9 Day - Red Centre Expedition
Enjoy 9 days of stunning touring through Central Australia's most dramatic and inspiring cultural landscapes. Explore the best parts of the Larapinta trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges, the less visited East MacDonnell Ranges, postcard perfect Rainbow Valley, iconic Chambers Pillar and the picturesque “Namatjira country” around the Finke River & Palm Valley. This trip combines challenging & scenic 4wd routes along with great day walking opportunities & carefully chosen camping locations with awe inspiring settings.
9 Days - $3150 inc GST
8 nights: Camping (single travellers get their own tent at no extra cost guaranteed!)
Maximum group size is 11 passengers
Experienced & Professional Guide
Comfortable 4WD transport
All meals - 8 Dinners, 9 lunches & 8 breakfasts
Trail snacks for hiking
All camping gear including comfortable swags with clean linen & quality tents
Pick up and drop of at your pre and post tour Accommodation
Flight or transport to and from Alice Springs
Pre or Post tour accommodation
Soft drinks, ice creams and souvenirs at roadside stops
DAY 1 - West MacDonnell Rages (around 7 km walking)
Departing Alice Springs at 8:00 am this morning for a journey along the iconic West MacDonnell ranges. We explore a number of sites whilst travelling today with walks at Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole & the Ochre Pits.
We set up camp for the next three nights either beside the Finke River or at Red Bank Gorge. Whilst there are no facilities at the Finke River it is still our preferred camping location. It's worth noting though that being a river bed at times it may not be suitable for us to camp here and we would chose to camp near Red Bank Gorge instead if this was the case. Red Bank has a toilets but other than this there are no other facilities. You don't need to be worried though as there will be the opportunity to freshen up once or twice at Glen Helen Homestead and possibly Ormiston Pound. Having little to no facilities is a small price to pay for the experience of camping in remote and pristine areas. We're sure you'll agree!
DAY 2 – Mt Sonder & Red Bank Gorge (16 km walking)
An early start today as this is one of the most exciting walks on our touring calendar. Starting at Red Bank Gorge we embark on one of the most stunningly beautiful and rewarding walks in the Western Macdonnell Ranges.
Mount Sonder lies at the end and final stage of the Larapinta trail and offers walkers one of the
most amazing summit views in Central Australia. It's a 15.8 km return walk that involves following a well worn path to the ridge line before traversing to the summit itself. From here you will witness a simply breathtaking view over the entire length of the MacDonnell Ranges. This is a linear walk and returning from the summit gives a great view over the Mereenie loop 4wd track and Tnorola.
For those of you who feel like a less strenuous walk there will be plenty of time to explore Red Bank Gorge, have a swim and enjoy the stunning surroundings whilst observing the comings and goings of birds and wildlife to this vital waterhole.
DAY 3 – Ormiston Pound (7 km walking)
This morning we start with a short drive to Ormiston Gorge where we spend the morning walking the highly rewarding 7km Pound track. In afternoon we stop in at Glen Helen Homestead to freshen up and see Glen Helen Gorge. You might like to jump on an optional Helicopter flight or have a drink at the bar whilst admiring the surrounding landscapes.
DAY 4 – Tnorala & Finke Gorge National Park (5 km walking)
Travelling the via Tyler’s Pass and the Mereenie Loop we'll detour into Tnorala (Gosses Bluff) where we go for a walk to explore the meteorite impact zone and the dreamtime stories that relate to it's being.
We'll pass by Albert Namatjira's house near Hermannsburg mission before continuing along the bumpy 4wd track into the ancient landscape of Palm Valley along the worlds oldest watercourse, the Finke River. Access to Finke Gorge National Park and Palm Valley involves negotiating the sandy river bed and rocky gorge 4wd track. This journey into the park is quite stunning in it's own right and a real trip highlight. We arrive to set up camp here for the next two nights beside the tranquil Palm Creek. You'll have time to explore your surroundings before sunset.
Our campground is in beautiful natural surrounds with hot showers and toilets. Tonight
we dine again in overlander style by the camp fire.
DAY 5 – Palm Valley Walks (around 12 Km walking)
Today will be spent walking a number of great tracks including the valley loop
walk. We explore the micro habitats of Palm Valley and learn about the Western Arunnda culture
& traditional plant uses. A chance to really explore this very unique landscape.
DAY 6 – Owen Springs & Rainbow Valley 4wd tracks (up to 5km walking)
After packing up camp at Palm valley you'll have time to walk the Finke River bed before being picked up along the track by our 4wd vehicle. We will pass through Hermansburg community and mission before detouring off into Owen Springs Nature Reserve. This 4wd track crosses some very unique country rarely seen by visitors to Central Australia.
In the afternoon we travel along a quite bumpy track into Rainbow Valley where we setup camp and watch sunset over the stunning outcrop. It's a absolutely magic place to see on sunset!
There are toilets at tonights camp but no showers.
DAY 7 – Chambers Pillar 4wd tracks (5 km walking)
You'll have time to explore Rainbow valley on foot this morning before we negotiate more sandy tracks and sand dunes to Chambers Pillar. After a break to see this iconic feature we'll probably keep moving and head on via the South Track to the East MacDonnell Ranges.
We plan to set up camp at Ross River Homestead for the next two nights. Great facilities, showers and flushing loos are on hand here.
DAY 8 – Explore Trephina Gorge (around 10 km walking)
Today we’re off to explore John Hayes rock hole and some interesting sites around Trephina Gorge. In the afternoon we'll return to Ross River Homestead and have some time enjoying the surroundings. Tonight we'll dine out “homestead style” for our last night with the friendly folks here at the Homestead. It's a great chance to reflect on the journey and share stories with others whilst we have our final evening meal together. Dinner is included in the trip price.
DAY 9 – N'Dhalia Gorge & Arltunga historic site (around 7 km walking)
Packing up camp for the final time we’re soon off to explore N'Dhalia Gorge on foot and witness the thousands of petroglyphs that adorn the rock surfaces here.
We'll travel onto Arltunga where we walk and explore the historic gold mining town ruins before starting our Journey back to Alice Springs. We'll break up the journey with a couple more worth while sites to explore before arriving back in Alice Springs around 4:30 – 5:30 pm.