Victorian Alps pack horse hike | Park Trek
Park Trek walking holidays, Australia
Email info@parktrek.com.au | Call us on (03) 5639 2615

  

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 packhorses 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.

Dates

Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 February 2019 – ONLY 4 PLACES LEFT

Monday 8 to Tuesday 16 April 2019 – 8 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

Itinerary

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 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.

Day 2 –  (Moderate 15 -18 km)

Early breakfast

Transfer to trail head, at the Razor Back, walk out to summit Mount Feathertop.

Descend into the west Kiewa river valley for a camp at Blairs Hut.

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 15 km)

Climb up to the High Plains Cobungra Gap, Dibbins hut and Dibbins Spur to (Tawonga Huts or Ryders yards)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight: Camping

Day 4 – ( Easy – 10 km)

Day hike out to Mount Fainter – Option for a rest day by the creek if preferred.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Overnight: Camping

Day 5 –  (Easy 16 km)

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  – (10 km Easy)

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 –  20 km Hard (4wd transfers available for a shorter walk)

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 – 16 km

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 by approx. 3 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/12nights
  • Max group size: 14
  • 12 breakfasts  and 10 dinners
  • Local group leader and all entry fees
  • Easy to moderate walking

 

 

Cost

2018

  • From $US7,550* per person twin share
  • Single supplement from $US2,135*
  • Deposit: $AUD1,500

 

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.

Book now!

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. Led by Park Trek guide Richard Perry, 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

Dates

September 20, 2018

June 6, 2019

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.

Book now!

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

Book now!

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.

2018 tour dates

  • Sunday 22 to Wed 25 July – 4 PLACES LEFT
  • Saturday 11 to Tuesday 14 August – 5 PLACES LEFT
  • Thursday 30 August to Sunday 2 September – 1 PLACE LEFT

2019 tour dates

  • Contact the Park Trek office for confirmation of dates

 

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.

Book now!

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

 

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)

Book now!

Images

Bay of Fires Hiking - rugged Tasmanian coastline

See the best of Tassie’s east coast delights

Explore the highlights of the magical Tasmania’s East Coast over eight fantastic days of walking and sightseeing. This itinerary incorporates some of Tasmania’s most spectacular scenery.

Enjoy the incredible fiery red rock beaches of the Bay of Fires and Mt William National Park, the dramatic granite peaks and crystal-clear waters of Freycinet and Wineglass Bay, the rugged cliffs and spectacular scenery on Maria Island, the towering clifftops, and amazing rock formations of the Three Capes region, and visit historic Port Arthur and take a cruise around the spectacular Tasman Peninsula. This last section of the walk is rated moderate to hard, with rocky surfaces, many steps and climbs to navigate so come prepared!

The trip departs from Launceston and returns to Hobart.

Tour inclusions:

  • Two Park Trek guides who will drive, cook and care for you
  • Guiding and interpretation by experienced local Park Trek guides on the walking trails each day
  • Transport which includes collecting from Launceston and returning you to Hobart following the conclusion of the tour. We use a comfortable 12 seater mini coach with a trailer attached for luggage. Plus we use the coach to drop off and pick up during the course of the day.
  • Tasting of local oysters and mussels at locally owned Freycinet Marine Farm
  • Spectacular award-winning three hour Wilderness Cruise around the Tasman Peninsula
  • Entry and visit to Port Arthur Historic Site
  • 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinners. Plus trail mix, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and snacks
  • Group and individual thermos with plenty of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits/ cake
  • 7 night’s accommodation on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional cost)
  • Small group of 10 or less

Trip dates 2018

  • Contact Park Trek office for more details

Day 1

Launceston – Musselroe Bay to Boulder Point

13km walking, approx. 5 hours of walking, including breaks (easy to moderate grade)

Today we depart from Launceston with pick up at 8am. We head out into the northern section of Mount William National park to begin the beach walk at the northern end of Musselroe Bay. We walk from the remote coastal conservation area of Musselroe Bay to Boulder Point along the beach. The incredibly scenic coastline of deserted white-sandy beaches punctuated by windswept headlands, sheltered lagoons and estuaries is a haven for birdwatchers.

Following on from this we head off for an easy one-hour return walk to the top of Mt William. From the peak (216m) on a clear day you can enjoy extensive views over the coast and inland, while to the north you’ll see some of the Bass Strait islands, which once linked Tasmania to Wilsons Promontory, on Victoria’s southern coast. We then head back to our accommodation and after some time to settle in, we enjoy pre-dinner nibbles followed by a two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Icena Farm Stay – about our accommodation

We stay within a short drive of Mt William National Park in self-contained farm-house style accommodation. Each of the two houses (Bandicoot and Platypus) are air-conditioned (heat-pump), fully furnished 4-bedroom homes. In Bandicoot House one queen room has an ensuite, while the other bedrooms in each House contain a mixture of queen, double and single beds. There are blankets on all beds and the houses are furnished with TV, DVD, dishwasher and washing machine, fan-forced oven and microwave, as well as a barbeque and outdoors deck (Bandicoot House), offering a peaceful rural view.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2

Deep Creek via Eddyson Point to Anson’s Bay

12 km, approx. 6 hours walking, including breaks – (moderate grade)

After breakfast and lunch making we begin our beach walk today at Deep Creek and head south to beautiful Anson’s Bay.

Bird life is rich and varied, with nearly 100 species occurring here. The extensive coastal heaths favour various species of honey-eater including the tawny-crowned and crescent honey-eater. Other heathland species include the superb blue wren, flame, dusk and scarlet robin. Being a coastal park, Mt. William is an excellent area for observing sea birds. Gulls, terns, gannets, albatrosses and white bellied sea eagles can be seen, as well as both the pied and sooty oystercatcher. Frequently these birds will come close to you as you walk along the untouched and often uninhabited beach.

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.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight accommodation at Icena Farm Stay

Day 3

Coles Bay and Mt Amos

6km walking, approx. 5 hours of walking, including breaks (hard grade – difficult and challenging walk)

Today we depart from our Farm Stay accommodation and drive to Campbell Town for a morning tea stop. We continue our drive to the east coast town of Coles Bay. Here we will stop for lunch before commencing our walk up Mt Amos.

Mt Amos is one of ‘The Hazards’ which are a mountain range within the Freycinet National Park. The Hazards are made up of the iconic rock known as ‘pink granite’ and therefore are a stunning pink and sometimes orange colour. This beautiful mountain does not cover great distances but it presents us with a more challenging walk, however, we will be well rewarded at the top with a stunning view of the world-famous Wineglass Bay!

We walk from the base of Mt Amos and wind our way up this stunning mountain. This walk does include some rock walking and scrambling but please be assured we will manage this safely and if conditions are not appropriate then we will change the walk to another day, or offer an alternative walk. Due to the nature of this walk, people may experience vertigo due to height gain, we will be walking at a very slow pace to manage this. You will get to experience walking up the beautiful pink granite through low lying shrub, halfway up you will have views across Coles Bay and the Moulting Lagoon which is famous for its oyster farming and bird species. Your effort we will be greatly rewarded at the top of Mt Amos (458m) with stunning views of Wineglass Bay, the Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet range and surrounding islands.

Once we reach the bottom of Mt Amos and return to the vehicle we will then drive to our accommodation. Here we will unpack, settle everyone in. Dinner tonight is at the local Tavern (Iluka) at guests own expense.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, (dinner at own expense)

Freycinet Cottage – about our accommodation

We stay at the Freycinet Cottages which are located in Coles Bay. The one and two-bedroom cottages overlook Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay and across to the Hazards Mountains. They are within walking distance to the shop and café, and just a short stroll to Richardson’s beach. The one-bedroom cabins set a lovely rustic bushland surrounds offer a queen bed with ensuite bathroom. The two-bedroom cabins have a queen master bedroom and a second bedroom with single beds. Both cabins contain a well catered full kitchen, comfortable lounge area and covered private balcony with stunning views over the water. Access to the beach is right across the road, and the National Park is only minutes’ drive away.

Please note you may be in two-bedroom cabin (which has a shared bathroom) which you may be sharing with one or two other guests. If you book a single supplement, you may be in a one bedroom or two-bedroom cabin in a room by yourself.

Day 4

Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach circuit

11km, approx. 5.5 hours walking, including breaks – easy to moderate grade

After breakfast and lunch making we head off for the day’s walk which takes us to Wineglass Bay beach and Hazard’s beach on a circuit track.

Freycinet National Park is 100 years old which makes it one of two of the first National Parks in Tasmania. Freycinet has a unique geological history and therefore some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Most famously the pink granite beaches and contrasting white quartz beaches which we will be visiting today. Its unique history and rare plant life provide guests with an educational journey while taking in the sights on today’s walk.

Whether you would like to watch for birds or spot native wildlife, there’s always something to see in this beautiful national park. The section of trail we travel on today is one of the more popular in the area but it is not to be missed. Today we explore Wineglass Bay and Hazard’s Beach which both hold their own unique history and beauty. Today’s trek includes some bushwalking, beach walking and a slight ascent and descent but the scenery and experiences are well worth the effort.

Freycinet National Park offers some of the most unique and diverse wildlife experiences. Keep your eyes peeled and if we are lucky we may get to see a migrating Southern Humpback whale or Southern right whale making their way down south. More commonly spotted wildlife includes the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Bennett’s Wallaby’s, short-beaked Echidna’s, Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers and Australasian Gannets.

We stop to explore Hazards Beach and its history before continuing to Wineglass Bay Beach for our lunch stop – don’t forget to pack your swimmers and a light towel. At Hazard’s Beach, you will be given an insight into the history and life of our Tasmanian Aborigines who occupied this area dating back to 40,000 years ago. Our guides will inform you of The Oyster Bay Tribe who occupied the east coast and the significance these areas hold for the original custodians of this land. We will learn more about their history as we walk this pristine coastline before arriving back at the vehicle by early afternoon.

After the day’s walk, we then head off to the local oyster farm to experience some fresh, local produce straight from the farm. Guests will be treated to a fresh taste test of the local produce. On our return to the accommodation, one of your guides will have pre-dinner nibbles waiting and a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides will be served shortly after.

Overnight accommodation at Freycinet Cottages

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5

Maria Island – Fossil Cliffs walk

4.5 km, approx. 2 1/2 hours walking, including breaks – easy grade

This morning we depart from our cottage accommodation in Coles Bay and head off to our next destination – Maria Island. It’s around an hour and a half drive to the small town of Triabunna where we will enjoy some morning tea at the Visitors Centre before we board the ferry at the terminal for our 30 – 45-minute cruise across to Maria Island. From the ferry terminal, we walk to the stone Commissariat Store, which houses the visitor’s centre, collect a map of the Island and begin the Fossil Cliff walk.

The Fossil Cliffs offer an insight into the past environments of Maria Island. Extending along the northern shores of the island, these spectacular cliffs plunge sheer to the sea. This walk takes you to the edge of the cliffs where you can see expansive views of Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. A former limestone quarry allows you a close look at the many animals immortalised as fossils in the rocks.

We stop along these cliffs to enjoy our lunch and take in the expansive views. The walk finishes back at the stone house visitors centre, and from here we board the ferry for our return journey to the mainland. Next, it’s onto our accommodation at the picturesque Stewart’s Bay Lodge. This evening we enjoy dinner at Richardson’s Bistro, at guests own expense.

Stewarts Bay Lodge – about our accommodation

At Stewarts Bay Lodge, we stay in two-bedroom log cabins. The property itself sits on the edge of an amazing untouched coastal reserve and overlooking the water. Here we stay in two-bedroom
cabins for three nights of the tour. These cabins have two rooms with the one shared bathroom between the two rooms and a shared living area. Each cabin has its own bathroom, but none of the individual rooms within the cabin have their own ensuite. 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.

Meals: breakfast, lunch (dinner at guests own expense)

Day 6

Fortescue Bay to Cape Hauy

8km, approx. 5 hours walking, including breaks– moderate to hard grade

This is a well-constructed trail with fantastic views. This walk is spectacular however is graded moderate to hard due to several hundred metres of steps that go up, and down (you must navigate these heading out to the Cape and on the way back again). Extra care needs to be taken when navigating these steep steps on this part of the trail.

The Cape Hauy trail heads follows the rocky coastline and as the trail climbs, the She Oaks and Banksia’s of the lower coastline give way to dry sclerophyll forest.

The walk starts at a beautiful cove and there are some steep sections with stairs that you need to navigate in both directions. There is a steep climb at the start (and end of the walk), but once at the top of the first saddle extensive panoramic views stretch far north past the Forester coast to Maria Island and south, detailing the ridges of Cape Pillar.

Towards the end the track follows the cliffs edge, providing thrilling views. The final segment of the trail, before reaching a large plateau, is quite steep and narrow and again care needs to be taken to navigate this section. Once at the end you are able to clearly view the exceptional rock formations of the Candlestick and Totem Pole, large columns of dolerite rocking out of the ocean. The Hippolytes, a large section of rock also sits severed from the mainland just east of you. We then return via the same route.

The terrain is quite rocky and there are ups and downs but it is a magnificent walk when you are prepared.

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 Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7

Just south of Port Arthur to Cape Raoul

14km, approx. 6 hours walking, including breaks – moderate to hard grade

After breakfast and lunch making we begin our walk today out to Cape Raoul. Offering some of the most spectacular coastal lookouts in Tasmania, Cape Raoul is an excellent return day walk within the Tasman National Park. With only a few steep sections, the walk is a comfortable walk allowing ample time to relax and enjoy the expansive views of the surrounding Tasman Peninsula and further south to Bruny Island.

At the trail head for Cape Raoul there are toilet facilities available on a small donation basis. We start walking through heathland and after a short gradual climb we cross a fallen log bridge above a small gully.

The bushland then opens up with spectacular views of the incredible dolerite cliffs of the Tasman National Park. Cape Raoul is just beyond the lower plateau to the east. A short distance to your right is another open section of the cliff top allowing you a stunning view down to Shipstern Bluff, beyond to Bruny Island and Tasmania’s southern coast. From these lookouts, we also may have our first encounter with the intense winds the Capes are famous for (some of the strongest recorded winds in Australia). The trail heads east from here along the cliff tops, descending the steepest part of the trail first onto the Cape Raoul plateau.

Once on the plateau the landscape changes to stunning coastal banksia scrub and soon we see our first glimpses of the northern coastline including Mt Brown, Arthurs Peak and Mt Fortescue.
Situated a little further east, are the impressive 300-metre-high cliffs of Cape Pillar.

Following this walk, we visit the Port Arthur Historic Site for an introductory walk and talk. Following the tour, guests have some time to explore the site themselves. There is the opportunity to take an audio tour of the site. Blending history, music and readings from colonial-era journals and books, this is the official audio-visual guide to the Port Arthur Historic Site. Listen to stories from those who lived, worked in and visited this infamous place, both during the height of the convict settlement and in more recent times.

Overnight accommodation at Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8

Wilderness Cruise and visit Port Arthur site

2km approx. of walking around Port Arthur – easy grade

After breakfast and lunch making, we head out for our final day. This morning we head out on the 3-hour award winning Wilderness Cruise which departs daily. Make sure you dress warmly for the cruise – warm jackets are provided. Scarves, beanies, gloves and wet weather gear is recommended.

The boat passes close by the spectacular rock formations along the coastline and stops regularly for easy viewing and photography. See seals, albatross, white-bellied sea eagles and enjoy an exhilarating ride on this fantastic cruise.

We are back on dry land by 1pm and we then head back to Port Arthur site to explore this fascinating historic site again. We depart Port Arthur at approx. 3.30pm and return to Hobart by approximately 5.30pm, where we drop you at the Quest Hotel in Elizabeth St, or at Hobart airport.

If flying out after the tour please do not book flights before 6.30pm.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Book now!

Images courtesy Tourism Tasmania and Stuart Crosser, Paul Fleming, Rob Burnett, Glen Gibson, Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography, Graham Freeman, Adrian Cook, Andrew McIntosh, Paul Sinclair, Daniel Tran, Wineglass Bay Cruises, Kathryn Leahy, Andrew Wilson, Nick Osborne and Pete Harmsen.

Lake Daylesford in the morning morningThis relaxed four-day walk on the Goldfields track around Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Castlemaine, includes great walking on well-maintained trails and many other activities which the region is most famous for. It is an easy walk for people with a reasonable level of fitness.

On this tour, you will spend time at the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa to soothe your muscles, enjoy a morning tea stop at the Chocolate Mill, visit the historic Red Beard Bakery and taste some local cider.

We stay in gorgeous purpose built accommodation in the heart of Daylesford and enjoy daily walks with light day packs only each day returning to our accommodation

Tour inclusions

  • 3 nights accommodation at the Manor House, Daylesford, a lovely 8 bedroom, 8 bathroom property
  • Morning tea at historic Red Beard Bakery
  • Evening bathing at the iconic Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa
  • Visit to the Chocolate Mill and chocolate tastings
  • Tastings of local cider at the Daylesford Cider House
  • Visit to the Convent Gallery
  • All transport and guiding
  • Small group of 10 or less
  • Guided walks each day with experienced and mature guides
  • Return group transfer from Melbourne to Daylesford

Trip dates 2018

  • Monday 3 to Thursday 6 September – 2 PLACES LEFT
  • Monday 15 to Thursday 18 October – 5 PLACES LEFT
  • Monday 22 to Thursday 25 October – 2 PLACES LEFT

Trip dates 2019

  • Tuesday 26 February to Friday 1 March
  • Tuesday 12 to  Friday 15 March
  • Monday 6 to Thursday 9 May

Day 1

Daylesford to Hepburn Springs
14km walking, approx. 6 hours of walking, including breaks (easy grade)

Once we depart from Melbourne, we head in a north-westerly direction and arrive in the idyllic village of Trentham where we will stop at the Red Beard Bakery for morning tea. This historic bakery houses an original wood-fired oven. The original Scotch oven was used continuously from 1891 to 1987, weighs 75 tonnes and can bake 600 loaves from one firing. It has been producing sourdough breads since 2005. You can see the bakery in action.

From Trentham we head to the famous mineral springs town of Daylesford for our first walk which starts at beautiful Lake Daylesford.

There is the chance to have a toilet stop before we embark on our walk. The walk itself is approximately 2.5 hours to Bryces Flat where we enjoy a lovely lunch provided by Park Trek at the picnic area.

After lunch we begin our walk toward Hepburn Springs which will take another 3.5 hours. The track passes by the blow hole, revealing rugged, sheer-sided gorges along the creek. The path is narrow and rocky and a distinct view awaits around each bend.

From the Blowhole the trail crosses the willow-lined Spring Creek several times via handmade bridges. We finish for the day at Golden Springs at approximately 3.30-4pm.

We will head to our accommodation at Daylesford Manor House to unpack and change, and one of the Park Trek guides will take you to the famous Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa for a relaxing dip in the natural mineral springs pools. The Bathhouse has been providing the experience of traditional communal bathing since 1895 and comprises of the Relaxation Pool and Spa Pool both providing mineral water bathing, which rehydrates and oxygenates the body giving you a total sense of wellbeing.

After a relaxing dip, guests are able to purchase wine from the local Hepburn Store or Savioa Hotel before being taken back to the guest house for pre-dinner nibbles followed by a two course dinner prepared by the guides.

Accommodation: Daylesford Manor House
The Manor House, Daylesford, is an 8 bedroom and 8 ensuite bathroom property. This magnificent, vast home was purposely built giving consideration to both privacy and group stays. There is ducted heating, a double sided wood fire place, ceiling fans and split system airconditioning. Guides prepare group meals in the kitchen and group dining is around a large bespoke table in the main dining room inside or in the large outdoor barbecue and dining area. All linen and some toiletries are provided at this lovely accommodation.

Day 2

Hepburn Springs to Porcupine Ridge
14km walking, approx. 6 hours of walking, including breaks (easy grade)

After breakfast and lunch making we head out from our accommodation to Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve, to begin the walk along the Goldfields Track. Here we have the opportunity to sample some of the local mineral spring water.

Today’s walk takes us through Beehive Gully, which resembles a mini Grand Canyon 10 – 15m deep, a result of extensive mining. Remnants of shafts, water races, quartz crushing battery and a fan of tailings can be seen.

The track meanders up and down through bushland, emerging at the Chocolate Mill. This local chocolate manufacturer offers a mouth watering selection of chocolates, and you will get the opportunity to sample some, as well as an indulgent hot chocolate, on your visit. If you wish to purchase any we will have an esky in the vehicle so they can be kept cool and taken back to our accommodation for you.

The Goldfields Track takes us towards porcupine ridge road to our lunch stop at the view point just before the ridge. At the highest point of the trail we get good views through the trees in both directions. After lunch we will hop back in the Park Trek vehicle and drive to Daylesford Cider in Musk. This boutique cider maker produces a wide range from organically grown heritage apples and we can enjoy some cider tasting in the picturesque setting.

Mid-afternoon we depart Musk and head to the Convent Gallery in Daylesford. The Convent Gallery was once known as the Holy Cross Convent and home to a group of Presentation Sisters. Since opened in 1991 the heritage building complex has expanded to include several galleries, bars, reception spaces, museum, gardens, gift shop and a café.

Park Trek covers the entry to the Convent Gallery and once inside you can wander around at your leisure. From here guests can wander to Vincent Street – the main shopping strip in Daylesford or can choose to revisit the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa (own expense) before nibbles are served around 6pm followed by a lovely two course dinner prepared by your guides.

Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Daylesford Manor House

Day 3

Porcupine Ridge to Fryerstown
17km walking, approx. 6 hours of walking, including breaks (easy grade)

After breakfast and lunch making we pack up and depart from our accommodation and make our way back to Porcupine Ridge (the end of yesterday’s walk). From there the track takes us through Sailers Gully where we stop for morning tea.

We continue our walk onto Vaughan where there is are mineral springs and a picnic area where we stop to have our lunch, and a swimming hole in the Loddon River. If the weather is warm, swimming in the water hole is an option.After

After lunch we continue onto Fryerstown (approximately 2 hours). Nestled in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park Fryerstown has a strong gold history and was home to 15,000 miners at the height of the gold rush. Several fine buildings remain. The town had a butcher, a blacksmith, a boot factory, 25 hotels and a lolly shop.

Following the end of the walk, guests are then transported back to Daylesford where there is some free time to explore the sights of the town such as the Botanic Gardens, Lake Daylesford, Vincent Street or simply relax at Manor House.

This evening we eat out at a local restaurant (own expense) and enjoy some local Daylesford Hospitality.

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Daylesford Manor House

Day 4

Porcupine Ridge to Fryerstown
8km walking, approx. 4 hours of walking, including breaks (easy grade)

After breakfast and lunch making, we pack up and check out of Manor House. Our final day of walking commences from Fryerstown where after a short distance we find the remnants of the Spring Gully mines which was one of the most famous mines of the Castlemaine district operating from the 1850s until the 1930s. The most prominent feature is the high stone-faced loading ramp from which quartz was fed into a stamping battery for crushing.

As we approach Castlemaine, a short sharp climb brings us onto The Monk. In season there are wonderful wildflowers and orchids on this prominent viewpoint. The summit is 200m south of the track with vehicle access via Jacobs Track and is our morning tea stop.

After lunch, which we enjoy at the Botanical Gardens there is time to visit two popular attractions The Mill and Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum.

The Mill, formerly operated as the Castlemaine Woollen Mills built in 1875. This rambling complex of brick factories and chimneys now houses artisans, food and wine outlets, vintage goods and a great Austrian coffee house ‘Das Kaffeehaus’. A large Vintage Bazaar is open Thursday to Monday 10am – 5pm.

The Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum celebrated its centenary in 2013 and is housed in a magnificent heritage listed art deco building. The permanent art collection boasts significant works of the late 1800s by such artists as Roberts, Streeton and McCubbin. The museum displays historical items including photographs, costumes, decorative arts and artefacts from the goldfields. Park Trek covers the entry fee to the museum.

After we leave Castlemaine and bid farewell to the Goldfields Track we make our last stop on our way back to Melbourne at the well-known Duck Duck Goose and Larder, Kyneton.

Located in Piper Street this establishment offers café, larder and providore where you can browse or purchase any items you may like to take home with you.

We return to our drop off location in Melbourne outside the National Gallery of Victoria between 4.30 and 5pm. If you are flying out after the tour, please do not book flights any earlier than 7pm to allow travel time to the airport and check in.

A single supplement is available for an extra $300 per person.

Book now!

Sunrise at Wineglass Bay - Photograph by Daniel TranExplore the Freycinet Peninsula as well as local surrounding areas, over four fantastic days of walking and sightseeing. This itinerary incorporates some of Tasmania’s most stunning scenery. Enjoy spectacular beaches, marvel at and walk on amazing rock formations and swim in crystal-clear waters of the Tasmanian east coast. Departing from Launceston we will drive east heading for Coles Bay which is the township leading into Freycinet National Park where we will be welcomed by the dramatic granite peaks of ‘The Hazards’.

Tour dates 2018

  • Saturday 7 to Tuesday 10 April – FULLY BOOKED

Tour inclusions:

  • Three nights accommodation at Freycinet Cottages overlooking the stunning Coles Bay and Hazards Mountains, on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional cost)
  • Meals include 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners. Plus trail mix, nibbles, fresh fruit
  • Tasting of local oysters and mussels at locally owned Freycinet Marine Farm
  • Four-hour Wineglass Bay cruise inclusive of Bento Box lunch of local Tasmanian produce
  • Two Park Trek guides who will drive, cook and care for you
  • Guiding and interpretation by experienced Park Trek guides on the walking trails each day
  • Transport which includes collecting from Launceston and returning back. We use a comfortable 12 seater mini coach with a trailer attached for luggage. Plus we use the coach to drop off and pick up during the course of the day.
  • We always have the kettle ready to boil, plenty of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Launceston – Coles Bay and Mt Amos

4km walking, approx. 4 hours of walking, including breaks (Hard grade)

Today we depart from Launceston with pick up at 8am for an 8.30am departure. We then drive to the east coast town of Coles Bay. Here we will stop for lunch before commencing our walk up Mt Amos.

Mt Amos is one of ‘The Hazards’ which are a mountain range within the Freycinet National Park. The Hazards are made up of the iconic rock known as ‘pink granite’ and therefore are a stunning pink and sometimes orange colour. This beautiful mountain does not cover great distances but it presents us with a more challenging walk, however we will be well rewarded at the top with a stunning view of the world-famous Wineglass Bay!

We walk from the base of Mt Amos and wind our way up this stunning mountain. This walk does include some rock walking but please be assured we will manage this safely and if conditions are not appropriate then we will change the walk to another day and replace with one that is more appropriate. You will get to experience walking up the beautiful pink granite through low-lying shrub, halfway up you will have views across Coles Bay and the Moulting Lagoon which is famous for its oyster farming and bird species. After putting in the effort we will be greatly rewarded at the top of Mt Amos (458m) with stunning views of Wineglass Bay, the Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet range and surrounding islands.

As we make the slow and steady descent you will now have a visual of what we have instore for you to experience over the next few days in Freycinet National Park.

Once we reach the bottom of Mt Amos and return to the bus we will then drive to our accommodation. Here we will unpack and settle everyone in before enjoying dinner at the local Iluka Tavern (at guests own expense)

If the weather is wet, we will offer an alternative walk for this day as the rocks can get quite slippery.

Accommodation: Freycinet Cottages
Meals: Lunch

Day 2: Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach circuit

11km, approx. 5.5 hours walking, including breaks – easy to moderate grade
After breakfast and lunch making we head off for the day’s walk which takes us to Wineglass Bay beach and Hazard’s beach on a circuit track.

Freycinet National Park is officially 100 years old which makes it one of two of the first National Parks in Tasmania. Freycinet has a unique geological history and therefore some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Most famously the pink granite beaches and contrasting white quartz beaches which we will be visiting today. Its unique history and rare plant life provide guests with an educational journey while taking in the sights on today’s walk. Whether you would like to watch for birds or spot native wildlife, there’s always something to see in this beautiful national park.

The section of trail we travel on today is one of the more popular in the area but it is not to be missed. Today we explore Wineglass Bay and Hazard’s Beach which both hold their own unique history and beauty. Today’s trek includes some bush walking, beach walking and a slight ascent and descent but the scenery and experiences are well worth the effort.

Freycinet National Park offers some of the most unique and diverse wildlife experiences. Keep your eyes peeled and if we are lucky we may get to see a migrating Southern Humpback whale or Southern right whale making their way down south. More commonly spotted wildlife includes the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Bennett’s Wallaby’s, short-beaked Echidna’s, Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers and Australasian Gannets.

We stop to explore Wineglass Bay Beach and its history before continuing on to Hazard’s Beach for our lunch stop. At Hazard’s beach you will be given an insight into the history and life of our Tasmanian Aborigines who occupied this area dating back to 30,000 years ago. These coastal areas were important to the aborigines for food, shellfish and marine vegetables. We will learn more about their history as we walk this pristine coastline before arriving back at the Park Trek vehicle by early afternoon.

After the day’s walk we head back to our accommodation where guests can refresh and relax. After a quick break we then head off to the local oyster farm to experience some fresh, local produce straight from the farm. Guests will be treated to a fresh taste test of the local produce.

On our return to the accommodation one of your guides will have pre-dinner nibbles waiting and a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides will be served shortly after.

Accommodation: Freycinet Cottages
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3:

Day 3: Wineglass Bay Cruise and Mt Parsons

4hr cruise and 4km walking, approx 2.5 hours walking, including breaks – moderate grade

After breakfast, we will meet to walk along the beautiful Richardson’s Beach which will take us to the Coles Bay jetty, where we will be boarding the Wineglass Bay Cruise.

The first part of today will be spent enjoying the sights and surrounds of Freycinet National Park from the water. This will provide you with a totally different perspective of the park that can only be experienced by boat. We will cruise south following the coast, stopping to look at various locations and wildlife along the way. Our skipper will keep us well informed on our journey and will be sure to provide us with knowledge of the environment, wildlife species and history of the park. We then continue to follow the coastline south until we reach the Schouten Passage. Here we will learn about the marine and bird life and also the unique history of the Great Oyster Bay. The cruise will then pass through the Schouten Passage and head north along the coast where we will be below soaring sea cliffs and fascinating granite rock formations.

The cruise will anchor for lunch in the iconic Wineglass Bay where we will be served a delicious lunch. After lunch we head out of Wineglass Bay and retrace our journey back to the jetty. We are free to experience the cruise outside from the front deck, taking in all the sights and smells or from the comfort of the cabin. A range of bird species also follow this route south including short-tailed shear waters or more commonly known as the mutton bird who migrate annually all the way from Siberia. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for pods of dolphins, seals or whales!

After we return to Coles Bay one of your guides will be waiting to collect you from the jetty where we will drive the short distance back to the Lodge for a short break. Guests can refresh and prepare themselves for our afternoon walk up Mt Parsons. Once we are ready we will depart the Lodge for Sleepy Bay where we will start our walk.

Sleepy Bay is located on the eastern shore of the Freycinet Peninsula. As the name suggests Sleepy Bay becomes quite shaded in the afternoons but presents beautiful scenery of pink granite beaches and crystal blue waters. From Sleepy Bay we continue on to Gravelly Beach where we start our ascent up Mt Parsons.

Mt Parsons is the smallest mountain included in the Hazards range. However, even though Mt Parsons is less in height the mountain does not offer any less of a view. As we climb Mt Parsons (250m) to our north east we will see Cape Tourville lighthouse situated on the point. Though not as steep as Mt Amos we will still have an exciting journey experiencing rock walking and bush walking to the top of Mt Parsons.

Once we descend and return to Sleepy Bay we will return back to our accommodation for a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Freycinet Cottages

Day 4: Cape Tourville and Bluestone Bay to Friendly Beaches

12km, approx. 4.5 hours walking including breaks, moderate grade

After breakfast and lunch making, we head out for our final day of walking and experience one of the more remote areas of the national park.

Freycinet National Park is full of Aboriginal and European history. Today we will have the opportunity to gain an insight into both these histories and their significance within the park.

We will start the day with a short explore around Cape Tourville and the lighthouse. We will then be dropped off at the beginning of our walk to the beautiful Bluestone Bay. From here we have a short climb before we begin our gradual descent heading for the white sand of Friendly Beaches. This coastal walk is one of the best kept secrets of the park. We will walk the same journey that the Oyster Bay Tribe would have walked to migrate inland for their hunting season. Lighting up the track are the rare and wonderful wildflowers and bush orchids, watch as the vegetation changes along the track.

Once we reach Friendly Beaches we will meet up with our other guide and stop to take in the views over lunch. Then we continue walking the beautiful white quartz sand beach admiring the aborigines middens along the way.

Once back at the bus we will be ready to make our journey back to Launceston. With a refreshing stop for fresh local berry ice cream just outside of Coles Bay we will be on our way and back in Launceston by approximately 5pm. If flying out after the tour please do not book flights before 6.30pm.

Freycinet Cottages – about our accommodation

We stay at the Freycinet Cottages which are located in Coles Bay. The one and two bedroom cottages overlook Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay and across to the Hazards Mountains. They are within walking distance to the shops and cafe, and just a short stroll to Richardson’s beach.

The one bedroom cabins set in lovely rustic bush land surrounds offer a queen bed with en suite bathroom. The two bedroom cabins have a queen master bedroom and a second bedroom with single beds. Both cabins contain a well catered full kitchen, comfortable lounge area and covered private balcony with stunning views over the water. Access to the beach is right across the road, and the National Park is only minutes’ drive away.

 

Book now!

Images courtesy Tourism Tasmania, Tourism Australia, Graham Freeman, Adrian Cook, Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography, Paul Sinclair, Daniel Tran, Wineglass Bay Cruises, Kathryn Leahy, Andrew Wilson, Nick Osborne and Pete Harmsen.

Flinders Ranges Walking Tour with Park Trek - Two hikers enjoying the amazing viewsTake the Park Trek Flinders Ranges five-day walking tour, a unique Australian experience. We’ll take you to many renowned landmarks including Wilpena Pound, the Heysen Trail, Brachina Gorge and Alligator Gorge.

Our 5-day fully accommodated trip includes all transport, meals and two Park Trek guides. Stay at Rawnsley Park for all the creature comforts after a hard day’s hiking. Enjoy the Flinders Ranges in comfort.

Tour inclusions

  • Two Park Trek guides, who will drive, cook and care for you.
  • Return transport from Adelaide. We use a comfortable 12 seater mini coach with a trailer attached for luggage.
  • 3 dinners, 4 lunches, 4 breakfasts. Plus trail mix, nibbles, fresh fruit.
  • We always have the kettle ready to boil, plenty of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits / cake.
  • 4 nights accommodation on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional expense).

 

Tour dates 2018

  • Thursday 12 April to Monday 16 April – 1 PLACE LEFT
  • Saturday 21 to Wednesday 25 April – 1 PLACE LEFT
  • Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 June – FULLY BOOKED
  • Monday 11 to Friday 15 June – FULLY BOOKED
  • Sunday 17 to Thursday 21 June – FULLY BOOKED
  • Saturday 23 to Wednesday 27 June – 3 FULLY BOOKED
  • Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 2 September – FULLY BOOKED

 

Tour dates 2019

  • Friday 5 to Tuesday 9 April
  • Friday 26 to Tuesday 30 April
  • Friday 7 to Tuesday 11 June
  • Thursday 13 to Monday 17 June
  • Thursday 20 to Monday 24 June
  • Wednesday 26 to Sunday 30 June

 

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.

After our walk, we continue on to our place of stay at Rawnsley Park Station. Here we unpack and relax and nibbles are served by the campfire followed by a two-course dinner prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Rawnsley Park.
Meals: lunch and dinner

Day 2

12kms, approx 6 hours walking including breaks (moderate to hard)

After breakfast and lunch making we head out on the Morolana Scenic Drive, where we enjoy the sights of majestic River Red Gums and spectacular scenery.

We begin our walk on the famous Heysen Trail for a section that brings us into the Wilpena Pound. This is one of the very special walks of the Trail, starting with a pretty creek walk through Black Gap, before climbing the Pound Range to Bridle Gap, where a look back provides spectacular views of Elder Range.

We walk to the floor of the Wilpena Pound and stop off at Hills Homestead to gain a better understanding of how challenging life was for the 19th century pioneering farmers. Entering the Flinders Range National Park, it is a pleasant stroll across Wilpena Pound to complete the day.

There is an opportunity this afternoon for any guests who would like to take part in a scenic flight which can be booked onsite and departs from Rawnsley Park.

Nibbles around the campfire are served by your guides followed by a delicious two-course dinner prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Rawnsley Park Station
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3

12kms approx 5 hours combined walking across 2 walks (moderate to hard)

After breakfast and lunch making we depart Rawnsley Park for our day’s walking. Today we some shorter walks that offer great variety and spectacular views of the Flinders Ranges.

We start with an 8km walk of the Yuluna Circuit at Aroona where we discover old pastoral ruins and pass through contrasting rock formations and vegetation. The ruins of the old Aroona Homestead, built in the 1850s, serves as a reminder of the difficult early years of European settlement. The risk of failure through adverse seasons and native hostility to their intrusion was an ever-present factor in the pastoralists survival. This walk affords lovely views of the Heysen and Trezona Ranges.

Our second walk is the 3km Trezona loop walk where we can see some of the earliest life forms on earth in the Trezona formation.

We finish up today’s activities by exploring Brachina Gorge which is one of the park’s most popular and spectacular attractions. Brachina Gorge meanders its way through sharp sawtooth ridges of resistant quartzite. This spectacular gorge was once used as a pass through which bullock teams pulled their loads.  The ‘Corridors through Time’ Geological Trail has been established through this Gorge which interprets the geological history of the area.

Two-course dinner prepared by your Park Trek guides at Rawnsley Park

Overnight at Rawnsley Park

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4

12kms approx 6.5 hours walking including breaks and swim (moderate to hard)

After breakfast and lunch making we head off. Today’s walk is a 12km return journey to the beautiful Blinman Pools. The last pool makes for a great place to stop and relax under the magnificent river red gums or a swim if you’re game! The Blinman Pools, with their pretty waterfalls, have been popular picnic spots since the 1800s. Wildlife abounds as you wind your way through the rocky creek bed to the Pools. There are cascading waterfalls, majestic river red gums and wedge-tailed eagles.

In some places on the trail, sheer cliffs rise almost straight up from the creek bed, providing a spectacular backdrop. The two spring-fed creeks keep the first pool filled with water all year round. The second pool is low in summer, but after big rains it can fill up to 3 metres. At these times, the cool green waters stretch about 20-30 metres across.

We finish our walk mid afternoon and then take a short drive through Parachilna Gorge, past the trailhead of the Heysen Trail.

We have the option to spend some time in the outback town of Blinman before heading back to Rawnsley Park

Dinner at Rawnsley Park’s onsite restaurant (own expense)

Meals: breakfast and lunch (dinner guest own expense)

Day 5

2kms approx 1.5 hours walking (easy)

After breakfast and lunch making 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.

Single Supplements

A single supplement is available at the time of booking. If you want to have a room to yourself the total single supplement amount payable is $300 for the six nights.

Book now!

We have just returned from our wonderful trip to the Flinders Ranges. Needless to say the food was excellent as always and the accommodation very comfortable. Our guides worked very hard to make it all run smoothly and we had a fantastic group of people with us, such good fun and everyone got on very well with no exceptions.

 

Elaine – Flinders Ranges