Bay of Fires, East Coast, Tasmania
Discover Australia's collection of premium guided walk experiences. These multi-day walks let you explore spectacular regions of the country in comfort.
By Sue Gough Henly
Walking is a great way to immerse yourself in Australia's natural environment. Great Walks of Australia is a collection of premium guided multi-day walks. The walks explore Australia's varied landscapes from Tasmania's wilderness and the Outback of the Northern Territory and South Australia, to the white sand coastlines of Western Australia and Tasmania, the rainforest hinterland of Queensland, UNESCO world heritage listed landscapes in NSW and Tasmania, pristine islands, and the mighty Murray River in South Australia. You’ll enjoy plenty of creature comforts, including hot showers and some pampering too, with accommodation in eco-lodges, wilderness camps and luxury retreats. Gourmet meals showcasing regional food and wine are another highlight. So lace up your hiking boots, strap on a (light!) backpack and follow your guide on an adventure into Australia's great outdoors.
BAY OF FIRES LODGE WALK, TASMANIA
At the edge of Mount William National Park in north-eastern Tasmania, the magnificent coastline known as the Bay of Fires appears as it has for thousands of years. The powdery white sand beaches and orange lichen-covered granite headlands, lapped by azure waters, provide dramatic landscapes, amazing diversity and plenty of wildlife. From October to May you can walk along beaches, explore coves, climb over headlands and see wildlife across heathland on the 23 kilometre (14 mile), four day/three night, guided Bay of Fires Lodge Walk with Tasmanian Walking Company. Rest at Forester Beach Camp for the first night, then enjoy the warm hospitality and comfort of the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge for the last two nights. Indulge in fine Tasmanian local produce and wines every step of the way. On the third day you can relax at the lodge, go swimming, kayak on nearby Ansons River and treat yourself with an optional day spa treatment or the Signature Bath experience overlooking the ocean.
CRADLE MOUNTAIN HUTS WALK, TASMANIA
Discover one of Australia's most spectacular World Heritage Areas while trekking the world famous Overland Track in the peaceful and exquisite terrain of Tasmania's Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The Cradle Mountain Huts Walk by Tasmanian Walking Company offers a 65 kilometre (40 mile), six-day walk in which you'll wander through ancient rainforests, alpine meadows and button grass plains once covered by glaciers. There are craggy peaks, majestic waterfalls, ancient stands of King Billy pines and more than a few wombats along the way. At the end of each day, enjoy hearty guide-prepared meals and sleep in beds in the comfort and privacy of the remote Cradle Mountain Huts. Guests can choose to add a side trip to Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s highest peak.
FREYCINET EXPERIENCE WALK, TASMANIA
The Freycinet Experience Walk covers the entire length of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's East Coast. This 33 kilometre (20 mile), four-day, three-night walk goes off the beaten track to remote and rarely explored corners of Freycinet National Park. Walk through the pink granite Hazard Mountains and rich coastal forests to the pure white sand beaches of Wineglass Bay. Travel in the footsteps of the Oyster Bay Tribe, walking the same ancient tracks trod 30,000 years ago. Welcomed each evening to the award winning Friendly Beaches Lodge, you'll enjoy stunning architecture, works from some of Tasmania's finest artists, food and wine from the freshest local ingredients and a relaxing hot bath. In a comfortable bed in your private room you'll fall asleep to the gentle sound of the waves on Friendly Beach.
THE MARIA ISLAND WALK, TASMANIA
With no cars and no shops, Maria Island, just a few kilometres off Tasmania's East Coast, is a blend of rare wildlife, diverse landscapes and convict heritage. On the 34 kilometre (21 mile), four-day, three-night Maria Island Walk you'll explore a heritage-listed convict settlement, walk empty white sand beaches, view rare wildlife, and enjoy gourmet food and wine. Along the way you'll discover tall stands of aromatic blue gum trees, 300-million-year-old shell fossils embedded in limestone cliffs, white talcum-powder beaches, lichen covered boulders, and soaring dolerite columns, as well as more wombats than you are likely to see anywhere else on Earth. You'll also spot wallabies and kangaroos, penguins and dolphins, Tasmanian devils and a wide variety of birdlife. You'll spend the first two nights in secluded wilderness camps, both a stone's throw from empty beaches. On the final night you'll stay in a heritage house in Darlington, a World Heritage convict site. There is an optional trip to climb through rare cloud rainforest to the peaks of Mount Maria or Bishop and Clerk. Maria Island is a UNESCO World Heritage listed island.
CLASSIC LARAPINTA TREK IN COMFORT, RED CENTRE, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Soak up the ethereal scenery of vast flood plains, razorback rocky outcrops and the glorious scale of this ancient land, on a guided 72 kilometre (45 mile), six-day walk along the high ridge lines of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort by Australian Walking Holidays is ideal for the experienced and ambitious walker with some challenging terrain highlighting key sections of the epic Larapinta Trail. You'll follow in the footsteps of the land's traditional Aboriginal owners, early explorers and modern adventurers. Sleep under the stars or under canvas in exclusive wilderness camps while your hosts prepare gourmet meals in the splendid isolation of the Australian Outback.
TWELVE APOSTLES LODGE WALK, GREAT OCEAN ROAD, VICTORIA
Offered between September and May, the four-day, three-night Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk by Australian Walking Company covers the last 55 kilometres (34 miles) of the Great Ocean Walk – an epic trail that follows the equally epic Great Ocean Road. Trek past grass trees and through cool climate rainforest, walk along coastal clifftops and hear stories of shipwrecks and settlement. Visit remote untouched beaches, seeing fur seals and wallabies, koalas and many different birds along the way. As a grand finale you'll walk up to the Apostles and enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over their heads. The trail is graded overall as moderate, with easy and challenging sections along the way. All nights are spent at the purpose-built walkers lodge at Johanna Beach, the midpoint of the trail, which means you only need to carry a daypack containing lunch, water and personal needs. The lodge has a drying room, foot spas and gear hire. Guests sleep in eco luxe villas with ensuite bathrooms.
MARGARET RIVER CAPE TO CAPE WALK, MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The 41 kilometre (25 mile), four-day, three-night Margaret River Cape to Cape Walk, by Walk Into Luxury, is a lodge-based, guided, small group walk that combines the best parts of the Cape to Cape track with gourmet food and wine experiences showcasing this famous region. Walk through towering karri forests and along headlands and beaches where there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the ocean. The walk also features lunch with matched wines at Wills Domain winery, a private chef dinner showcasing local produce with a local winemaker on hand to present their wines, sunset clifftop drinks and a special private didgeridoo performance with one of the region's traditional owners. Stay all three nights in private villas with plunge pools overlooking the Indian Ocean at the luxurious Injidup Spa Retreat (one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World).
THE ARKABA WALK, FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The four-day, three-night moderate to challenging Arkaba Walk crosses 600 million years of geological history in the Flinders Ranges and the Elder Range in the private Arkaba Conservancy in South Australia. You will cover from six to 15 kilometres (four to nine miles) per day over craggy sandstone bluffs and dry creek beds lined with river red gums. It's a quintessential Outback landscape experience presented by Wild Bush Luxury. See red and western grey kangaroos, wallaroos and emus. You'll spend two nights in wild bush luxury wilderness camps resting in the Signature Star Beds - traditional Australian swags (similar to sleeping bags, but with built-in mattresses and pillows), so you can lie out under the night skies (or, if you prefer, within sheltered bush huts). Enjoy cold drinks and canapés as the ancient red rocks glow at sunset. Dine under the stars on three-course camp dinners with fine South Australian wines. The final night is spent in the gracious, fully restored 1850s Arkaba Homestead. An optional ‘creekside massage’ is available and the walk experience package includes a one way flight from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges, returning through the winery region on the final day.
MURRAY RIVER WALK, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Murray River Walk, by Luxury River Trails, starts in Renmark and explores the beautiful Murray River in the internationally recognised Riverland Ramsar Wetland. The easy to moderate, 40 kilometre (25 mile), four-day, three-night walk operates between April and October and showcases the bush trails, ancient red gum forests, wetlands and red ochre cliffs lining the banks of Australia's most famous river. You'll discover diverse wildlife and waterbirds along the river, creeks and old oxbow lagoons and learn about the river's rich heritage, including Aboriginal culture, pastoralism, paddle-steamers, locks, irrigation issues and environmental stewardship. The daily walking routes are on private property and in conservancy areas with exclusive access for Murray River Walk guests only. Each night you stay in private ensuite accommodation on a modern 10-berth houseboat with a deck spa overlooking the river. Gourmet dinners showcase the food and wine of the Riverland food bowl and enjoy a final lunch at the award winning Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery.
SCENIC RIM TRAIL HIKE
The moderate to hard, 38.5 kilometre (24 mile), four-day, three-night guided Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers offers a panoramic expedition across mountains, ridges, escarpments, rainforests and ancient volcanic plateaus in South East Queensland’s Main Range National Park. Along the way, guides show you plants and animals, including two species of lyrebird, and tell stories about the rituals and traditions of the region's Aboriginal inhabitants. Your first two nights are spent at Spicers Canopy, a luxury permanent glamping site on a grass covered hill with stunning views towards Mount Mitchell, Spicers Peak and Mount Cordeaux. Ten luxurious safari-style tents offer fine linen on king size beds, bathrobes, timber floors and deckchairs on covered decks. Dine on hearty fare in the open plan main lodge with its bluestone fireplace and outdoor campfire. On the final night indulge in luxurious accommodation and gourmet food and wine at Spicers Peak Lodge.
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