About Us

TREK LARAPINTA

Trek Larapinta is a small boutique business that specialises in guided walking tours of the Larapinta Trail. Established in 1998 Trek Larapinta is a pioneer of small group trekking tours on the Larapinta Trail. We think small is beautiful. Being small, we can focus on quality and sustainability. Being local, we maintain strong knowledge of the landscape and build deep connections with the community.

 

Central Australia is a special place for all of us Trek Larapinta crew. Our dream is for our tours to connect people with the land and culture, to fully experience this place.

 

Trek Larapinta is supported by the dedication and professionalism of all of our staff, the enthusiasm of family and friends and the encouragement of the broader community and local organisations. They all keep us directed, grounded and connected.

 

We invite you to join us in the places we know and love. Running tours like this is our life as well as our living! We encourage you to come out here and experience this country in whatever way suits you; whether that means experiencing the highlights of the Larapinta Trail on a short supported trek, experiencing the comfort of one of our private secluded eco-camps on a longer stay, or even fully immersing yourself in this magnificent country on a full-pack journey.

 

Hope to see you in the Centre soon.

Why people choose to trek with us

 

Connecting through experience, community and country

SMALL GROUPS
SMALL GROUPS

Maximum 8 trekkers. True small group trekking.

OUR GUIDES
OUR GUIDES

A great trek starts with having great guides. We feel privileged to have the best wilderness guides in Australia working for us; they have a deep knowledge of the Larapinta Trail, and have an affinity and understanding with this country. They’re skilled at what they do and passionate about doing it well. Meet your guides here.

OUR FOOD
OUR FOOD

Trek Larapinta prides itself on preparing fresh and wholesome meals sourced from local suppliers and growers as much as possible. Our guides are skilled and passionate cooks who love to surprise and delight you with a tasty array of nutritious dishes. Explore more about our food.

INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS
INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS

Partnerships with local businesses provide training and cultural opportunities for guests, guides and indigenous people. Cultural conversations provide insight into the local Arrente culture. Collaboration with our private eco-campsite at Standley Chasm shares knowledge of ecotourism practices and helps to train indigenous staff.

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL/CAMPS
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL/CAMPS

Trek Larapinta employs many strategies to maintain minimal impact travel, both socially and environmentally. Our eco-camps are all about fully immersing you in nature.

COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY

Supporting local enterprise is our focus – sourcing as much of our tour equipment and food from local businesses and supporting local community groups. Trek Larapinta helps to support the Friends of the Larapinta Trail by donating effort, energy and money through our volunteer programs on the trail.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Responsible travel is the very core of our business – it is the heart that keeps it alive. Trek Larapinta aims to be at the forefront of this movement and will always continue to improve and innovate in our commitment to the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism. Working together with our guests, suppliers, government and indigenous stakeholders – it is our goal to continuously monitor and improve our performance and to ultimately be regarded as one of the best tour operators in Australia. For more details on sustainable bushwalking please visit the Green Guide to Bushwalking.

 

Every decision and action of ours takes sustainable tourism principles into account. Trek Larapinta:

 

  • is conscious of both the positive and the negative impacts of our operations and conduct;
  • has a responsibility to build awareness around cultural and ecological values;
  • delivers positive Northern Territory visitor experiences;
  • provides direct benefits for conservation;
  • generates financial benefits for local communities and private local industry;
  • operates a leave-no-trace and minimal impact business; and
  • recognises and consults with the traditional owners of Central Australia.

 

Through our ecological, environmental, social, cultural and economic principles Trek Larapinta enhances our commitment to the environment, local communities and our guests. Explore below to learn more.

ECOLOGICAL
ECOLOGICAL

We are truly privileged to work in one of Australia’s most amazing desert wilderness areas and we have a very strong commitment to preserving and protecting the West MacDonnell National Park. Our guests are given practical firsthand experiential learning experiences every day they travel with us, for example using our waterless composting toilet systems.

OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

The preservation, conservation and presentation of the environment is of principal importance to Trek Larapinta. We consider it a privilege to operate in the unique wilderness environment of the Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park and on the Larapinta Trail. Read more about our environmental policy.

SOCIO-CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC
SOCIO-CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC

By engaging local Alice Springs producers, suppliers and service providers, Trek Larapinta creates strong social and economic ties with the community. We believe that by increasing local capacity building, our ecotourism business can be effective as a vehicle for empowering the local community.

MEET OUR TEAM

Clare Drabsch

Australian Operations Manager

Inspired by trips through the Kimberley and Kakadu, Clare decided to turn her love of the outdoors into her lifestyle. Studying a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation in Cairns, Clare spent several years working with school students on outdoor adventures and then 7 years ago began guiding with Trek Tours Australia. Her guiding career has taken her to the Larapinta Trail, Heysen Trail, Kangaroo Island, Jatbula Trail, Kakadu, Bungle Bungle & Tasmania.

 

Clare then spent two years as our Guest Services Manager and in 2019 moved into the busy and exciting role of Australian Operations Manager. She is looking forward to the new challenge and spending time in all the amazing locations around Australia where we offer treks.

Nick Scharm

General Manager

General Manager Nick Scharm grew up exploring the landscapes and cultures of Africa and Europe. Travelling, exploration and trekking was imprinted from a young age. Nick moved to the mother country, Australia, to take up studies in ecotourism and landed his first guiding jobs in south east and far north Queensland. After trekking through the Tasmanian mountains, Nick fell in love with the island state and eventually made the permanent move to Launceston, which he now calls home with his small family.

 

Nick has been in the tourism and trekking field for 20 years and holds a BA and MA in Ecotourism Development. Nick has filled senior guiding and management roles with a variety of national and international travel companies. Nick’s passion for delivering a genuine wilderness experience is underpinned with his personal ethos of “getting back to nature where things matter”.

Holger Strie

Managing Director

Managing Director of Trek Larapinta, Holger was born in Germany and was lucky enough to move to Tasmania with his family at the age of 2. Growing up in the beautiful Tamar Valley, North of Launceston he was introduced to the Tassie wilderness at a very early age. The Tassie wilderness is a place he feels very strongly about and is where this modern day bushman really feels at home.

 

His passion and knowledge about the wild areas of Australia has seen him become one of the most trusted and respected wilderness guides in Australia. Having spent the past 15 years leading trips in wilderness areas in Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia he has built an impressive portfolio of treks and a legion of satisfied trekking clients (with an impressive television career featuring on Channel 9’s Getaway 3 times, Japanese wildlife documentaries and numerous local TV productions).

 

Holger specialises in our remote walking trips in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia. With unsurpassed local knowledge coupled with a Certificate IV in Eco Adventure Tourism and remote wilderness first aid qualifications, Holger is an outstanding professional wilderness guide, with a passion and commitment to customer service that is truly world class.

Nic Edwards

Finance Manager

Nic graduated with a degree in commerce from University of Tasmania. Working for a local chartered accounting firm in Launceston for a number of years he then had a merger with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, which saw him working for a big4 accounting firm. After ten years Nic branched out setting up his own business serving local niche businesses.

 

Growing up in an avid bushwalking family, Nic has seen much of his home state Tasmania and all it has to offer. Spare time these days involves spending time with family or running, mountain biking and being outdoors.

Aran Price

Field Operations – Trek Larapinta

Aran has worked as a wilderness guide in a diverse range of locations, from the Kimberly, Jatbula Trail and Larapinta Trail, to the Tasmanian Wilderness. Completing a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation in 2010, Aran has been consistently guiding on the Larapinta Trail and the Top End of Australia. Working as a trekking guide and field operations support with Trek Larapinta enables Aran to share his deep affinity to the Central Australian country and his passion for the unique Larapinta Trail.

Accredited Tourism Business Australia