hiring a sleeping bag. Most groups are made up of a mixture of single participants and couples. If you are travelling independently you will share a tent with someone of the same sex; this usually sorts itself out naturally.
These trip notes represent the most current information for this itinerary, including but not limited to the itinerary and price. The itinerary should be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.