By Ben Janeczko
The Great Walks of Australia cover some of the most spectacular terrain the country has to offer. With coastal, inland and outback trails on offer, these walks include high levels of service in small walking groups, gourmet food and wine, and exclusive accommodation, ensuring you are treated to the comforts of a luxury holiday with a sense of adventure in remote wilderness locations.
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk – Tasmania
This five-night walk maximises opportunities for optional side trips including a number of lookouts and waterfalls, walking around 7-12 kilometres per day over varied terrain including button grass plains, temperate rainforests, alpine meadows and open moorland. Wildlife encountered along the way may include wombats, paddymelons, echidnas and an array of bird life. The unique Tasmanian Devil makes this area its home which can be a real highlight for walkers to encounter. At the end of the six-day adventure, walkers take the truly spectacular 17 kilometre boat trip across Lake St Clair before returning to Launceston by private transfer.
At the end of each day, you wind down in the warmth and comfort of the only private hut accommodation on the Overland Track. The lodges are discretely located off the main trail and offer hot showers, a drying room and twin-share accommodation. Your expert guides prepare a three-course dinner each night inspired by the local region while you sit back and relax with a glass of Tasmanian wine. If you want to immerse yourself in nature with a few creature comforts along the way this is a very good choice.
Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk – Victoria
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives anywhere in the world… so why not slow the pace down a bit and walk it instead? This trail is alive with native flora and fauna: birds, fur seals, wallabies, koalas, and many plant species unique to the area. Learn about the land through the eyes of the first Australians and the British convicts transported here on ships over 200 years ago. The coast is littered with shipwrecks from this time – the tales of survival and loss are a fascinating part of the walk. Trek through forests of grasstrees, hear stories of shipwrecks and settlement, and visit remote untouched beaches in the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks. With walking groups no larger than 10 hikers at a time, this an intimate way to experience one of the great coastlines of the world.
This four-day walk itinerary, covers 55 kilometres and hubs out of the privately owned and operated hiking lodge, located at Johanna Beach, the mid-point of the trail. Walkers stay in eco-luxe villas with en-suite bathrooms, flushing toilets, fresh linen and hot showers. The lodge has been purpose-built for hikers. This is a really enjoyable walking experience, with passionate local guides who look after you the whole way – complete with fabulous regional food and a selection of Victoria’s best wines.
Cape to Cape Walk – Western Australia
The four-day Margaret River Cape to Cape Walk is a fully guided small group walk, combining the best walking in the region with once in a lifetime food and wine experiences and ultra-luxury accommodation. Explore headlands, beaches, limestone caves and Karri forests. Opportunities to swim in the crystal clear ocean abound, as do the postcard-worthy views that you can’t help but capture. This is a lodge based walk, where guests stay at an exclusive beachfront property for the duration of the walk. You get to relax in private villas with uninterrupted ocean views, luxurious bathrooms and private plunge pools to refresh and reinvigorate yourself each night to prepare for the next day’s trek.
Situated on a stunning section of the track, the accommodation for the trek is the perfect spot to experience the sunset over the Indian Ocean, preferably while enjoying a glass of Margaret River wine from your private bar. Perhaps the most enticing part of this great walk is the bounty on offer in Perth & South Western Australia – with world-class surf beaches, caves and forests to explore and some of the best wineries and artisan food producers to be found anywhere in the world. What better combination is there than enjoying local produce to fuel your exploration of this spectacular environment?
Seven Peaks Walk – Lord Howe Island
The Seven Peaks Walk is an adventure for experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge by day and some luxury by night. Over five days, you get to climb to peaks and lookouts, with the impressive Balls Pyramid and Mounts Lidgbird and Gower imposing themselves remarkably out of the 360 degree views of Pacific Ocean. A few sections of the walk are off-track and require a steady head for heights – but you will be rewarded not just by the view but a sense of accomplishment and bragging rights as you return back to your luxurious accommodation to refresh yourself.
You will get to explore the variety of this island paradise with pristine beaches and exposed coral platforms, through subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks, to the delicate mist forests on Mount Gower. Some sections of the walk, such as the lower road on Mount Lidgbird, wind along exposed narrow ledges (protected by ropes) across a 300 vertical metre cliff. Other sections of the walk will take you deep into banyan forests with the only rookeries of Providence petrels in the world. Perfect for building your appetite as you enjoy luxury accommodation for sunset drinks and a four-course dinner each night.
The Larapinta Trek – Northern Territory
Ideal for the more ambitious walker, this walk has some challenging stages, passing over remote ridges and canyons that make up parts of the Larapinta Trail, walking up to 72 kilometres over six days. Following in the footsteps of the land’s traditional owners, early explorers and modern adventurers, their stories come to life each day as you walk with guides into the wild surrounds of the Australian outback, carrying only your day pack. Enjoy comfortable facilities in splendid isolation, and experience true bush tucker as you reflect on the dynamic landscape. The walks are as achievable as they are satisfying and will delight the wilderness lover and challenge the seasoned hiker.
This desert walk is enhanced with comfortable, exclusive, semi-permanent wilderness campsites: Nick Murcutt’s Camp near Simpsons Gap, Charlie’s Camp near Serpentine Chalet, and Camps Fearless and Sonder nestled under Mt Sonder. These campsites come complete with hot showers, a large kitchen and a heated dining tent – your professional support crew take care of the details like dinner, while you enjoy the diverse desert scenery. You sleep in spacious safari-style tents with thick off-the-ground foam mattresses and large floor-to-ceiling windows and a deck at the front door, so you can sit back and relax whilst enjoying the magnificent views of this area.
This is just a small selection of the amazing walking trips we have available – please talk to our team if you are interested in hearing more about all of our adventures across Australia, New Zealand or further afield.