blog
rss

More Inspiration

18 wildlife photos that will make you smile

These animal photos will make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside others, we hope, will make you laugh out loud.

Find a fun selection of images taken by our travellers, staff and photography pros, such as Richard I'Anson and Alex Cearns – who lead special tours that show you how to capture the world’s most stunning destinations on camera.

Share this post with a friend and spread some happiness (and adorableness!). And remember: the best animal encounter is a wild one.

1. When you've almost made it to the bedroom but you settle for the couch


Emperor penguin and chicks in Antarctica |  <i>Kyle Super</i>

2. Don't you just hate it when you have an itch you just can't scratch...  


A zebra in the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania |  <i>David Lazar</i>

3. We all have a friend that's just the right size to prop on  


Wild elephants in Kaudulla National Park, Sri Lanka |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i>

4. Because we all need a friend to lean on  


A King Penguin keeps a close eye on it's chick |  <i>Richard I'Anson</i>

5. When the dentist compliments you on how well you've maintained your teeth
 

Young lion cub in Chobe National Park, Botswana |  <i>Jez Hollinshead</i>

6. The special moment when you make a new friend on a hike


Meeting a llama on the Inca Trail |  <i>Bette Andrews</i>

7. Or when you capture a tender moment on a wildlife safari


Lion family in Chobe National Park, Botswana |  <i>Jez Hollinshead</i>

8. It helps to see the funny side of life

Leopard seal humour in Antarctica |  <i>Eve Ollington</i>

9. Hmmm, that doesn't smell right...


Zebra love in Etosha National Park, Namibia |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

10. I think this sea lion can smell it too...


A sea lion in the Galapagos Islands |  <i>Alex Cearns | Houndstooth Studios</i>

11. Finding out your favourite TV series is getting cancelled


Mountain gorilla family in Rwanda |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i>

12. Taking a nap to recover from your food coma


Sea lions resting on the Galapagos Islands |  <i>Ian Cooper</i>

13. Getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar


Snow monkey in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan |  <i>Felipe Romero Beltran</i>

14. When you tell yourself you can do a pull-up but get stuck halfway


Sloth in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica |  <i>Sophie Panton</i>

15. If this doesn't make you go awwwww, I'm not sure what will


King penguin and her baby in South Georgia |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

16. That one friend that's been waiting behind the bathroom door to scare you  


A young bear tentatively peeks around a wall to see what's happening |  <i>Alex Cearns</i>

17. I'm not lazy, I'm just on "energy saver mode"


Galapagos sea lion playing on the waters edge |  <i>Alex Cearns | Houndstooth Studios</i>

18. Elephant advice: Friendship is the glue that will hold the world together


Orphan baby elephants in Udawalawe, Sri Lanka |  <i>Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns</i>

Have a photo worth sharing? Tag @worldexpeditions on Facebook or Instagram, or submit your photos to [email protected].

Inspired to see animals in the wild and take your own photos? View our wildlife safari adventures >>

Best Australian walks and hiking trails

Social distancing comes easy on these top 15 Australian walking and trekking adventures. Find pack-free beginner walks to challenging hiking trails for experienced walkers.

15 of the best guided Australian walks and hikes

  1. Overland Track and Cradle Mountain Walk, Tasmania
  2. Jatbula Trail, Northern Territory
  3. Heysen Trail and the Flinders Ranges Walks, South Australia
  4. Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory
  5. Kanangra to Katoomba Hike (K2K), New South Wales
  6. Kakadu National Park Walk, Northern Territory
  7. Walls of Jerusalem Circuit Trek, Tasmania
  8. Yuraygir Coastal Walk, New South Wales
  9. Cape to Cape Track, Western Australia
  10. Bungle Bungles Piccaninny Gorge Trek, Western Australia
  11. Scenic Rim Walk, Queensland
  12. Tarkine/takayna Walks, Tasmania
  13. Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia
  14. Flinders Island Hikes, Tasmania
  15. The Maria Island Walk, Tasmania

1. Overland Track and Cradle Mountain Walks, TAS

Watch the landscape change colours when you trek the Overland Track in autumn |  <i>Jason Charles Hill</i>

One of the Great Walks of Australia and Tasmanian’s most iconic hiking trail, the Overland Track, will truly test you on this full-pack carrying challenge. However, its alpine magic of ancient Myrtle forest, glaciated dolerite landscapes, plateaus covered in sparkling tarns and lakes to Mt Ossa – Tasmania's highest peak, will keep you inspired to the end.

Walking length: 63km + side trips | Duration: 6 days (You can also choose to walk the Overland track in winter or to travel at your own pace on a self-guided adventure)

Difficulty: Moderately graded, read what the trip gradings mean.

Suitable for: Walkers who can trek up to six to seven hours a day at a steady pace. Nature enthusiasts and first-time bushwalkers with a good level of fitness can sign up. There are food drops and modern equipment provided on our fully supported trek to help keep your pack as light as possible.

• EXPERIENCE IT: The Overland Track >

2. Jatbula Trail, Nitmiluk National Park, NT

Bushwalk between waterfalls and swimming holes along the edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment, this Northern Territory hike is the Top End’s best-kept secrets. Delve into local Indigenous culture and the Traditional Owners whose land we walk and camp upon.

Walking length: 60.5km | Duration: 6 days

Difficulty: Moderately graded

Suitable for: First-time and experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable trekking with a full pack and who favour hiking in warmer temperatures and don’t mind the thrill of river crossings. If you have already trekked the Overland Track, this tropical equivalent should be next on your adventure list.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Jatbula Trail >

3. Heysen Trail and the Flinders Ranges Walk, SA

Walk the best of Australia’s longest dedicated hiking track defined by untouched outback wilderness, towering cliff tops, a natural amphitheatre of mountains and deep craters. It’s a must-do South Australian walking adventure.

Bask in the glow of striking sunsets at Wilpena Pound |  <i>Adam Bruzzone</i>

Explore one of the earth’s oldest landscapes, home to the Adnyamathanha people, as you skirt around the foothills of the 800-million-year-old Wilpena Pound and to the jagged beauty of the Elder Range. Plus enter the Flinders' regions best-kept secrets, the Alligator Gorge Ring Route with its peaceful gorge and ancient ripple fossils.

Other highlights include a scenic picnic at the summit of St Mary Peak (1170m) – the Flinders Ranges’ tallest mountain, climbing Mount Remarkable, the lookout point at Spencer Gulf, and staying at unique, comfortable outback accommodation in the heart of the Flinders Ranges with delectable meals provided.

Walking length: 71.6km | Duration: 6 days (While the full Heysen Trail is 1200km in length, we walk pack-free along the best sections of the trail with an exploration of the Flinders Ranges)

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: Wildlife lovers and walkers those who don’t mind hill climbs. It’s an achievable challenge for beginner walkers who only carry a daypack.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Heysen Trail and the Flinders Ranges >

4. Larapinta Trail, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT

 

The combination of stunning scenery and rich Indigenous history has attracted hikers from all over the world, so it’s no surprise that the Larapinta Trail was named in National Geographic’s '100 Hikes of a Lifetime'.

Walk through breathtaking chasms and past gorges, spot rock wallabies, swim in idyllic waterholes, catch the sunrise at the top of Mount Sonder, and glamp under the outback stars.

A night under the Central Australian skies can be mesmerising |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>

Walking length: 223km (if trekking the Larapinta End to End)

Duration: Walks range from short 3-day trips that visit the top highlights of the Larapinta, to the 14-day traverse of the complete Larapinta trail.

Difficulty: From introductory to moderately challenging

Suitable for: Active travellers looking to tick off one of the most popular multi-day walks in Australia. Those looking to sample the trail's many highlights pack-free before retreating to creature comforts can enjoy the facilities at our award-winning semi-permanent eco camps. Serious walkers can challenge themselves to the full 223km and only carry a daypack or consider a self-guided hike where we take care of all the logistics.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Larapinta Trail walks >

5. Kanangra to Katoomba Hike (K2K), Blue Mountains, NSW

View from Mt Morilla on Day 2 of K2K |  <i>Lauren Storaker</i>

Cross two National Parks on foot in the wilderness of the Southern Blue Mountains. You'll be working hard for the extraordinary panoramic views including the lead up to Mt Cloudmaker, the notoriously difficult section of Mount Strongleg to the Coxes River and the ascent up the iconic Tarro's Ladders.

You'll be geared up on this epic multi-day walk, carrying a full-pack along unmarked paths and crossing a number of rocky clearings on a plateau. But we promise your effort will be well rewarded!

Walking length: 45km | Duration: 3 days

Difficulty: Challenging

Suitable for: Bushwalkers fit to tackle numerous ascents and descents, capable of climbing staples fixed into the rock and who aren’t daunted by belaying and pack hauling. You'll be geared with a full-pack as you follow unmarked paths.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Kanangra to Katoomba Multi-Day Walk >

6. Kakadu National Park Walk, NT

 

There are plenty of secret wilderness spots for you to discover at Australia's largest terrestrial national park – it’s around half the size of Switzerland!

Venture to remote gorges and sparkling waterfalls (including the iconic Jim Jim Falls), walk through the Stone Country, marvel at ancient rock art galleries, enjoy a sunset swim at the Gunlom Plunge Pool and keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife which teem the Yellow Water Billabong. Then top off each day relaxing in a safari-style tent at exclusive eco campsites. Ahh, it’s paradise in the bush!

Walking length: Up to 37km (can opt for shorter day walks) | Duration: 6 days

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: Bushwalkers that like to go pack-free, so you can simply focus on the adventure ahead. The walk is manageable while still pushing you out of your comfort zone.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Kakadu walking adventures >

7. Walls of Jerusalem Circuit Trek, TAS

The Walls of Jerusalem is one of the best places to hike in Tasmania |  <i>Caro Ryan</i>

Hike in Tasmania’s more wild side defined by a natural fortress of peaks and crags, glacial moraines, alpine herb fields and highland lakes. Nicknamed as the 'Land of a Thousand Lakes', this description holds true with its labyrinth of paths taking you along a biblical theme in a spectacular alpine wonderland for a truly remote adventure.

With no road access, the Central Highlands can only be explored on foot and sees much fewer visitors than the Overland Track.

Walking length: Up to 53km + side trips

Duration: 6 days (can opt for the shorter guided walk of the track or the self-guided series of day walks)

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Suitable for: Experienced trekkers who are comfortable carrying a full pack (between 15-20 kilograms of their gear on their back) and are prepared for the possibility of braving winds, rain and even snow in elevated areas, which can occur at any time of year.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Walls of Jerusalem Circuit >

8. Yuraygir Coastal Walk, NSW

Spot Kangaroos on The Yuraygir Coastal Walk |  <i>Clayton Hanlon</i>

Follow the footsteps of the ancient coastal emus that once thrived in NSW's largest coastal park. Surrounded by ocean views, wildlife and teeming river systems, this walk encompasses the best hiking trails in the Warrumbungle National Park.

Enjoy a series of pack-free headland walks, exciting creek crossings, wildlife spotting, secluded beaches and camping amongst dunes teeming with birdlife and unspoilt ecosystems.

Walking length: 49km | Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: Beginner walkers who aren’t troubled about getting some sand in their shoes. If you’re looking to step into the wild side and camp out with a swag, this hike is for you.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Yuraygir Coastal Walk >

9. Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River, WA

 

The diversity of landscapes makes this one of Australia's most beautiful multi-day coastal walks, which encompasses cliff top walking with stunning views of red granite boulders, white sand beaches and turquoise waters. If you walk during the warmer months, you’ll see wildflowers in bloom with daily opportunities for a swim in the ocean and lagoons.

You’ll also wander through the magnificent and ancient Karri forest as you make your way from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin on the Margaret River coastline.

Walking length: 135km | Duration: 8 days (You can also walk the best sections of the track over 4 days in a lap of luxury on one of the Great Walks of Australia)

Difficulty: Moderate

Suitable for: Walkers with a reasonable level of fitness. The fact that you only having to carry a daypack when on a guided tour makes walking between 14km to 25km each day more comfortable, but there is no such thing as an ‘easy day’ on the Cape to Cape Track. Expect plenty of steep sections with challenging beach walks however, on some days, there are options to walk half a day.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Cape to Cape Track Walk >

10. Bungle Bungles Piccaninny Gorge Trek, Kimberley, WA

Walking through the picture-perfect Bungle Bungles

Trek deep in spectacular canyons of one of Australia's most unique and remote natural wonders. This fly-in, fly-out bushwalking adventure allows you to experience the labyrinth of beehive domes up close while avoiding the punishing overland travel. The side trip to the grand Cathedral Gorge is also a highlight where it is said that the acoustics within its naturally walled amphitheatre are better than the Sydney Opera House!

Walking length: 32km | Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Suitable for: Trekkers who get excited about embarking on an achievable expedition-style bushwalk complete with scrambling and rock hopping whilst donning a full pack. (If you prefer a more comfortably paced walk that’s pack-free, check out the Kimberley Walking Tour which visits the Bungle Bungles and beyond.)

• EXPERIENCE IT: Bungle Bungles and Piccaninny Gorge Trek >

11. Scenic Rim Walk, Main Range National Park, QLD

 

Set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range just outside Brisbane, discover a region with more than 30,000 hectares of ancient rainforest, escarpments, stunning mountains and volcanic plateaus. Only accessible via private land, this Great Walks of Australia is one of the least frequented and most untouched walks in Australia.

This highly sought-out gourmet walking experience is the perfect blend of activity and luxury.

Walking length: 47.4km | Duration: 6 days (A 3-day Scenic Rim Experience is also available)

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: Hikers who enjoy plenty of creature comforts (including glamping in style!) and the freedom to walk pack-free.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Scenic Rim Walk >

12. Tarkine/takayna Walks, Savage River National Park, TAS

Explore the enchanting and changing moods of the ancient Tarkine Rainforest |  <i>Pete Harmsen</i>

Step into the magic and mystic of Tasmania's "Wild West", still largely unexplored as a walking region, which makes it one of Australia's best-kept secret forest trails.

Exploring Australia’s largest cool temperate rainforest, you'll walk through untamed 60-million-year-old dense forestry – a living remnant of the prehistoric woodlands of Gondwana, 6000-year-old stone carvings and is home to some of Tasmania’s largest trees. Highlights include the impressive views at Dip Falls defined by its hexagonal basalt columns, the cruise up one of the last and truly wild rivers of Australia, the Arthur River, and hiking along not easily accessed and gnarly coastlines that will transcend you to a new level of awe and serenity.

Keep an eye out for orange-bellied and swift parrots – the world’s rarest and fastest parrots – along the coastal plains, as well as the elusive platypus at Emu River.

Walking length: Up to 58km | Duration: 6 days (A 3-day self-guided adventure is also available)

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: Nature lovers with a good level of fitness and an enthusiasm for wild places.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Tarkine Explorer >

13. Bibbulmun Track, WA

Explore the Walpole to Denmark section of the Bibbulmun Track

Trek along one of the world's greatest long-distance walking trails with uninterrupted ocean views beckoning you from the track. There are even opportunities to switch your hiking boots for a paddle or snorkelling gear at bays that will tempt you into its tranquil waters.

Marvel at the Elephant Rocks near Denmark, swim at the pristine Greens Pool and walk among the treetops at Walpole’s Valley of the Giants. This popular Western Australia walking opportunity offers a mix of long deserted beaches, sheltered bays, soft and steep sand dunes, heathland, spectacular coastal cliffs and an exploration of the majestic Karri forest.

Walking length: 194.5km from Walpole to Albany, the two final sections of the track. (The full track is 1000km from Kalamunda to Albany and is split into nine sections from town to town)

Duration: 13 days (you can choose to combine the final stages of the Bibbulmun Track or choose to complete just one of the sections over a week: Walpole to Denmark or Albany to Denmark)

Difficulty: Moderately challenging

Suitable for: Walkers who admire incredible coastal scenery. The Albany to Denmark section is best suited for first-timers or for walkers who prefer a gentler stroll. The Walpole to Denmark section is ideal for those looking for a more challenging and diverse long-distance walk complete with hill climbs, verdant forestry and sand walking.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Bibbulmun Track walks >

14. Flinders Island Hikes, TAS

Spectacular coastal walking on Flinders Island |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

It’s the gem in the crown of island walking in Tasmania. Only a short (and beautifully scenic) flight from Launceston, the 1333 square kilometre island may be small but it hosts an abundance of ecosystems – from dunes and lagoons to woodland and lichen-encrusted granite outcrops, which make up the home of numerous unique species of flora and a profusion of fauna.

Summit the dramatic granite peaks of Mt Killiecrankie and Mt Strzelecki for 360-degree views of Flinders Island in its entirety, as well as walk one of Tasmania's Great Short Walks, Trousers Point.

Walking length: 42.5km | Duration: 6 days

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate

Suitable for: First-timers and walkers who love exploring rugged coastlines pack-free.

• EXPERIENCE IT: Flinders Island Walking Adventure >

15. The Maria Island Walk, TAS

Explore the beautiful Painted Cliffs on Tasmania's Maria Island |  <i>Toni Wythes</i>

Adventure by day whilst enjoying luxury at night on this Australian ‘Great Walk’. Immerse in forest surrounds on this Great Walks of Tasmania trail, spot a wombat in the wild, watch the beach sunset a stone’s throw away from your eco-friendly cabin, then cap off your day with a freshly made gourmet meal and a glass of wine to match! This is a must-do gourmet walking holiday to best experience the magic of Tasmania's 'Garden of Eden'.

Walking length: 42km | Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Introductory to moderate (If you want something more challenging, the Mountains of Maria Island Experience summits the highest mountains on the island over 3 days)

Suitable for: First-timers or walkers who prefer carrying just a daypack and who enjoy premium wilderness comforts.

• EXPERIENCE IT: The Maria Island Walk >
 


Know a walk that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
 
Honeymoon experience for adventurous couples: trekking in Nepal review

Read about how a couple made their honeymoon into a bucket list experience in Nepal's Himalayas.

When Ben and I decided to make our Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar Trek with World Expeditions our honeymoon we knew we were putting our adventurous faith in this company to give us the experience of a lifetime.

We were looking for an adventure to match our marriage in magnitude and spirit.

From the moment we arrived in Kathmandu and were greeted by the first of many exceptional World Expeditions staff we knew we had made the right decision. Every single staff member that we met was refreshingly positive, so incredibly knowledgeable (a good thing when you find yourself in an exotically unfamiliar country), and clearly have our enjoyment and safety at the heart of all that they did.

The beauty of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

Highlights From a Honeymooner’s Perspective: Travelling with World Expeditions Review

The comfort and luxury of the Raddison Hotel was an indulgent escape from the chaos of the local streets. Ben and I thrilled in the vibrancy of life around Thamel by day, retreating to the Raddison’s rooftop garden terrace for carb loading and honeymoon beers as a short-lived post-wedding celebration prior to the mind-blowing flight that is the transfer from Kathmandu to the trekking region.

Landing in Lukla, alongside other groups of trekkers, it was immediately apparent that we were with a top-end travel company.

The service that World Expeditions provides ensures that their clients are comfortable, satisfied and can focus on the adventure at hand as we knew our needs would be well and truly thought of.

Nepali guides, porters and staff

Our guide, with over 30 years of trekking experience, instilled in us the same quiet confidence that he had already forged in our ability to enjoy our trek. Manzoor was the perfect coach for this adventure, striking the right balance of providing the facts and technical prep that we needed for every section of the trek, while also generously encouraging our individual journeys – personal challenges and all.

No baggage (literally or figuratively) seemed too unwieldy for this man of the wild, who expertly helped each member of our small group navigate the glorious intensity of this mental and physical epic. The same can be said for the team that trekked with us; our Sherpa Dinesh, Sarder Padam, the kitchen crew and porters.

Their warm humour, hospitality and general legendary natures have imprinted in my mind the camaraderie that is unique to those drawn to the Himalayas, and which I feel so privileged to have witnessed.

Travelling with like-minded travellers

While we were a small group, our chatter was mighty, and as we made our way through Sagarmatha National Park toward Mount Everest, we struck conversations with dozens of trekkers, comparing stories and sharing encouragement.

Trekking with a dream team to Everest Base Camp |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

Staying in private eco campsites in the Everest region

While most folks thought we were crazy to be camping in tents most of the way, we were not so quietly confident that we were hands-down having the best experience.

Arriving at camp at the end of a rewarding day on the track to a warm tent, with a bowl of hot water to wash the day away, a cup of tea and cosy dining rooms to sit and banter in was bliss.

Himalaya grade sleeping bags and comfortable beds gave all of us revitalising sleep night after night; let the chorus of impressive snoring be testament to the fact that we were all warm and snug.

 

As we reached the highest altitudes toward the top of our trek, we took on the once-in-a-lifetime experience of sleeping in the tea houses. Let’s just say we were all so glad to return to camping again on descent!

This trek is for adventurous souls who want to revel in playing with Mother Nature’s limits; however travelling with a company such as World Expeditions ensures that the challenges of the trek remain in the battle with body, mind and wilderness, not logistics.

Magical Himalayan landscape on the Everest Base Camp Trek |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

Words by Sally and Ben Dobromilsky

10 luxe eco-friendly stays in Australia

Love the idea of capping off your day on the trail with sunset cliff-top drinks, or maybe kicking off your hiking shoes whilst your own personal cook preps your dinner? You can still enjoy a walking or cycling adventure without having to completely "rough it out" in the Australian wilderness. 

These beautiful, sustainable escapes are not only glamorous but leave a small environmental footprint too, so you can best explore the many Great Walks of Australia without sparing on your comfort.

Best Australian eco-friendly accommodations for walkers and cyclists

  1. Larapinta Trail Eco Campsites, Northern Territory 
  2. Spicers Vineyard Estate, Hunter Valley NSW 
  3. Maria Island Bush Cabin, Tasmania 
  4. Spicers Retreats, Main Range National Park, Queensland
  5. Bay of Fires Lodge, Tasmania 
  6. Arkaba Homestead, South Australia 
  7. Cradle Huts, Tasmania 
  8. Injidup Spa Retreat, Margaret River, South Australia 
  9. Friendly Beach Lodge, Tasmania 
  10. River Murrays Houseboats, South Australia
 

Larapinta Trail Eco Campsites, Northern Territory 

Multi award-winning outback comfort in the Red Centre 

 

Incorporating new sustainable technologies, glamp in safari-style tents in an incredible desert setting. Easily wash off the trail dust with a hot shower before tucking into three-course meals freshly prepared by the guides. 

These campsites continue to set the standard, having won three times at the Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Award for Ecotourism (in 2016, 2017 and 2019).

Facilities at our eco camps |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i> Relaxing in front of our spacious Larapinta In Comfort tents |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i> Spacious and comfortable sleeping tents at Fearless Camp. They are 2.2 metres high so you are able to stand up in them. |  <i>Ayla Rowe</i> Enjoy a campfire on our Larapinta Trail walks |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i> The stars of the desert sky are a stunning backdrop to our unique Semi-Permanent Campsites |  <i>Graham Michael Freeman</i>
 

• STAY HERE ON: The Classic Larapinta Trek In Comfort >

Spicers Vineyard Estate in the Hunter Valley, NSW 

Deluxe vineyard accommodation 

Our deluxe accommodation in the Hunter Valley |  <i>Spicers</i>

Enjoy your own luxurious private ensuite with a spa, open fireplace and king-size bed topped with a private vineyard view and mountain backdrop. It's the perfect retreat after a day's cycle with a well-deserved glass of fine wine in hand! 

• STAY HERE ON: Hunter Valley Deluxe Self Guided Cycle trips > 

Maria Island Bush Cabin, Tasmania 

Premium wilderness stays on Maria Island, Tasmania 

Maria Island accommodation

Tucked away in beautiful forest surrounds and it's only a stone's throw away from stunning beaches! Fall asleep in eco-friendly cabin comfort, but not before savouring a gourmet dinner and watching the beach sunset with a glass of wine. 

Specially designed to have a small environmental footprint with bush showers and clean composting toilets, glamp here on the first two nights of the 4-day Maria Island Walk. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Maria Island Walk >

Spicers Retreats in Main Range National Park, Queensland 

Gourmet walking experience on the Scenic Rim 

Tent accommodation at Spicers Canopy

From Spicers' Luxury Canopy Tents to its Timber Getters eco-cabins, each accommodation on the Scenic Rim Trail walk is decked out for the active traveller who deserves a bit of indulgence. 

Escape from the every day to a world of luxury, whilst still enjoying a sense of adventure in a region with more than 30,000 hectares of ancient rainforest, escarpments, stunning mountains and volcanic plateaus. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Scenic Rim Walks > 

Bay of Fires Lodge, Tasmania 

Award-winning comfort to your eco-experience 

Bay of Fires Lodge |  <i>Great Walks of Australia</i>

Set on a hilltop, 40 metres above the pounding sea with arresting coastal views, experience the very best of the Bay of Fires wilderness in comfort on an idyllic short escape crowned with delicious meals prepared with the freshest local produce and accompanied by fine Tasmanian wine and beer. 

In an area of great significance to the Aboriginal community, the lodge is in gentle communion with the wilderness for maximum connection to the landscape with minimum impact on the environment. Solar-powered, an open fire, large timber deck with glass pavilions, hot showers and comfortable beds add a touch of luxury at the end of each day’s activities. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk > 

Arkaba Homestead, South Australia 

Bush luxury in the Flinders Ranges 

Camping in a swag under the outback skies

Immerse in the story of the land with exclusive creature comforts on the Arkaba Walk. Enjoy two nights camping in deluxe swags on the signature star beds open to views of the countryside and above, a canopy of stars. 

The final nights are in the 1850s Arkaba Homestead for the added outback luxury at the end of your walk. Wildly beautiful, wake up to panoramas of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range with all its en-suite room built with French door openings onto the deep homestead veranda. You can also extend this experience with the Murray River Walk staying on a premium houseboat.

• STAY HERE ON: The Arkaba Walk >

Cradle Huts, Tasmania 

Private eco-hut stays on the Overland Track 

Enjoy a glass of wine after a day's trek along the Overland Track |  <i>Great Walks of Australia</i>

Kick off your hiking shoes and put your feet up in one of five ecological and sustainable private huts nestled away in the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. 

A haven to retreat to at the end of the day on the Overland Track, you’ll indulge in fresh-baked afternoon tea, fine wine and hearty meals prepared fresh. Not to mention, you'll enjoy a hot shower, the joy of a potbelly heater and comfy beds. 

• STAY HERE ON: Cradle Huts Overland Track >

Injidup Spa Retreat, South Australia 

Relax & rejuvenate in the Margaret River region 

Cooling off in Injidup Spa Retreat private pool villa

Stay in oceanfront luxury and pamper your senses when walking along the best sections of the Cape to Cape Track. The intimate coastal retreat is nestled above one of the most beautiful beaches for spectacular ocean views and the tranquillity and privacy many dream of. 

End the day with sunset cliff-top drinks, a dip in your private pool villa and world-class food. Don’t forget to treat yourself with a lovely massage or spa treatment. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Cape to Cape in Luxury walk >

Friendly Beach Lodge, Tasmania 

'Off the grid' escape in Freycinet National Park 

Friendly Beaches Lodge

Explore world-class coastal scenery by day, before retiring in award-winning eco-luxury at night. Nestled in a 130-hectare private sanctuary, the lodge is sustainably built and completely ‘off the grid’ with solar power, waterless toilets and rainwater tanks to maintain its pristine surrounds. 

Sleeping lodges contain a lounge area with a fireplace, a shared bathroom with a claw foot bath, a separate shower room and two composting toilets. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Freycinet Experience Walk >

River Murrays Houseboats, South Australia 

Stay on an exclusive floating house

Houseboat Lounge

Combine your trip with the Murray River Walk onboard a comfortable houseboat and dine from a menu designed by a renowned native food pioneer.

Enjoy a back to nature experience that has the comfort of a luxury holiday as you walk through the ancient red gum forests of the great Murray River, before retreating to your own modern double room with hot showers and a hot spa on the top deck. 

• STAY HERE ON: The Murray River Walk >

View our range of ‘In Comfort’ adventures or check out more unique accommodation stays from around the world.


Europe’s Best Walking Trails: Where to hike in Europe

We've asked you before about how many epic trails around the world you know. Walking brings a lot of benefits from reconnecting with nature, to challenging yourself, spending time outdoors with your loved ones, and discovering places otherwise not easily accessible. It is therefore that we wanted to bring you this list of the UK & Europe's best walking trails (and one cycling path) to present you with some options closer to home.

Most of the European hiking trails below can be undertaken as a self guided walking (or cycling) trip: perfect for travellers who are after a lot of freedom, flexibility and sense of accomplishment without compromising on the security and organisation of a guided tour. For those that prefer a guided option, we have indicated the possibilities for this per trail.

1. Wainwright’s Coast to Coast

Length: 309 km / 192 miles across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea

Walking up from Fleswick Bay on Wainright's Walk |  <i>John Millen</i>

What makes it special: One of Britain’s classic walking routes, the Coast to Coast, was originated and described by Alfred Wainwright, author of a well-known series of mountain-walking guide books on the English Lake District. Walk this trail for the accomplishment of crossing England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea under your own steam. Along the way, explore the stunning three national parks of the Lake District, Pennines and North York Moors.

>> Guided options available.

 

2. Camino de Santiago: Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela

Length: the French part of the pilgrimage comprises 461 km / 286miles and the Spanish section to the tomb of St James adds another 481 km / 298 miles

Pilgrims on a self guided walk along the Camino in Spain |  <i>Sue Finn</i>

What makes it special: In the 9th century the tomb of the apostle St James was unearthed in Compostela. The site became the focus of a pilgrim trail beginning in France and crossing Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Ever since, walkers have completed this route that comes with a true sense of camaraderie along the way. While there are many different routes to Santiago de Compostela, the most well-known of the Camino de Santiago walks are in Spain and France.

Did you know? 2021 and 2022 have both been declared by the Pope as Holy Year, normally when St James’ Day on 25th July falls on a Sunday. Complimented by lots of festivities, ending your Camino pilgrimage during the weeks around St James is an extra special time to be there.

>> View guided full Camino walks.

 

3. Tour du Mont Blanc

Length: circling the Mont Blanc massif in roughly 170 km / 105 miles

The Mont Blanc region offers some of the best walking in the world |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

What makes it special: Sitting on the Italian and French border is Western Europe’s highest mountain – Mont Blanc. At 4810m, the scale of Mont Blanc and the other 4000m+ peaks in this region of the European Alps is certainly impressive. The Mont Blanc massif was first climbed in 1786, and the ascent gave birth to modern day mountaineering. It is not only a region for climbers however, walking in Mont Blanc has become so popular that the region is now the third most visited natural site in the world. Anyone who travels here will soon see why.

Without doubt the most famous Mont Blanc trek is the classic and full circumnavigation: Tour du Mont Blanc, however families and walkers of various abilities can choose a trail to suit their fitness level. Summer traditionally is the most popular time, travel in spring or autumn for even quieter trails and perhaps some snow on the route!

>> Guided options available.

 

4. Via Dinarica

Length: 1260 km / 783 miles for the entire length of the main route from Slovenia to Albania

Enjoying the splendid view over Trnovacko Lake on the Via Dinarica walk

What makes it special: The Via Dinarica is a long distance mountainous walking trail of which the main route (White Trail) spans the Balkan countries of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. This European walking trail follows the main ridge of the Dinaric Alps, a glorious landscape woven with primeval forests and cosy mountain villages. Along the way, collect mesmerising natural sights such as the heart-shaped Trnovacko glacial lake; the turquoise waters of Rakitnica Canyon; and the rocky panoramas of Bosnia's highest peak, Maglic.

>> Guided trip.

 

5. Haute Route

Length: 180 km / 111 miles from the Chamonix valley, home of Mont Blanc, to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn

On the way to the Matterhorn, Switzerland |  <i>Carol Gorgie</i>

What makes it special: The walkers’ Haute Route (High Level Route) links the valley of Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland. You trek through some very dramatic alpine scenery, experience traditional European mountain culture and find yourself amongst the highest peaks in Western Europe including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Dent Blanche. The hiking trail is steeped in mountaineering legend, a route first taken by British climbers at the end of the 19th Century.

Although the Haute Route is popular, it is rugged at times and you will find that compared to many other areas in Switzerland, most of the paths are little trodden, giving rise to an excellent variety of alpine flowers and frequent sightings of alpine animals.

>> Guided options available.

 

6. West Highland Way

Length: 155 km / 96 miles across the Scottish Highlands

Group at Blackrock Cottage, Scotland

What makes it special: Embark on a hike on the West Highland Way and you step back into history - most of the stages follow the famous droving and military roads that linked the Scottish Highlands to the Lowlands. Many of the hotels you find today have originated from the droving inns that have operated for centuries. On this official UK long distance trail you’ll also walk to the foot of Ben Nevis and past the shores of the UK’s largest lake, Loch Lomond.

 

7. Rhone Cycle Path

Length: 1250 km / 776 miles along the course of the river Rhone from Switzerland to France

Crossing the Hermitage Bridge on the Via Rhona

What makes it special: Connecting the Swiss Alps with the Mediterranean, the Rhone River holds an important place in history. Serving as an inland trading route where goods were transported as far back as the Greek and Roman civilisations, the Rhone connected many of France's most important cities and subsequently many smaller villages were built alongside it. Today, the cultural and architectural legacy of this period can still be found in many places along the river and can be discovered on a cycling trip.

 

8. Via Alpina

Length: the full thing is about 5,000 km / 3,100 miles, but our section is around 100 km / 62 miles

Hohturli Pass from the Bluemlisalp Hut |  <i>Nicola Croom</i>

What makes it special: Also known as the Swiss Alpine Pass Route, which is part of the full Via Alpina across eight countries, the section between Meiringen and Lenk on the Via Alpina captures the essence of the Alps and Switzerland’s most stunning alpine scenery. Whilst the high mountains are an obvious drawcard, there are so many other highlights such as the sound of cowbells as you make your way along scenic paths, the picture postcard villages and towns you pass through and the wildflowers lining the trail.

 

9. King Ludwig’s Way

Length: 120 km / 74 miles to King Ludwig’s famous castle of Neuschwanstein

Bearded King Ludwig pointing the way. |  <i>Will Copestake</i>

What makes it special: When walking in Bavaria it is plain to see that Germany is proud of its rural heritage. It is a stronghold of the green movement and the country’s wealth has helped it to conserve its beautiful landscape and historic monuments. The King Ludwig’s Way walking trail takes in two of Bavaria's most scenic lakes and passes through charming villages of geranium-bedecked chalets and characteristic onion-shaped church spires. There are masterpieces of baroque architecture, monasteries, churches and a cathedral, to be seen on the way and not forgetting King Ludwig's extraordinary castles of Neuschwanstein at the end.

 

10. John Muir Way

Length: 215 km / 134 miles along what is known as the Scottish Coast to Coast

Wild Landscape towards Loch Lomond |  <i>John Millen</i>

What makes it special: The John Muir Way is a route that symbolically links Dunbar (John's hometown) with Scotland’s first national park (Loch Lomond) and the Trossachs with Helensburgh (from where John and his family departed for the USA) in the west. Both towns are located by the sea and as such the trail is known as the Scottish Coast to Coast. Along the way, you are rewarded by views over Ben Lomond, an exploration of Edinburgh, and lots of historical features. There are many highlights on the John Muir Way – contact our team to learn more.

 

Would you like to know more about any of these long distance trails in Europe? Please do get in touch by email or for a phone call with our experienced team to discuss your queries.

New Zealand backcountry hiking: why visit Ben Lomond Station

Don't you just love it when you head out for a hike and find a stunning spot all to yourself? Located just a short drive from Queenstown, Ben Lomond Station is one of the few remaining high country stations owned and operated by New Zealanders, which means you'll enjoy your sweet dose of uninterrupted wild adventure.

Not to be confused with Ben Lomond Track, which is owned by NZ's Department of Conservation and has public access, Ben Lomond Station is private land filled with old gold mining pack tracks, diverse landscapes and exclusive comfortable lodges. It makes the perfect place for hiking, relaxing and appreciating New Zealand's stunning beauty.

Here are 5 reasons to hike on Ben Lomond Station.

1. You'll be the only ones here

Ben Lomond Station is privately owned so there are no big crowds making it a truly rare and exclusive outdoor experience.

No better place to take a break and admire the view than on Ben Lomond Saddle |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>

2. The endless rugged landscapes

There's no denying the landscapes are one of the main drawcards to this 33,000-acre station. Where else can you experience expansive views of snow-capped ranges, sweeping tussock lands and beautiful beech forest all in one place?

Walk along tussock ridgelines high above the Shotover River, heli-hike along the sub-alpine flanks of Ben Lomond (1748m) and explore abandoned gold mining relics, water races, razorback ridges and river valleys right until the finish.

The walking tracks are graded moderate to challenging and are best fit for experienced hikers. You'll follow sheep tracks and the trails of hardy miners who preferred to take the straight line route instead of switchbacks!
 

Moonlight Station (MSQ) |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>

  

3. The Foster Family


True, local kiwi hospitality can be hard to come by when travelling in New Zealand these days but there's no shortage of it here. John and Ginny Foster are the proud owners and managers of Ben Lomond Station. Originally farming a small coastal property in Golden Bay, they moved to the high country in 1987.

 
John and Ginny from Ben Lomond Station |  <i>Colin Monteath</i> Forgotten gold mining machinery from the 1800s gold rush. |  <i>Colin Monteath</i> Vast tussock lands of Ben Lomond Station |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>


4. The history

Reading about the mining history on the Moonlight Track |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>


Ben Lomond Station has been a key part of Queenstown's history for over 150 years. The station was part of a run that was over 200,000 acres and included all the land in this area east of Lake Wakatipu. The original run holder William Rees reportedly flipped a coin with early pioneer, Nicholas von Tunzelmann, to decide who got which side of the lake.

Follow the tracks of historic gold mining water races built 150 years ago passing through beech forest and tussock lands. During your walk, you'll learn about the stations history and gold mining by the foster family themselves.

Fun fact: Over 3000 people lived in the Moke and Moonlight valleys during the gold rush. These rivers were some of the richest in the world.

 

5. Private Moonlight Lodge: uninterrupted views from your window

Moonlight Lodge easily makes the list as one of New Zealand's most comfortable and secluded backcountry lodges. Located deep in the Moonlight Valley, a 14km walk from the Shotover Valley will bring you to the comfort of the lodge. Fit with double/twin ensuite rooms, a spacious lounge, dining area with a licenced bar, large stone fireplace and commanding views of the peaks that surround, you'll feel relaxed in no time.

To top things off, you'll experience true local hospitality with a delicious meal prepared by station owners, John and Ginny.

World Expeditions' Moonlight Valley and Ben Lomond Backcountry Hike and Ben Lomond Backcountry Explorer includes stays at Moonlight Lodge. 

 
Private Moonlight Lodge accommodation |  <i>Colin Monteath</i> A cup of tea and a biscuit is the perfect way to end a days walking! |  <i>Colin Monteath</i> Cosy accommodation at Moonlight Lodge |  <i>Hamish Foster</i>
 


Summer trekking guide in the Indian Himalaya

The mountains of the Himalaya go beyond the borders of Nepal – and with the summer trekking season upon us from June to September, below are five unique ways to experience the Indian Himalayas on foot.

Traverse the dramatic region of Zanskar

It would be hard to surpass this challenging Trans Himalayan circuit of Ladakh which travels over high passes via ancient trails. Trek through isolated Buddhist villages to reach the secluded Himalayan kingdom of Zanskar.

This part of the Indian Himalaya is known for its rust coloured mountains and dramatic deep gorges, and villages which are cut off from the outside world for much of the year. Eventually, you will complete your circuit through the Indus Valley for an all-encompassing Himalayan adventure. This Zanskar to Indus Traverse is definitely one to add on your adventure list.

Best time to travel: September

Zanskar in India Himalaya - World Expeditions

 

Capture the spirit of trekking in Ladakh

What better introduction to the visually stunning and culturally rich region of Ladakh than trekking through hidden valleys. A land of high passes on the borderlands of Tibet, Ladakh offers timeless landscapes and vistas of spectacular scenery. This is where the snow leopard seeks out the highest ridges at the margins of the season.

The rugged region of Ladakh is characterised by remarkable Buddhist monasteries and ancient forts. Think of the striking Tikse Monastery and the historic Stok Palace just to name a few.

Best time to travel: late June and July

Capture the spirit of trekking in Ladakh with World ExpeditionsYou can camp underneath the stars and alongside the vast waters of the stunning Tso Morari Lake in the spectacular Rupshu Valley.

Go Beyond the Markha Valley

Also known as ‘Little Tibet’, this ancient Buddhist enclave on India’s northern border is the highest plateau in the state of Kashmir. Explore on foot the Ladakh heartland, where the flutter of prayer flags and the ancient mani walls reflect the deep seated Buddhist heritage, and follow established trails linking whitewashed settlements and tiny monasteries, with spectacular views of the Zanskar Range stretching to the borderlands of the Tibetan Plateau.

Best time to travel: early July and late August to early September

Beyond the Markha Valley - summer trekking in India

Step into the world of mountaineering

Keen to extend your mountaineering CV? On a high-altitude foray in Ladakh you can get ideal (albeit challenging!) introduction to Himalayan climbing.

Within relatively easy distance from each other are the twin peaks of Ladakh: Stok Kangri (6,153m) and Kangyaze Peak (6,400m). You can ascend both of them in one mountaineering holiday and be welcomed by stunning views of the beautiful Markha Valley from their summits.

The region around these peaks offers some fantastic mountaineering activities as there are plenty of high passes to cross. It is home to the world’s highest road of ‘Khardung La’, and it is filled with trails linking tiny whitewashed settlements and traditional Buddhist monasteries.

Best time to travel: August

The surreal beauty of the Indian Himalaya |  <i>Brigitte Najjar</i>Photo: Brigitte Najjar

Remote Ladakh with Garry Weare

If you’re an intrepid traveller who loves to explore the most beautiful, little visited corners of the Indian subcontinent, join Lonely Planet author Garry Weare to take you there!

Whether this is a first time trek in Ladakh or an ideal follow up this new trek from the Nubra to Indus valleys will surpass expectations. The trek winds through remote Buddhist settlements and summer grazing camps that afford the opportunity to explore side valleys as we gradually make our way to the base of the Lasermo La. Unparalelled views and rich Buddhist culture of Alchi, Lamayuru and Likir monasteries complete this journey.

This trip will be led by adventurer and trekking legend Garry Weare who has been involved with World Expeditions since its inception in the mid-1970s and over the years he has devised a number of itineraries across the most beautiful corners of the Indian Himalaya.

Best time to travel: September

Diskit Monastery in Nubra Valley, Ladakh |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

If these five different ways to experience this corner of the Indian Himalaya got you hungry for more, with World Expeditions you can choose from a range of travel options to experience trekking in Ladakh. If you like the trips a little different, we can help you build your own adventure.

Have you travelled to the Indian Himalaya? Share your experience below.

Cape to Cape Track: Hiking and cycling training tips

Deciding where to travel is not always the biggest dilemma. Often, the crux is how to do it. Do you like the idea of blending cycling and hiking into one trip? On my visit to Western Australia, I chose to do just that as part of my exploration of the Cape to Cape Track.

Whether or not you plan to take on this iconic coastal trail, these training tips will help you best prepare for your next multi-day, coastal adventure on foot or by bike.

Why hike and bike?

If you choose to ride, you’ll benefit from covering long distances and no doubt seeing further, faster; but hiking can often take you to areas inaccessible by other means at a slower pace.

This was the very question I asked myself ahead of my trip to Western Australia. I’d been invited to take part in the 10th anniversary of the Cape to Cape mountain bike race, a four-day event based at Margaret River. For the first time, the race would not trace the traditional linear route from Luuewin Lighthouse to Dunsborough township. Instead, they’d chosen to loop around the local vineyards and popular single-track trails.

Keen not to miss the incredible coastal views and a chance to spot migrating whales in the distance, I decided to pack the trail shoes and extended my trip to include a three-day hike along the famous Cape to Cape Track.

A cosy beach corner along WA's Cape to Cape Track |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

My trip down under was limited to 10 days – an ambitious timeframe coming from the UK! To make the most of it, I joined a team to wander the well-known route, covering close to 60 kilometres of coastal terrain. Quite the post-ride warm up! With a day to rest, I switched my hiking shoes for the saddle; this time to ride 230 kilometres of sensational singletrack.

So how did I prepare for this multi-day, multi-discipline adventure? If you’re considering a hike and ride combination, then read on for my top training and preparation tips.

Prepare for the terrain

The Cape to Cape track is coastal and whilst it doesn’t gain much elevation, the terrain can be tough on your body, particularly your feet!

Day after day, you’ll be tackling sandy tracks and long sections of beach, so you’ll want to condition yourself for the endurance required. Distances can reach 25 kilometres per stage, so you’ll need to be ready for multiple hours on the move.

Be beach-ready

The ideal way to condition yourself for the impending sand is, of course, to mirror this in your training hikes. Find a local beach if you live near to the coast, a lakeshore, or muddy ground, to emulate the sticky nature of the sand. If you stick to tarmac or hard-pack trails, you’ll gain miles but your muscles won’t be accustomed to the drag. Make sure to do long-distance efforts on this type of terrain to gain muscle memory and to be mentally ready too.

Dare to bare?

Enjoying a barefoot walk along the beaches on the Cape to Cape Track |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

You might prefer to shed the shoes and walk barefoot on the beach? I hiked a six-kilometre stretch with my boots dangling from my pack. Doing so is a great way to improve balance and posture – but I’d recommend making sure you’re prepared for the abrasion from sand.

Take shorter strolls by the seaside or get used to barefoot on grass, or simply walking around the house. I found this a great method to toughen up the soles of my feet too.

Be bike prepared

When it comes to riding, preparation is also key. For the Cape to Cape, I researched the right tyre choice – your wheels are the contact point with the trail, so you have to be sure you’ve got the best tools for the job. Trails around the Cape to Cape are often dry, rocky and very sandy! Hiring a quality bike will make all the difference, and if you want to luggage transfers taken care of as well, turning to a trusted company like Australian Cycle Tours will take the hassle out of planning.

Take your bike for a spin at your local beach if you have coastal access in order to get used to cycling on varying conditions. If this isn’t an option, cycling on wet mud and slicker conditions offer a similar feel and will help you to find the balance needed.

Bike training for the Cape to Cape Track |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

Carry your gear

Whilst the guided routes on the Cape to Cape don’t require you to lug tents and sleeping bags, you’ll certainly be carrying a backpack with extra clothes, food and plenty of drinking water.

During my hike, the storms set in, so don’t underestimate the amount you’ll choose to take with you – it might even include a swimsuit if the water’s not too cold! Ideally, you’ll be able to train outdoors, but if you’re adding mileage at the gym, consider wearing your pack during the session too. Step machines or treadmills can be a great way to squeeze in sessions around a busy work life.

If you prefer carrying a lighter pack, opting for a guided tour on the Cape to Cape Track with a professional guide and support staff allows you to get an in-depth cultural exploration of the region with extra comforts.

Resting at a beach along WA's Cape to Cape Track |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

Know your kit

Fitness is one element, but you won't go far by bike or foot if you’re uncomfortable in your kit. Whether it’s a new saddle, pack or shoes – be sure to log time with them so you don’t discover any unwanted discomfort on the trail. Equally, be sure to read the recommended kit list or research blogs from those with experience of the area.

Hiking kit
Simulating the actual event is the best way to train – load up your pack and take it on your training hikes or even walks to and from work. Practice using a bottle or bladder for drinking and find out how easy it is to access your camera or snacks. This may seem mundane, but when you’re trekking day after day for multiple hours, you want to make tasks as simple as possible.

As tiredness sets in, it can be easy to not eat or drink as much as you should, so being sure it’s of minimal effort to do so will help you as the days stack up.

When it comes to hiking footwear, the Cape to Cape is ideally suited to a lightweight pair of outdoor shoes as well as gators – a truly useful aid to combat the infiltration of sand! Practice using these and don’t just throw them on the first day of the trek. Also, take a spare pair of socks. There are times on the path when your feet may get wet, so being armed with a dry set will help to avoid the onset of blisters.

Cycling kit
For the bike, the same applies. You’ll be sweating from the heat and effort, so if you’re not used to wearing a pack on the bike, make sure to train with one. Another skill to perfect is eating on the move. When you’re riding long days in the saddle, a top tube feed bag is also a useful addition, so you don’t have to stop to eat or try and dig awkwardly into your back pockets.

Clock the kilometres: mileage munching

Clocking up the kilometres is the best way to prepare for endurance, but many of us have busy lives and have to save the big days for the weekend. Consider if you can walk to work? Perhaps you can get off the bus or train earlier and add some distance to your legs mid-week? Could you walk to work one day, then bike home? Trying to combine walking and cycling equally within your week will ensure you’re not focusing on just one area.

Repetition reaps reward

The key to multi-day is to replicate this repetition as part of your training sessions. If you only have one day to add in the big distances, consider splitting the time between the bike and the trail shoes. Find an off-road route that you can ride, rest, then hike. If you have more time, ride one day and hike the next. Getting your body used to waking up tired and having to go again, is as much a physical training exercise as a mental one.

Good luck on the trail!

Words by Catriona Sutherland, a UK writer and athlete who travelled on the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia. Read more cross training tips from her >
 


Cross training for multi-day adventures

Prepare for your next multi-day hiking or cycling adventure with these cross training tips and exercises from outdoor enthusiast, athlete and Her Outdoors Life blogger Catriona Sutherland.

Cardio counts

When taking on a multi-day adventure, endurance is key, so clocking up kilometres can best prepare you for the long distances on the trail. Take a day out of your weekend to do a big hike, attempt a longer bike ride or throw in a 5K or 10K run mid-week.

Set up a daily steps challenge to keep you goal-oriented throughout your week, then increase your kilometres or step count as you progress.

Bike training for the Cape to Cape Track |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

Weights work wonders

Cardio isn’t the only key to endurance success. Time in the gym can do wonders for both cycling and long-distance hiking. Once a week, try to fit in a session using weights. Not everyone is comfortable pumping iron, so I’d also recommend a gym class, as this is great for professional guidance and motivation from those around you.

Squats, lunges and sit-ups using hand weights are an excellent method of increasing strength.

Core stability is critical to endurance longevity, so even if you can’t make a class, allow time at home to do this. Use your downtime efficiently, for instance, when watching a TV show or listening to a podcast, try planks sets to develop strength in your abdominal area. I’ll typically try 30-second intervals with short rests in-between.

Set yourself a challenge each week and see if you can increase the time of each rep.

Climbing for cross training

Hit your local climbing gym to activate your leg muscles |  <i>Catriona Sutherland</i>

If the regular gym isn’t your thing, then why not try climbing? On wet days or dark nights, I head to the climbing wall to mix it up. As well as arms as legs, this is an excellent opportunity to work your core muscles and balance too. I also find squeezing my feet into climbing shoes an ideal way to condition them too!

Allow time to recover

As you train for an endurance you’ll gather distance, but with that comes the need for recovery too. Planning in an easy week every third week is a good guide, so you don’t overload - risking injury or illness. Recovery doesn’t also have to mean complete rest either. Easy, short rides or walks are a good way to keep your body moving.

To ease out muscles and reduce your risk of getting injured, a foam roller is an ideal aid to combat potential problems. I will make time at least once a week to roll out my calves, quads, lower back and the soles of my feet. As I travel regularly, I also take with me a smaller mini roller or ball, so I can make time during or between flights to keep my body moving.
 

Words by Catriona Sutherland, a UK writer and athlete who followed these training tips on her adventure on the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia. Read more hike and bike training exercises from her >

Let us know in the comments below, what's your workout routine when preparing for a multi-day adventure?


14 unique accommodation stays around the world

Those of us who love adventure travel are familiar with the saying, “it’s the journey, not the destination”. Whether it’s walking with camels in the Australian desert, traversing Costa Rica by raft, kayaking in the Antarctic or trekking in the Himalayas, “getting there” is all part of the adventure. As is where our travellers sleep each night.

From sleeping in a traditional Japanese ryokan, staying in a treehouse in South Africa for a true ‘bush feeling’ or spending the night at a striking campsite in the heart of Australia’s outback. If you're looking to sleep somewhere more inspiring than the four walls of a hotel on your next trip, this list offers exciting 'alternative’ accommodations set in beautifully unique places when travelling with World Expeditions.

Stargaze from Martian Dome Tents | Wadi Rum, Jordan

You'll feel like you're a world away sleeping under a blanket of stars in a futuristic dome surrounded by remote sand dunes and rugged mountains. Upgrade from a standard tent to a Martian Dome Tent for luxury and coziness in Jordan’s Wadi Rum, also known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’.

Martian Dome Tent room Martian Dome Tent external view Martian Dome Tent balcony Martian Dome Tent at night

Combining modern style comforts with an authentic desert experience, the living quarters of each dome tent feature individual air-conditioning, a private bathroom, hot water as well as a separate viewing terrace.

• STAY THERE: Jordan Highlights >

Hop aboard a traditional Dhoni | Maldives

A traditional dhoni cruise is the best way to explore the turquoise waters of the Maldives

Imagine days sleeping onboard a traditional Dhoni in the Maldives cruising between far-flung atolls and reefs by day, stopping to swim or snorkel in the translucent waters and then spending the evenings moored off a different island.

Resembling a traditional Arab sailing vessel and handcrafted locally from coconut palm timber, our Dhoni’s have been converted into live-onboard cruise boats with plenty of room for relaxing and watching the world go by. There’s also ample opportunity to meet the locals of small settlements or enjoy a fresh seafood barbecue on pristine uninhabited beaches.

• STAY THERE: Maldives Dhoni Cruise >

Traditional ryokan inns | Japan

At first, you'll encounter something of a bull-in-a-China-shop feel, but this reaction normalises as you immerse in this delicate environment of spaces and displayed heirlooms. The traditional style accommodation of a ryokan means sleeping on a futon bedding laid out on tatami floors.

Ryokan Asunaro Takayama, day time set-up Ryokan triple room set-up Group dinner at the Wakimoto Ryokan, Asuka |  <i>Janelle Williams</i> Evening ryokan meal during the Kumano Kodo hike

The warming hospitality of the local innkeepers combined with the countryside atmosphere and the exceptional Japanese dinner makes the experience extra special.

• STAY THERE: Backroads of Japan >

Sleep comfortably under mighty Himalayan peaks | Everest and Annapurna, Nepal

Morning views of at our Kyangjuma campsite |  <i>Kelvin Law</i>

Wired for a trekking adventure but want the luxury of putting your feet up after a long day's hike? Experience warmth, privacy and superb views at our exclusive Nepal eco camps – it wins out on sustainability for a back to nature experience that doesn't spare on your comfort. Plus our fully serviced camping based treks support local communities at every level of the operation, including our porters who are provided with a good working wage, insurance, trekking gear, food and accommodation.

Featuring standing height tents, off-the-ground beds, clean mattresses and pillows, heated dining areas for meals and 'downtime' and western-style toilets, with many also fitted with hot showers. Watch the video below to take a virtual tour of our private Nepal campsites.

 

Camping high in the clouds is truly a style of travel worth experiencing!

• STAY THERE: Annapurna and Everest treks >

Overnight in a treehouse | South Africa

Set in a beautiful game-rich area, spending a night in a treehouse in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve offers a true ‘bush feeling’ that gets you away from it all without sparing on your comfort.

Reaching up into the trees, the wooden structure comes with a game-viewing platform and a top deck with a bed, as well as an enclosed outside bathroom and shower. The treehouse can sleep a maximum of two guests, however it does need to be pre-booked due to high demand. With a bed and a view to be remembered, it's perfect for fearless romantics.

Graceful gazelles brighten each day while on safari in southern Africa. |  <i>Karibu</i>

• STAY THERE: Kruger Walking Safari >

Experience award-winning desert comfort | Larapinta, Australia

The multi-award-winning semi-permanent eco camps provide easy and uninterrupted access to nature, a feeling of solitude and an expanded sense of the vastness of Australia's unique desert plains. It's a perfect retreat for walkers exploring the outback on the iconic Larapinta Trail.

A night under the Central Australian skies can be mesmerising |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>

Enjoy the comfort of beds, walk-in ‘safari-style’ tents, large floor-to-ceiling windows for you to soak in the magnificent views, hot showers and charging port facilities. Aimed to deliver previously unavailable levels of comfort to trekkers in a climate known for its extreme temperatures, its new sustainable technologies are used with structures designed to allow the land to recover during the off-season, maintaining the idyllic natural setting of these wilderness sites.

These campsites continue to set the standard, having won three times at the Northern Territory Tourism Brolga Award for Ecotourism (in 2016, 2017 and 2019).

• STAY THERE: Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort >

Once-in-a-lifetime ice camping | Antarctica Peninsula

Camping on the ice in Antarctica |  <i>Justin Walker</i>

A voyage into the Antarctic's otherworldly environments puts you among breathtaking frozen landscapes, rugged icy coastlines, stunning coves and islands and abundant wildlife. So why not make camp here like a polar explorer? A night out on the ice is a popular experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.

You'll stay in special wind and waterproof tents, high-quality polar sleeping bags, comfortable mattresses and field equipment are provided to protect you from the elements at night.

Our active base camp Antarctica Peninsula voyages also offers an experience of the Antarctic wilderness like no other with zodiac cruising and optional kayaking, snowshoeing, mountaineering and hiking activities.

• STAY THERE: Base camp journeys to the Antarctic Peninsula >

Live like a nomad in a traditional ger | Mongolia

Nomadic ger, Mongolia |  <i>Loren Winstanley</i>

Take a step back in time and into the shoes of local nomads in West Mongolia as you experience one of the last few wildernesses on earth. Marvel at unique and untouched features such as windswept sand dunes, ancient dinosaur relics, solid ice formations and of course Mongolia’s famous wild horses.

It is here where you can find the original mobile home: the ‘ger’, a circular tent, is an age-old tradition coming from the Mongolian nomads. Made from a wooden frame and covered by wool felt, which keeps it warm in the winter and cool in the summer; it is very easy to collapse and re-assemble again.

The first gers are believed to have been put up 2500-3000 years ago and their design has not changed much since then. Our gers are spacious and come with comfortable beds, soft linen and extra blankets for cooler nights. Rather than electrical bulbs, candles illuminate the gers at night.

They offer an excellent opportunity to live as the locals do on the Mongolian Steppe with plenty of interaction with a local family.

• STAY THERE: Mongolia Panorama >

Stay on a floating house | Murray River, South Australia

Stay in a modern houseboat along the Murray River

Step onboard a modern houseboat for a unique way of experiencing Australia’s greatest river, The Murray. Ancient red gum forests, spectacular floodplain wetlands, red ochre-coloured cliffs and meandering creeks are your surrounds.

Each night you can relax in your own double room, enjoy hot showers and take a soak in the top deck spa. You'll be treated after your daily walks with 3 courses of superb Riverland cuisine from a menu designed exclusively by a renowned native food chef. Savour local brews, Riverland wine and Riverland roasted coffee – heavenly!

• STAY THERE: Murray River Walk >

Stay in the world’s first geodesic hotel room | Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Patagonia EcoCamp

The award-winning EcoCamp Patagonia is situated in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park and provides the region’s first fully sustainable accommodation, complete with green technology.

Modelled on the traditional Kawesqar hut of the native people, the campsite is a collection of striking, comfortable dome tents. It is perfectly immersed in the wilderness of Torres del Paine, with ceiling windows that allow you to look up at the starry night sky.

• STAY THERE: Torres del Paine Ecocamp >

Open your tent to endless Caribbean sea vistas | Belize

If you're looking for a tropical escape that beholds amazing wildlife and bird watching opportunities, look no further. Stay in a remote tropical marine park fifty-five miles off the shore of the Belize Mainland. Under a canopy of coconut trees, relax in a safari-style beach cabana with endless views of the Caribbean. You'll see why it's a designated World Heritage site.

Half Moon Base Camp backs onto the blue waters of Belize

The secluded and renowned Lighthouse Reef Atoll offers a stunning exploration of Belize's richest coral reefs. Dive in and snorkel the Barrier Reef depths and famous Blue Hole, take a paddle by kayak or try your hand at stand up paddleboarding.

You'll sleep in comfortable wall-tent cabanas with wooden floors, a wooden stand light with a kerosene lamp. The beach base camp consists of a central Pavillion, which acts as a social hub, and includes freshwater showers, modern compost toilets and propane-powered refrigeration.

• STAY THERE: Belize Jungle and Reef >

Wilderness camping | Mount Kenya

Cloudy scenery as we arrive at our Lake Ellis campsite |  <i>Heike Krumm</i>

Many would argue that Mount Kenya is the most visually stunning of Africa’s ice-capped peaks and more dramatic and interesting than the country’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. So when it comes to ‘sleeping out’, it doesn’t get much better than camping under the stars alongside Lake Michaelson, 4000 metres above sea level in Mount Kenya National Park.

Sit around the campfire under the starlit sky and hear the sounds of the African night – whether that is the call of a bush baby or the howl of a hyena – which enhance the whole experience of a wilderness escape.

Our seven-day ascent is an exhilarating trek with stunning alpine views, diverse wildlife and some of the most beautiful campsites in Africa.

• STAY THERE: Mount Kenya Ascent >

Trans Siberian train | Russia, Mongolia and China

Trans Siberian Train dining car mongolia |  <i>Kerren Knighton</i>

Few train journeys on earth conjure up such variety as the Trans Siberian; it has captured the imagination of travellers for decades with the entire rail journey taking 13 years and 4 months to build!

This superb 5000km journey through history traces the classic route from St Petersburg, home to the magnificent Hermitage, to Beijing where iconic attractions abound. Highlights along the way include the Gobi Desert, Lake Baikal in Siberia and the Mongolian Steppe.

Sleeping on the train in the four-berth sleeper compartment is an experience in itself. We also offer an option to upgrade to first-class in a two-berth privates sleeper for the entire journey.

Bring a good book, a chessboard and a bottle of vodka and you're sure to form some memorable friendships while watching the world go by.

• STAY THERE: Trans Siberian Rail Journey >

Trulli House | Puglia, Italy

The beehive shaped ‘Trulli' - ancient houses of Puglia

The distinctive Trullo houses of Italy’s Puglia region are scattered around the intriguing town of Alberobello. While the rooms are minimal they are furnished with the quaint countryside atmosphere and are well located in the heart of the Puglia region.

There are many theories behind the origin of their conical shape design and dry stonewall construction. One theory is that, due to the high taxation on property, the people of Puglia constructed them in this way so they could be quickly dismantled whenever tax inspectors were in the area.

Staying in these compact houses is a unique experience offered on cycling and walking holidays in Puglia with UTracks.

• STAY THERE: Walking in Puglia >

Everest Base Camp trek highlights: My unforgettable moments

It all starts so serenely; wandering along cobbled paths, gentling descending sloping stairs as we farewell Lukla and look eagerly ahead to what lies in the valleys and mountains in front of us.

A passing donkey thrust into the face of a fellow trekker in an act of karma as the universe reminds her to slow down breaks an air of anticipation. Our small group muffle our laughter.

Over the coming fortnight, we would all unknowingly forge the journey of a lifetime, each member of our team on a slightly different mission yet unified in our resolve: to see Mt Everest and her Base Camp with our very own eyes.

Comradeship

The camaraderie that grows from a journey shared is like no other. Different to that forged in the workplace, the sports team or the circle of childhood friends; we were all adventurers with a common goal and despite having no shared experiences, we were full of kindred spirits.

There are countless moments where the solace of a person who was a stranger a few days ago becomes so fitting in the context of having shared this unique experience.

Trekkers en route to Everest Base Camp |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

Perseverance

They say you must be tough to take on the Everest Base Camp trek, which is true in part, but more so because mental resolve is overwhelmingly the deciding factor in reaching the top. Going into this trek, I knew it would test me.

I’m a survivor of cancer and while I beat my illness over a decade ago I continue to negotiate the ongoing side effects, which I see more as a dare to challenge than an impediment or reason to retreat. This made the moment when I stood at Everest Base Camp all the sweeter.

Trekkers, Sally and Ben, in high spirits on the Himalayan trails |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

Achievement

I took in the crystal-clear view of the top of Mt Everest – which is rare during this time of year – as a big high five from Mother Nature to myself. The magnitude of the landscape surrounding Everest Base Camp, the formidable presence of the Khumbu icefall, and the dozen or so tents dotted amid the glacier were so much to take in.

To walk amid this wilderness for days upon end felt like a privilege, especially after the demand of the altitude and unforgiving weather systems. We were visitors in Earth’s freezer and she was only permitting us to stay for a short while.

The locals

Those who call the Himalayas their home have adapted to the harsh conditions.

Yaks, dzopkyo, donkeys and their herders are constantly passing us; bells gently ringing to alert us that they are here to bring more supplies that will sustain the villagers and help us and our fellow trekkers on our journeys.

Yak sighting at Everest Base Camp |  <i>Sally Dobromilsky</i>

School children cheerily zip down the paths at a pace much greater than our own and hotel managers wait until dark to light their fires. To them is it summer here, meanwhile we ate dinner with gloves on.

You know it’s been a good journey when you can make an entire photo album purely from livestock. The majestic calm of the yaks enchanted me; their elaborately decorated collars, their voluptuous hair, their delicate steps, and the lucky ones sporting red and white earrings.

Some would say they have more grace than those of us in our small group who hit the dirt often; of the hundreds of yaks I saw, none put a step wrong but of our nine travellers, it wasn't all gracefully sailing.

While it all sounds poetic and scenic, there was also much grunting, puffing, tears and we held off on the beers.

Camping with World Expeditions brought even more legitimacy to the journey as we refused to retreat from nature, choosing to immerse ourselves in the wilderness of the Himalayas wholly.

Morning views at our private Kyangjuma eco-campsite |  <i>Kelvin Law</i>

The Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar trek is not a journey that you can wake up and decide to take on next Tuesday – although we did meet a few exceptional nomads who were doing just that. (But even these souls met challenges, however a donated pair of fresh tweeds instantly solved a week-long crisis for them.)

This is the kind of trek that you minimise as much as you can upon approach and are astounded at the accomplishments within each moment, each hour, and each day. You have to really want it. And when you finish it, the feeling of accomplishment is awesome.

Words by Sally Dobromilsky

Feel inspired? Begin your fully supported journey to Everest Base Camp with World Expeditions, pioneering adventures in the Himalayas since 1975 >


Travel Better: Memorable Responsible Travel Moments

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of our pioneering Responsible Travel Guidebook, a document designed to educate travellers on how they could reduce their impact when travelling.  Since then, our commitment to minimal impact tourism has seen us introduce many more initiatives that have been embraced by our travelling community – check out the highlights below.

In a world that is so beautiful, we aim to bring you closer with nature and create meaningful experiences with local communities and their cultures responsibly. It is a world with endless natural wonders to explore; a place we call our home. But it is a world that is undoubtedly under threat from our impact.

Since our inaugural Himalayan trek in 1975, we have been leaders in Thoughtful Travel. From day one, our ethos was to get out of the bus and to reduce our impact by exploring the world under our own steam. For over four decades, we've been creating genuine and sustainable itineraries to help protect what is delicate and to leave a positive influence. It has been in the past 20 years, however – where 'green travel' has become mainstream – that our responsible travel initiatives have received the public support required to become a real success.

A particular highlight was receiving the Environmental Achievement Award for our ‘Responsible Travel Guidebook’ publication from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2001, which educated travellers to reduce their impact and has since evolved into our Thoughtful Traveller booklet. Almost 20 years on, we’ve continued to pioneer minimal impact travel ideas with our ‘BIG Adventures. Small Footprint’ travel ethos at the backbone of our itineraries which we consciously craft to respect and positively impact the well-being of the communities and ecosystems we visit.

But we could not have come this far without our thoughtful travellers who have supported us and helped collectively change the world for good. Not only do our travellers leave with an enriching and transformative adventure experience with us, they have helped champion positive changes so others can also appreciate and experience the beauty of the earth. So thank you!

Your support means we can continue to make lasting positive impacts so future generations can also experience the wilderness of the Franklin just as beautifully 40 years on; or to responsibly walk the Larapinta Trail in the footsteps of the Arrernte people, one of the longest continuing cultures on the planet.

From protecting wildlife and supporting renewable energy, to lending a philanthropic arm for our Lend A Hand Appeal – with over $38K raised so far for struggling travel industry workers, our travellers and supporters are all amazing! Learn more about our most memorable responsible travel achievements and commitments below.

Quick links: jump to an achievement
Offering carbon-neutral trips
Allowing travellers to invest in local communities and support cleaner energy at no extra cost
Distributed 485 emergency packages to stricken communities
Launching Community Project Travel in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami
Allowing travellers to sleep greener at our eco-friendly campsites
Raised over $7 million for charities worldwide
Funding and supporting education projects in poor communities
Bringing tourism dollars to remote communities
Pioneering regenerative travel which aims at positive social and environmental impact
Became a founding member of the 10 Pieces Litter Collection
First company to develop a formalised animal welfare code of conduct
First company to stop offering orphanage tourism
Became founding supporters of the International Porter Protection Group
Hosted a Thoughtful Travel Q&A
Were the first charter member of the ‘Peace Through Tourism’ campaign
Completed over 400 Youth Service Learning Programs
An ongoing commitment to improve through the power of partnerships

Thoughtful Travel Highlights

Offering carbon-neutral trips

We have long been concerned about the impacts of global warming and the impacts tourism contributes to that. While travelling has unavoidable carbon emissions, we're continuing to take BIG steps to reduce our footprint and improve our operations at every level.

From November 2019, we began to offset 100% of the unavoidable carbon emission from our adventure travel holidays, so travellers can explore the world sustainably.

“Travellers can continue to travel, providing incredibly important revenues into nations where tourism is a vital part of the national GDP mix, and do it guilt-free. We also encourage travellers to carbon offset their flights using the airline programmes. It’s an important trajectory that we hope the entire industry will join in on.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

In the industry, we can continue to foster change for good while supporting jobs for those employed by tourism around the globe, and that is a win-win.

Allowing travellers to invest in local communities and support cleaner energy at no extra cost

The carbon credits purchased from South Pole to offset emissions from trips are absorbed by World Expeditions, not passed on to travellers. In turn, our travellers help the climate cause to transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy and help to protect and regenerate forests that capture and store carbon from the atmosphere.

This means that for each active holiday our travellers book onto, they are directly supporting Positive Impact Projects in places such as Australia, Vietnam, China and Zimbabwe, which address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

You are supporting projects in Australia, Africa and Asia.

Distributed 485 emergency packages to stricken communities

Food and hygiene packages have been distributed to families in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, India and Peru thanks to our 'Lend A Hand Appeal' supporters. Read more about the appeal and how you can donate today.

Porter families in Nepal receiving our 'Lend a Hand Appeal' food packages

Launching Community Project Travel in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami

Our travellers across the globe with World Expeditions have been making tangible change in underprivileged communities that receive little to no government support and require assistance through our Community Project Travel trips.

The dedicated division first launched in 2005 in response to the devastating Asian Tsunami in 2004 and has been a continuing force for good. Working alongside volunteers from the host communities, travellers complete grass-roots construction projects that have been funded by the World Expeditions Foundation.

“It has become the portal for travellers to immerse in community project works that, while small scale, are measurable and leave a permanent benefit for the community once complete. As a profit for purpose division, we were able to deliver dozens of projects across the globe. This is a great pride for us, and a joy for the travellers that participated.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

Allowing travellers to sleep greener at our eco-friendly campsites

Our portfolio of adventure holidays have always had a light environmental footprint by designing trips that allow adventurers to travel under their own steam – on foot, by bike or kayaking or rafting, with low carbon accommodation preferred.

 

In Nepal, our exclusive campsites offer new levels of comfort during a trek whilst caring for the environment and local communities. It provides year-round employment and career opportunities for the Nepali people (a camping-based trek can employ 25% more local people than a teahouse or lodge-based trek) and ensures a significantly smaller environmental impact, as deforestation is a major ongoing concern in the Himalaya.

On our Larapinta trips in Australia, our three-time award-winning campsites continue to set the standard, incorporating new sustainable technologies including solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment.

Facilities at our eco camps |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>

Where campsites aren’t used, we use comfortable, locally-owned accommodation to support the local economy and are eco-friendly and which often encourage communities to preserve their traditions so travellers can enjoy their downtime and feel great about it.

World Expeditions' active itineraries are crafted to minimise road travel and to maximize our travellers own power to get them from point A to B.

Collectively raised over $7 million for charities worldwide

Since its inception, our dedicated charity brand, Huma Charity Challenge, developed programmes that allow our Charity Challenger participants to run, cycle, trek or climb their way around the world whilst raising much-needed funds for important causes. View various Charity Challenges you could take up >

The Conquer Kozi team at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko |  <i>Ayla Rowe</i>

Funding and supporting education projects in poor communities through our philanthropic arm, the World Expeditions Foundation

Founded in 2007, the World Expeditions Foundation aims to improve the standard of living in poor and indigenous communities, largely through education-oriented projects from donations raised.

It served Nepal very well after the earthquakes in 2015 where the generous flow of donations were able to relieve many people in the worst-hit regions with tin roofing, canvass and canopies as well as fuel and food to help them get through the earliest days of the disaster.

One of the charity’s major programmes is the Rebuild Nepal Projects, which continues to support the redevelopment of classrooms across remote mountain communities affected by those earthquakes.

“It took sheer perseverance to see through the establishment of the World Expeditions Foundation to become a full DGR entity. That is, those donating to the foundation could receive a tax-deductible receipt which is a major propellant to heightening donations to create greater positive impacts with the projects we are supporting.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

Bringing tourism dollars to remote communities who have limited access to income from other sources

Our unrivalled range of exploratory treks to remote destinations, like the Great Himalaya Trail, spread tourism dollars to local communities that benefit from travellers visiting.

Partnering with local operators and hiring local guides and leaders sees our traveller’s dollars investing in these local economies. It’s a fantastic way our travellers can give back to the communities they visit and better spread out the positive and negative impacts of tourism on the destination.

Local people of western Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Pioneering regenerative travel which aims at positive social and environmental impact

On top of our sustainable practices, we actively work to improve the destinations our travellers visit and essentially leave the place better than they found it. It’s about restoring and improving the health of the earth, not just maintaining it.

As pioneers of the Franklin River Rafting Expedition in Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness since 1978, our responsible travel practices has allowed future generations to experience it just as beautifully 40 years down the track.

 

On the Larapinta Trail, as visitors on the sacred land, we work alongside the indigenous traditional owners and NT National Parks & Wildlife to allow clients to gain a deeper understanding of the need to conserve the Aboriginal cultures and respect their place and lifestyle in Australia. A partnership between the landscape and the campsites has been established to maintain respect for country, to enhance the sense of place and to provide a total environment experience of the Larapinta trek.

Our Larapinta eco campsites provide shelter to our walking groups through a series of minimal impact structures and each campsite's semi-permanent design allows the land to recover during the off-season.

Became a founding member of the 10 Pieces Litter Collection

Focusing on litter ‘hotspots’ on mountain trails, it is offered on treks in Nepal, Bhutan and Peru, as well as the Mount Rinjani and Mount Kilimanjaro summit treks. This litter minimisation initiative and education lobby, helps supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal of climate action, through traveller engagement.

As the only Australian tour operator of ‘10 Pieces’, this initiative encourages trekkers to pick up 10 pieces of litter each day. While ‘10’ may sound like a nominal number, it multiplies immensely through the collective power of a group of travellers.

First company to develop a formalised animal welfare code of conduct

Under the guidance of World Animal Protection, World Expeditions developed a 10-step ‘Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct’ on how to be an animal-friendly traveller and see wildlife in a responsible way that does not cause harm.

World Expeditions' animal welfare policy is an industry-leading step towards integrating animal welfare with broader responsible tourism

Nicola Beynon, World Animal Protection

Most recently, we removed the Eagle Hunting Festival from its Mongolian programme, as part of its drive to ensure all its trips adhere to the strictest standards of animal welfare.

First company to stop offering orphanage tourism to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children in developing countries

All instances of orphanage tourism were removed from our itineraries in 2013, when research first revealed a direct link between the increase in the number of orphanages in developing nations and the increase in tourism numbers. Read more about Child Safe Tourism.

 

Became founding supporters of the International Porter Protection Group

Mountain porters are an integral part of each World Expeditions trekking or mountaineering adventure. We support the International Porter Protection Group, Porters' Progress UK and the International Mountain Explorers Connection and, to ensure safe working conditions, developed a dedicated ‘Porter Welfare Code of Conduct’ for the porters it employs in Nepal, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Tanzania.

 

Hosted a Thoughtful Travel Q&A

The Q&A in March 2018 provided quality information and guidance on best sustainable travel practices and to inspire attendees to become stewards for travelling sustainably and responsibly. The live-streamed event featured expert panellists who discussed important responsible travel topics including ethical voluntourism, working conditions for porters in Nepal, voluntourism and why travellers should think twice before visiting an orphanage overseas. You can watch the discussion in the below video.

Were the first charter member of the ‘Peace Through Tourism’ campaign

It aims to create awareness that the privilege of travelling provides a unique opportunity to learn more about Earth, the wonder of its natural beauty, and its many diverse peoples, cultures and heritage while fostering mutual respect, understanding and appreciation with each person we encounter in the process.

From animal welfare to child safe tourism, World Expeditions has always adopted and adhered to responsible and sustainable travel practices

Successfully completed over 400 Youth Service Learning Programs, which tie in projects that aid communities and natural environments

Through our youth brand, World Youth Adventures, we have committed to instilling service values in students and young travellers by providing Service Learning Programs guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals for schools across the globe – from renovating schools to assisting the upkeep of wildlife sanctuaries. Find out more >

Painting at a community project in Nepal |  <i>Greg Pike</i>

An ongoing commitment to improve through the power of partnerships

We continually collaborate and seek guidance from a range of expert organisations, including World Animal Protection, ReThink Orphanages, 10 Pieces, South Pole Group, Leave No Trace, World Peace Tours and the International Porter Protection Group. This ensures that our travel philosophy and in-field operations reflect up-to-date sustainable practices.

As said by American novelist, poet, environmental activist and farmer, Wendell Barry: “The earth is what we all have in common.”

Together, we can foster change and instil greener and smarter travel behaviours to protect our planet's most vulnerable destinations and transform tourism's impact on nature and communities.

Let’s continue to do our part to leave a positive impact and use thoughtful travel to not only see the world, but to make it a better home.

Published 1 December 2020.

Recipe: Peter Kuruvita's Coconut Sambal

One of Australia's most foremost chefs and restaurateurs, Peter Kuruvita shares his simple coconut sambal recipe you can easily make at home.

Peter Kuruvita has led a number of specialty culinary tours with World Expeditions, with a knack for really knowing how to bond with locals anywhere over a mutual love of food and produce.

Famous for his signature style of quality local produce with a focus on seafood spiced with Sri Lankan and world flavours, join him on his next food fused adventure where he is with you every step of the tour. Enjoy hands-on cooking demonstrations with Peter and the chance to know the local's lore and their cooking secrets.

How to serve coconut sambal

Fresh pol (coconut) sambal is great with everything and is served with nearly every meal, including breakfast, when it is eaten with egg hoppers and kiri bath. It's especially delicious when paired with a snapper curry or served on hot crusty bread.

Peter Kuruvita's grandmother had a Miris Gulla (Chilli stone), the blender of the past, which was used to make all the spices and pastes

When our houseboy Nehal brought us the crusty bread from the bakery next door it was still steaming hot. I used to love cutting thick slices of the bread and putting spoonfuls of pol sambal on it – it was delicious. The coconut oil would come out and the flavours would intensify.

"When we first arrived in Australia in 1979 it was very hard to get a fresh coconut so we had to reconstitute desiccated coconut with some warm water. It is not as juicy as fresh coconut, but is an acceptable alternative. I have used paprika solely to give the sambal a rich red colour; you can use more red chilli if you want it very hot."

Pol (coconut) sambal recipe

Region: Sri Lanka | Makes 2 cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon Maldive fish flakes
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 large fresh coconut, scraped or 100 g (31/2 oz) desiccated coconut, combined with 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) water
Juice of 1 lime

Making coconut sambal in a cooking class with Peter Kuruvita

Method

1. Place the peppercorns and Maldive fish flakes in a large mortar and grind with a pestle until a coarse paste forms.

2. Add the onion, chilli powder and paprika and pound until a coarse paste forms.

3. Add the coconut and pound until thoroughly combined.

4. Stir in the lime juice, a little at a time so the sambal is not too sour, then season to taste with salt.

Cook's note: Sambal will keep for up to 5 days when refrigerated in an airtight container.


Image and recipe from 'Serendip, My Sri Lankan Kitchen' by Peter Kuruvita, Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99. Photo: Alan Benson.

 
4 cycling trips that'll make you fall in love with Australia

Full of extraordinary wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and charming hospitality, Australia is a beautiful country. While key sights such as the Sydney Opera House and Uluru aren’t to be missed, for a truly unique experience of travelling to Australia there’s nothing quite like getting off the beaten track and onto a cycleway.

Whether you’re keen to challenge yourself on an Australian trail or you’re after more of a leisurely pedal, these cycling destinations offer the perfect dose of nature, epic bike trails, gourmet food and wildlife spotting.

4 Australian cycling destinations that you need to experience

Victoria’s Rail Trails

Cyclists near Yea Station in Victoria's high country

Embrace the diverse landscapes of country Victoria as you follow the Great Victoria Rail Trail, Australia’s longest rail trail. Originally built to take steam engines, this dedicated cycleway showcases classic Australian scenery such as valleys, lakes, rivers and mountains. It’s not just the surroundings that will keep you spellbound; the divine food and wine of rural Victoria is the perfect reward for an enjoyable day of cycling. One of the highlights of this trip is pedal through the historic 200m long Cheviot Tunnel.

Hunter Valley NSW

Follow the Hunter Valley's dedicated cycle route |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>

How does a leisurely ride through one of Australia’s premier wine regions sound? The Hunter Valley is just a couple of hours drive from Sydney and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are many charming vineyards to explore that offer both award-winning wines to try as well as sprawling views of the countryside. There’s a dedicated cycle path linking many of the wineries with gentle distances to cover between them.

On our self-guided cycling tours, we provide an itinerary of recommended vineyards to discover. It’s the best way to experience Australia’s famous wines.

The East Coast of Tasmania

Cycling along the Tasmanian east coast |  <i>Oscar Bedford</i>

Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s most pristine nature. It’s an unspoilt island with remarkable rainforests, rugged mountains, stunning beaches, wild rivers and cosy villages. If you’re interested in an incredible cycling adventure in Australia then Tasmania will surprise and delight. Explore destinations with vivid names such as the Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay and Cradle Mountain National Park and reward yourself with some of the best food and wine Australia has to offer, largely due to the pure waters of Tasmania’s rivers.

South Coast NSW

Cycle between charming seaside towns |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>

Explore Australia’s spectacular coastline on the south coast of New South Wales. This region has everything a traveller to Australia could want. Highlights include spotting whales and dolphins, the famous white sandy beaches of Jervis Bay National Park, coastal cliff walks, encountering inquisitive kangaroos, plus visiting an award-winning vineyard or two in the historic town of Berry. All of these experiences are possible on one of the self-guided cycling tours in the South Coast region. The close proximity to Sydney (Wollongong is just an hour away!) makes the South Coast an easily accessible journey.



Which of these destinations is at the top of your cycling to-do list? Share your choice in the comment section below.
 
  
What I love about self guided walking

Nothing feels better than that first day out on the trail. You’ve left behind the city and all that comes with it; the crowds, the lights, the noises, and the hustle and bustle. You are free to forget about work; the deadlines, the emails and your 9 to 5 routine.

There’s no room for any of that in the bush. You are too distracted by the beauty of where you are and the need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's truly an amazing feeling to know that for the next few days you don’t need an alarm clock, you don’t need a schedule. All you need to think about is getting from one campsite to the next. That is the beauty of a self guided walk, it opens you up to live life completely on your own terms.

The other upside is that all the nitty-gritty details of organising transport, food, accommodation, route logistics and mapping were all taken care of beforehand. Meaning that you can simply focus on your experience ahead.

Something I love to do when I go bushwalking on my own is to take my watch off – leave it behind completely. Why do I need a clock anyway? I can eat when I’m hungry, sleep when I’m tired and wake up to the sun. I take pleasure in the fact that I don’t need to set an alarm. Instead, I always try to position my tent so that I am facing the sunrise; there’s no better way to wake up than to the sunrise.

A self guided walk gives you freedom. The freedom to walk at your own pace, stop when you want or keep walking as long as you want. You can spend 15 minutes getting that perfect photo of a beautiful wildflower, or just sit and look out and contemplate. There will be no one telling you that it’s time to leave or to hurry up because you are running late. No one telling you to stop and rest when you don’t need to.

Walking self guided on the Overland Track in Tasmania

Though you shouldn't worry about being completely isolated as you won’t be the only one out there doing it on your own. You will meet other people who are also enjoying the perks of a self guided walk. While you may not walk with them during the day, they will all be waiting for everyone to arrive safely at camp. It becomes a lovely little community with everyone looking out for each other, sharing some tea or some chocolate and lending a hand if something breaks.

By the end of the week, you will have formed friendships with other hikers – who knows, you may have found a new hiking buddy for future adventures!

There may be moments where you second-guess yourself on the trail, where you think, 'Maybe I can’t do this? Maybe I should have bought that other pair of boots or an extra layer of warmth or that flask of port?' By the end of the walk though, you will have had to motivate yourself, talk yourself through situations, saying, 'Hang on, I can do this!'

Knowing that you made it all this way, relying on no one other than yourself, awards you with such a great sense of achievement you will be planning your next self guided adventure on the way back home.

Ideal for the confident and independent traveller with support in the background, self guided hikes are fun and flexible. Find your walk today >

Words by Holly Van De Beek, co-owner of Wild Island Adventure Hire. Over the past decade, Holly has been involved in the gear and outdoor industry in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, having walked almost every major trail.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Sherpa Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.