Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail Trek

Tjoritja National Park, Northern Territory


The Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail trek offers walkers the chance to really challenge themselves tackling the six hardest (and most spectacular) sections of the Larapinta Trail. The rewards for taking on this challenging and varied trek are immense, with all of the most spectacular views of the Larapinta Trail on offer – high ridgelines, open savannah country, sheltered gorges and magnificent mountains, along with the best examples of the West MacDonnell’s vegetation.

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This is not a trek for the faint hearted or inexperienced as each day’s walk is rated hard or very hard by NT Parks and Wildlife. On each section you will be tested and rewarded until the final section: a hike to the highest point on the trail, Mount Sonder. It is a beautiful and poignant close to six days of superb trekking on the Larapinta Trail.

The Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail trek is for experienced hikers seeking a spectacular challenge. It is particularly popular with trekkers having limited time, however still wishing to experience the true remoteness and most spectacular parts of the Larapinta Trail that would normally only be explored on the longer 16 day End to End trek. The trek involves challenging to very challenging walking of between 7 to 12 hours each day, across very rocky terrain and ridgelines, with steep ascents and descents.

For each day’s hike on this rugged world class track, you carry just a day pack. We create these trips to be an informative experience as well as a walk through the unique terrain, as we seek to share our knowledge of the place and provide all you need to have an active yet comfortable holiday. You walk with a guide for the day’s trek, with the support guide collecting and transferring you to camp each day, where you can relax while Trek Larapinta caters for your needs.

Being a small, boutique business, we remain keenly aware that we rely on the health of our environment. It sustains us and we, in turn, seek to sustain it. On the Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail trek campsites will vary throughout the trip, in different remote bush locations. Staying in a mix of our own private eco-camps and other remote bushcamping locations will provide a true wilderness experience.

Itinerary Summary

Day 1 : Pick up Alice Springs, walk section 3 high & low route, Standley Chasm to Standley Chasm. | 19kms
Day 2 : Walk section 4 Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole. | 17kms
Day 3 : Hike section 5 Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge. | 17kms
Day 4 : Trek section 8 Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam, including Counts Point. | 15kms
Day 5 : Walk section 9 Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge. | 29kms
Day 6 : Summit Mt Sonder (section 12), return to Alice Springs. | 16kms

What’s included

Travelling with us, you know you’re coming with a boutique business that specialises in the Larapinta Trail. The experience of being in this ancient landscape can be powerful and refreshing. By offering fully-supported camping and interpretive guiding, Trek Larapinta aims to facilitate this experience for you. All the organisation, transport, food preparation, camping and catering equipment and other logistics are taken care of for you, so you can connect with this landscape in a calm, relaxed way and get the most out of your holiday in this amazing part of Australia.

  • All camping equipment including sleeping bag, swag, pillow, bed linen and top of the range spacious tent.
  • All catering equipment.
  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners.
  • All delicious snacks on the trail.
  • Hotel pick up and drop off.
  • Transportation provided in commercially registered, expertly maintained tour vehicles.
  • All camping, traditional owner and national park fees.
  • Group first aid and emergency communication facilities.
  • 2 Trek Larapinta professional wilderness guides.
  • Travelling with a culturally and environmentally responsible business.
  • Small group with a maximum of 8 participants.

Tours do not include pre or post trip airfares or accommodation.

Detailed maps of the Larapinta Trail are also available for purchase.

Notes to consider

The Super 6 day trek requires a high level of bushwalking/walking and general fitness. As the Larapinta Trail becomes more popular the perception of its difficulty decreases. This however is not the case. The trail remains unrelentingly rocky and hard underfoot and weather extremes can be experienced at any time of the year, so the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the experience.

Days vary between 7 and 12 hours of challenging to very challenging walking, depending on the section. The climb up and down Mt Sonder is a challenging 16km return with a 750m rise in elevation. Section 9 is a very challenging day covering a rocky distance of 29km including some steep ascents and descents.

If you engage in at least one to two hours of aerobic activity (this might include walking, cycling, swimming etc) three to four times a week during the three months prior to your trip, you should find yourself fit enough to enjoy your days’ activities. Longer walks on uneven bush tracks with your day pack, including some ascents/descents (if you can find them) will help you prepare your body for the full days on the trail.

Further information about preparation can be found at Trek Gradings and our FAQ section .


Day 1: Section 3

Collecting you from your Alice Springs accommodation at 6:30am sharp we have a 2 hour vehicle transfer to the northern trail head of Section 3 along the Tanami Road, the start of our first day’s walk. This is one of the trails most spectacular sections and one of our favourites! Today’s walk is considered to be one of the most challenging yet scenically rewarding sections of the Larapinta Trail. Made up of deep sheltered gorges, exposed saddles and steep climbs, we are dwarfed by massive quartzite ridges and treated to magnificent views of the surrounding Chewings Range. We transfer to our camp near Standley Chasm for the night where you’ll enjoy a delicious meal cooked by your guides.

20km/10hr+ walk Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Section 4

Climbing up an open valley in the cool morning air, surrounded by giant orange quartzite peaks, is just a sign of things to come on this very scenic section of the Larapinta Trail. As we rise above the landscape along the high ridge of Brinkley Bluff, we become some of the privileged few to behold this truly stunning view. After a well earned rest and a bite to eat, we begin our long steep descent down the mountain past Rocky Cleft to Stuarts Pass. The last hour sees us walking in the footsteps of the man after whom the pass is named, enjoying a relatively easy section, providing a welcome respite after the rough terrain we have just hiked. Tonight we bush camp at the remote and secluded Birthday Waterhole.

17km/9hr walk Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner  

Day 3: Section 5

We start our walk this morning climbing through the spectacular Spencer Gorge, with its narrow red walls and rare plant life. It’s a place we could spend hours, but today is one of the hardest sections on the trail, so after a quick stop we push on. As we keep rising, our view back down the valley and the surrounding mountains is awesome and it’s about to get even better. Arriving at the top of Razor Back Ridge we are treated to what our guides say is the ultimate view of the Larapinta Trail. After balancing our way along the ridge, our journey continues up Linear Valley to the majestic Hugh Gorge, where we will find our camp for tonight, another secluded bush camp.

17km/9hr walk Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner  

Day 4: Section 8

A morning transfer from Hugh Gorge takes us to the start of Section 8 at Serpentine Gorge. Today sees us high up on the Heavitree Range, walking along one of the Larapinta’s classic sections, slowly heading towards Counts Point. One of the highlights along the trail, Counts Point, with its stunning views and incredible sense of space is a sensational place for a snack and some quiet, deep breathing. Camp tonight is at Serpentine Chalet.

15km/7hr walk Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Section 9

Our fifth day sets off along section 9, one of the longest sections on the trail. Although hard, it is a beautiful section of the Larapinta which meanders through long valleys and up onto the high ridgelines opposite Mt Giles, offering us magnificent views west towards Mt Sonder. Following some rock hopping through Inarlanga pass the trail winds along a creek bed lined with inland Tea Tree and swings west into open country, before crossing three saddles on the way to Waterfall Gorge. In the quiet of the gorge we take some time to reflect and appreciate this special place for the Western Arrernte people. Following a steep zig-zagging path out of the gorge we summit The Lookout at an altitude of 1,088 metres, where a magnificent panoramic vista opens out in front of us – stunning views with all the highest peaks in the West MacDonnell Ranges on show. Descending through the foothills, the trail cuts through rolling limestone hills dotted with Red Mallees and Desert Bloodwood Trees. We camp tonight in the Ormiston Gorge region.

29km/10-12hr walk Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Section 12

A short transfer from our camp to Redbank, where our challenging ascent of Mt Sonder begins. At 1,380 metres, it is the fourth highest peak in the Northern Territory. The hike to the summit this morning takes about 3 hours with numerous stops along the way. A challenging (but rewarding!) 16km round trip delivers world class views of this stunning Central Australian range and memories that will last a lifetime. As we approach the top of our climb the sense of achievement hits home, a vast 360 degree panorama of Central Australia surrounds us, rugged and yet from up here so very peaceful. Remote desert peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. The view north looks 100km into the Tanami Desert, and to the east we see the majority of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. To the south is the meteor crater of Gosse Bluff and to the west Mount Zeil, the Northern Territory’s highest mountain. Heading back to Alice Springs, we stop at one of the trail’s icons, Ellery Creek Big Hole. We usually arrive in town between 4-5pm.

16km/7hr walk Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Important notes

The Super 6 day trek requires a high level of bushwalking/ walking experience and general fitness. As the Larapinta Trail becomes more popular the perception of its difficulty decreases. This however is not the case. The trail remains unrelentingly rocky and hard underfoot and weather extremes can be experienced at any time of year, so the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the experience. Days vary between 7 and 12 hours of challenging to very challenging walking, depending on the section. The climb up and down Mt Sonder is a challenging 16km return with a 750m rise in elevation. Section 9 is a very challenging day covering a rocky distance of 29km including some steep ascents and descents. More information on preparation is included in the following pages, along with information on the itinerary, what equipment you need to bring, what we supply and general information to consider for your Super 6 day trek.

Trail notes

6 Days in the bush

6 days out in the bush and on the trail is a great experience. Be sure that your boots are broken in and your personal equipment is in good shape. Although we come together as individuals, we share the experience as a group. There is always time for personal space, but by helping each other out and showing consideration for your fellow walkers, we can ensure a rewarding experience for all. Your guides are always available to talk to whilst on tour to help manage the wellbeing of you and the group. For fundamental safety, group members need to be aware of each other’s location whilst walking, remembering the old bush walking rule of ‘keeping an eye on the person behind you’. This may require walkers to adjust their pace to the group. Faster walkers soon adjust to the joys of pausing in the shade, taking time to listen to the interpretive guide and absorbing the wonders of the trail.

What you carry

Minimal weight: Because you have two guides—one on the trail to carry safety equipment and one back at camp organising the logistics of the tour—you only carry a day pack for your walk. In your pack: Most of the weight will be water to sustain you while walking in the Central Australian climate, which (apart from the rare splashes of rain) is generally sunny and dry even on cold days. We recommend you carry at least 4 litres of water each day. In addition to water, you carry whatever snacks you’d like for the day, a windproof/ rainproof jacket, warm layer and any personal items (such as camera and binoculars) you’d like with you on the trail.


Keeping yourself hydrated is even more important than keeping your feet blister free. Drinking enough water while walking will help you with the stamina and clear thinking you need to walk the trail. Please bring reusable water bottles or a bladder such as a Camelbak to carry a minimum of 4 litres for the day walks. Even in the cooler months, the dry air can cause you to drink more than you realise. We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your fluid intake up.

Health and fitness

You need to have a high level of health and fitness for the Super 6 day trek. The more physically ready you are the less likely you are to sustain an injury. Please talk to us if you have any health issues or other injuries which may affect your time with us, and don’t be afraid to see your GP for advice on participating in this trip before you confirm your booking. The Larapinta Trail is physically hard and just because you are on a guided trek doesn’t mean it gets any easier! So, be as ready as you can be. Engage in aerobic activity 3-4 times a week for at least 1 to 2 hours each session during the 3 months prior to your trip; this might include walking, cycling, swimming etc. Start to do some long bush walks as regularly as you can and do some full day bush walks with your pack weighing around 5-6kg to get you body used to walking with a load, starting at least 3 months in advance of the trek. The Larapinta Trail is known for its unevenness and hardness under foot so make sure you do some walking over rough terrain (if you can find it). Feel free to talk to the Trek Larapinta staff about being prepared.

Good meals all day

With sustaining food for breakfast, fresh & tasty meals for lunch, quality camp-cooked food for dinner and plenty of snacks for the trail, you are bound to enjoy your meals with Trek Larapinta. We provide plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, real coffee and tea. We pride ourselves on our fresh and healthy food.


With notice, we can cater for vegetarians and meet most medical/allergy dietary requirements. For non-medical dietary preferences, please get in touch with us. We like to do what we can to cater for your needs, but because we’re in remote areas this may not always be possible. We appreciate your consideration and understanding of these limits.


Our insurance restricts us from supplying or selling alcohol, so please purchase your requirements in Alice Springs the day prior to your departure. If you are purchasing beer try to find cans as they travel better and cool down quicker. Fresh food takes priority in our fridges, however we can keep some of your beverages cold each day.


The surface on much of the trail is hard and rocky, with sharp quartzite rock. It is very tough on boots and feet and sometimes older footwear can crack, break or fall apart. It’s good to get the balance of boots that are worn-in but not worn-out. If the boots are “worn-in”, it will reduce the chances that you’ll get blisters. But if the boots are “wornout”, they are likely to fall apart on the tough surfaces of the trail. So it helps to check your shoes well in advance of the walk. If they don’t look certain to make the distance, it’s helpful to buy a new pair at least a few months in advance and break them in properly prior to the trip. Retailers in quality outdoor-gear should also be able to give you good advice on buying new shoes. Your feet are likely to get hot rather than cold. Simple, good-quality breathable leather or synthetic trekking boots or good-quality, low-cut walking shoes are fine. It also helps to have good quality socks to fit your footwear. We wear well-padded thinner style of Merino wool sock or a synthetic moisture-wicking sock. Another thing to consider is packing a spare pair of alternative lightweight shoes or boots which you would be able to use in case of damage or blisters. Comfortable footwear for around camp such as sneakers or sandals are great. We like to wear Ugg boots during the cool evenings!


Temperatures do vary during the year (see temperature chart). You will know your preferred walking attire, but, as a guide, always bring clothing that can protect you from the sun during your day’s walk, like a long sleeve shirt with a collar, a hat and some sunglasses. Long pants are good to have on cooler days, but shorts are very handy for most of the year (we don’t recommend cotton or denim). Warm, lightweight jumpers for walking and a good rain coat are essential items. Ankle gaiters can help keep grass seeds and sand out off your shoes but are not essential (we wear the cotton ankle/sock protectors). Thermal layers are also very handy as they are light and warm. Think about the layering system when choosing your clothes. For after the day’s walk, casual clothing is all you need, plus some warm layers— including a beanie and gloves— for the chilly drop-off in temperature at night.


The temperature within your boots and also the hard and uneven terrain can quickly cause blisters or exacerbate other foot problems. Before a walk like this, have any corns, calluses etc. seen to, and make sure problem nails are trimmed and all nails cut. Come prepared with some form of blister prevention and, if you are prone to blisters, always tape up before the days walk “prevention is the cure”. Your feet will be very valuable to you during this tour, and a little preparation can go a long way.

Our camp site

On the Super 6 day trek our campsites will vary throughout the trek, in different remote bush locations. Staying in a mix of our own private eco-camps and other remote bushcamping locations will provide a true wilderness experience. There is also a total fire ban on the Larapinta Trail, so we use camp sites away from the trail where, by permit, we are able to enjoy the delights of a camp fire.


At all our bush camps we set up a portable composting toilet. Our composting toilet is simple yet comfortable, clean and private, with no smell! On the trail, responsible and minimal impact bush toilet protocol is to ensure that you toilet at least 100m from any trail or watercourse (including the sandy banks of ephemeral rivers in these regions) and dig at least 15cm down to make sure that it can be covered in such a way to avoid visual pollution or its discovery by fossicking animals.


The trail is arid and somewhat remote, so whatever water we wish to use we need to bring in ourselves. We have a simple bush bathing system where you are provided with a small bowl of hot water whenever possible to freshen up. Make sure you bring a towel and natural biodegradable soaps, if used.


Swags and the sky: Whether you’ve slept in a swag hundreds of times or never before, we think you’ll enjoy this part of being out on the trail. A swag is a foam mattress protected by canvas, and in it we put bedding (sleeping bag, linen and pillow) that’s clean, cosy and warm. We also provide you with a tent, so you can sleep inside or out under a ceiling of stars. Sleeping bags rated to minus 5 degrees are provided.

Swimming in waterholes

We can swim in some of the waterholes we come to. As part of responsible and minimal impact travel, we can’t wash in them, and it’s good to have a bit of a “bird bath” or “wipe off” beforehand, to remove sunscreens so we can avoid polluting these valuable drinking sources for animals in this desert land. The water can be a bit chilly, but it can be refreshing to take a plunge after walking for a day, so bring along some bathers as well as your towel.

Staying in touch

Apart for some of the high ridgelines (with Telstra) there is no mobile phone reception for the duration of your trip. There is a pay phone at Glen Helen which we can access at certain times during the tour. We carry a satellite telephone on all of our tours for use in emergencies.


We are able to charge most camera batteries via your own charger plugged into our sine wave inverter. We are also able to charge electronic devices via USB connections Don’t forget spare memory cards and other camera accessories you may need.


You’ll need a good quality day-pack with a comfortable harness for walking and another, larger bag to hold all your other things back at camp. Large backpacks or other soft bags are easier for us to fit in the trailer than suitcases and also tend to be better suited to camping. We have limited space so the smaller your luggage bag the better. Enquire about leaving excess luggage at your hotel.

Vehicle storage

We don’t have any facilities for vehicle storage. If driving to Alice Springs please arrange to leave your car at your hotel or other storage facility such as the airport.


Please arrange your flights into Alice Springs at least one day before the trek starts and arrange your departure flights from Alice Springs at least one day after the trek finishes.

Pre and post trek accommodation

Trek Larapinta has secured discounted accommodation at a number of Alice Springs hotels. For further information about the hotels and to book please check out our website at : https://www.


Winter weather in Central Australia is near-perfect for walking. You predominantly enjoy sunny blue skies, but with the moderate temperatures of winter rather than the baking heat of summer. But when night falls, the temperature drops fast! So come prepared for warm days and chilly nights. The Larapinta can experience heavy rainfall periods so make sure you have a good working raincoat with you.

Trek Larapinta recommends all travellers have adequate insurance/cover for their trip. We highly recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation



Detailed Trip Notes for the Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail Trek

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Detailed Gear List for the Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail Trek

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Adventure Curated App

Want to document your trip with Trek Tours Australia and get organised for your trekking adventure, check out this awesome app by our friends at Adventure Curated!

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My Super 6 trek was twice postponed due to Impacts from Covid. I am grateful to Trek Larapinta for their flexibility and understanding & would travel with them again. The Super 6 is a wonderful way to immerse yourself into the feel of NT’s hiking centre for time poor, fit hikers. Trek Larapinta eases any concerns for first timers to this area by providing knowledgeable guides and an organised and flexible itinerary. Sleeping in a swag actually helps ground oneself into the earthiness of this experience. The scenery is awesome. The trails are diverse providing a quintessential Australian trek. The smaller group size of 8 is ideal, particularly if travelling as a solo.

Jax B on TripAdvisor 2022

If I could give this company and our experience with them more than 5 stars, then I would. It was next level amazing. My dad and I did the super 6 day trek in July and couldn’t have asked for a better desert hiking experience. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. The small group size was ideal and the way in which our guides (Tori and Lani) managed the dynamics was really professional and ensured that everyone got the most out of the hiking despite having a very broad range of fitness levels to cater for. The hiking itinerary itself was awesome. We specifically chose this trek tour because we wanted the most physically challenging and scenically rewarding experience that we could have and it more than delivered on both fronts. Epic ridges, valleys and gorges, not to mention amazing desert blooms and sunrises. We loved that every day was full on and jam packed and certainly didn’t leave you with time for thumb twiddling. Make sure you only do the Super 6 Day Trek if you have a really high level of hiking fitness and are wanting a pretty full on week of solid trekking. It is not for a relaxing holiday stroll experience. The camp setup and food situation was super good. The quality of food was especially noteworthy and could not be faulted. The girls not only carried and prepared lunch daily, but also brought along thermoses for hot drinks. Way beyond the call of duty if you ask me. They definitely did everything possible to make everyone comfortable. Honestly couldn’t fault them. Don’t bother considering to do the Larapinta with any other company. Trek Larapinta are the best.

Kayla h on TripAdvisor 2022

The whole trek was just so awesome. Highlights were sleeping under the stars, the gullies, the ridges with the views, seeing the crazy/lovely French marathon runners cruise by, the swims, both the guides, feeling of achievement at the end of Day 5 (30km day), Cal's porridge, Lucy's last day brunch, howling dingoes as we climbed Mount Sonder for the sunrise....and then the Todd River flowing through Alice after we returned!!! Thank you for an absolutely incredible experience

Carolyn on the Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail Trek 2019

A most incredible adventure, I seriously loved every minute of it. Terrific guides with comprehensive knowledge, not only about the local area but our amazing world. This is a must do for anyone wanting to challenge themselves - it is tough so be prepared!

Carol on the Super 6 Day Larapinta Trail Trek (2019

Mind blowing, awesome and well worth the effort. We have just completed the super six day Trek with Trek Larapinta. The guides Nic and Declan were superb. The track we covered was not for the faint hearted, but a tremendous experience and worth every step.

What about this on TripAdvisor 2018

Tripadvisor testimonials

Additional Info


The Larapinta Trail is an extended bushwalking trail running west from Alice Springs (Telegraph Station) to Mount Sonder (Rwetyepme), along the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges. It was completed in 2002, and its 223 kilometres are fast gaining a reputation for offering one of the finest walking experiences in the world.

The steep red slopes of the West MacDonnell Ranges rise dramatically from the Central Australian desert. They typify the rugged landscapes of the Red Centre with the changing hues of their mountain peaks, rolling hills and dry river valleys made famous in the paintings of Albert Namatjira.

The Macdonnell Ranges are quite high by Australian standards, and the Larapinta Trail rises above 1,000 metres 7 times along its length, from a base altitude of 600m. Mt. Sonder is 1,380m high. Many sections rise from the gorges to the ridgetops and back. This is reflected in the kilometres per day recommended. Do not underestimate the trail or the time needed to complete all or any of the individual 12 sections.

Trek Larapinta provides an unequalled opportunity to experience this living desert landscape and take in its special wild and remote places. The Larapinta Trail crosses a variety of terrain, from high ridgelines to sheltered gorges and is home to many of the arid zone’s rare plants. It also links the well known visitor attractions along the ranges of the West MacDonnell National Park (Tjoritja) where walkers can join or leave the trail.


Trek Larapinta wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Central and Western Arrernte Country for allowing us the opportunity to share this magnificent place – the Larapinta Trail and Western MacDonnell region.

We thank the traditional Arrernte owners for partnering with us to enable our guests to experience one of the most special and unique places on earth.

The Arrernte (pronounced Arunda) people of central Australia are the traditional owners of the country we walk on, sleep on, talk on and journey through. These ancient peoples have been connected to country for a very long time and belong to some of the longest continuing cultures on the planet. Some of the very first indigenous Australian dreaming stories ever recorded were those stories about beetles, caterpillars and travelling ancestral beings told by Arrernte people of Central Australia. Arrernte people continue to practice their culture in and around Alice Springs, ensuring that their language and customs are maintained.

The Map of Indigenous Australia is a useful representation of the language, social and national groups of Aboriginal Australia.

Trek Larapinta believes that creating an understanding of the cultural past, present and future to be a crucial part of the walking journey on country. We are passionate about being part of cultural awareness and actively incorporate this in all our journeys on the Larapinta Trail.

If you would like to know more about the Arrernte people have a look at:

Araluen Arts Centre
Cultural Connections
Alice Springs Indigenous Population



Standley Chasm cuts through tough quartzite to form a picturesque natural alleyway formed from flood waters over thousands of years. This beautiful site is at its most impressive in the middle of a sunny day when the light displays magnificent colours and forms. The reliable trickle of water in the Chasm ensures the gully floor is lush with delicate ferns to tall gum trees and cycad palms.

Standley Chasm is located in a private flora and fauna reserve owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust and is operated by Aboriginal family members that are direct descendants from Aboriginal people that have lived in this area for thousands of years.

At an altitude of 1,140 metres, Counts Point is one of the highest points on the Heavitree Range, From the summit the ground falls away abruptly into gracefully arched valleys reaching towards the west. The view from Counts point is arguably one of the best elevated vistas along the entire Larapinta Trail. Counts Point can be undertaken as a day walk along section 8 of the trail and is rated a hard walk.

Ormiston Gorge showcases the spectacular geology and landforms of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The gorge has a waterhole that is there year round and is great for swimming, especially in warmer months. The popular three to four hour circuit Ormiston Pound Walk follows the rocky slope into the flat expanse of the pound and back along the gorge by the main waterhole. Sections 9 and 10 of the Larapinta Trail pass through the Ormiston Gorge area.

Mt Sonder is the fourth highest mountain in the Northern Territory at 1,380 metres. It is the final point on the Larapinta Trail at the end of Section 12. A vast 360 degree panorama greats you at the summit. Remote desert peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. The view north looks 100km into the Tanami Desert, and to the east we see the majority of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. To the south is the meteor crater of Gosse Bluff (Tnorala) and to the west Mount Zeil (Urlatherrke), the Northern Territory’s highest mountain.


The Larapinta Trail is divided into 12 sections that each take one or two days to walk. Each section of the Larapinta Trail has been rated by level of difficulty according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System as seen in the summary below. The Australian Walking Track Grading System is a national standard to help you work out if a walk will suit your level of fitness and experience.

As the Larapinta Trail becomes more popular the perception of its difficulty decreases. This however is not the case. The trail remains unrelentingly rocky and hard underfoot and weather extremes can be experienced at any time of the year. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the experience.

A Grade 3 (moderate) walk is suitable for most ages and fitness levels with some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps. Grade 4 (moderate to difficult) walks require a good level of bushwalking experience along tracks that may be long, rough and very steep. Further information about the walking track grading system can be found here.

  • Section 1 : Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap – Grade 3 Moderate
  • Section 2 : Simpsons Gap to Jay Creek – Grade 3 Moderate
  • Section 3 : Jay Creek to Standley Chasm – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 4 : Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 5 : Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 6 : Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek – Grade 3 Moderate
  • Section 7 : Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 8 : Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 9 : Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 10 : Ormiston Gorge to Finke River – Grade 3 Moderate
  • Section 11 : Finke River to Redbank Gorge – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
  • Section 12 : Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder return – Grade 4 Moderate to Difficult
    Trek Larapinta supplies basic trail maps as part of their fully-supported Larapinta Trail tours. Detailed Larapinta Trail maps can also be purchased.


Due to large bushfires caused by mismanagement of campfires by walkers and non-walkers, there is a total fire ban on the Larapinta Trail. Please adhere to the total fire ban, as this will help with regeneration of affected areas, provide a good balance of natural habitat and promote the future well-being of the Park.

Trek Larapinta camps in areas where fires are permitted by permit, and our firewood is sourced from outside the park. We also work at keeping our use of firewood to a minimum.

Water is generally available at most trailheads, where water tanks are installed and maintained by National Parks. Parks recommend that all water, including tank water, be treated before use. Please check with NT Parks and Wildlife for up-to date information on water and other trail facilities

Mobile phone reception is very limited along the trail, so a working emergency communication option is highly recommended (satellite phone or personal locator beacon).


Larapinta (NT) weather