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Walking Country

Explore > Australia > Alice Springs > Walking Country

The Larapinta Trail

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The Larapinta Trail - Walking Country. Just a spacer

Situated in the heart of Central Australia, the Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges was completed in 2002 and is divided into 12 sections, each a one to two day walk. The entire trail extends over 223km's and has acquired an international reputation as a tough challenging trek, prompting National Geographic to number it among the top 20 such experiences to be had on the planet.

The trail is made up of 12 interconnected sections which are graded between 3 and 5 according to the Australian Trail Standards and so cater for hikers of varying abilities (see map below). It provides walkers with an unequalled opportunity to experience the West MacDonnell Ranges from its snaking trails, gorges and plains on the desert floor to breathtaking vistas from its numerous peaks and ridges. Some of the key attractions of the ranges include Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Standley Chasm and Glen Helen. It is the country that the famous artist Albert Namatjira used as his inspiration with its rugged peaks, rolling hills, spinifex and all shades of red imaginable.

The MacDonnell Ranges stretch for over 400km in an east-west direction in parallel ridges with flat valleys between. From a break in the ranges called The Gap, where the Stuart Highway passes through just south of Alice Springs, they are split into the East MacDonnell and West MacDonnell Ranges. They were formed through massive earth movements some 300 million years ago, breaking up what was then a sea bed as fossil remains testify. Importantly, the ranges facilitate a number of permanent water holes and provide sanctuary to a large number of plant and animal species that make the Larapinta such an awe inspiring trek.

Walking Country offers a range of tours for trekkers of varying degrees of fitness and experience. Please also note that customers are under no obligation to walk all sections of each tour.

See thumbnails of all photos for this point of interest.


Walking Country was established by Wayoutback Desert Safaris in response to the growing demand by travellers for experiential walking based tours of Central Australia as well as the increased awareness of the now famous Larapinta Trail.

With nearly 10 years operating small group 4-wheel drive tours of Central Australia, Advanced Eco Tourism status, extensive indigenous content and a great reputation for authentic tours away from the crowds, Walking Country and the Larapinta was the perfect progression for Wayoutback.

It was also important to continue with the same ethos as Wayoutback to help people gain a true understanding of the unique landscape, history and wonders of the West MacDonnell Ranges and Central Australia.