Northern Territory’s legendary Larapinta Trail is an outback walking holiday of a lifetime, but what would happen if you added luxury to the equation? Epicurious, in its 11th year of running Larapinta tours, offers just such a touch of luxury in the outback.
Safely ensconced in a cosy swag, it’s impossible to tear your eyes away from the explosion of stars lighting the night’s sky. There is no ambient light in the Red Centre, just the natural glow of the moon. That’s the view from Epicurious travel’s private semi-permanent campsite in a beautiful spot between the Ochre Pits and Ormiston Gorge on the famed Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges.
What exactly does a ‘luxury trek’ mean?
Guides that do everything (except walk) for you
Three accomplished guides at Epicurious cater to all your needs on and off the trail. Two guides walk with the small group (10 people) during the day, while another guide stays in camp to prepare dinner and have the tents and swags ready in the evening.
Fine food and trekking tipples
Epicurious offers a range of Australian wines to accompany its cuisine, often described by guests as “restaurant quality”. Every evening, after an exhilarating day’s trekking, be greeted with a gin & tonic or beer to enjoy while the sun dips low in the sky, turning the layered rocks hues of orange, red and brown.
Two bush showers means sprucing up after a long day on the trail is easy, and a pleasure. There are two accommodation choices: a comfortable canvas touring tent, with rugs on the floor, a memory foam mattress and cotton linen or a fully enclosed swag with mesh netting to keep the bugs at bay, which allows for some amazing star-gazing.
It’s an easy choice, falling asleep under the stars, listening to the small sounds of the desert makes you feel at one with the ancient Larapinta landscape, providing some wonderful memories that will stay long after the blisters have gone.
Epicurious Travel runs Larapinta Trail tours from May to September. The weekly, six-day trek costs $2,690, including transfers to and from Alice Springs, guided walking with lunch, all camping gear, and a generous supply of wine with dinner and ‘sundowners’ every evening.