Hiking the Larapinta Trail
Sleep under the stars on the Larapinta TrailThis stunning trail has been ranked one of the planet's Top 20, though many Australians would nudge that a little higher. The 223-kilometer path follows the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount Sonder. You can really take it all on, challenge yourself to hike the whole trail, or tackle one of its 12 sections, all of which vary in difficulty and length. Each section can be reached by four-wheel drive, so you can join or leave the trail at certain designated spots.
The Trail takes you through Simpsons Gap, and past the permanent waterholes at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, and Glen Helen. It's absolutely stunning. Walkers weave past nearly 600 species of rare flora.
Along the way you camp under the stars. Most campsites have picnic tables and tent sites, but bring your own sleeping bags as it can get cold at night. All Trailheads have a water supply and some have free gas barbecues. Fully guided tours are available. You can set off on your own as long as you're well equipped and have notified the relevant authorities.