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7 things to consider before packing for your trip

Packing tip 101: make a list, lay it all out, cull it back, then cull it back again! The last thing you want is to be carrying too much or forgetting important items from your gear list.

To make sure you're well prepared, here are some main things to consider before you zip up your bags.

1. Have your gear list ready

This list should include every item that you will require along the journey, as well as items that might be required when the expedition does not go exactly to plan (i.e. wet weather gear – even if you are visiting a country in its warmer months).

An extensive gear list is provided on our adventures, but you should tailor it to your needs and requirements – and only have the essentials to save yourself from overpacking.

2. Renting gear

Take into account what equipment your operator will provide, and what you will have to get. 

If can you hire gear from the operator or a local supplier, especially if it is equipment that you will not use regularly, it's worth choosing this option to keep expenses to a minimum. 

3. Try and test your gear beforehand

Clothing and gear should be tried and tested before the main event. If possible, organise a mini-expedition before your main adventure to have the chance to test your equipment and clothing and see that it fits fine, is of good quality, and is usable in the conditions you will experience when on the trails.

4. Lay things out before packing

If you're a last-minute packer, make sure you take the time to lay all your items out before popping them in your bag. 

By grouping things together by what days you'll be wearing them or by items you'll be using on your adventure, you can easily see what items are truly necessary and which ones you can cull back on. 

Plus, having it laid out in front of you allows you to easily check off your items on your list and smartly pack them into your bag so they can easily fit, like a game of Tetris.

5. Be prepared for when things get wet

A dry bag is especially handy when heading outdoors to place items you don't want getting wet and dirty on your expedition.

You can also use them to keep your liquids separate from your other belongings; plus, they make a great way to organise and separate your items when packing and unpacking.

6. Roll, don't fold

You've probably heard of this tip, but if you haven't, rolling up your smaller item articles of clothing can be a space saver. 

You can also fold and stuff your jackets, such as your waterproofs or downs into its hoody, as well as stuff your socks in your shoes to account for more room in your luggage.

7. Luggage weight restrictions

Know your airline’s baggage fee policy. The last thing you want at the airport is to be paying for excess baggage, so opt for lightweight luggage, clothing and gear items where possible.

You could even pack items that are dual-purpose garments – such as pants that turn into shorts by removing a zipper on the leg or a jacket that turns into a travel pillow. If it's two-in-one, it's one less thing to carry, especially if you're on a backpacking expedition.

You can also board the plane wearing your heaviest clothing items or carrying the equipment that is weighty – for instance, hiking boots and daypack plus contents, then change into something more comfortable later on.

By being well prepared, checking your gear list and culling your list down to the essentials will help save you from carrying an extra load, but also making sure you have everything on hand to have a fun and enjoyable adventure.

Packing hacks to help save money on your next holiday

Whether you are travelling on a budget or need to cut down on your luggage weight, these clever packing tips could also help you save money on your next active adventure. Discover 10 travel hacks to pack smarter and lighter.

Switch to soft merino wool apparel

Clothing that is suitable for diverse weather conditions will help reduce the amount of clothing you take. Soft merino wool thermals and t-shirts will be appropriate for nearly all weather conditions because they regulate the body temperature extremely effectively.

The other benefit is that they are odour resistant, which allows active travellers to wear them for nearly twice as long as cotton and synthetic clothing, rather than buying numerous pieces. You’ll be surprised how many days you can wear a quality base layer or pair of hiking socks before they really need to be retired.

LED torches

Opting for torches with LED bulbs when camping will avoid the need to get a bulb replacement. They are a lot more conservative on battery power, which means fewer spare batteries to purchase and carry. Cheaper torches can often cost a lot in replacement batteries, and eventually, to replace the torch itself.

Save on laundry costs

Bringing along environmentally-friendly, concentrate laundry soap can help save the need to submit your clothing for cleaning. Plus, the chance to wash smaller articles of clothing, like socks, underwear and some inner shirts, also means packing fewer garments with a fresh, clean pile to turn to.

Quick-drying clothes

To help with the drying process and for when you get a bit sweaty on the trails, packing quick-dry clothing that is made from synthetic fabrics, like board shorts, merino t-shirts, technical pants and shirts from outdoor stores, is encouraged. Plus, they tend to be pretty lightweight too.

Footwear

When planning to pack for an active adventure – especially when it's a trekking holiday, footwear and socks become a top priority. But you don't need to be packing different pairs. Packing one good pair of shoes that will enable you to do everything – that is, opting for a pair that will suit various terrain, means you can invest its use on multiple adventures down the track too.

A spare can be handy if you know you'll be hiking on possibly wet or muddy terrain and want to avoid walking in soaked boots the next day. However, having one quality pair on hand should be enough, depending on the length and type of trek you are undertaking.

Refer to your detailed itinerary notes and gear list supplied in your pre-departure kit to find the appropriate footwear for your outdoor experience. (You can read this helpful blog on how to choose the right hiking boots.)

Small repair kit

Heading out into the wilderness on an adventure can bring unexpected surprises, so bringing along a small repair kit can help save you from having to purchase replacement items along the way if they do break, tear or get damaged. This kit can include things like a needle and thread, spare buckles, buttons, safety pins, and Gaffa tape for mending tears.

Shop light

You may even avoid having the need to bring a repair kit if you know you have quality and enduring gear that will last the miles. Plus, specialised gear brands tend to be lightweight because they know every gram counts when out on the trails.

While the price tag from professional gear stores can seem hefty, the items can be seen as an investment for future use. Some brands even ensure their gear's quality by offering a long warranty time on them.

Hiring kit

When you want quality gear, but can't afford the price tag, renting out gear or equipment can help you save big time.

Use our trek pack on tour which includes a down/fibrefill jacket, skeeping bag, sleeping bag liner and kit bag. |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Have a look at the inclusions of your trip where sleeping bags, sleeping mats, tents or snowshoes are covered. This will mean you have less to worry about come trip day!

Essential toiletries only

Avoid purchasing small-sized liquid soaps, shampoos and conditioners whenever you take a trip. Instead, pour sunscreen and soaps into smaller re-usable bottles and simply label their contents. It not only means travelling more efficiently, but you'll also save on single-plastic use. Read more ways to reduce single-plastic use when travelling in this post.

Packing cubes

These babies are space savers! These lightweight compartments help to organise your clothing and gear so you can find what you need quickly, separate the ‘clean’ from ‘dirty’ and well as make room for big-ticket items like your hiking boots that can take up quite an amount of space in your luggage. This could even mean switching to a smaller and less bulky bag.

With some well thought out planning, smart preparation, as well as a comprehensive pre-departure kit and briefing before your big adventure, you can keep costs to a minimum – and maybe even start putting it towards your next active escape.

What are some travel hacks you use?


Grants 4 Ground Staff Appeal – how you can help

Our friends in Nepal and Peru – the guides, porters and administration staff that were the backbone of your last World Expeditions adventure – are in need.

In 2020, the World Expeditions Foundations' Lend A Hand Appeal distributed over 600 food and hygiene care packages and the 2022 appeal brought the total fundraising tally to AUD$100,000, furthering efforts to provide support to the ground staff in need.

It is reassuring to see how far these funds go in helping our friends who are doing it tough, but our ground crew still need our help.

While the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is giving hope to many people affected by the pandemic, the devastating impact of COVID-19 will still be felt for a long time for those who are dependent on income from travel and tourism living in countries that will not see the vaccine for some time.

We are committed to continuing to send care packages to our team in need in Nepal and Peru, but we need your help. Join us on a Charity Challenge to climb Australia's highest mountain or please donate to the World Expeditions Foundation's Grants 4 Ground Staff Appeal to continue our efforts to give back to the people behind the scenes of your adventure travel holiday in their time of need.

Help support the wonderful individuals who have given us so much joy in our travels, many of whom will remain without income for some time due to minimal government support and subsidies.

Ways you can support our appeal:

JOIN OUR 'CLIMB KOZI 4 GROUND STAFF' CHARITY CHALLENGE


Climb to the roof of Australia for this amazing cause! Climb one of the original Seven Summits, and Australia's highest mountain at 2228 metres, to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, with family and friends and raise funds to support our international ground staff.

MAKE A DIRECT DONATION TO THE APPEAL


Help make a difference by donating to the Grants 4 Ground Staff Appeal. 100% of funds raised will be equally distributed to the recipients intended with no administration fees withheld. Donations over $2 made by Australian residents will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

FUNDRAISE LOCALLY

Hiker interacting with Quechua child |  <i>Donna Lawrence</i>


If you can't join our 'Climb Kozi 4 Ground Staff', you can still help fundraise locally to support this appeal. Simply create a fundraising page as an individual or as a team to get started! There are a number of ways to raise funds, check out this guide for some ideas.

Who will your donations support?

In line with the mandate of the World Expeditions Foundation, 100% of donations from the appeal will be dispersed to our local partners and their employees in Nepal and Peru. These individuals include the field and office team – the guides, porters, drivers, cooks and administration staff.

More than 600 food and hygiene care packages were distributed in 2020 from our Lend A Hand Appeal, but the ground crew still need assistance.

Your support will make a tangible difference as these communities receive little or no government support and coupled with the dire economic predicament are in need of assistance.

Donations over $2 made by Australian residents will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

2022 Grants 4 Ground Staff Appeal Update

As of February 2022, more than AUD$50,000 was fundraised to provide further payments to staff in need in Nepal and Peru. Check out the photos and recap from the successful Kosciuszko charity climb.

We are committed to continuing to send care packages to our teams and we encourage you to support our efforts by hiking Australia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko in 2023, to raise much-needed funds for our Grants 4 Ground Staff appeal.

2021 Appeal Update

As of May 2021, close to $12K has been raised for our appeal and USD$10K has been distributed between 100 ground staff in Nepal and Peru during the week of 31 May 2021. A massive thank you to those who have generously donated! Where every dollar counts and no administration fees are withheld to raise and allocate the funds, 100% of donations go directly to supporting the ground crew and their families in this great time of need.

2020 Lend A Hand Appeal

Our Lend a Hand appeal in 2020 raised over AUD$41,100 to help our valuable ground crew (read how the World Expeditions Foundation distributed these funds here).


Published 26 April 2020. Last updated 10 February 2022.


Best ways to recover after a long hike or cycle

Most people spend a lot of time training in the lead up to their active holiday to ensure they are able to complete and enjoy their adventure. With the extra activity added to your routine, you're bound to feel some level of ache, pain or strain from your training session – or after completing a day pedalling or hiking on the trail.

Try these helpful recovery tips to help ease any muscle or joint soreness post-exercise and keep your legs strong.

Cooling down

Going from an intense or high activity level back down to zero should not be an abrupt change for your body, the last thing you should do when you finish exercising is to stop completely.

If you hop off your bike, give your legs the time to adjust to the change in the environment by pacing around on foot for a while. If you've finished a hike on the trails, gradually slow your pace and stay on your feet for a bit as opposed to sitting down straight away.

Lake Dunstan Trail, Central Otago |  <i>Ross Mackay</i>

When you are 5-10 minutes from ending your workout or activity, reduce your pace to a lower intensity to transition your body from activity to a resting state.

When beginning any exercise, you would warm up to activate your muscles, so similarly, allowing your body a cooling down period is also important to reduce the risk of cramping, as well as removing lactic acid from your muscles. This is especially important in cooler temperatures when muscle stiffness is much more pronounced.

Don't forget to stretch

After exercising, do gentle stretches for five minutes to allow your muscles to relax into a resting state; stretching restores your muscles to their normal length, aiding in their recovery.

Focus on the muscles used during the day while you’ve been trekking or cycling, such as calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps.

Avoid bouncing in and out of the stretch. Instead, you want to move into the stretch until you feel a mild to moderate tension, and hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.

Fuel yourself

Long walks and extensive pedalling deplete your energy stores, so it’s important to refuel to replace this energy, repair tissues and supercharge your recovery process.

Take advantage of the 30-45 minute post-exercise window where your body maximises the absorption of protein, water and carbohydrates, and aim to have a nutritious snack while after your training session or in between your long walk or cycle. Include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates such as granola, energy bars or nuts. Your body will thank you for it later.

Rehydrate and replace fluids

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You lose a lot of fluid during a long hike or cycling expedition, so you should be replacing fluid throughout the day.

Drinking 1 ½ cups to 2 ½ cups of water per hour for at least 2 hours after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery as the water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in your body.

Cyclists enjoying a refreshing coconut roadside in Vietnam |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Just remember to reduce your water intake as you get closer to bedtime to limit the number of times you have to get up in the middle of the night.

Rest

If you're training to the lead up to your hiking or cycling adventure, give your body the chance to rest in between the days you are active. This will give the muscles you've been working on time to recover and avoid the risk of injury and strain from prolonged or intense exercises.

This may not necessarily mean doing no activity at all, but can see you switching to less intense activity or exercises which focus on other areas of your body. For instance, if you did cardio one day, the following day you may want to do weight training instead. If you were hiking all day and want to ease the pressure on your joints, you could opt for a short bike ride the next day.

Mental and physical rest is equally important when letting your body recover, so getting in enough sleep will allow you to come back refreshed and feeling even stronger the next day.

Enjoying the view after a day on the trail in western Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Preparation

While out on the trails warming up and stretching your muscles before you start can do wonders as it prepares your body for the day ahead. But being prepared for your active holiday doesn’t just mean training and ensuring you are fit, you also need to consider a few other things including:

• Ensure your backpack is sized correctly and avoid carrying a backpack that is too heavy for your frame, or that you are not physically fit enough to carry.
• Minimise the risks of sore feet by wearing proper hiking socks and hiking boots that are broken in. Have a read of our guide on ways to avoid getting blisters.
• Use trekking poles to assist your muscles. These can be especially worthwhile on uneven terrain or when you need to rock-hop. You can find more gear tips in this blog post.

Taking these few simple steps can help you to enjoy your walking or cycling adventure and limit the aches and pains.

Foot care tips: How to prevent blisters on a hike

The last thing you need on a long hike or multi-day trek are blisters, but often all it takes is a little preparation to keep your feet stress-free! Here are some helpful ways to make your next outdoor adventure a comfortable one.

Why do I get blisters?

Blisters form when there is too much friction between your foot and your hiking boots. Blisters most commonly appear on your heels or around your toes, but they can appear anywhere on your body if the activity is repetitive enough and creates friction against your skin.

On multi-day treks, blisters can make or break your experience, so to ensure your feet are healthy, comfortable and blister-free, we recommend using the following techniques to prevent and treat forming hot spots.

Top blister prevention tips for happy hiking feet

QUICK SUMMARY: How to avoid getting blisters

Properly fitted and worn in shoes – if they are too tight or too loose they will often cause issues. If your boots are new, make sure you've broken into them long enough.
• Quality socks are essential – many trekkers prefer to wear a liner sock under a heavier hiking sock to wick moisture and keep the foot dry. Try a merino wool or polypropylene liner in cold conditions or a Coolmax liner for warm to hot conditions.
Keep your feet dry – using foot powder with the right sock can really help prevent moisture from gathering.
Lubricate your feet – Body Glide is great for reducing friction. Many runners and walkers use this lubricant on their feet as well as other friction points on their bodies to prevent chafing. 
Blister blocks and second skin – if you have ‘hot spots’ that are prone to blisters, try applying these items prior to your walk. They can also be used for protection and cushioning after a blister has formed.
Wrapping and taping – tape any pressure points or hot spots each day with athletic tape or moleskin. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the tape that might rub.


Your hiking boots

Your hiking boots are the most important tool in preventing blisters – they could make or break your walking holiday! Firstly, make sure your boots are the right size and fit you well – sounds simple, but if you feel your boots pinch your toes together uncomfortably, they may be too small for you and your likelihood of blisters is almost guaranteed.

At the same time, a pair of hiking boots that are too big for you will make your feet move around loosely in the boots, creating unnecessary friction and consequently, increase the likelihood of blisters. Read our blog on how to find the right hiking boots for more helpful tips.

On walking trips make sure you invest in good walking boots |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>

A well-fitting pair of hiking boots will leave enough space for your toes, even when descending a steep hill. They will, however, hold your heels securely in place, which will prevent any heel blisters from forming.

Once you have a pair of well-fitting boots, you need to ensure they have been broken in before you start your hike. If not, the stiffness of a new set of boots can create unnecessary pressure on certain parts of your feet and cause blisters. Breaking your hiking boots in slowly will make their sole more flexible and mould the inside of the shoes to your feet, helping create the perfect fit for your foot.

No other piece of equipment can impact your enjoyment of your trek more than your boots, so investing in comfortable trekking boots is highly recommended.

We advise going to a gear shop to be fitted by an expert who will talk you through the range of boots on offer and find the best boot to suit your foot type.

Once you’ve bought your boots make sure you wear them as much as possible! They might feel a bit uncomfortable and stiff at first, but the more you wear them, the more they will mould to your foot shape. Start with short walks and build up to longer ones. It might take some time to wear them in, but it's better you get blisters now rather than on your trip.

Your socks

Now you’ve got your boots sorted, the next thing to look at is your socks.

Hiking socks are usually thicker in certain areas, such as the heel and the ball of the foot, to reduce friction against your skin and provide padding between your trekking boots and your feet.

Avoid cotton socks, as they tend to absorb your sweat and hold the moisture, while the bunched up fabric will rub against your skin and create blisters.

Hiking socks are designed to transport moisture from your foot, through the socks and into the material of your hiking boots. If you have a breathable pair of hiking boots, these will then transport the moisture out of the boot and leave your feet dry and comfortable, with a low risk of blisters.

Wearing two pairs of socks is another way to reduce friction and minimize the likelihood of blisters forming; we recommend very thin synthetic socks closest to your skin with regular hiking socks worn on top. The theory is that the socks will absorb any friction. There are socks specifically designed for this purpose and, if you are susceptible to blisters, it’s worth trying this method.

On the trail

There are a few things you can do to prevent blisters before you start your hiking adventure. If you already know of any problem areas that are likely to form blisters, tape them before you start to reduce friction. If you start feeling any of these hotspots getting uncomfortable, tend to them immediately to prevent blisters from forming. You can do this by taping them with moleskin, bandages, medical leukotape or even duct tape.

Trekker on Buchanan peak with Mount Aspiring behind, walking above Matukituki valley, near Lake Wanaka |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>

Alternatively, if none of these methods are available to you, simply take a break and take your shoes and socks off for a while to let your feet air out and give your feet a well-earned rest. If your feet get wet or sweaty enough to soak your socks, this is a good time to air them out.

Moisture creates more friction and favourable conditions for blisters to form.

When putting your shoes back on, make sure you tie them properly in a way that relieves the hotspots from pressure or friction. Another way of avoiding wet feet is changing your socks regularly throughout the day; your dry, blister-free feet will thank you later.

How to treat blisters

Notify your guides

Our guides are trained on how to best treat blisters to reduce physical discomfort while on a trek. If you feel a blister forming be sure to notify your guides the moment you notice it. Early treatment is best made for a more enjoyable walking adventure.

Treating your blisters yourself

Try to avoid creating any more friction on the affected spot by covering the area with an extra layer between your skin and your boots. You can use normal plasters, gauze or special blister plasters.

If your blister has popped, it's important to protect the blister from infection, so apply a disinfectant cream to the area and cover it with a plaster to prevent dirt and sweat from touching the sore.

Should I pop a blister?

Popping a blister is a controversial topic. Small blisters, which are not painful, should usually not be drained. The intact skin on them protects them best from infection.

How to drain a blister

Draining a blister that is larger and painful can reduce the pain but increase the risk of infection. If you decide to drain a blister, wash the blister and surrounding area thoroughly first. Sterilize your needle with heat or alcohol. Insert the needle near the base of the blister. Dress the blister like any other wound to keep it clean.

Whilst a trek may seem daunting – particularly if it’s your first time, if you take the time to prepare yourself mentally and physically, you’ll be well on your way to being ready to take on the challenge. Following these tips will hopefully help you avoid blisters and make the most of your next walking adventure. Good luck on the trails!

Have tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below.
 


Kakadu’s top 6 spots to explore on foot

As one of the most diverse and spectacular wilderness areas in the world, Kakadu National Park seems to have it all – waterfalls, canyons, rivers and canoeing plus rich and strong aboriginal culture. Combined with the huge sense of space and remote walking tracks (with tourists few and far between!), the feeling of having it all to yourself is unmatched.

Known for its unique ecosystem that receives a deluge of rain in the summer months, Kakadu’s billabongs, stone country, floodplains and low ridges are home to a diverse array of animal and plant species.

Marvel at the incredible landscape when hiking in Kakadu |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i> A walk in Kakadu will allow you to explore more of the Top End's hidden gems |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i> Trekking in the savannah of Kakadu |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i>
 

Travellers who explore Kakadu on foot are usually treated to an endless series of pandanus-palm fringed swimming holes, crystal-clear waterfalls and spectacular gorges. And with guides who know the area well, accessing secret places few visitors ever see is one of the reasons why it is so relaxing and easy to forget the worries of the world when you are in the middle of a tropical ‘nowhere’. Here are the top six highlights when spending a week walking in Kakadu National Park.

Time-travel at the Nourlangie ancient rock art sites

Nourlangie is a living museum of art galleries, history and spirituality in Kakadu. Some of the art galleries housed in sheltered caves provide insight into the mythology of the traditional owners. Near Nourlangie is the Anbangang Gallery, where the famous Lightning Man is painted; this Dreamtime ancestor is said to control the violent wet season lightning storms.

With an Aboriginal heritage dating back at least 20,000 years, a visit to these ancient sites offers a unique chance to discover the history and heritage of the area.

Explore the wildlife-rich Yellow Water Wetlands

A spectacular sunset experienced on the Yellow Waters cruise in Kakadu |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

One of the highlights of Kakadu is a cruise on the Yellow Water billabong, home to an astounding variety of wildlife. Here you may encounter brumbies, wallabies and goannas drinking from the waterside, saltwater crocodiles and thousands of birds including Magpie Geese, Brolgas, Cormorants, Pelicans and Jabiru, Australia’s largest flying bird.

Keep your arms and legs out of the water though, as it’s estimated that there are four crocodiles every 100 square metres!

Experience the famous Jim Jim and Twin Falls

Visit Kakadu’s most famous waterfalls, the Jim Jim and Twin Falls, which during the wet season turn into a roaring waterfall that gushes over towering red escarpments. While these reduce to a trickle in the dry season, the towering cliffs are a spectacle in their own right.

Take a dip at Jim Jim and Twin Falls on day 2

Encircled by 140-million-year-old sandstone cliffs, the Jim Jim Falls has a small sand-fringed plunge pool at the base of the falls. Trek through the monsoon rainforest to reach the falls – a short 900m walk that rewards spectacular views.

The Twin Falls, on the other hand, is a cascade waterfall that has breathtaking views into the gorge below.

Twin Falls waterfall in Kakadu National Park, NT |  <i>Liz Rogan</i>

Walk to the spectacular Gunlom Falls

Kakadu’s most iconic plunge pool and waterfall is renowned far and wide for its natural infinity-edge pool.

Relaxing in the waterhole above Gunlom Waterfall on the Kakadu Walking Adventure |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i>

Made famous by Crocodile Dundee, the emerald green pool and white sandy beach is a show stopper. Add in the most panoramic views of the southern-most parts of Kakadu National Park and you have a perfect spot to relax.

The sunset views from the swimming pool on top of the Gunlom Waterfall are some of the most published images of the NT, thanks to the sweeping views across stone country and woodland to the southern hills and ridges.

And no need to worry about crocs, the swimming holes we visit on our Kakadu walks are safe to swim in and are crocodile-free.

Close encounters with some of the Top End's exotic animals

A bird perches on a tree in Kakadu |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>

Kakadu is home to a diverse array of wildlife, birds and animals that can rival the diversity of a safari trip in Africa! Home to countless mammals and over 2000 plant species, it is a melting pot of extraordinary local wildlife.

The most well-known, of course, is the largest reptile on the planet: the Saltwater Crocodile. This huge, territorial and iconic animal can be found all throughout Kakadu – there are over 10,000 of them in the area! Don’t worry, though, the swimming holes we visit are high on the escarpment, far from the reach of the ‘Salties’!

Salt water crocodile swimming in the Yellow Water Lagoon |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>

While in the wilderness you can also expect to see flatback turtles, mini quolls, snakes, wild pigs, river sharks and buffaloes; however one of Kakadu’s most iconic creatures is actually a grasshopper! Called the Alyurr, or ‘child of the lightning man” it is a local grasshopper that is brightly coloured in blue and orange.

Walk among lush wilderness

One of our favourite things about Kakadu is that after the wet season rains, we are almost guaranteed a breathtakingly lush walking season from April onwards. With up to 350mm of rain per month falling between January to March, the billabongs, rivers and creeks receive a copious amount of new freshwater, cleansing the earth, refreshing the waterholes and encouraging new growth for plants growing in the plains and wetlands.

 

Often, between April to June, the plains are covered with water lilies and lotus flowers- just in time for the trekking season! The conditions during April to September provides the perfect breeding conditions for the huge populations of brolgas, egrets, black-necked storks, eagles, magpie geese and many more bird species, so timing your visits during these months is ideal for nature lovers!

Experience it yourself
Join the Kakadu Explorer, a six-day walking adventure to Kakadu’s top spots and best kept secrets! This guided walking tour spends evenings at our exclusive semi-permanent campsites to give travellers creature comforts in the remote Top End Wilderness. Find out more >

Or join the Kakadu Supported Cycle Tour, a 5-day immersive experience of all of the Top End's highlights. Explore the backroads of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks by bike, enjoy wildlife cruises, and hear about local culture from Indigenous guides. Find out more >

Travel quiz: How well do you know Canada's best trails?

Test your knowledge about Canada's great outdoors

Canada features an impressive network of trails for hiking and cycling enthusiasts. From the majestic mountains in the West to the colourful Maritime culture of the East, and from the freshwater of the Great Lakes to the unimaginable scale of the vast North, there is no shortage of beauty and wonder awaiting active travellers. But how well do you know about Canada's great outdoors?

Answer these 10 quick questions, and make sure to share with fellow hikers and see how much they know about the trails in Canada.

 

 

How'd you go? Let us know how you rated in our quiz in the comments section and if you know a fun fact, share it below!


How does a supported cycle tour work?

How does a supported cycle tour work?

 

There are many benefits to joining a supported cycling trip. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about a supported bike tour in Australia and how it is different to a self-guided or guided cycling holiday.

View all of our Australian supported cycling tours:

What is a supported cycle tour?

A supported cycle tour is a hybrid of a self-guided and guided bike trip. Think of it as a self-guided group tour led by a driver/escort (AKA the support!).

Cycling group on the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 

What does the driver/escort do?

The driver/escort leads the supported cycle tour. Unlike on a guided trip, the driver/escort does not accompany cyclists as you pedal along the trail. Instead, they will drive the van filled with everyone's luggage, help with any bicycle issues or problems that arise, and meet the group at designated stops for tea breaks and picnics. 

Another key difference is that the driver/escort is not the fountain of knowledge you'd expect from a guide, who would explain the local history and offer insights. This is not to say they don't know the best coffee spots in town!

Cycling group along the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 

Daily briefings and bike assistance

Besides shuttling your luggage along the way, the driver/escort will provide a daily briefing on the upcoming cycle. For instance, they will tell you the number of kilometres to be pedalled, which town is the best place to aim for lunch at, and whether to expect any hills along the way. They'll also be within driving range to help assist with any flat tyres or bicycle issues you encounter.

Bike transfer on the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 

Combining the independence of a self-guided trip with the social aspects of a group tour

The beauty of a supported cycling trip is that it brings like-minded travellers together, yet retains the independence of a self-guided ride where you can explore at your own pace. This means that you can set your own schedule during the day, catching up with the group at rest stops and meal breaks, and later at the accommodation and services. A supported trip is a great way to make new friends and have some camaraderie along the trip.

Cycling group on the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 

Picnics and tea breaks

Best of all, when you've broken a sweat and would love to rest in the shade, our driver escort will be there and have some creature comforts ready for you. Picture coffee and tea, fold-out chairs, and picnic lunches - you'd be amazed by what can be concocted by our master escorts! 

Cyclists posing with their bikes on a supported cycle tour. |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 

Safety & Peace of Mind

Another benefit of a supported tour is the safety and peace of mind that comes from cycling with a group and escort. The driver/escort is never too far from assistance and can always aid with bike troubles or any other problems that may arise.

Support Vehicle Australian Cycle Tours |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>

 

Do you have any further questions? Feel free to get in touch with our friendly team by email or call 1300 720 000.

View all of our Australian supported cycling tours:

 

 
Have you been on a supported cycle tour before? What was it like? Let us know in the comments below.
 
  
Walking the Overland Track FAQs

One of the main takeaways from walking Australia's iconic Overland Track is the sense of accomplishment that comes with it, but it doesn't come without its challenges.

You'll be carrying a 15-20kg pack as you traverse past incredible dolerite peaks and through sublime myrtle-beech rainforest. You'll climb Tasmania's most iconic peaks, persevering in unpredictable highland weather and proving to yourself that with persistence and drive, you can do almost anything. Not a bad by-product from a 6-day trek, right?

If you're keen to walk the Overland Track and explore the Cradle Mountain region, see what to expect on the trail below with our most frequently asked questions, including information about the terrain, campsites, water facilities, phone reception and more.

QUICK LINKS:
THE TRACK
• When is the best time to walk the Overland Track?
• What flora and fauna can I expect to see on the Overland Track?
• What is the terrain like on the Overland Track?
• Are there leeches on the Overland Track?
GEAR & FOOD
• What kind of hiking boots should I wear on the Overland Track?
• What day pack do we need?
• Should I bring trekking poles?
• Do I need water purification tablets on the Overland Track?
• What type of food do we eat on these trips?
FITNESS & PREPARATION
• How fit do I need to be to complete the full track?
• How should I prepare for my Overland trek?
• If I prefer travelling independently, would a self-guided trip be for me?
• Do I need to organise my own permits on the Overland Track?
CAMPSITES, TENTS & FACILITIES
• What are the campsites like on the Overland Track?
• Are single tents available?
• Is there luggage storage?
• What shower facilities are available on the track?
• Can we charge phones and cameras on the Overland Track?
• Will I have phone reception?
• What is the Leave No Trace policy?
 

THE TRACK

When is the best time to walk the Overland Track?

The peak season to walk the Overland Track is in the summer months of December to February. However, trekking in the shoulder seasons and even during Winter can provide a unique and memorable experience that is worth considering. For a detailed guide on when to trek the Overland Track, check out this article when to trek the Overland Track, which details the seasonal nuances for each month.

What flora and fauna can I expect to see on the Overland Track?

The Overland Track is a unique landscape offering a variety of localized climates, with a surprising amount of life that thrives in the National Park. Find out more about the flora and fauna you can expect to see on the trail.

What is the terrain like on the Overland Track?

The terrain is rugged and remote. Tracks may be rough and steep in sections. Over the trip, you will walk along boardwalks, up and down steps, through overgrown forests, through muddy sections and if you choose some of the side trips you will scramble over rocks.

Are there leeches on the Overland Track?

It’s not uncommon to encounter leeches on the Overland Track, particularly in areas with a lot of leaf foliage and tree coverage. Leeches tend to breed in warm moist areas, so can be spotted during the summer months in marshy areas. Leech bites do not hurt, however, if they bother you, we suggest bringing a salt solution to remove them from your skin if you come into contact with them.

GEAR & FOOD

What kind of hiking boots should I wear on the Overland Track?

We highly recommend that you have high cut hiking boots for this trail. There are lots of slippery tree roots in the rainforest areas, so ankle support will be beneficial. Also, you may encounter mud along the way, so if they are waterproof, you will hopefully have nice dry feet at the end of the day.

What day pack do I need?

The day pack that we recommend for the Overland Track should be a small compressible day pack that folds down to as small as your hand if not smaller. This is only to be used when you do side trips, as you will leave your 70-90L backpack at the trailhead and return to it after the side trip. It is not mandatory that you have the day pack, but we find that it is convenient to have one. An example of what we suggest for a daypack is the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack.

Should I bring trekking poles?

Hiking poles can definitely assist you with going up and down the inclines and for stability in mud or slippery tree roots. If you have not used them previously, we recommend that you do some training with them before you head out on the hike.

Do I need water purification tablets on the Overland Track?

Tasmania prides itself on clean pure water and most of the water along the track is safe to drink without purifying. Fresh rainwater tanks supplied by Parks and Wildlife can be found at each of the campsites, and you can also fill up your water bottle at many of the springs along the way.

What type of food do we eat on these trips?

You’d be surprised how much food you’ll eat after a day’s trekking along the Overland Track. Our guides are experienced when it comes to preparing meals along the Overland Track. Thanks to a food drop on day 3, we are able to have fresh produce every night along the trail. Lunches usually consist of vegetable wraps with hams, chicken or salami, while evening meals can vary from curries, stroganoff and pasta.

Deserts include improvised apple pie, and even a chocolate mousse if you’re lucky! Start your day with a hearty porridge or muesli, with snacks throughout the day including fruit and nuts, muesli bars and some fruit.

As this is a full pack adventure, each trekker is required to carry a portion of the group’s food, whether it be a couple of cucumbers, lettuce heads or a bag of pasta. All types of dietary requirements are catered for, including vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free and nut-free.

On the Cradle Huts version of the Overland Track, more gourmet meals can be expected, including antipasto platters, minestrone soups and risottos.

 

FITNESS & PREPARATION

How fit do I need to be to complete the full track?

You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. You will be carrying a full pack of around 15-20kg and trekking for up to six or seven hours a day. Over the trip you will walk along boardwalks, up and down steps, through overgrown forests and through muddy sections.

The terrain can get rugged and steep with potential variable weather conditions. This trek should not be underestimated as it can be tough and challenging.

How should I prepare for my Overland trek?

We recommend one hour of strenuous exercise 3-4 times per week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) interspersed with relatively demanding bushwalks carrying a full pack weight (up to 20kg).

At least once a week, you should walk with a weighted day pack (5–7kg) for several hours for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. The best exercise is multi-day bushwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents and in variable weather conditions.

If I prefer travelling independently, would a self-guided trip be for me?

Self-guided trips require individuals to use problem-solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable in the outdoors, with map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!). The trail is marked but with variable weather conditions, you need to be adept at route finding and map reading.

Do I need to organise my own permits on the Overland Track?

You are required to have a permit if walking the Overland Track, however, Tasmanian Expeditions takes the hassle of organising this with the permit and National Park Pass costs included in the trip price.

As an operator on the trail, Tasmanian Expeditions secures the National Park passes and associated track passes each year for all their trekkers. It is a process that takes place well in advance before the season commences to ensure when you want to go, they are available as passes are issued in limited supplies.

If opting for a self-guided walk, it is best to book well in advance as permits for these are released from July 1 and tend to sell out during the peak season. Only 60 permits are available a day to trekkers on the track during the season (May – October) to avoid overcrowding and for sustainable management of the track.

CAMPSITES, TENTS & FACILITIES

What are the campsites like on the Overland Track?

If completing the full Overland Track, five nights of the trip will be spent along the track at designated commercial campsite areas. These wilderness areas have timber platforms for tents to be pitched on. There are nearby rainwater tanks and composting toilet facilities.

Tasmanian Expeditions provides strong, 2-person bushwalking tents (twin-share), which provide each occupant with a personal access door and vestibule for individual use. They are high quality 3-4 season tents which have been trialled and tested to withstand all weather conditions that may be encountered in Tassie.

The tents weigh between 2 and 2.5kg and this weight is shared equally by each occupant.

Are single tents available?

Unfortunately, we do not have a single tent supplement on our Overland Track trips. While we can certainly put a request for a single tent on your reservation, this cannot be guaranteed. It depends on the makeup of the group and the number of people booked on the departure. Travellers who have a single tent will also find that a single tent is heavier than carrying half of a 2-man tent.

Is there luggage storage?

If you are flying into Launceston and have excess baggage you do not want to take with you on your trip, we are able to store these at no cost at our Launceston office in Invermay. While there is not a separate secure luggage room, our offices are secure and we have had no issues of missing items in over 40 years of operation. If you would like a secured luggage room, we recommend asking your hotel if this facility is available.

What shower facilities are available?

Unfortunately, there are no shower facilities on the camping expeditions along the Overland Track. For those who are concerned about washing, the closest you’ll come to a bath are the alpine lakes that are accessible each day, where you can have a quick refreshing dip. However, for a real cleanse we recommend you bring baby wipes (remember to take them out with you as well!).

If a hot shower at the end of each day is a ‘make or break’ component for you, consider joining the Cradle Huts version of the Overland Track. This version has hot showers available each night at the cabins.


Can we charge phones and cameras on the Overland Track?

Unfortunately, there are no charging facilities at any of the huts along the Overland Track. We recommend bringing extra batteries or solar chargers for your phones. To conserve battery power on your mobile devices, turn your phones into flight mode.

Will I have phone reception?

As the Overland Track is renowned as being a true wilderness walk, you cannot expect phone reception while on the trail. For trekkers who summit Mount Ossa and Cradle Mountain, there is sometimes sporadic phone reception. However, this cannot be relied upon.

Our guides carry emergency satellite phones which allow them to communicate with our base in Launceston if any emergencies arise. Rest assured you are not completely alone in the wilderness.

What is the Leave No Trace policy?

We strongly adhere to Leave No Trace, Australia's national minimal impact program. As part of this philosophy, we encourage travellers to:

- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimise campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors

Visit our Thoughtful Travel page for more information on how we reduce our environmental impact on the Overland Track.

Ready to see why the Overland Track holds legendary status as one of Australia's finest walks? View our range of guided and self-guided trips >


Fundraising heroes helping Nepal’s Upper Mustang impacted by COVID

Over $21,000 has been raised so far for the Upper Mustang region of Nepal impacted by COVID. Read about the unsung heroes, including Margie Thomas – long-time Nepal supporter and World Expeditions guide, who are supporting the communities affected by the pandemic.

A prolonged absence of work, children withdrawn from school out of fear for their safety, the difficulty of accessing medical supplies as well as limited facilities and staff to address the outbreak of COVID. Many Nepalese people have been mute spectators to the challenges the pandemic has unapologetically swept into their communities. With a second wave storming across Nepal, COVID has now reached the upper highland districts of Mustang.

Despite its isolation, COVID has unfortunately found its way to the borderlands of Tibet and has reached the Chosar village, situated at 3,900 metres above sea level, and the capital of Lo Manthang. Chosar is one of the most isolated villages in Nepal and is more than a week's trek from the small Jomsom airstrip or two hours by horse from the Tibetan border.

View of Lo Manthang from the pass above the medieval walled city. |  <i>Margie Thomas</i>

According to Tikaram Bhandari, the Chief of the District Health Office stated: 'Due to the locals residing in Kathmandu and Pokhara, the district saw a moderate flow of traffic during the rise of the second wave of COVID-19.'

'Also, the flow of workers in various construction projects of roads and bridges in the district have contributed to the spread of the virus to the highlands of the districts.'

Indian pilgrims visiting sacred sites at Muktinath have also unwittingly spread COVID.

According to our sources, there are currently 10 confirmed cases in Upper Mustang as of 28 May 2021, with seven cases in Chosar and three in Lo Manthang.

Chosar villagers Margie Thomas with Chosar villagers Chosar women in rarely seen traditional dress worn at festival times

The challenge

The majority of the villages in the area, including Chosar, Ghami, Tsarang and Lo Manthang, are without hospitals, with Chosar village (that has a total population of around 620) also without any electricity.

View of the Kali Gandaki river from Kagbeni, gateway to Upper Mustang. |  <i>Margie Thomas</i>

At every ward of respective rural municipalities, there is only one very basic health post: a room with a few beds to isolate in and no medical supplies for those needing treatment. Consequently, with no easy access to medical oxygen and adequate facilities, this means patients need to be sent to Pokhara for further treatment.

Fundraising heroes

Veteran trekker, Margie Thomas has long held a special relationship with the people in Upper Mustang, having led tours in this secluded region of Nepal for many years.

Margie Thomas with students at Lekshey Choeling Nunnery in Tsarang, Upper Mustang |  <i>Walter Wagner</i>

Following advice from local friends in Chosar, Margie liaised with her long-time friend, Tsewang Bista, who is a member of the Mustang Royal family and his wife, Kesang Dika Bista, who is a doctor. They advised that oxygen concentrators and oximeters (which measure blood oxygen saturation) would help in the villages of Chosar, Ghami, Tsarang and Lo Manthang. These units are mobile, can run off a generator and can be taken to the sick if needed – perfect for the inaccessible region.

The equipment will help restrict the movement of people to prevent the spread of infection and avoid the sick from having to travel far and in difficult terrain to seek treatment.

Margie counts the many people in Upper Mustang as her good friends and responded to their urgent call for help by setting up a fundraising page in mid-May 2021, reaching out to her network – many of whom are her past travel companions.

“I did a separate call out to fund this and the money rolled in immediately. I expect more over the next few days, so we enough to cover the immediate costs. We’re over the $21,000 mark now in terms of fundraising,” Margie said.

With Nepal in lockdown, incredibly, Tsewang still managed to swiftly and efficiently source the much-needed equipment from the initial round of donations and arrange its transportation to where it is desperately needed.

Tsewang Bista helped sourced oxygen concentrators and oximeters for Upper Mustang villagers Transporting oxygen concentrators from charity donors to villagers in Upper Mustang Donations in action – oxygen concentrators being transported to the villages in Upper Mustang
 


The oxygen concentrators and oximeters will save lives and also provide psychological comfort to the local villagers. They now know they’re not alone in fighting this virus and have the support of donors worldwide.

“Tsewang has pulled several amazing rabbits out of a rather large hat to perform miracles in getting hold of four units and four oximeters,” Margie said.

"With few medical supplies and support, even without COVID, these machines will be very useful in this remote environment.”
Tsewang Bista's winning smile
 

The World Expeditions Foundation, the not for profit arm of World Expeditions, administered the donation where all proceeds Margie fundraised for this initiative goes directly to purchasing and distributing these much-needed medical supplies as well as supporting the education of local children in these remote areas. Donations are tax-deductible.

“A big hug to the World Expeditions Foundation which makes this possible without taking a cut for admin.”

All of us at World Expeditions love hearing stories about how travel can help the world and this is a great example of this happening.

“It would be great to encourage others to do something similar for a place close to their hearts.”

Support Margie's cause and make a donation today >

UPDATE: Special thanks from the cultural King of Upper Mustang

With the outpouring of support and timely distribution of funds, Jigme Singhi Palbar Bista, the President of Lo Gyalpo Jigme Foundation and the cultural King of Upper Mustang, sang praise to Margie for her fundraising efforts. The letter reads:

Dear Margie la,

On behalf of our foundation and people of Mustang, I want to send you my deepest gratitude for your timely and essential contribution during the COVID pandemic. Your support in providing life-saving oxygen concentrators, oximeters, hospital beds, generator, antigen test kits, and masks have significantly helped in controlling the spread of the virus in upper Mustang.

As you are aware, this year the coronavirus has taken two lives in upper Mustang and many are left infected causing fear and anxiety amongst the people. With limited resources and experience in tackling the virus, our health workers were on the front line helping the sick as much as possible. Your support in making required equipment available has further motivated and equipped our health workers to serve our community efficiently. Your quick response to our request for help and immediate provision of equipment has indeed helped Mustang in tackling with the virus.

We are immensely grateful to you and your friends at World Expeditions for helping Mustang during these difficult and uncertain times. As we continue to tackle with the virus, we are hopeful we will come out of it strong with help from kind friends like you.

Sincerely,
Jigme Singhi Palbar Bista
President, Lo Gyalpo Jigme Foundation

It's not every day you receive a letter from royalty – amazing work, Margie!

Published 31 May 2021. Last updated 19 July 2021.


A tribute to Sue Fear: A lost legend

Remembering Sue Fear, the first Australian-born female to summit Mt Everest, 1963-2006


The 28th of May, 2006, is the day the world lost the adventurous spirit, strength and beauty of Sue Fear, who was an important member of the World Expeditions family for almost two decades.

While it’s been 15 years since Sue very sadly succumbed to a tragic accident on her descent from Mt Manaslu (8,163m) in Nepal – the world’s eighth highest mountain, there is not a day that she is not far from our hearts and thoughts.

We called her ‘Fearless’ for the stoic and relentless passion she had to escape into the wilds to trek, ski and in later years, climb the big mountains.

May 28 marks her tragic passing during her fifth 8,000-metre expedition when a late-season ice bridge gave way to a crevasse in terrible weather conditions and where a rescue was impossible.

Sue is immortalised as a young, vivacious lady with smiling, blue eyes who gave so much to the world.

At home, she was a loving sister to her brothers Graham and John and like a best friend to her father Ron, who was so proud of Sue, not only for her climbs on Mt Everest, Shishapangma, Makalu and Broad Peak, but because she was an inspiration to females of all ages.

She lived a minimalistic lifestyle and yet gave her time generously to all who knew her. Her philanthropic work extended to Nepal, The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Australian Himalayan Foundation, volunteering and providing fundraising support, which was avidly part of her DNA.

Aged just 43 years at the time of her death, she was one of only ten women globally who had successfully reached five 8,000+ metre mountains and was the first Australian-born woman to climb the technically difficult north face of Mount Everest.

There are very few books written by women climbers and Sue’s Fear No Boundary: the road to Everest and beyond is an intriguing read about her journey to become Australia’s most successful female mountaineer.  

Sue made a huge contribution to Australian mountaineering and paved the way for females in the sport, which is traditionally male-dominated.

She used her profile, as one of the world’s leading female mountaineers, to help others and that was synonymous with how Sue chose to live her life.

She also loved to present to student aged girls, championing the messages that as a petite-framed person matching the boys in climbing big mountains, that we should all strive to be the best version of ourselves, to dream big and to achieve big things.

She empowered young people to get out of their comfort zone, to immerse themselves in nature and to meet other cultures. So in 2019 when Barker College in Sydney’s upper North Shore, where Sue had attended the last two years of high school, it was apt that they named a house in her honour with ‘courageous soul’ attached with the house motto.

SUE FEAR’S SUMMIT ACHIEVEMENTS:

  - Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m) Tanzania
  - Makalu II (7,678m) Nepal
  - Cho Oyu (8,188m) Nepal
  - Shishapangma (8,027m) Tibet
  - Mt Everest (8,848m) Nepal
  - Gasherbrum II (8,034m) Pakistan
  - Mt Manaslu II (8,163m) Nepal

'Climbing is a bit like rolling a dice – sometimes things fall into place and you achieve your aim. Sometimes your number comes up.' – Sue Fear

Her achievements have been recognised in other spheres too, most notably, in 2005 when she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to mountaineering and work as Ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

As a passionate advocate of wilderness travel, she was also celebrated as Australian Geographic's Adventurer of the Year in 2003 and in her memory, World Expeditions’ eco campsite beneath Mt Sonder at the western end of the Larapinta Trail, is named after her, Camp Fearless.

As well as guiding internationally, Sue relished taking trekkers on the Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail, through the West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs, when World Expeditions first pioneered commercial walking on the trail.  

World Expeditions were blessed to have Sue’s professional involvement as a tour guide over 16 years, leading treks around the world, and it was hard not to be in awe of her ardent interest in helping others to achieve their outdoor pursuits.

We often hear from past travellers who regale their memories of Sue Fear as their trek or mountaineering guide, having met her at one of the information nights she’d presented or heard her inspiring keynote speech at an event.

She loved a beer, listening to music, dancing, running, swimming and, of course, going on bushwalks.

Sue was an incredibly accomplished mountaineer, an outstanding guide and a dear friend to us.

As she lays in the abode of the gods on the mountain in her beloved Himalaya, we all remember Sue in our own way and with our own precious memories.

Rest in peace, Fearless, we miss you dearly.

You can read more about her legacy at suefear.org and leave a message for her family who dedicated the website to Sue.

Words by Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions.

Published 24 May 2021


 

New Zealand's Great Walks: highlights & top experiences

Picture this: backcountry tussock fields, wild coastlines, majestic waterfalls, dramatic alpine views and prime walking tracks. New Zealand truly is nature's playground for the outdoor zealot!

And with almost a third of the country comprised of national parks and nature reserves – that's more than 8.6 million hectares, it begs the question: where should you begin? This guide on the official Great Walks of New Zealand is the perfect place to start exploring the country's best walking destinations in both the North Island and South Island (including a kayak/canoe journey).

So whether you call it tramping (like many Kiwis), hiking or bushwalking, lace up your boots, don your pack and start planning your next adventure holiday to New Zealand’s most iconic walking tracks.

How many 'Great Walks' are there in New Zealand?

There are currently 10 official Great Walks of New Zealand, with the Hump Ridge Track set to be the 11th in the premium walking series.

These ‘Great Walks’ are classified by NZ’s Department of Conservation (DOC) and are characterised by well-maintained and easily marked tracks and well-serviced huts. The network was established both as a way to promote hiking in Aotearoa, but also as a means of conserving and managing the most popular tracks which were increasingly being damaged by unrestricted tourism.

When should you hike New Zealand's Great Walks?

The best hiking seasons to take on the Great Walks of New Zealand are during spring, summer and mid-autumn, which is between late October and April. You can experience these inspiring multi-day treks guided or self-guided and we’ve also included some bonus alternative hikes below for when certain Great Walks tracks get busy.

The South Island’s Great Walks

Abel Tasman Coast Track

Golden beach foreshores, rocky granite headlands, azure water, native beech forests and playful kekeno (fur seals), the scenery of Abel Tasman National Park will not disappoint, which is why it’s one of the most popular walking tracks in New Zealand.

Plenty of photo opportunities for the group along the way |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>

Length: 60km; 3-5 days; one way. (Transport needs to be organised at either end as the walk is not a circuit. Shuttles and water taxis can be booked in advance.)

The highlights: Walk across a 47-metre suspension bridge, see the Awaroa Inlet – the largest tidal estuary in the National Park, and visit a nature-made waterslide at Cleopatra's Pool.

For our walks, we use fully catered private lodges with twin-share ensuite rooms, whereas the public DOC/Great Walks huts use multi-share bunk rooms and are self-catering. Our accommodation is a private beachfront eco lodges along the track, each one exuding charm and heritage.

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a relaxed and well-graded walk.

Nearest towns: Nelson, Motueka, Takaka

Recommended experiences: Walk at your leisure on a self-guided holiday or enjoy the comforts of a guided tour in Abel Tasman National Park, with a knowledgeable guide and freshly prepared meals included – and you only need to carry a daypack!

Alternative hikes: The Abel Tasman is one of the most popular of the Great Walks of New Zealand with the lodges frequently booked out, so a good alternative is the Queen Charlotte Track – although it is also beginning to prove equally as busy! If it’s difficult to choose one over the other, you can combine the highlights of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds with the picturesque Abel Tasman National on this ‘best of’ walk.

In addition, the Nydia Track has also proven to be a popular alternative when both Abel Tasman and Queen Charlotte tracks have been booked out. While it doesn’t visit the beaches of the Abel Tasman, you can experience the remoteness of Marlborough Sounds, especially when spending a night at the serene and secluded eco lodge. There’s even the option to do it as a cruising holiday for something a little bit different; sleeping onboard a vessel at night and exploring the track by day.

Milford Track

Swap serene estuaries and coastlines for epic mountain vistas on one of the most famous and world-renowned trails of the Great Walks series, the Milford Track. Gear up for an enchanting experience through lush rainforests and glacial valleys, across suspension bridges, past majestic waterfalls (including NZ’s tallest, Sutherland Falls) and along alpine and fiord paths.

Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Track |  <i>Julieanne Ly</i>

Described by poet Blanche Baughan as ‘the finest walk in the world’, it arguably still holds true more than a century on.

Length: 53.5km; 4 days; one way.

A highlight: Walking in the shadow of Mount Hart and Mount Elliot to cross Mackinnon Pass, which takes in impressive views from the highest point of the track with numerous alpine lakes en route.

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate, with up to six hours of walking each day.

Nearest towns: Queenstown and Te Anau

Routeburn Track

Walk in the footsteps of early gold miners and take in sweeping views over the beautiful Hollyford Valley as you tramp on zigzag alpine trails, forest tracks and along suspension bridges.

Routeburn Falls |  <i>Eddy Cai</i>

Length: 32km; 2-4 days; one way. It is not a looped track but can be walked from either direction – from Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy) or The Divide (near Te Anau).

The highlights: Weaving through open alpine plains and jewel-like lakes, enjoy the Southern Alps in full view, not to mention the prolific birdlife you’ll spot on track (native tomtits, robins, fantails, wood pigeons and bellbirds, as well as the world's only alpine parrot, the cheeky Kea).

With the highest point of the track reaching 1255m above sea level, the Routeburn Track packs a punch when it comes to some of the biggest scenery.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging. While it’s a shorter multi-day hike of the Great Walks of New Zealand series, make sure to pack your walking poles for the steep sections. It is recommended not to walk the track between May and September due to the high risk of avalanches.

Nearest towns: Queenstown, Glenorchy and Te Anau

Recommended experience: Hike sections of the iconic Routeburn Track to Key Summit, which is combined with the Hollyford, Kepler and Rakiura Tracks on this 7-day guided walk: Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trails. It combines the classic Great Walk with a remote experience so you can avoid the crowds.

Paparoa Track

A recent addition to the Great Walks of New Zealand network, there’s plenty to love on the Paparoa Track. From the dramatic gorge of the Pororari River moulded from limestone to the open escarpment landforms, to the shifting scenery where the rainforest meets cool climate vegetation.

The incredible natural environment of the Paparoa Track on the West Coast |  <i>Jase Blair</i>

Length: 55.1km; 2-3 days; one way.

The highlights: Crossing the Paparoa range offers unbeatable views of the wild west coast. You’ll also honour the memory of those lost to the Pike River Mine as well as walk an original gold prospector's track to finish on the coast at Punakaiki, famous for its pancake-like rock formations. The panoramic views of the National Park at Moonlight Tops Hut are pretty awesome too.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging, but it should not be underestimated with the possibilities of heavy rainfall which can occur any time of the year. Warm and waterproof gear is essential.

Nearest towns: Greymouth, Westport, Blackball, Punakaiki

Recommended experience: Complete the full track on our self-guided hike with all logistics are covered for you, such as pre-night accommodation, hot drink packs, nutritional meals, a kitchen utensils kit, a personal locator beacon as well as a donation to the Paparoa Wildlife Trust. View the full list of inclusions on the trip page.

Alternative hike: Being the newest Great Walks of New Zealand to date, the Paparoa Track has seen many hitting its trails, especially with the ability to complete it over a weekend and by mountain bike. An alternative option is the Old Ghost Road Hike, which is slightly longer but equally – if not more – spectacular! The huts on this trip include all cooking and eating utensils, whereas the DOC Great Walks huts do not – plus, you have the option to have a private sleep out instead of multi-share bunk rooms.

Heaphy Track

If you’re after varied and changing scenery at every turn, a journey on the Heaphy Track is for you. We’re talking hiking from rugged, high mountain ranges to tussock grasslands and down to palm-fringed surf beaches.

A walker stops to admire the views across the Tussockland |  <i>Mar Knox</i>

Length: 78.4km; 4-5 days; one way.

The highlights: Delivering a motley of landscapes across NZ’s second-largest national park, Kahurangi, each section of the track is anything but boring. Keep an ear out for the sound of the great spotted Kiwi birds that call these parts home, and an eye out for rare wildlife such as Takahe (a flightless bird) and Powelliphanta (a carnivorous snail).

Natural arches, bluffs, sinkholes and regions of marble and limestone marvels, characterize the extravagant cave systems – in fact, the largest of the country.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging. Make sure to break into your hiking boots because the trails are varied with days of up to 6 to 7 hours on foot with a full pack.

Nearest towns: Takaka, Westport, Nelson, Collingwood

Recommended experience: Complete the full track on our self-guided hike with all logistics are covered for you, such as pre-night accommodation, hot drink packs, nutritional meals, a kitchen utensils kit, a personal locator beacon, return transfers and more.

Kepler Track

This dedicated multi-day walking track, specially built to showcase Fiordland’s natural wonderland for hikers, will take you to a spectacular corner of NZ’s alpine landscapes.

Southern Beach Forest track, Kepler Track

Length: 60km; 3-4 days; looped track.

The highlights: The panoramic views from Mt Luxmore, the highest point of the track, will simply take your breath away! There are enough cascading waterfalls, alpine tussock ridgelines, beech forestry, prolific birdlife, expansive mountain landscapes, limestone formations and glacier-carved valleys to keep the soul inspired.

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate. There are several pass crossings with steep and rough sections and, due to the exposed mountainous environment, you should be prepared for adverse weather conditions.

Nearest towns: Te Anau, Queenstown

Recommended experience: If you’re looking to explore the region without engaging in too much trekking at one time, our Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trails guided walk encompasses sections of the iconic Kepler, Routeburn and Rakiura Tracks. You’ll also enjoy a magical helicopter ride over Milford Sound to the secluded Martins Bay and indulge in a luxury lodge set in a serene, remote environment.

Rakiura Track

Wilderness beaches, forested ridges, sheltered coastlines and native birdlife are on your doorstep on Stewart Island. It’s the perfect island escape for those looking to wander where the Wi-Fi is weak.

Aerial view over Long Reef and Martin's bay on the Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trek |  <i>Hollyford Track</i>

Length: 32km; 3 days; looped track.

The highlights: The welcomed serenity and virgin forests of the island continue to define the area for thousands of years. (Just over 400 people populate it!)

Difficulty: Introductory. Ideal for beginner trampers, it is one of the shorter circuits of the Great Walks. With tracks well-marked, simply revel and relax in the solitude of the area.

Nearest towns: Invercargill, Bluff

Recommended experience: Our Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trails walk combines sections of Rakiura with the iconic Kepler and Routeburn Tracks of the Great Walks series. The all-inclusive, guided experience is topped by a scenic helicopter ride over Milford Sound to the secluded Martins Bay and an indulge stay in a luxury lodge.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track (set to be the 11th Great Walk)

It could very well be NZ’s ‘stairway to heaven’ and this track is soon to become an official Great Walks of New Zealand (initially announced in July 2019 with parts of the track and hut facilities to be upgraded and set to join the Great Walks series by 2022). You'll want to experience the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track in Fiordland National Park before everyone else finds out about it!

Walkers enjoy the remoteness of the Hump Ridge Track |  <i>Tareen Ellis</i>

Length: 61km; 3 days; looped track.

The highlights: Experience ancient regenerating forest, Maori land and deserted coastlines at your side – it’s an ideal Kiwi blend of wilderness and heritage. At the top of Hump Ridge, you will get panoramic views of Stewart Island, Lake Poteriteri, Lake Hauroko and mountain ranges found deep in Fiordland National Park. And make sure to keep an eye out for the rare Hector's dolphin playing in the surf when crossing Te Waewae Bay!

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging. A good level of fitness is required to complete this walk. Staircase or hill climbing is strongly recommended as on the first day of the walk you climb over 800 metres.

Nearest towns: Queenstown, Invercargill, Te Anau

Recommended experience: At the end of each day, relax with a glass of wine in the superb backcountry lodges and enjoy a hot shower and delicious three-course meals on our guided experience of the track.

The North Island’s Great Walks

Lake Waikaremoana

This track calls the North Island’s largest native forest home, which makes it the perfect hike for backcountry first-timers looking for an off the beaten experience exploring this mountainous area. Considered the “gateway to Te Urewera” and a living treasure of the North Island, it is the ancestral home of the Maori tribe Ngāi Tūhoe, the ‘Children of the Mist’ – a fitting name to the enchanting film that often envelops the area.

Length: 46km; 3-4 days; one way.

The highlights: Pristine and ancient rainforests, isolated beaches, giant podocarp trees and peaks formed by landslides and storms define this sublime destination. Following the shores of the great lake, the lookout from Panekire Bluff is synonymous with splendour and the otherworldly walk to Korokoro Falls will delight your imagination. Melodic birdsongs will add to the prehistoric scenery, which teems with nearly every species of North Island native forest bird.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging. Tracks can get very muddy and you will need to be comfortable walking 4-6 hours a day with a pack of up to 15kg.

Nearest towns: Wairoa, Whakatane, Gisborne, Rotorua, Napier

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Check ‘hiking around an active volcano’ from your adventure list when you complete this thrilling and noteworthy trek, which circles the cone of Mount Ngauruhoe. The dramatic circuit encompasses the iconic and world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, so if you’re short on time, a day hike on this trail will give you a taste of the surreal landscape of NZ’s most active (but currently resting) volcano.

Tongariro Crossing, North Island NZ, one of the best one day walks in the world |  <i>Judy Quintal</i>

Length: 43km; 3-4 days; looped track.

The highlights: Trekking on sublime volcanic lands, crossing glacial valleys and weaving through twisted lava formations, before taking in the striking and scenic contrast of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate. The track is generally well formed so it is suitable for hikers with limited remote hiking experience.

Nearest towns: Turangi, Ohakune, Taupo, National Park Village, Waiouru

Whanganui Journey

Swap your hiking boots for a paddle as you trace along one of the country’s longest rivers. While this Great Walk is not a hike, there is an opportunity to land onshore for a short side trip to the ‘Bridge of Nowhere’ – a concrete road bridge, which was built in 1936 and spans a deep ravine, and now slumbers in deep isolation of the forest after being abandoned in 1942.

Length: 87-145km; 3-5 days; one way.

The highlights: As you kayak or canoe down the river, you’ll be met with steep-walled canyons dripping with ferns and moss, remote hill backdrops and bush clad valleys – there’s enough nature and adventure to sate the appetite of any outdoor lover.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging. The track is suitable for confident paddlers with a good level of fitness.

Nearest towns: Whanganui, Taumarunui, Ohakune

What's the difference between a walk, hike, trek and tramp?

Is it a walk, hike, trek or tramp? We break down what these words mean to outdoor travellers.

There are many age-old debates still raging around the world. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Vegemite or Marmite? Is Marvel better than DC?  Cycling or walking? Should cereal be eaten with hot milk or cold?

World over, these questions are far and wide and often spark the most interesting of conversations and heated debates. We bet that right now you are thinking about your own answers, but is it the same as your partners, friends or colleagues, or is it a matter of personal opinion and perception?

The debate over whether it is a walk, hike, trek or tramp has been a hotly contested subject in the walking community. So when does a walk become a trek? Is it when the terrain is perhaps rougher and the walk harder going? The definition of a trek is perhaps the easiest to decipher – it’s something that is more remote and longer than a hike. But then what's considered a hike?

Confused yet?! Let’s break it down according to the consensus of our outdoor travellers on what these words might mean. 

Walk: A walk tends to be done on defined tracks and reasonably smooth surfaces without too many obstacles in the way. Walking does not tend to need special equipment apart from a day pack with the essentials and generally walks are around regions where accommodation is readily available. Walks are shorter in duration and able to be enjoyed by any age group with relative fitness.

Hike: A hike tends to be longer and harder walks that are usually on trails through the mountains or trails through bush or countryside terrain. The trails are generally visible trails but not the smooth surfaces of a walk. Hikes tend to be longer than walks and require proper equipment and footwear as terrain and trails are more rugged. Hiking tends to see you move from lower to higher as you progress and are generally more undulating than a walk.  

Trek: A trek is used to define a walk or hike which tends to be multi-day, remote, little in the form of accommodation (generally camp-based) with trails that are either partially visible or not visible at all and where altitude or other rugged terrain and crossings may be encountered. Treks require the most specialised equipment and will see you probably without a shower for days on end. Treks are generally in regions where other forms of transport other than being on foot are not possible and where you tend to carry your own gear and backpack.

The most interesting of all is 'tramping'.  Seems this is something Kiwi’s came up with to define a walk in the bush, whereas Aussie’s would call it 'bushwalking'. 

Tramping: Elsewhere in the world, it would be called backpacking, rambling, hill walking or bushwalking. New Zealander’s, see it as walking over rough terrain often with a backpack and wet-weather gear and needing to carry equipment for cooking and sleeping. Did Kiwi’s not like the word ‘hike’ or did they think this was a ‘walk’ but for intrepid outdoor enthusiasts?  

Well, Kiwi's weren’t the only ones to come up with their own terms. Here are some more quirks from the walking community:

Rambling: Mostly used in the UK, this word is used for walking in the countryside with many rambling clubs and groups, meeting to take part in this outdoor pastime. Rambling was an outdated English expression meantime to walk without purpose, but Ramblers walk with purpose and on defined routes. Hill walking is also commonly used for walking in the mountains and hills in the UK.  

Nordic Walking: Now, we're sure you have seen Nordic walkers around, that is, walkers with sticks! It evolved from a type of ski-training out of the snowy season and seems to not only have stuck but become popular around the world. Specially designed poles give more power and support whilst walking and a great all-body workout.

Pilgrimage: This one is a walk with purpose. Usually, it can be defined as a journey to an unknown or foreign place. A journey of discovery; an inner journey to find meaning in oneself or nature. A pilgrimage tends to be long-distance, challenging the body and the mind at the same time and often leading to personal transformation and development. Some of the most famous ones are Camino de Santiago in Spain and the Kumano Kodo in Japan. Most on a pilgrimage have a reason for taking part and completing it, which stems deeper than simply a love of walking and the outdoors.

The debate between what makes a walk a hike or a hike a tramp will be around for years to come, and while we didn’t set out to answer the question, we wanted to open the discussions next time you think about heading outdoors. Will you walk? Will you trek? Let us know what you call it in the comments below!

Traveller stories: Why we all need to spend time in Nepal

There is something thrillingly unnerving about strapping on your hiking boots and walking out the door to head to a totally foreign country to take on one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. It was the adrenaline behind that thought that drove my split-second decision to make the Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar trek my honeymoon. Best decision ever.

As an experienced long-distance walker and outdoor lover, I was fascinated by the “what ifs” and the “what the” that would come with planning a trek to Everest Base Camp. What I put a lot less research into, but what endeared me most, was the country and people of Nepal. It is a place that has left me feeling like I gave it my all – yet I fight the urge to return immediately as there is so much more to see and do.

Granted, my three-week journey through Kathmandu and the trek to the foot of Mount Everest was a mere fragment of what this magnificent country and its astounding geographical and social diversity has to offer, but irrespective, I was definitely rewarded and drew a lot from the little time I was there.

Kathmandu; an energetic, dusty, noisy, driven enigma left my new husband and I spellbound. We grew addicted to the buzz of life as we strolled the streets, getting lost in back lanes, dodging traffic to cross main roads and seeking solace from it all when we needed to recharge in one of the many great places to find carbs and a cold beer (we were making the most of our pre-trek bulking!). I had exhausted my quota of street-dog photos before we had even left the city.

The unrelenting bustle of Kathmandu is a striking reminder of the scale of one small life in a city that works more than it plays.

While the potential to overwhelm is looming, the relatability to a community with a never-ending thirst for improvement led me to reflect on my own drive. A drive that has led me to the depths of exhaustion and illness, a drive that forced me into years of rejuvenation and reinvention, a drive that is now subdued by a conscious understanding of the meaning of life for me – to enjoy, to wonder and to live in gratitude.

The sleepy villages dotted throughout Sagarmatha National Park could not have been further from our metropolitan experience.

Friendly teahouse staff; crisp, clean air; the gentle swaying of branches in the Himalayan breeze and the dotting of Rhododendrons as they came into bloom, which accentuated days spent in the wilderness.

Gravel, cobblestone, rock, sand, grass, ice underfoot and the ever-present rhythm of small rapids model the scenery as we weave our way across great rivers again and again while making our way up the valleys.

There is nothing that can replace the restorative nature of time spent in the wilderness with good people, good food, a dose of camping and a friendly battle with Mother Nature herself.

To walk alongside towering peaks and frozen waterfalls whilst keeping an ear out for the next hint of Zokyu or donkey bells – subtle and soothing in sound, yet a minor thrill to make way when on the mountainside of the track. To describe how satisfied I was in every moment would be impossible.

I came to Nepal to test my ability to surrender to the entirety of another environment, to forget the many things that I am at home and the many things that occupy my thoughts; wife, sister, daughter, state manager, cancer survivor, athlete. These things seem to engulf our daily mindset unless we pay great mind to construct our thoughts.

I was amazed at how easily the vastness of this great country swept my thoughts away, endearing me with the mystery of what lay behind every hill, peak, temple and building and engulfing every molecule of my body – demanding my presence in the here and now.

My experience of Nepal was a perfectly timed reminder that just as in travel, in life we will never see, taste, touch or smell everything we yearn to experience.

The wandering souls of us adventurous people will always want to immerse ourselves more but, for now, I am satiated just enough to resist the urge to buy an international flight. Just for now.

Words by Sally Dobromilsky
 

Inspired? View our range of Nepal treks >


Tasmania's 8 toughest treks

There’s no shortage of hiking trails that explore Tasmania’s stunning landscapes and if you like your treks a little more challenging, this list offers you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and really test yourself.

We’ve narrowed down Tasmania’s best and most hardcore hikes, which are tough, long and breathtaking, and not to underestimated. But all your efforts will be rewarded tenfold – from the pristine wilderness and new friendships formed to the supportive guides who will help you tackle the elements on and off the track.

While you don't need an Olympian level of fitness, previous outdoor experience is essential and you will need to train for these trek. So get inspired and start training with our pick of the most challenging trails.

Tasmania’s hardest hiking trails: 8 of the best


South Coast Track

The South Coast Track is undoubtedly one of the last great wilderness treks in Australia and is also known as one of Tassie’s toughest multi-day treks. Crossing the unspoiled wilderness of the island's southernmost shores, this challenging, 9-day trek covers 85 kilometres over a variety of landscapes – from empty beaches, towering rainforests, and alpine heights.

Trekking towards the Ironbound ranges on the South Coast Track in Tasmania |  <i>John Dalton</i>

You can expect to carry a full pack of up to 20kgs, walking 10-15 kilometres each day across remote walking tracks, sometimes across river crossings, muddy moors and steep ascents. The rewards, however, are tenfold. The ever-changing landscape, pristine wilderness and abundance of wildlife make it all worthwhile – not to mention the feeling of elation and pride as you finish the trek!

Expect river crossings when trekking Tasmania's South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> The vast expanse of Tasmania's South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> Looking towards South Cape Rivulet from the high clifftops down the coast   |  <i>Phil Wyndham</i> Trekking behind a waterfall on the South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> Trekking from Little Deadman's Bay to Osmiridium Beach |  <i>Jon Herring</i> Remote trekking from Melaleuca to Cox's Bright |  <i>Jon Herring</i> Vantage point along the South Coast Track |  <i>Steven Trudgeon</i> Tasmania's South Coast Track is one of Australia's most epic bushwalks |  <i>John Dalton</i>

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: The South Coast Track >

Mount Anne Circuit

The classic Mount Anne Summit is one of Tasmania’s greatest bushwalking challenges, with all of the ingredients that make up an epic wilderness trek. With deep forests, idyllic lakes, sub-alpine crags and exposed scrambles, the iconic hike tackles terrain in areas that are subject to some of Tasmania’s most changeable weather.

Looking over Lake Judd towards Mount Anne |  <i>Tourism Tasmania & Geoff Murray</i> Views over Lake Judd from Mt Anne, Tasmania |  <i>Roz Barber</i> Looking out from Bechervaise Plateau towards Mt Anne |  <i>Brian Eglinton</i>
 

The four-day itinerary includes a summit of the highest peak in Tasmania's remote southwest, with exhilarating views across most of the southwest of Tasmania.

While it is a demanding bushwalk where you need to be comfortable with carrying a full pack, the support of our experienced wilderness guides will help you tackle the elements on and off the track.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: Mount Anne Summit >

Frenchmans Cap Trek

Frenchmans Cap is one of the top walks in Australia and is a 46-kilometre moderately challenging return journey that gives trekkers some of the best views across the entire World Heritage Wilderness area. With extraordinary side trips to high peaks, trek over varying terrain including button grass plains, mossy rainforests, trickling creeks and windy rock faces.

You will be tested as you manage the unpredictable weather, mud and climb a steep 450-metre ascent to the summit of Frenchmans Cap. Recommended for experienced trekkers, each hill climb will be worthwhile as you welcome the panoramic surroundings of Mt. Ossa, the Arthur Range and Macquarie Harbour all from the summit.

You can also combine this epic summit with a rafting expedition of a lifetime along the Franklin River, recognised by many as one of the greatest wilderness experiences on earth.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: FRENCHMANS CAP TREK >

Port Davey Track

The Port Davey Track is a winner for those looking to avoid foot traffic and truly immerse in sublime World Heritage wilderness. Enter into the Lost World Plateau and surrounding ancient mountain ranges; walk to rare pockets of rainforest, camp on the banks of the mystical Crossing and Spring Rivers, cross the magical Bathurst Harbour by rowboat and summit Mt Hesperus in the Western Arthur Range.

Approaching Bathurst Narrows on the Port Davey Track |  <i>Stef Gebbie</i> Port Davey Track, Tasmania |  <i>Leon Bedford</i> Trek the remote Port Davey Track |  <i>Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman</i> Views to Mt Rugby, Port Davey Track |  <i>Leon Bedford</i> Walking on the Lost World Plateau |  <i>Stef Gebbie</i>
 

Come open-minded and ready for a wonderful remote experience whatever the weather. You can combine this trek with the South Coast Track for an epic traverse of the entire southwest of Tasmania.

Walls of Jerusalem Circuit

Only accessible by foot, remote alpine herb fields, highland lakes and glacial moraines await! The Walls of Jerusalem hike is a full-pack trek requiring experienced walkers to carry between 15-20 kilograms of their gear on their back – including a portion of the groups food and equipment. You'll hike through a natural fortress of peaks and crags that take you along a biblical theme through Tasmania’s only true alpine National Park, but be warned, Tassie's weather at altitude is known for its unpredictability so come prepared for the unexpected!

 

Despite being next door to the Cradle Mountain National Park, 'The Walls', as it is often referred to, sees much fewer visitors.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: WALLS OF JERUSALEM CIRCUIT >

Federation Peak

Federation Peak (1224m) rises dramatically from the heart of the Eastern Arthurs Mountain Range within the wild Southwest National Park. Alongside its close cousin the Western Arthurs, the ascent is described as one of Australia’s toughest bushwalking challenges. The first ascent of Federation Peak was completed by John Bechervaise in 1949 and to this day the exposed and technical mountain offers even the most hardened adventurers a thrilling objective.

Hanging Lake, Federation Peak |  <i>Roz Barber</i>

Counting in multiple contingency days gives maximum opportunity to summit in fine conditions. The extreme undertakings to Federation Peak are considered some of the toughest on the island, so much so that while guided trips can be operated in these locations, it's by special request only and an extreme vetting process is undertaken to ensure trekkers are experienced and capable.

A high level of fitness and technical introductory rock climbing skills are required to take on such an expedition. Ideally, to attempt the Federation Peak ascent people should first complete the Western Arthurs or Mt Anne Circuit or have had extensive unsupported full pack carrying bushwalking experience.

 

Western Arthurs Traverse

There's no denying that Western Arthurs deserve a spot on Tasmania's most challenging hikes list. Located in the remote Southwest of Tasmania the Western Arthurs Traverse presents one of the world's great bushwalking objectives.

The Western Arthurs Traverse is an extremely demanding full pack carrying bushwalk, so contingency and rest days for the full traverse of the range should be included given the region's capricious weather conditions. Trekkers who are confident in difficult geographical and weather situations and with previous hard bushwalking experience is a must.

 

The Great Tasmanian Traverse

Be one of the first to complete Tasmania's ultimate long-distance, multi-activity adventure, which combines five of Tasmania's great adventures via land, sea and air. You'll need plenty of endurance as you cover close to 300 kilometres over 6 weeks, explore the ‘Apple Isle’ of Tasmania from end to end.

The epic expedition will see you walking four of Tasmania's greatest multi-day treks through World Heritage Listed wilderness, including summitting the iconic Cradle Mountain and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa, and paddling down the mighty Franklin River. But if you can't do it all in 39 days, you can always complete a section.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: THE GREAT TASMANIAN TRAVERSE >

Walk past spectacular landscapes on Tasmania's Overland Track |  <i>Mark Whitelock</i>

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