Flinders Ranges with camels – 9 day walking tour | Park Trek
Park Trek walking holidays, Australia
Email info@parktrek.com.au | Call us on (03) 5639 2615

camels with swags

This nine-day tour includes seven days trekking with camels through the spectacular northern Flinders Ranges.

The walk departs and returns from Blinman and takes in springs, gorges, creeks and of course unrivalled vistas throughout the amazing ranges.

Park Trek has partnered with Flinders and Beyond Camel Treks to offer this truly unique hiking experience. You will walk with a light day pack only while the camel train transports all of the food, clothing and bedding for the group.

Camel train with big skyThe Flinders Ranges is brimming with wildlife so expect to see large flocks of emus, wallabies and a myriad of bird species. This tour allows you to access remote areas of the region.

Travel with two local and knowledgable cameleers and a Park Trek guide who will care for you for the duration of this amazing journey.

This unique way of travel allows each trek the freedom to explore the spectacularly rugged Flinders Ranges and appreciate the ever-changing environment.

The below itinerary is an outline only, days may vary depending on weather conditions prior to and during the tour. The level of fitness of the group may also mean that the trekking days alter slightly. Regardless, you will experience the best of the northern Flinders with amazing local guides.

Dates

  • Date: Wed 24 April to Thursday 2 May – 7 PLACES LEFT
  • Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 September

Itinerary

Day 1

3kms approx 1 hours walking (easy)

We depart Adelaide at 7.30am with our departure from the centrally located Chifley Hotel on South Terrace. By mid-morning we arrive at Point Wakefield and stop at a local coffee shop for morning tea.

We head further north and stop at Mambray Creek Reserve in Mount Remarkable National Park for our first walk of the tour. It is only a short 3km walk up Davey’s Gully but the views across Spencers Gulf and Whyalla are spectacular. Keep a look out for local wildlife including emu, Euros and kookaburras.

We continue north and arrive at the Camel Farm approximately 3.30pm.

Upon arrival at Blinman, you will have an introduction to camels, meet your guides, enjoy a cup of billy tea and a have a swag tutorial.

Overnight at the Camel Farm. Here we enjoy our first night in our swags and have access to basic facilities: long drop toilet (no shower)

Meals: lunch and dinner

camels walking with packsDay 2

Walking approx. 8-12km (approx 4 hours including breaks)

This morning we embark on the beginning of our journey into the northern Flinders wilderness with our camel train leading the way.

We start the day with a continental style breakfast and proceed to help the load camels with supplies.

Today involves walking around 8-12km where you can expect to cover flat plains reaching some small creeks to set up camp.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3

Walking approx. 12 – 15km

After breakfast and lunch preparations, we begin our daily duties of loading the camels and set off for the days’ walking.

We hike through a scenic gorge passing an old shepherds out station that was in use from 1880 – 1950 and pass by some scenic springs.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

solo camel no packDay 4

Walking approx. 12 – 15km

We start today as usual and then head off to wander through purple garge to ‘third plain’ – a spectacular area laden with gorgeous purple flowers. This landscape is spectacular and classic Flinders scenery that contrasts with the vibrant red mountain ranges.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5

Walking approx. 12 – 15km

We spend today hiking down Balcoracana Creek, through the spectacular limestone and doloite gorge. It’s highly likely we will spot the gorgeous yellow footed rock wallaby on our walk today.  Flocks of emu are ever-present in the Flinders Ranges and an amazing sight to see 15-20 in groups running across the ranges.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

camp - smallDay 6

Walking approx. 12 – 15km

We are in the routine of hiking with the camels by now, so after breakfast we load and up prepare for another fantastic day of hiking. Today we visit a large waterhole and large Creek. If there is enough water, we can take the opportunity for a dip and freshen up here.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7

Walking approx. 12 – 15km

Today we spend time walking through Tea Tree gorge, again, it’s likely we’ll spot some yellow footed rock wallaby on the hike.

Overnight: swag
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8

Walking approx. 5-10km

We pack up for our last day out in the Ranges with the camels and head back to Blinman. We reach the Camel Farm around lunch time where we unload.

Soon after, we take our belongings and head to the wonderfully outback Blinman Hotel. Here we have access to the hotel amenities and can enjoy a luxurious shower, flushing toilets and comfortable bed.

This afternoon and evening we relax and enjoy an evening meal at the Blinman Hotel and a well-earned beer!

Overnight: Blinman Hotel
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

The camel trainDay 9

2kms approx 1.5 hours walking (easy)

After breakfast we head off on what is our last day of tour. Today our walk encompasses a gem of the Flinders Ranges – Alligator Gorge back in the Mount Remarkable National Park. This walk has some of the most visually stunning scenery you’ll come across in the region.

Immerse yourself in the dramatic beauty of high ochre ridges, deep gorges and watercourses lined with river red gums. Alligator Gorge is one of the premier natural attractions in the Southern Flinders Ranges. This spectacular gorge, cut through ancient quartzite by the Alligator Creek.

We head off and stop for lunch in Melrose (at own expense) before heading south to arrive in Adelaide (via airport) at around 5.30pm.

For guest flying out of Adelaide – please book flights from 7.00pm.

Book now!

Cradle Mountain across Dove Lake

This tour includes combines the magnificent Tarkine Wilderness and the world-renowned Cradle Mountain. Spend three days exploring the rainforest and coastal region of the Tarkine with the cruise on the MV Arcadia, a hike up Mount Donaldson and a visit to beautiful Philosophers Falls.

We spend two days wandering the trails of Cradle Mountain and embark on some fantastic hikes visiting Dove Lake and Marion’s Lookout. The beauty of this trip is that it combines two great destinations in the one tour.

You’ll travel with our local, passionate Tasmanian guiding team and enjoy healthy, wholesome and hearty meals. As with all Park Trek tours, the focus is on hiking and exploring the natural surrounds, connecting with the natural world.

The hiking on this tour is moderate with one harder day while in Cradle Mountain. You’ll enjoy waterfalls, coast, rainforest and mountains along with plenty of wildlife and comfortable accommodation.

2019 dates

  • Saturday 26 to Wednesday 30 October
  • Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 November
  • Sunday 8 to Thursday 12 December

Inclusions

  • Two nights’ accommodation at the Corinna Wilderness Experience and two nights at Cradle Mountain Discovery Village
  • All transport and guiding with return transfers from Launceston
  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Plenty of fresh fruit, trail mix, tea/coffee/hot chocolate and snacks
  • River cruise on MV Arcadia
  • Amazing walks including Mt Donaldson, Tarkine north coast, Philosophers Falls, Montezuma Falls, Dove Lake and Ronnie Creek
  • Small group of 10 or less
  • All National Park entry fees

Itinerary

Day 1 – Tarkine Wilderness

9km walking, (approx. 2.5 hours) easy grade

We depart Launceston at 8am.

Enroute we stop in the coastal village of Penguin to enjoy morning tea and a trip briefing with our guides. By 11am we’ll be on our way to Hellyer Gorge. This is a brilliant short one-hour return walk through the beautiful Tarkine rainforest.

We enjoy lunch here among some of Tasmania’s oldest forest environments. We will then head off and the afternoon walk is a two hour walk through towering myrtle and sassafras to the beautiful Philosophers Falls. We then head off to Corinna Wilderness Lodge – our place of stay for the next two nights.

We enjoy dinner at Corinna’s onsite Tannin Restaurant (drinks at own expense).

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Cabin style accommodation at Corinna Wilderness Lodge

Day 2 – Tarkine Wilderness

12km (approx. 3-4 hours walking ) easy grade

Today sees us departing our place of stay around sunrise as we are taking the boat MV Arcadia down to the mouth of the Pieman River and out onto the wild Tarkine Coast. It’s an absolutely stunning piece of coastline and a scenic paradise.

The historic Huon pine vessel the Arcadia takes approximately one and a half hours to travel the 22km down to the Pieman Heads where you will disembark with your Park Trek guides and explore the wild Pieman Heads.

Tarkine river smallThe track can be muddy and wet in places as it deviates in and out of the coast. There is the opportunity for a lunchtime swim if weather permits.

We spend the whole morning out on the trail. We come across many Aboriginal middens that line the coast and may be lucky enough to spot a Tasmanian Devil in the wild.

We make our way north before turning around to retrace our steps and hop back on board the MV Arcadia for lunch and an early afternoon cruise back to Corinna.

We are back mid-afternoon and there is also the option of a paddling a canoe on the Pieman or Whyte river where you have a good chance of seeing platypus in the wild. Or else you can always relax on the porch of your cabin.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Cabin style accommodation at Corinna Wilderness Lodge

Day 3 – Tarkine Wilderness

8km (approx. 3 hours walking ) moderate grade

After breakfast and lunch making we pack up and head off to Mount Donaldson. This is a three-hour circular hike to the summit of Mt Donaldson where we enjoy morning tea on top of Mt Donaldson with spectacular views into the heart of the Tarkine – one of the best panoramic vistas in the area.

We then head off to Cradle Mountain and check into our cabins at the Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park.

Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park

Day 4 – Cradle Mountain National Park

View of Cradle Mountain in the distance10km walking (approx. 6 hours) moderate to hard

We depart for the day after breakfast and making lunches. Today we partake in a very scenic 10 km walk.

Starting from Ronnie Creek we will take the Lake Lilla Track up to Lake Lilla and then head onto Wombat Pool and Crater Lake.

From here we make our way up to Marion’s Lookout, which includes a very steep climb and Kitchen Hut. We then head back via the Horse Track to meet the vehicle.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park

Day 5 –Cradle Mountain National Park

6kms walking (approx. 2 hours) easy grade

After breakfast and lunch making we head off on a stunning two-hour loop walk around Dove Lake.

We will wander through typical Tasmanian rainforest. The Lake is one of the best-known walks in Tasmania, the Dove Lake Circuit is one of the best short walks in the Cradle Mountain region.

At just 6 km, the flat, gravel and duckboard track is very easy going, leaving you to focus entirely on the jagged peak of Cradle Mountain, which looms above the track.

Along the way, there is a great mix of terrain including scrubby button grass, sandy beaches, cascading streams and at the mid-point of the walk, a very special rainforest known as the Ballroom Forest.

If time permits, we can enjoy one of the short walks near the entrance of Cradle Mountain National Park to showcase the rainforest, waterfalls and magnificent Kingbilly pines including the King Billy Walk and Enchanted Walk. Here we will see some different endemic flora of Tasmania.

We then make our way back to Launceston returning approx. 4-4.30pm.

About our accommodation

Corinna Wilderness Experience (2 nights)

Our eco wilderness retreat cottages have their own private facilities; all linen is included. Our accommodation includes two-bedroom cottages which have a twin room and double room, shared bathroom plus its own lounge and kitchen area.

Each cabin has its own bathroom, but none of the individual rooms within the cabin have their own en-suite. You can choose a single supplement if you would prefer not to share a room, this means you would have one room in the two-bedroom cabin and could be sharing the cabin (and bathroom) with one or two other guests.

Corinna runs on solar power so just be mindful of this, there is electricity for charging devices, but no television, mobile coverage or WIFI at Corinna. For heating purposes, there is a small gas-fired log fire in each cabin.

Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park (2 nights)

We spend two nights at Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park in comfortable two bedroom cottage accommodation. These have shared bathroom facilities between the two rooms and a separate toilet.

The cottages have a small lounge and kitchenette area and each bedroom has a queen bed or two single beds.

A rustic outdoor dining area is where we serve breakfast and dinner and it is where we make our lunches. If you have booked a single room you will have your own room in a two bedroom cabin. You may be sharing the cabin (and bathroom) with one or two other guests.

Single supplement

If you would like to book a single supplement room for this tour, the cost is $300 per person.

Book now!

Waterfalls on the South West Wilderness walk

Tasmania’s South West region and Mount Field National Park is coming into its own with the region appearing on ‘must do’ lists of avid hikers and recreational walkers alike. This spectacular region offers magnificent scenery of rugged peaks, wild rivers and unique flora and fauna.

Explore Mount Field and areas of the South West Wilderness NPs over four sensational days of walking and sightseeing, all the while carrying your day pack only.

This itinerary includes some of the best walks in the region. Due to the mountainous terrain, a good level of fitness is required and some days are classed as moderate to hard. Your efforts will be well rewarded however with stunning 360-degree vistas of the untouched landscape.

Travel with experienced local guides who will share their love of the region with you. Enjoy all meals and snacks and stay in comfortable accommodation.

2019 dates

  • Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 October
  • Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 October
  • Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 November
  • Saturday 14 to Tuesday 17 December
  • Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 December
  • Friday 27 to Monday 30 December

 

2020 dates

  • Wednesday 1 to Saturday 4 January

 

Inclusions

  • 3 nights at Giants Table Cottages in two large houses, the 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Gidleigh House and 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Hittesleigh House (twin share) – single supplement available on request
  • All national park fees
  • Two Park Trek guides who will drive, care and look after you
  • Return transfers from Hobart
  • 3 dinners, 4 lunches, and 3 breakfasts plus plenty of fresh fruit, trail mix, snacks, tea and coffee throughout
  • Hike the magnificent Tarn Shelf circuit and The Needles
  • Visit Lake Pedder, hike to Marriots and Lady Barron Falls

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Lady Barron Falls walk 6km – approx 2 hours of walking (easy grade), Junee Cave, 1km, approx. 30 mins (easy)

Pickup from Hobart at 8am

We head west from the city and stop enroute for morning tea before we reach Lady Barron Falls Circuit. This scenic walk in Mount Field National Park includes Russel, Horseshoe and Lady Barren Falls. This first section to Russell Falls is easy section and the falls are beautiful.

There is a short steep climb from here to Horseshoe Falls where we stop to appreciate another stunning waterfall. We continue through the forest trail among towering trees before reaching the lovely Lady Barron Falls.

After a beautiful and relaxing walk viewing waterfalls, rainforest and dense forest we wander back to the vehicle and head to our next short at Junee Cave for a 1km (30 min walk)

We then head to our place of stay for the next three nights.

In the afternoon we arrive at Giants Table Cottages to unpack and settle in.

Meals: lunch and dinner
Overnight: Giants Table Cottages

About our accommodation
The Giants’ Table Cottages offers a unique and comfortable stay. We stay in four bedroom, two bathroom Gidleigh House and 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Hittesleigh House.

All linen and towels are also supplied and there is a lounge/sitting room in each house for the group to relax and enjoy each other’s company at the end of the day.

Houses contain TV and DVD and there are two on-site laundries.

Day 2

Tarn Shelf Circuit walk – approx. 5 to 6 hours, 14km of walking (moderate to hard)

After breakfast and lunch making we head out and embark on the Tarn Shelf Circuit Walk – rated by our guides as ‘right up there’ among the best walks in the region.

This stunning walk takes you across the Tarn Shelf, returning via the lower lakes. It takes in a series of alpine tarns as well as a couple of rustic huts and provides exhilarating walking and great views.

Some track work has offers boardwalks to alleviate the muddier sections of the track and to protect the rare and sensitive vegetation in the area, however it can still get quite wet underfoot in some areas.

This track is spectacular in autumn when the leaves of the native deciduous beech tree changes colour. This hidden gem and you are likely not to encounter other walkers while on the trail. It is a fantastic walk and a real highlight of the tour.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Overnight: Giants Table Cottages

Day 3

The Needles – 4km return, approx. 3 hours of walking (moderate to hard)

After breakfast and lunch making we pack up and head off for our walk.

It takes approximately 35 minutes from our accommodation to the start of the Needles track. We start in some tea tree and the trail begins to ascend almost instantly. After a few minutes the tea tree changes to button grass, the landscape opens up and we can see where we are headed.

The Needles track is quite steep in sections and can also get muddy. It’s a short sharp pinch to the first set of prominent rock features and there are tracks so you explore this area with your guides.

From here, we can spot the summit and the track levels out over the next section. When we reach the saddle, magnificent views of the surrounding wilderness begin to appear.

The next section to the summit becomes steep once again. It is however short and sharp. The guides will encourage you to take your time here. Once we reach the summit, the 360 degree views of Mt Field, Mt Mueller, Mt Anne and Lake Pedder are simply incredible.

We spend some time enjoying the landscape and descend via the same route back to the vehicle.

After hiking the Needles we head out to Lake Pedder and on to Gordon Dam for a look. There is an option to abseil down the 140m dam wall with a local company (guest expense) which can be organised with your guides while on tour.

Heading back to our accommodation, if time permits we stop off at The Creepy Crawly Nature Trail – which is as magical as the name suggests. This is a short 30 min wilderness boardwalk track through lush, temperate rainforest.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Overnight: Giants Table Cottages

Day 4

Florentine Valley, 6.5km, approx 2hrs (easy) and if time permits Marriot’s Falls, 5km, approx 2 hours (easy)

After breakfast and lunch making we head off into the Florentine Valley which is an area of dense rainforest. The trail can get quite wet and boggy and slippery underfoot so although an easy short walk, care needs to be taken.

This trail is fantastic and takes you through dense rainforest, occasional open areas, dark hollows brimming with fungi, and huge stands of towering trees. It is incredible and awe inspiring.

At Tiger lookout you can see the Florentine River cutting its way through the valley, looking north-west is The Thumbs, northeast is Mt Field West and east is The Needles.

This is a great short walk through an ancient eco-system. The vegetation in the early sections of the hike, and the landscapes in the latter section are incredibly unique and stunning.

If time permits, in the afternoon we embark on the lovely Marriot’s Falls walk. Although the first section of the trail has been affected by logging, it is not long before you enter dense swamp gums before the trail opens up onto a grassy plain. Moving through you will walk through rainforest where it can be quite wet underfoot.

It’s not too long before you will hear the sound of the falls which carry an enormous amount of water in periods after rain. Marriott’s Falls is absolutely stunning and another great waterfall in the region.

We arrive back into Hobart by 5 pm to drop off guests.

Meals: breakfast and lunch

Guest notes

Return flights need to be booked from Launceston from 7pm onwards

Single supplement is $200.00 (incl. GST) for three nights away

Book now!

 

Horses being led in Victoria's high country

This tour is the ‘little brother’ of our 9-day packhorse hike, but similarly spectacular. Enjoy five days in the High Country, including three days of hiking in the Victorian Alps exploring remote and untouched areas walking with just a light day pack.

This is the only tour of its kind where you can hike the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing without a full pack. Our horse friends do all of the heavy lifting.

Park Trek has partnered with Bogong Horseback Adventures to offer this truly unique tour that allows you to walk in style and comfort.

Hike with experienced and knowledgeable Park Trek guides who will follow the tracks of your packhorse team across the High Country into bush camps set up by the Bogong Horse team.

The tour takes you to Heathy Spur, Wallace’s, Pretty Valley, Mount Jim, The Jitmathangs, and Mount Feathertop, along with some of the oldest Cattlemen’s huts in the High Country.

Our packhorse team carry all sleeping gear, food and clothing through the Alpine environment, allowing you to walk with the comfort of a daypack over this three-day journey. You simply walk into camps that are fully prepared on arrival.

This unique tour is catered with food using some of the region’s best local produce. As an added extra, a cold beer and local wine is provided on arrival into camp each afternoon.

Man with packhorse - Vic Alps Walking Tour with Pack Horses2019 dates

  • Thursday 14 to Monday 18 March – ONLY 4 PLACES LEFT

Inclusions

  • Experienced, knowledgeable guides from Bogong Horseback Adventures
  • Pack horses
  • Two Park Trek walking guides
  • Spring Spur accommodation before and after the expedition
  • All group camping equipment
  • All meals as per the itinerary
  • Beer and table wine with evening meal while camping (alcohol own expense at Spring Spur on first and last night)
  • National Park fees
  • First aid and emergency communications plus a hospital animal
  • Amazing hiking in the Victorian Alps

5-day pack horse hike itinerary

Day 1 (Arrival day)

We can collect you from either Melbourne or Albury and transfer you to Spring Spur Homestead (approx. 1 hour from Albury or 4.5 hours from Melbourne).

Stretch the legs around the gardens and property at Spring Spur.

Pre-walk information and meet the crew.

Meals: Dinner

Overnight: Spring Spur Accommodation

Guest rooms are situated on Bogong Horseback Adventure’s Spring Spur property, with beautiful views of Mount Feathertop and the Kiewa Valley. Guests rooms are designed to give you a sense of privacy with your own sitting area outside each room, surrounded by native gardens and vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Enjoy a bottle of wine or cup of tea privately on your verandah or come up to the shared lounge and socialise with the group. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and a comfortable bed.

About the food

The homestead kitchen features homegrown and locally sourced produce with a menu that has an Italian, Mediterranean Australian Asian fusion – homestead influence. Freshly baked breads, pizza, pastas, risottos, spanish tapas, fresh salads, with homemade mustards, relishes, preserves, baked cakes and pastries, all prepared in the Spring Spur Kitchen.

Meals prepared at the Spring Spur kitchen are transported, miraculously, into the pack horse load and prepared on the campfire in remote area camps.

relaxing with a beerDay 2

Heathy Spur to Ryders
Walking approx. 15km, 6 hours including breaks (moderate)

Early breakfast

Transfer to trail head at Heathy Spur. Walking out across Mount Nelse and onto Wallace Hut, continue on the Alpine Walking Track to Ryders Horse Yards for camp.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping/ swag

We provide excellent quality tents and swags, Ex-ped mattresses and sleeping bags (Tents may need to be twin share). You will be comfortable for camping in the mountains.

Day 3

Ryders to Diamantina yards
Walking approx. 15 km, 6 hours including breaks (moderate)

Walk out past Mount Jim to pole 333 with option to summit Mount Jitmathang before descending Westons Spur to camp at Diamantina Horse yards.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping/ swag

Day 4

Diamantina yards to Razorback Trail Head
Walking approx. 15 km, 6 hours including breaks (moderate)

Ascend Diamantina Spur to summit the magnificent Mount Feathertop then walk out along the Razorback for the final leg. Transfer back to Spring Spur Stables.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Spring Spur Accommodation

Day 5

Mid-morning checkout

We can return you back to Melbourne CBD at our same pickup location outside the National Gallery of Victoria by approx. 3 pm or drop you at Albury Rail station or Airport. If returning to Albury please arrange departure times after 10 am.

Meals: Breakfast

Single supplement

There is no single supplement charge for this tour.

Book now!

Park Trek has partnered with Bogong Horseback Adventures to bring you a truly unique tour where you can tick off four out of five of Victoria’s highest mountains, on this one-of-a-kind hiking adventure.

Visit Mount Feathertop, Mount Fainter, Mount Nelse and Mount Bogong, along with some of the oldest Cattlemen’s huts in the High Country.

Hiking with pack stock combines the beauty of pack horses and their ability to carry comfortable camping equipment food and wine through the Alpine environment, allowing hikers to walk with the comfort of a daypack over a multi-day journey.

As a hiker, you walk into camps that are fully prepared on arrival.

This unique tour is catered with food using some of the region’s best local produce. As an added extra, a cold beer and local wine is provided on arrival into camp each afternoon.

2019 Dates

Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 February 2019 – FULLY BOOKED

Monday 18 to Tuesday 26 March 2019 – ONLY 4 PLACES LEFT

Monday 8 to Tuesday 16 April 2019 – ONLY 1 PLACE LEFT

Friday November 29 to Saturday December 7 – ONLY 1 PLACE LEFT

 

Inclusions

  • Experienced, knowledgeable guides from Bogong Horseback Adventures
  • Pack horses
  • Two Park Trek walking guides
  • Spring Spur accommodation before and after the expedition
  • All group camping equipment
  • All meals as per the itinerary
  • Beer and table wine with evening meal while camping (alcohol own expense at Spring Spur on first and last night)
  • National Park fees
  • First aid and emergency communications plus a hospital animal
  • Amazing hiking in the Victorian Alps

Itinerary

View the trip route map here

Day 1 (Arrival day)

We can collect you from Melbourne or Albury and transfer you to Spring Spur Homestead.

Stretch the legs around the gardens and property at Spring Spur.

Pre-walk information and meet the crew.

Meals: Dinner

Overnight: Spring Spur Accommodation

Guest rooms are situated on Bogong Horseback Adventure’s Spring Spur property, with beautiful views of Mount Feathertop and the Kiewa Valley. Guests rooms are designed to give you a sense of privacy with your own sitting area outside each room, surrounded by native gardens and vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Enjoy a bottle of wine or cup of tea privately on your verandah or come up to the shared lounge and socialise with the group. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and a luxury bed.

About the food

The homestead kitchen features homegrown and locally sourced produce with a menu that has an Italian, Mediterranean Australian Asian fusion – homestead influence. Freshly baked breads, pizza, pastas, risottos, Spanish tapas, fresh salads, with homemade mustard’s, relishes, preserves, baked cakes and pastries, all prepared in the Spring Spur Kitchen.

Meals prepared at the Spring Spur kitchen are transported miraculously into the pack horse load and prepared on the campfire in remote area camps.

Day 2 – moderate 13 – 19 km (descending terrain)

Early breakfast

Transfer to trail head, at the Razor Back and walk out to the junction of Diamantina Spur with optional summit of Mount Feathertop (6km round trip).

Descend into the west Kiewa river valley for a camp at Diamantina Horse yards.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping

We provide excellent quality tents and swags, Ex-ped mattresses and sleeping bags. Guests will be comfortable for camping in the mountains.

Day 3 – moderate to hard 12kms (ascending terrain)

Climb up to the High Plains Cobungra Gap, Dibbins hut and Dibbins Spur to Tawonga Hut.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping

Day 4 – easy to moderate 7 to 13 km (relatively flat terrain)

Morning hike to summit of Mt Jaitmaithang on the Fainter Range – Option for a rest morning by the creek if preferred. Short afternoon hike to Ryders Yards.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Overnight: Camping

Day 5 –  moderate to hard 18 km (relatively flat terrain)

Walk to Kelly’s Hut via the Bogong High Plains, Pretty Valley Cope Hut, Wallace’s Hut, Fitzgeralds and camp at Kelly’s Hut.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Overnight: Camping

Day 6  – easy 10 km (descending terrain)

Half day walk down the historic track 107 to Glen Wills for an afternoon rest on the banks of BIG River.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Overnight: Camping

Day 7 –  moderate to hard 20 km (ascending terrain)

(4WD transfers available for a shorter walk reduced to approx. 13 km)

We ascend Mount Bogong via the Long Spur, a full day of hiking the ridge up to our camp below the tree line near Cleve Cole Hut.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping

Day 8 – moderate 14 km (descending terrain)

Traverse the magnificent Mt Bogong before descending the legendary Eskdale Spur to the head of Mountain Creek returning back to Spring Spur Stables.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Spring Spur Accommodation

Day 9

Mid-morning checkout.

Meals: Breakfast

We can return you back to Melbourne CBD at our same pickup location outside the National Gallery of Victoria between approx. 3 and 3.30 pm or drop you at Albury Rail station or Airport. If returning to Albury please arrange departure times after 10 am.

There is no single supplement charge for this tour.

 

Book now!

Beautiful waterfall in Iceland

 

We have partnered with the awesome team at Wandering the World to bring you a

walking tour in a absolute bucket list destination – Iceland!

This 13-day tour, which is available in 2018 and 2019, provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore this amazing country.

Think Geysir, lava fields, volcanic canyons, glacial river lagoons and of course an interactions with the incredible local people. So, what are you waiting for?!

Dates

  • July 14, 2019 – 6 PLACES LEFT

 

Inclusions

  • 13 days/12 nights
  • Max group size: 14
  • 12 breakfasts  and 10 dinners
  • Local group leader and all entry fees
  • Easy to moderate walking

 

 

Cost

2019

  • From $US7,925* per person twin share
  • Single supplement from $US2,285*
  • Deposit: $AU1,500

Pricing for this trip is in US dollars. The currency is linked to the local currency Icelandic Krona, a surcharge may apply.

Tour price does not include transfers to and from the airport.

Booking

To book this tour, Contact us directly.

Hikers against a dramatic grey Icelandic skyItinerary

Day 1/Night 1 and Day 2/Night 2 ARRIVE REYKJAVIK

Welcome to Reykjavik, the largest city of Iceland with a population of approximately 120,000. Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state.

We meet at our hotel at 6.30pm for a briefing, before venturing to the town centre for dinner. Transfer to hotel – own arrangements (transfers can be arranged upon your request).

Day 3/Night 3 THINGVELLIR, GULLFOSS, GEYSIR

Sightseeing Walking Time: 2 hours

Today we drive inland to the Thingvellir World Heritage area, where the world’s first ‘democratic parliament’ meeting took place – the area became Iceland’s first National Park in 1928 and a World Heritage area in 2004. Sitting right on top of the continental divide between North American and Eurasian Plates, this is the best place in Iceland to see the continental drift. The floor of the rift-valley has sunken some 60-70 meters with the fissures and fault lines very clear in the landscape on either side of the valley. The area abounds with immense fissures and the largest lake in the country. We then carry on to see the world famous geysers. The most reliable eruption comes every 5-10 minutes from one called ‘Strokkur’; the 30-metre jet of water and steam is spectacular. Close by is the one and only Geysir, has almost stopped erupting but every now and again Geysir spouts water up in the air. The area became active more than 1,000 years go. We then drive a short distance on to Gullfoss, a huge dramatic waterfall located in a 70m deep canyon of River Hvita (White River). To round off the day we drive to Thjorsardalur valley to our hotel.

Day 4/Night 4 LANDMANNALAUGAR

Walking Time: 2 hours

 The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is a huge mountainous wilderness that is constantly built up by ongoing volcanic activity and eroded by glaciers, rivers and wind. Landmannalaugar is a place in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the highland of Iceland. It is at the edge of Laugahraun lava field that was formed in an eruption around the year 1477. It is known for its natural geothermal hot springs and surrounding landscape. Landmannalaugar is the northern end of the Laugarvegur hiking trail and a popular destination. We travel along a backcountry dirt road from our hotel to get to the Fjallabak area and Landmannalaugar and explore this colourful area on foot. We climb Blátind (blue peak) for a panoramic view of this highland oasis, explore Grænagil (green gully), have a look at some hot springs before we head for a refreshing dip in the famous natural hot pool in Landmannalaugar. Drive same track back to hotel.

Day 5/Night 5 FJALLABAK, ELDGJA FISSURE, WALK TO WATERFALL IN HOLASKJOL

Walking Time: 2 hours

 Situated between Landmannalaugar and Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Eldgjá is the largest volcanic canyon in the world, 270 m deep and 600 m wide at its greatest. It was discovered by Þorvaldur Thoroddsen in 1893. The first documented eruption in 934 was the largest flood basalt in historic time. The areal extent of the lava is around 800 kilometres An estimated 18 kilometres of magma poured out of the earth.

Today we drive across the lunar-like landscape of Fjallabak nature reserve; Again we drive a mountain track and now we cross the Fjallabak area to the south coast. stopping at explosive craters and waterfalls. We drive between the giant icecaps of Vatnajokull and Myrdalsjokull, en route to the gorge of Eldgja (Fire Fissure). Another of Iceland’s incredible natural attractions, Eldgja is a 25-mile- long volcanic rift formed during a violent 10th-century eruption, which produced one of the greatest amount of lava ever recorded. We take some time to hike into the rift and visit Ofaerufoss Waterfall. We make a short stop at Holaskjol hut and go for a walk to see a particularly beautiful lava flow and waterfall above the hut. From Holaskjol we transfer to our hotel.

Day 6/Night 6 WALK IN LAKAGIGAR FISSURE

Walking Time: 2 hours

Today we visit the site of Lakagígar, a 25km row of craters and a volcanic fissure, which is also believed to be one of the larger eruptions in recorded history. An eruption between 1783 and 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grimsvotn volcano, pouring out an estimated 14km of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulphur dioxide compounds that killed over 50% of Iceland’s livestock population, leading to a famine that killed approximately 25% of Iceland’s human population. And the aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, causing crop failures in Europe and reaching as far as India. The eruption has been estimated to have killed over six million people globally, making the eruption the deadliest in historical times.

Situated deep within Vatnajökull National Park. We trek in the area of Mt. Laki, where we will get a very good view of the crater row. From Laki we head for Tjarnargígur crater, into the crater and trek along the Eldborg lava channel.

The Lakagigar craters are regarded as a globally unique phenomenon and are as such a protected natural monument. In 1783, a huge lava flow streamed from the Lakagígar fissure in what became known as the “Skaftá Fires.” This is believed to have been one of the greatest lava flows in a single eruption in the history of the world: the molten lava filled the gorges through which the Skaftá and Hverfisfljót rivers flowed, and swept down in two branches into inhabited areas, to spread over the lowlands where it ruined many farms. For residents of the region and Iceland as a whole, the results of this eruption were catastrophic: this time is known as “Móðuharðindin” (the Haze Famine).

Day 7/Night 7 THE GLACIER LAGOON AND THE SOUTH COAST, HOFN

Walking Time: 2 hours

To Vatnajokull NP visit Skaftafell and walk to Svartifoss waterfall; to the Glacial lagoon with optional 40 min boat ride on the lagoon. Vatnajokull National Park is simply immense, covering over thirteen and a half thousand square kilometres. The Glacier Lagoon is an incredible sight. The glacial river lagoon developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s and is considered one of the natural wonders of Iceland.

The lake can be seen from the highway between Hofn andSkaftafell.

We, however, limit our exploration to the Skaftafell area and the Glacier lagoon, known for its more gentle climate and almost alpine contours. We visit Svartifoss Waterfall, an unusual waterfall even by Icelandic standards as it is produced by water cascading over basalt columns. Our focus then switches to the glacial lagoon, where giant chunks of ice float silently in the water. The lagoon is on the edge of the Vatnajokull National Park and situated at the head of the massive Breidamerkurjokull glacier, one of the largest outlets from the Vatnajokull Ice Cap.

Jokulsarlon evolved into a lagoon around 1950 as the glacier retreated from the coast. Today, the banks of the lagoon show where the glacier’s edge used to be just 1.5km from the ocean. The river running out of the lagoon is the shortest glacial river in Iceland and the lagoon itself is almost 300m deep, covering an area of over 20 square kilometres. We also go down to the beach where we often find large chunks of blue ice washed up on the black volcanic sand. There are some wonderful photographic opportunities here with the waves breaking on the blue ice.

Hofn is an Icelandic fishing town in the south-eastern part of the country. It lies near a fjord, and this harbour town is the second largest in the region and gives scenic views of Vatnajokull, the largest ice cap in Europe by volume.

Day 8/Night 8 VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK – NEARBY SVINAFELLJOKULL GLACIER

Walking Time: 3 – 5 hours

Today we explore one or two of the beautiful walks in a valley known as Mossardalur in Vatnajokull National Park. Vatnajökull National Park is one of three national parks in Iceland, it encompasses all of Vatnajökull glacier and extensive surrounding areas. These include the national parks previously existing at Skaftafell in the southwest and Jökulsárgljúfur in the north.

In general, national parks are protected areas which are considered unique because of their nature or cultural heritage. The unique qualities of Vatnajökull National Park are primarily its great variety of landscape features, created by the combined forces of rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic and geothermal activity.

Day 9/Night 9 SKAFTAFELL, MT KRISTINARTINDAR TREK

Walking Time: 3 – 5 hours

 Full-day summit hike to the Kristinartindar peaks in the magnificent Skaftafell region of Vatnajokull National Park. The climb up the Kristinartindar valley brings us to the pass between the two Kristinartindar peaks. From the pass, we can take short but quite a steep but non-technical route to the top of the higher peak. Views from the top are well worth the effort: Hvannadalshnukur – the highest mountain in Iceland; the huge ice-cap; tumbling glaciers on both sides and the North Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Skaftafell is a popular destination for winter visitors in Iceland. Visiting in winter is much different from the summer with lesser crowds and no leaves on the trees. The biggest change though is probably the outlet glaciers. At the beginning of August, five members of the Iceland Conservation Volunteers team (ICV) helped the rangers in Snæfell Wilderness Area with waymarking hiking trails and tracks, placing information signs at the beginning of hiking trails and fixing some unwelcomed off-road tracks.

Day 10/Night 10 HJORLEIFSHOFDI, VIK, REYNISFJARA, DYRHOLAEY

This morning we drive from Vatnajokull NP across the Skeydarársandur and Myrdalssandur floodplains, created by numerous glacial rivers running down from the Vatnajokull and the Myrdalsjokull glaciers. After the flood plains, we get to the village of Vik. Vik, which sits right on the 350km long black beach and is the only town on the south coast without a harbour. Only a short distance is the famous Reynisfjara black beach with its beautifully shaped columnar basalt and small caves. We get a really good view of the Reynisdrangar sea stacks from this beach. Then we head for the spectacular Dyrholaey headland. Dyrholaey is a small peninsula, formerly known as Cape Portland by English seaman. Interesting views from the here to the north are, Myrdalsjokull – a grand glacier, to the east – the black lava columns of the Reynisdrangar and to the west – the beautiful coastline stretching as far as Selfoss.

Directly in front is a gigantic black arch of lava standing in the sea. In the summertime, it is home to many puffins nesting on the cliff faces of Dyrhólaeyising 120m above the sea with its beautiful rock arches. This is the southernmost point in Iceland.

Day 11/Night 11 SKOGARFOSS, SKOGAR TREK TO WATERFALLS

Walking Time: 3 – 5 hours

Today we continue on to Skogar to the spectacular Skogarfoss waterfall and then set out for a hike along the Skoa River. We start right by the Skogarfoss waterfall and hike up along the river passing one gorgeous waterfall after another. The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 metres and a drop of 60 metres. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.

After this beautiful hike, we continue further west and drive the short stretch, which was badly hit by ash fall in the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. We make a short stop at the Eyjafjallajokull visitor centre, set up and owned by one of the local farmers. Here we learn about the life of the locals during the eruption and see a short film on the eruption.

Day 12/Night 12 THORSMORK, REYKJAVIK

Walking Time: 3 – 5 hours

Today we head for the spectacular Thorsmork area. Named after Thor, the God of Thunder, this area is dominated by mountains and glaciers, a stunning and rugged part of the country that will take your breath away. With the help of our 4×4 minibus, we ford glaciers and tackle tough terrain to access some of the best hiking here. We drive to the Eyafjallajokull Volcano via the 60-metre high Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. On our journey, we also see the Falljokull outlet glacier that bore the brunt of the flood caused by the eruption. As testament to the changes caused in the area, the lagoon that once sat below the glacier was filled with ash and gravel carried down by the melting ice and is now a gravel slope. The Thorsmork Valley has been a popular trekking area for decades, however now also offers a fantastic chance to see the effects of a volcanic eruption from 2010 first-hand. We head out through the changing landscape, which alters the closer we get to the volcano itself. The dramatic views are topped by the new craters and lava fields created by the famous eruption of 2010. After our trek, we drive to Reykjavik.

Day 13 REYKJAVIK

Although the trip finishes after breakfast today, the memories of this unique Iceland Exploration will live on. Wandering the World hope you have had a journey of a lifetime and welcome your choice to wander with us again.

Brief history of Iceland

 The island of was settled by the Norse seafarers in the ninth century; they established the world’s first known republic and parliament in about AD 930. The original seat of this democratic system may be found at Pingvellir, about an hour’s drive from Reykjavík, where the original Viking settlers used a natural amphitheatre, formed by a cliff wall, as an assembly. In the mid-13th century the islanders submitted to the authority of the King of Norway, and when Norway came under the control of Denmark in 1380, Iceland did too. In 1814, Norway became independent, but Iceland remained a Danish territory. In 1840 it was granted its own constitution – effectively allowing internal self-government.

Full independence was granted in 1918, although it was not until 1944 that Iceland became a fully independent nation with its own head of state. Contemporary Icelandic politics display the customary Western European spectrum of political parties, although a notable feature has been the influence of women within the main parties (Independents, Progressives and Social Democrats). Iceland’s most famous political figure of recent times is also a woman, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who served four consecutive terms as President between 1980 and her resignation in 1996. She was replaced by Olafur Grimsson, who began a fourth term as President in 2008. The Parliament (Alþing) has generally been dominated by coalition governments. These were of a broadly centre-right persuasion until the mid-1970s, since when the left has dominated.

The great economic collapse of the country in 2008 caused Icelanders to rise up in arms against what they viewed as a corrupt government. After highly visible protests, the then Prime Minister stepped down and the government collapsed. A new coalition government was created and the country’s economic and political situation has stabilised.

Icelandic foreign policy is dominated by two factors: fishing and relations with Atlantic powers. Iceland is a member of Nato, the Nordic Council and of the Council of Europe. Ties with Nato have been loosening since before the end of the Cold War – in May 1985, the Alþing declared Iceland a ‘nuclear-free zone’ – and this process has accelerated since the reduction of the large Nato base at Reykjavik.

Iceland has historically eschewed membership of the European Union largely due to issues about fishing quotas, but in July 2009, it applied for membership. While many Icelanders have mixed feelings about it, the move has stabilised the country financially and strengthened its banking sector.

Today, Iceland is quickly growing in popularity with visitors from all over the globe. Its varied scenery, coastal beauty and remarkable waterfalls and lava spills have appealed to people’s curiosity.

Accommodation 

Accommodation is a mix of very comfortable hotels and/or guest house style properties reflecting the local character and charm of the country, all with private ensuite facilities.

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Portugal Duoro Valley Walking Tour - Hikers through a winery

We have partnered with the awesome team at Wandering the World to bring you a walking tour in the magnificent Douro Valley. This tour offers 9 days of hiking in some of the most picture-perfect walking country in all of Europe.

On this walk you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the dramatically beautiful scenery of the Rio Douro (River of Gold) which is both striking in its tranquillity and its rich colours.

Steeped in history, Portugal emerged as a country in 1143 and the Douro Valley is a key part of Portuguese history. With its terraced vineyards and hilltop estates known as Quintas, the region is renowned for its wine production, in particular, the dessert wine known as Port

2019 Dates

June 6, 2019 – FULLY BOOKED

Inclusions

  • 9 days/8 nights
  • Escorted with a tour leader
  • 8 breakfasts and three dinners with wine included
  • Luggage transfer of 1 x 20kg bag per person
  • Wine tastings
  • Maps and directions

 

Price

  • From Euro €1,980 per person, twin share
  • Single supplement: €820
  • Deposit: $AU800

 

Booking

To book this tour, Contact us directly.

Portugal Duoro Valley Walking Tour - Looking down at a wineryAbout the region

Long before any president, king or emperor, the Douro was inhabited by primitive peoples who were the first to leave their trace. The rock paintings of the Vale do Côa date back to the upper Palaeolithic Age, about 20 thousand years ago. Regarded as the most important Palaeolithic open-air art in the world, it is known that grapes were being cultivated in the region around 4 thousand years B.C. because carbonized grape pips have been found in archaeological sites. Many of the castros (fortified villages) in the region, such as the Castro de Cidadelhe, in Mesão Frio, date from this period.

The Walking

This trip is escorted, but you are free to walk at your own pace and in your own time. You will be equipped with easy to read maps and instructions complete with directions to guide you. Wandering the World takes care of all your accommodation and daily luggage transfer so you can relax and enjoy your journey. This itinerary is carefully designed for easy to manage walking days. There is a basic level of fitness required and some uphill stretches in part, however, given you only need carry a lightweight day bag and your water supply, which can be replenished in the various villages on route, and other essentials such as snacks, it makes this trip very manageable for any inexperienced walker.

Accommodation

To complement the serenity and magnificent countryside you will be walking through, we have carefully selected boutique accommodation for its authenticity and uniqueness and to provide a sanctuary of comfort with private facilities and ideal location at the end of each day.

Itinerary

Day 1/Night 1: Arrive Porto – September 20, 2018

We commence our trip in the fascinating and vibrant city of Porto. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. It is also the city that gave the country and its most famous export, port wine, its name. Five bridges, including one by Eiffel, link to Vila Nova de Gaia, the heart of the port wine trade. The waterside entertainment of buskers, dancers, markets and restaurants, are all a feature.

Day 2/Night 2: Train or transfer from Porto to Pinhao

Just over two hours away, along the winding valley we start our walk from the quaint village of Pinhão, which is located in a bend of the River Douro. You will be captivated by the sheer beauty of the valley landscape all the way from Porto. This evening we stay at an historic, family-run Quinta, where you will enjoy the relaxing environment of this working vineyard and winery.

Day 3 & 4/Night 3 and 4: Pinhao to Sabrosa – Walk: 13km

Today we enjoy a superb13km walk through picturesque vineyards, where grape cultivation has been a livelihood for more than two thousand years. And where the tradition is still to squash the grapes by hand and foot.

Tonight, we will be treated with mouth-watering delicacies of the region, using traditional products and local ingredients, perfectly paired with a selection of fine wines.

Day 5/Night 5: Sabrosa to Alijo – Walk: 13km

Today we start our walk through the vineyards down to the River Pinhao and Favaios village where the bakeries still use their wood ovens dating from the late 19th century. We may choose to pause at some of the vineyards that have claimed many International wine awards. Tonight, our planned stay is in a Pousada, a traditional historical hotel.

Day 6/Night 6: Alijo to Vale Mendiz – Walk: 16.5km

Today we cross farmland taking in stunning views of hamlets perched on outcrops over the river and within the vineyards.

Day 7/Night 7: Vale Mendiz to Pinhao – Walk: 8km

Taking a different path back to Pinhao, the scenery of vineyards and mountains carved out by rivers is indeed special and it is no wonder that this area has been designated a World UNESCO Heritage Site. We can take an optional scenic boat trip along the River Douro to Rabelo, or simply relax in the comfort of our Quinta.

Day 8/Night 8: Porto

We return to Porto today. This evening celebrate a wonderful experience in one of Porto’s excellent restaurants.

Day 9 Porto – September 28, 2018

The spectacular journey finishes after breakfast today.

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Women trekking in FijiWe have partnered with our friends at Adventurous Women to offer a genuine cultural experience and a real insight into rural Fiji.

This journey takes you away from the tourist resorts, walking in a landscape of dramatic peaks, pristine forests, sparkling rivers, remote villages, exploring vibrant traditional culture and unique history. After five days hiking, you’ll enjoy three days of relaxation and restorative yoga overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Fiji’s Suncoast.

Our partner Adventurous Women works with the communities you visit to reduce the impact and maximise the benefits of your trip. Your trip funds provide a supplementary source of income to remote, largely subsistent village communities in Fiji’s interior, in the form of payments for guides, accommodation and food, as well as contributions to village development funds.

Trip highlights

Trek to waterfall at Nabalesere

  • Trek to the ridgeline in Nadarivatu or Lomalagi
  • Guided walk around Nabutautau Village or Loop walk to the Sigatoka river
  • Guided Walk around Navala Village
  • Yoga sessions at Wananavu Beach Resort
  • Free use of Stand Up Paddleboards & Kayaks at Leleuvia
  • Boat trip to see Spinner Dolphins and snorkelling on nearby reef

Tour date 2019

July 30th to August 7th, 2019

 

Tour inclusions

  • Dedicated Adventurous Women trip leader
  • English-speaking local guides and drivers
  • All cultural requirements & contributions to village development funds inc taxes
  • All accommodation (some basic, but welcoming)
  • All transport & transfers while on tour
  • Most Meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All Entry Fees to sites & guided walks listed on the itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

Pickup: Nadi airport

Upon arrival at Nadi Airport, you’ll be transferred to Fiji’s Suncoast – the land of endless summer! The Suncoast is one of Viti Levu’s hidden gems -with only a few boutique hotels, you’ll soon ease into the pace of island life. You’ll arrive in time for dinner on their veranda restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort

Day 2

Nabalesere waterfall (Distance to walk: 3km)

Pickup: Wananavu

After breakfast, we head inland to the rural village of Nabalesere. The drive takes about 1.5hrs. Once there you’ll sevusevu, a tradition to formally ask permission to be in the village and cross their land, and visit their stunning waterfall, where you’ll stop to soak up the ambience and go for a swim, followed by a cup of draunimoli (lemon leaf tea) and a late lunch back in the village. The walk to the waterfall is approx 30-45mins one-way but is steep in places.
After lunch and our goodbyes, we’ll head back to the Suncoast arriving in time for sunset drinks.

Trekking distance: 3km
Transfer time: 3 hours (Wananavu – Nabalesere – Wananavu)
Meals:  Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort

Day 3

Wananavu to Naga village
Pickup: Wananavu

The morning is yours to enjoy to relax with a book – or for those feeling active, to head out for a kayak or a swim. After check-out, we’ll make our way inland and head up to the picturesque village of Naga. On arrival, we’ll have lunch before taking a stroll along a farm track to learn from the women in the village about the food they grow and some of their daily challenges in getting their produce to market. You’ll have the opportunity to harvest some seasonal produce and contribute to the dinner preparations.

After our walk, we’ll sevusevu and enjoy a dinner together in Naga’s community hall, our accommodation for the evening. After enjoying a feast of local dishes we can relax with a game of cards – or try your luck learning vidividi. It’s played in pairs – and our advice is to make sure you choose a partner from the village!

Trekking distance: 3km
Transfer time: 2.5 hours
Meals:  Breakfast, dinner
Accommodation: shared by guests in the community hall, mattresses and top blankets are provided

Day 4

Naga to Nubutautau

This day of walking combines a great hike with some cultural immersion. Be prepared for a rugged hike, and three fordings of the upper Sigatoka river. We’ll load your big bags into our vehicles to be driven the long way around.

You get great views as you stride out from the village and descend down to the river, and the old abandoned village on the opposite bank where the unfortunate Reverend Baker was eaten. Following the river, you pass another old village site and several good swimming spots. If the weather’s good, you’ll hopefully have time to jump in. Eventually, you start to climb up steeply from the river for 1.5km and arrive in the village of Nubutautau, where you will spend the night.

The village hall will be yours to eat and sleep in. There’s also a traditional bure that is often available for your use. There are flush toilets and cold showers. You’ll spend the night on the floor of the community hall or in the bure. It’s well padded with mats over dried reeds, and as with other nights mattresses and blankets are provided to add to the comfort!

Trekking distance: 12km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: shared by guests in the community hall or bure, mattresses and top blankets are provided

Day 5

Nubutautau to Bulou’s Lodge, Navala (Distance to walk: 21km, shorter options available)

Today brings a solid day of walking, but ingeniously, apart from two notable climbs, it’s “mostly downhill”! This is a full day of hiking but you’re rewarded with some big views in the morning and a beautiful stretch of river in the afternoon. After breakfast, leaving your big bags in the village to be taken separately, you’ll get transported to the ridgeline above Nubutautau.

From the ridge, you strike out westwards with your guides across a battlefield and old village sites. Taking in some amazing 360-degree views you slowly descend to the Ba River. The final stretch down to the river can be hot, as the sun is high and the breeze can drop. Once you reach the river we should have time for a cooling swim before lunch provided by Nubutautau. You’ll then follow the river along the valley, with some rock scrambling and gentle winding paths, to a bridge near the village of Navala, and then a final 1.5km up the road to Bulou’s Lodge.

The facilities at the Lodge are simple, with a dorm room, flush toilets and cold showers, but a good dinner and breakfast are provided and Tui the owner is a great host.

Trekking distance: 21km
Transfer time: 15 mins
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: shared by guests in a dorm room with beds or a limited number of private huts are available

Day 6

Visit Navala village and return to the Suncoast

After a leisurely breakfast, we head back to Navala village with Tui to take a look around. Navala is a beautiful village with rows of neatly built traditional bures. After soaking up the atmosphere you’ll say goodbye to the highlands and head down to Ba and the coast.

We’ll have lunch along the way and a full body massage awaits you on your return to Wananavu to ease some tired muscles. Our sunset cocktails this evening will feel very well deserved.

Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort
Transfer time: 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort

Day 7

Island Yoga

An early dawn yin yoga session will focus on long, deep stretches and the connective tissues in the hips, pelvis and lower spine – the ideal way to release tension in overworked joints after our hiking adventure. After breakfast, we’ll catch a boat across to Nananu-i-ra and the deserted Onei beach. It’s the perfect setting for a morning meditation session to the sound of the ocean.

We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach and an afternoon snorkelling before heading back to Wananavu feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort

Day 8

Dawn yoga and free day

Our dawn session today focuses on vinyasa flow yoga designed to energise us for the day ahead. The day is yours and you are free to join any of the activities Wananavu offers or to take the energy levels down again and spend a quiet day of reflection.

We’ll join together for a sunset restorative yoga session to draw our journey together to a close and offer thanks for our time together enjoying this beautiful island and its people.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Wananavu Beach Resort

Day 9

Departure

We’ll depart after breakfast and head to Nadi for our onward travel back to Australia or to your next destination for those of you keen to see more of this beautiful country.
Meals: Breakfast

Transfer time: 2.5 hours

About the tour

How fit do I need to be? Is the walking hard?

Walks on this tour cover a variety of levels of difficulty. The visit to Nabalesere and their waterfall is within most people’s ability. The track is 1.5km each way, with some up and down, but no time pressure. Other walks are more strenuous but are within the ability of most people with good general fitness and a familiarity with hiking. Our longer walks should leave you feeling satisfying tired after a good day’s walking and a sense of achievement, however, there are shorter options available for those who do not wish to walk the full distance on these days. The challenge of walking in Fiji comes from the heat, humidity, remoteness and the nature of the tracks, which are not constructed paths, are uneven and can become muddy and slippery after rain. (Walking poles are recommended)

Bookings

We require a 50% deposit to confirm a booking, with full payment due 14 days prior to trip departure. The deposit helps to ensure we can make the appropriate arrangements with the remote communities that we partner with. If these timings are not possible for practical reasons, others will be specified.

Cancellations

We will refund 50% of the total trip cost if you cancel up to 14 days prior to departure. If we are able to fill your space on a trip after cancellation we will reimburse the full amount at our discretion, less a 10% admin fee. If we cancel a trip prior to departure due to safety or other considerations, we will refund you any payment you have made to us, less a 10% admin fee. Any charges your bank makes for money transfers will be deducted from refunds.

Travel insurance

This tour takes you walking in remote areas in the interior of Fiji and travel insurance that covers you for the walking activities as specified in your itinerary and emergency evacuation is essential.

Transport

Transport is in 4WD vehicles, with four passengers in each, and a driver/guide with good English. These vehicles enable us to get off the beaten track and show you much more of Fiji than is otherwise possible.

Accommodation

‘Adventurous’ – Ranges from Quad/Twin Share in Apartments, Bungalows, Hotel Rooms and then Group Share – in Basic but Welcoming, Dormitory Style Accommodation within the villages.

What’s not included

  • Flights to and from Nadi
  • Visas and departure tax
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Optional snorkelling or diving by boat from Leleuvia
  • Optional hot glass Demonstration
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature

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Light to Light trek with walkerExplore the Light to Light Walk in Ben Boyd National Park and parts of the Sapphire Coast, over four fantastic days of walking and sightseeing. Enjoy spectacular beach vistas, marvel at amazing rock formations and you might even spot a migrating humpback whale frolicking in the crystal-clear waters of the east coast.

The iconic Light to Light walk hugs the coastline between historic Boyds Tower and the Green Cape Lightstation and it is regarded as one of the best walks on the far south of NSW. Enjoy this spectacular walk with just a day pack carrying your lunch, water and personal belongings. All meals and transport are included, and you will enjoy the company of our friendly, experienced and knowledgeable guides.

2019 tour dates

  • Friday 19 to Monday 22 July
  • Friday 9 to Monday 12 August
  • Thursday 29 August to Sunday 1 September

 

Itinerary

This itinerary incorporates stunning views, rocky capes, banksia woodlands, tea tree groves, sheltered coves, a visit to historic Boyds Tower and accommodation at the gorgeous Green Cape Lightstation.

Day 1: Merrica River Nature Trail

8km walking, approx. 3.5 hours of walking, including breaks (easy to moderate grade)

Today we depart from Merimbula with pick up at 8.15am for an 8.30am departure. We head south to the Merrica River Trail stopping enroute at Eden.

The area around the river mouth is pristine and those who explore the area on this walking trail will be rewarded by an ever-changing landscape with waterfalls, rockpools, eucalypt forest and vast expansive views of beautiful Disaster Bay.

During the walk, watch for eastern water dragons sunning themselves near the creek and marvel at hermit crabs on the beach at low tide. Merrica River has a pair of resident sea eagles which can often be spotted patrolling for food.

We then head back to our accommodation to unpack and here we enjoy pre-dinner nibbles followed by a two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: Lunch and two-course dinner
Overnight accommodation at Green Cape Lightstation

About our accommodation

Perched on the edge of a peninsula, within Ben Boyd National Park is our historic accommodation at the Green Cape Lightstation. There are three beautifully restored cottages with fully equipped kitchen, dining and lounge areas. Each offers a comfortable veranda ideal for whale watching.  Cottage 1 has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, cottage 2 has two bedrooms and one bathroom. Each cottage has warm open fireplaces perfect for winter evenings after our walks. The houses are comfortable and furnished ideally to suit the period of their build with modern extras including TV, DVD, dishwasher, washing machine, outdoors deck and barbecue.

Day 2: Boyds Tower and Boyds Tower to Saltwater Creek

13.5km, approx. 6 hours walking, including breaks– (easy to moderate grade)

This lovely walk undulates south past spectacular coastal forest, sandy beaches, rocky bays, sheltered inlets and ocean platforms.

Leather Jacket Bay offers a scenic stretch of red rocks, coloured by iron oxide which cemented the sand particles together many millions of years ago, while small and peaceful Mowarry provides a picturesque sandy beach. There are plenty of spots along the trail to rest and relax, or to enjoy a spot of birdwatching. Whales frequent the area from late May to early December so it’s a great time for whale watching while walking along the trail.

After the day’s walk we head back to our accommodation for well-earned pre-dinner nibbles followed by a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Green Cape Lightstation
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Saltwater Creek to Bittangabee

9.5km, approx. 4-4.5 hours walking, including breaks – (easy grade)

After breakfast and lunch making we begin walk today where we finished on day 2 and head south along the stunning Light to Light trail.

The walk from Saltwater Creek to Bittangabee Bay is a gently undulating section. It passes through lovely sections of coastal forest, heath and rock platforms.

There are also great opportunities for birdwatching and of course whale watching. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the endangered ground parrots or rare striated field wrens.

There is a myriad of other wildlife, if you are lucky, you might catch sight of echidna, kangaroo or goanna in the area.

After the day’s walk we head back to our accommodation where guests can enjoyed a guided tour of the Lighthouse followed by well-earned pre-dinner nibbles followed by a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Overnight accommodation at Green Cape Lightstation

Day 4: Bittangabee to Green Cape & Haycock Bay to Barmouth Beach

Walk one is 7km, approx. 2-3 hours and walk two is 1.5 hours – (easy grade)

After breakfast and lunch making, we pack our belongings into the Park Trek trailer and head off for our final day of walking. Today we have two shorter walks including the last section of the Light to Light Walk and a short scenic walk just north of Eden.

This last section of the Light to Light follows a route that has been travelled by lightkeepers over many years. Originally, supplies for the lighthouse were off-loaded at Bittangabee Bay and remnants of the old horse-drawn tram track still remain.

We travel north through Eden and stop off enroute to Merimbula for our last walk of the trip – the spectacular Haycock Bay to Barmouth Beach walk. This pleasant walk follows the headland on the southern shore of the Pambula River estuary.

Offering spectacular views along the pristine coastline of the NSW far south coast, this walk captures the remote beauty of Ben Boyd National Park. On this walk pass through a range of landscapes from windswept heath to woodlands while taking in views of rugged rock formations and dramatic cliff lines.

From here we head back to Merimbula. We aim to be back in town by approximately 4.30-5pm so if flying out after the tour please do not book flights before 6.30pm.

Meals: breakfast and lunch

Flights: You can book flights to Merimbula through REX airlines which operates from Melbourne and Sydney to Merimbula with flights one way costing between approximately $160-$180.

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Camino Portuguese Walking Tour Ex PortoPark Trek has partnered with Adventurous Women to offer a walking holiday on the lesser travelled ‘Caminho Português de Santiago’ from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, an alternative Camino to the more renowned Camino Frances through Spain. Passing vineyards, crop fields and farms along the way, this trail gives us an insight into the suburban Portuguese way of living.

Walking the Portuguese Camino is a quieter experience, allowing time for reflection and time to absorb the changing landscape of Portugal, the warmth of the local people, the stunning coastline and historic towns.
Beginning in the World Heritage site of Porto, we walk through a mixture of coastal, forest and open countryside trails to our final destination, the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where pilgrims from all over the world congregate.

Easter procession in Portugal by sydney_life_boy

Our arrival coincides with Easter Sunday, where the processions are an incredibly special experience!

Trip Dates

  • April 8 to 21, 2019 – ONLY 2 PLACES LEFT

 

Trip Grading

Moderate – Daily walks are between 15-26km on well-marked trails over diverse terrain from relatively flat to hilly.

Tour Inclusions

  • Adventurous Women Tour Manager
  • 13 nights accommodation twin share with ensuite
  • 13 breakfasts
  • 13 dinners
  • Daily Luggage transfers (1 piece of max 20kg per person)
  • Information pack, containing maps/route information
  • Pre-departure information and support to help you with pre-trip planning (flight/transport options to Porto, local transport options, emergency contact numbers, taxi’s, accommodation pre/post)
  • Visitor Tax

 

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Porto Set on the banks of the Douro River, Porto’s historical centre was declared a World Heritage site in 1996 and in the 12th Century it was in Porto that the country took its name and became an independent nation. Its maritime legacies and importance as a new world trading port have shaped it into the proud city it has become, with its impressive cathedral and port wine lodges. After checking in to your hotel, take the time to explore the city with its many cultural sites.  Meet with your Adventurous Women Tour Manager at 6pm in the hotel lobby for introductions and trip briefing. Overnight Porto.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Transfer to Vilar do Pinheiro and walk to Arcos (4hrs, 19km) This morning a private transfer will take you from your Porto hotel to the small town of Vilar do Pinheiro where you begin an easy walk down in part through woodland trails to the rural town of Arcos. The transfer enables you to avoid the urban sprawl of Porto, taking you directly to a rural landscape, however, if you want to walk this section we recommend you do it the previous day and take a taxi or bus back to your Porto hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 3

Walk to the market town of Barcelos (5hrs, 20km) The trail today takes you through lush valleys through towns such as Sao Pedro de Rates and its church of St Peter, and over the Monte Franqueira, before reaching Barcelos. There is an alternative route for a small section, via the ruins of the Castelo de Faria. Arriving in Barcelos you are certainly in for a treat. With its impressive medieval bridge, Barcelos is treasured for its history and legends (eg. the Barcelos cockerel). Overnight Barcelos.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4

Continue to Balugaes (4.5hrs, 16km) The route takes you through small villages with pretty gardens and past many baroque chapels en route to the small and quiet town of Balugães, a traditional resting point on the Camino Portuguese. Overnight Balugaes.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5

Walk to Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal (5.5hrs, 17km) The route takes us gradually closer to the valley of the Lima River, where the village of Ponte da Lima is located, the oldest in Portugal. The cobblestoned streets are a delight to walk through and there are many points of interest including museums, historic houses, a prison tower (now a library) and the main square, Largo de Camoes. The medieval bridge spanning the Lima River has Roman foundations but was rebuilt in 1368. Overnight Ponte de Lima.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6

Along delightful trails and crossing small hills en route to Pecene (6.5hrs, 22km) This is the first day on the trail where much of the route will be unpaved. Leaving by the Ponte de Lima ascend to the Labruja Valley and up to a mountain ridge where you reach the Alto da Portela Grande, the highest point on the trail at 405m. The views sweeping back down to the Lima valley are well worth the effort! Descending trails heading north you soon enter the town of Rubiães by its Roman road and then continue on to Pecene, where you will overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7

Cross the Spanish border at Tui (4.5hrs, 15km) This stage is characterised by hilly terrain that gradually leads to Valença before crossing the border into Spain. The trail is along quiet country roads and unpaved trails for the most part. Before crossing into Spain it is worth taking a look at the historic walled town of Valença. Later reaching Tui, the final stop on the trip, you can reflect on the past week, as you visit the cathedral which dates from 1120. This evening take a walk along the Paseo de Calvo Sotelo where a lively atmosphere is usually evident. Overnight Tui.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8

Walk to O Porriño along quiet roads and woodland paths, transfer to Tui (5hrs, 16km) Most of this first stage is woodland paths that follow the lovely Louro River valley, then along the N550 to the historical centre of O Porriño, a town famous for its pink granite due to its proximity to the granite quarries. Essentially now a sprawling industrial town, it is located at the intersection of two motorways and the main railway line passes through, so you return to your Tui hotel for overnight accommodation with a private transfer this afternoon (3pm). Overnight Tui.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9

Transfer to O Porrino, walk to Arcade on the coast (5.5-6hrs, 22km) After breakfast you will be transferred back to O Porriño. After a stage following and crossing the N550, ascend through mixed forest to Monte Cornedo and the Chans das Pipas plateau before dropping down to the town of Redondela. From here you pass through tiny hamlets along a coastal inlet to reach Arcade. Overnight Arcade.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10

A shorter walk to the old town of Pontevedra (3-4hrs, 12.5km) You start the day by walking over the beautiful old bridge at Pontesampaio then a short uphill stretch following ancient stone paths before dropping down to the provincial capital of Pontevedra. There are some interesting sites to explore including the Santuario da Peregrin chapel and the Convento de San Francisco. The Medieval town centre is a maze of cobbled lanes with tapas bars and cafes. Overnight Pontevedra.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11

Walk to Caldas de Reis (6-6.5hrs, 23.8km) Most of this stage is through woodland and countryside along gentle river valleys with virtually no climbing. Closer to Caldas de Reis the route crosses the N550 and follows this road for short sections. Located between the Umia and Bermana rivers, the town of Caldas developed as a result of its thermal waters and continues to be a major health spa. The botanical gardens next to the river are lovely for some respite from the walk. Overnight Caldas de Reis.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12

Via the river valleys of Bermana and Valga to Padron (5-5.5hrs, 19.2km) This is a beautiful walk through the Bermana river valley before dropping down into the Valga valley, one short climb. Two short stages of main road, leaving Caldas and entering Padron. The town is lovely, set on the banks of the Sar and Ulla rivers, with some St James relics to be seen at the Igrexa de Santiago (church). Overnight Padron.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13

Through Galician villages to Santiago (6.5hrs, 25.6km) The final day takes us through pine, oak and eucalyptus wood before climbing up to reach Santiago. Closer to Santiago the route follows some sections of main road. Overnight Santiago.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14

Trip concludes Santiago de Compostela. (We encourage you to extend your stay in Portugal to explore)

Meals: Breakfast 

How to Get There

Travelling BY AIR Your closest international airports are Porto, Lisbon or Madrid. There are a number of full service and low-cost airlines that fly to these locations from points throughout Europe and beyond. If you need any assistance with booking flights, please let us know and we can also help connect you with others from the group who are travelling from Australia. On arrival at the airport, you will need to take a taxi or local bus to our chosen adjoining hotel in the historic centre of Porto.

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance (Compulsory)

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