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Overview

 Highlights


  • Walking 9 consecutive sections of Australia's iconic desert walk
  • Immerse yourself in the spectacular Tjoritja National Park
  • Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Wilderness camping under the stars of the Australian Outback
  • Admire the unique birds, wildlife and plants
  • Trek through captivating ancient landscape
  • View some of the best geological formations in the world
  • Rewarding and challenging expedition with your peers

This full pack carrying expedition program for advanced outdoor Year 11 students of Pymble Ladies' College takes you through narrow canyons, stunning gorges and forests of mulga and mallee, over high ridgelines and around idyllic waterholes, spending each night under the expansive star-filled Outback sky. It is an incredible opportunity to truly appreciate the immensely diverse and unique landscapes, flora and fauna of Australia’s Red Centre. On this program you will walk 9 consecutive sections, providing you with you a challenging and rewarding trek. Under the guidance and supervision of experienced and qualified wilderness guides, and your accompanying teachers, you will be provided with comprehensive maps, quality lightweight trekking food, cooking utensils and stove as well as tent and sleeping gear. World Expeditions are pioneers of this iconic trek and provide the best equipment and incomparable local knowledge.

Countries:

Start and Finishing Point:

Sydney

Activities:

Grading:Moderate to Challenging   


After all the training and preparation, your departure day has arrived. You will depart on QF0790 at 0925 and arrive into Alice Springs at 1205 You will be met on arrival and transferred to your your centrally located hotel. This afternoon you will meet your Guides and have a full trip and safety briefing and gear check. Final preparations and dinner before turning in for a good night's sleep. Overnight Discovery Park (shared cabins)

Meals:  D

This morning you will be transferred from Alice Springs to Standley Chasm where you start the walk, following the spectacular Bridle Trail, an old trading route used by the early settlers in the region. You head up to follow the ridge line over Reveal Saddle to Brinkley’s Bluff. From this high point, just over 1100m, you are rewarded with superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell Ranges. After lunch you take on a steep descent and pass Mintbush Spring, named for the native plant that grows here, a beautifully mint-scented bush related to sage and lavender. Your welcoming campsite tonight is at the peaceful Birthday Waterhole. There is an optional extra 1km walk to Birthday Waterhole from the trail junction. Difficulty rating: Very Hard | Walking time: 8 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

You should rise early today for one of the most challenging and rewarding sections on the trail. The track undulates vigorously over rough, rocky terrain and you are exposed (to the elements and to the magnificent views!) atop Windy Saddle and Razorback Ridge for the first part of the day. In the afternoon you will drop down to Fringe Lily Creek, a nice stop for lunch as it offers some shade. After lunch the trail takes you on a rough spinifex journey through this semi-arid region allowing breathtaking views of Hugh Gorge, where you will camp overnight. Difficulty rating: Very hard | Walking time: 8-9 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

We have allowed two days to walk this Section, spending an overnight en-route. Your walk continues along the south side of the West MacDonnell ranges whose soaring presence dominates your views as you move through lower level woodlands and spinifex. On today's walk you could chance upon Painted Firetails and a variety of different bird species. Keep your eye out especially for the beautiful Spinifex Pigeon which relies on the tough spinifex plant for camouflage and food – you'll see them strutting amongst the plants with their tall, elegant crest bobbing along with their every step. Your camp at the end of Day 5 is at Ellery Creek. Difficulty grading: Medium | Walking time total: 10-11 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will be walking through the vertical-spined dolomite country of the Bitter Springs formation. These 800 million year old rocks contain fossilised stromatolites, the cyanobacteria that were amongst the first life forms on this earth. If you didn't the night before, it is worth taking time to admire the Ellery Creek Big Hole waterhole before you start trekking. The trail will take you through scattered woodlands and over a stile to a trig point, a good spot for lunch. Arriving mid afternoon at your camp will provide you with an opportunity to relax or wander at leisure around the hills of your campsite at Serpentine Gorge. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 5.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This section of the trail offers breathtaking views as you walk along the high quartzite ridge lines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges. You ascend to Counts Point where you are able to take in clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon, to Mt Zeil (1531m) the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. You can even see the fascinating, huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff. You descend through mysterious old Mulga stands to camp overnight at Serpentine Chalet. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start is required to fit in all of the highlights of this section of the trail. Today takes you into the rugged heart of this ancient landscape on a track only opened to the public as recently as 1997. The trail today is again challenging as you ascend to 1088 metres. And again, as always on the Larapinta, your epic climb is rewarded with expansive views. The view opens up across the Alice Valley to the giant, bulky mass of of Mt. Giles, one of the Northern Territory's highest peaks at 1389m. On arrival at Ormiston Gorge you will find many lovely campsites, a kiosk and showers. If you go for a quiet walk at dusk you may be lucky enough to see the shy dingo that sometimes roams along the river bank near camp. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 10-12 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a shorter and more gentle section of the Larapinta Trail which leads you into the head of the Finke River. The local indigenous Arrernte name for the Finke River has given the trail its name: Lhere Pinte (Larapinta) meaning salty river. If you feel like a further walk after setting up camp at the Finke River some walkers like to do a side-trip (without packs) to Glen Helen – perfect for an afternoon swim before heading back to your camp for dinner and another cosy night in your tent. Difficulty rating: Medium | Walking time: 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This section has views dominated by the impressive bulk of Mount Sonder. The colours of this magnificent mountain change dramatically throughout the day. You initially head northwest through a sea of spinifex before crossing Davenport Creek, a tributary of the Finke River. We climb over a low section of the range to Hilltop Saddle, arguably one of the best views possible of Mt Sonder before descending into Rocky Bar Gap, where we will be met by your support vehicle to be transported a short distance back to camp on the Finke River. On completion of this section (11a) you will be returned to Alice Springs. We can now celebrate with a hot shower and clean clothes. The group will have a celebratory meal in Alice Springs tonight. Congratulations on completing your Larapinta adventure! Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 5-6 hours Overnight Discovery Park (shared cabins)

Meals:  B,L,D

You will have the morning to explore Alice Springs with your teachers before transferring to the airport for your flight home to Sydney. Depart Alice Springs on QF0791 at 1250, arriving into Sydney at 1600. A warm welcome awaits!

Meals:  B


Learning outcomes for students

A World Expeditions Schools adventure is a unique learning experience. Our journeys are designed to encourage thriving and positive youth development along with leaving the communities and environments where we travel in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to enhance the following life skills that will help you grow as an individual:
• the confidence to lead a group and make decisions
• the value of working together as a cohesive team to achieve a common objective
• the ability to face mental and physical challenges
• the ability to adapt to new environments outside of their 'comfort zone'
• to appreciate and care for the natural environment. The environments we trek through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers and also the local peoples
• basic outdoor skills obtained on trek such as personal hygiene, pitching a tent, helping to prepare meals
Importantly our adventures help increase general well-being and build resilience in young citizens to help them deal with adverse situations in life.


Inclusions

  • Return economy flights from Sydney to Alice Springs with Qantas Airways
  • 2 night’s accommodation in Alice Springs Discovery Park (or similar), 4-person/share cabins
  • All meals - breakfasts, lunches, dinners, hot drinks and snacks
  • Light weight trekking food/meal program
  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Sleeping mat, tent (twin share), 70L back pack, sleeping bag
  • Off-road transport to/from Alice Springs to start/finish of your trek
  • 2 x professional Wilderness Guides
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • Complete set of Larapinta Trail maps and route descriptions
  • Accompanied by 2 x teachers from Pymble Ladies' College

  • Personal gear and clothing - detailed packing list supplied
  • Travel insurance
  • Face masks and hand sanitiser

Accommodation


Trail Surface


Grading

Moderate to Challenging

This trek involves 6-12 hours walking 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 1,200m along some sections. This trek should not be underestimated as it can be tough and challenging. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. You will be carrying a full pack of around 15-20kg and should be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Suggested preparation: We recommend one hour of strenuous exercise 4 times per week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) interspersed with relatively demanding bushwalks carrying a day pack. 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 expedition program 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. Multi day walks while carrying a full weight pack (15-20kg) should be considered essential in your training preparation.


Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning
Programs

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.

Testimonials


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.


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