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Japan - 14 day

Japan: Shikoku Pilgrimage Temple Trail

Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, is one of tranquility and beautiful, natural surroundings and home to the fascinating Pilgrimage Temple Trail. This relaxed walk takes you off the beaten path, through rural villages and forests, offering a window to traditional Japan, where you will be so incredibly welcomed by the locals.

The trip (and temples we have chosen to visit) is designed so you get to experience three different areas of Shikoku. To traverse theses short distances across the island, we use a combination of private transfer, bus and rail. On some days, you will walk from temple to temple through villages and other days the course will take you through forests and farming country.

To enjoy the walking, we recommend a reasonable level of fitness and that you feel comfortable with walking 15km over the course of a day.

* Your main luggage is transferred from accommodation to accommodation, so you only need carry a light day pack. On a few nights during the trip, your luggage will not be delivered at some of the accommodation, so you will need to take the few items required for those nights in your day pack. 

The temples of Koyasan form a small town on the wooded mountain, about 1000 metres above sea level, with visitors arriving by cable car, bus or taxi. Sites include the Garan, Kongobuji and the Reihokan Museum. Another ‘must see’ here is Okunoin, Mount Koya's most sacred site, which contains a cemetery that is home to the remains of warlords, celebrities, samurai, shoguns, high priests, businessmen and artists.

and was once the 10th largest city in Japan. Tokushima is known as having typical characteristics of a Japanese castle town. Initially developed under the Hachisuka clan, its prosperity was built on a strong indigo dye industry. Visit Ryozenji Temple (Temple 1). The temple is in a serene garden setting where there are statues carved by Kobo Daishi. 

Starting with a transfer to Anrakuji Temple (Temple 6), the site of an ancient hot spring, we commence our walk through small rural villages on mainly flat terrain. From here, we visit Juraku-ji Temple (Temple 7), with its large double tree called the 'parent and child' pine, dating back 300 years; Kumataniji Temple (Temple 8), which has a gate that is considered to be the finest of all 88 temples; Horinji Temple (Temple 9), which has the only reclining Buddha statue - carved by Kobo Daishi - on the Shikoku pilgrimage and finally Kirihataji Temple (Temple10), with 330 steps on the path up to the main hall. From Temple 10 we have a private transfer to our accommodation.

Today’s walk is mainly flat, along paved paths. We start with a visit to Idoji Temple (Temple 17), with its seven Medical Buddha statues. Then to the Soto Zen Buddhist Kanonji Temple (Temple 16); Kokubunji (Temple 15); Jorakuji (Temple 14) which has one of the most unusual courtyards of the entire pilgrimage built on an uneven rock bed and finally Dainichiji (Temple 13).

Private transfer from Temple 13. We have a short, uphill walk through the forest to the Kakurin-ji Temple (Temple 20), the Crane Forest Temple - the crane being a symbol of longevity and good fortune. We then descend to a small rural hamlet and climb again to Tairyu-ji Temple (Temple 21) with spectacular views over the cedar forest.

Train transfer to Kagawa Prefecture, firstly walking to Negoro-ji (Temple 82) and then Shiromine-ji (Temple 81) which has some of the oldest buildings on the pilgrimage, dating back to the 17th century. These two temples are located on a plateau called Goshiki Dai (The Plateau of Five Colours) because it consists of five differently coloured peaks symbolising the five forms of the Cosmic Buddha. Finally, we visit Kokubun-ji (Temple 80), which has the finest and largest statue on Shikoku with eleven faces and forty-two arms.

A full day to rest or explore Kotohira Spa. Visit the Shinto shrine Konpira-dai-gongen, located halfway up Mount Zozu, at an elevation of 520 metres. Option to visit the Konpira Grand Theatre Kanamaruza Kabuki Hall, the oldest original Kabuki Theatre.

Ehime is situated in the north-western part of Shikoku and literary means “lovely princess ”. As the name indicates, the climate is warm and mild and the area is rich in beautiful nature. It is surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea, or the Aegean Sea of the Orient, and Shikoku Mountain Range including Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest peak in western Japan. Blessed with the abundant nature, as well as unique history, culture, and a traditional spirit of hospitality, Matsuyama is the capital of Ehime and the largest city of Shikoku. It is best known for its impressive castle and Dogo Onsen. Dogo Onsen is one of Japan's oldest and most famous hot springs and is popular for its beautiful bathhouse. The Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan's most prestigious guests, the Imperial Family.

Private transfer to Iwaya-ji Temple (Temple 45) which is closely linked to Kobo Daishi. Here you can visit his meditation spot with beautiful views of the surrounding region. Walking along mountain and forest trails from Temple 45 to Daiho-ji (Temple 44) which is located on top of a mountain in a calm and quiet cedar forest.

Private transfer to Joruriji Temple (Temple 46), where there is a stone image of the Buddha’s footprints. It is said that if you stand on it with your bare feet, any pain in your feet will disappear. The walk today is mainly flat through a mix of suburban and countryside. From here we walk to Yasakaji Temple (Temple 47), Sairinji Temple (Temple 48), Jodoji Temple (Temple 49) and then Hantaji Temple (Temple 50). 

Train transfer to Nankobo Temple (Temple 55). Today’s walk takes us from urban townscape to rural farming villages, before entering a forest with a gradual climb and then downhill. From Temple 55 to Enmeiji Temple (Temple 54), a temple for scholarly learning and onto Taisanji Temple (Temple 56) known as ‘Easy Birth Temple’ as the main deity is to ease child birth. Walk to Eifuku Temple (Temple 57) a favourite location for offering prayers for safety at sea, Taisan-ji Temple (Temple 58) and finally Iyo Kokubun-ji Temple (Temple 59) where it is said that Kobo Daishi stayed and painted five great deities.

Train and private transfer and then an uphill walk to Yokomine-ji Temple (Temple 60) located on top of a 700 metre mountain. From here it is down through the forest and rural landscapes to Maegamiji Temple (Temple 64). Both these temples are set in picturesque natural surroundings.

Today your adventure in Shikoku comes to an end, however your journey will live on through the memories of this unique place.

Japan has been a country inhabited for at least thirty thousand years. During the last ice age, it was connected to mainland Asia by a land bridge allowing stone-age hunters to walk across. When the ice age ended around 10,000 BC Japan became a group of islands, which is how it sits today.

Boasting a unique historical culture and warm-hearted people, the island of Shikoku, despite being only a short hop from Osaka remains reasonably isolated, with few travellers making the journey to this relatively undiscovered part of Asia.

Shikoku is perhaps most famous for its pilgrimage route of eighty-eight Sacred Temples. For many Japanese, it is a dearly held ambition to complete a circuit of the pilgrimage (also known as ‘Henro’) at some point in their lives, following in the footsteps of the country's greatest saint Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

Our path takes us through rural Japan where the pace of life slows to the rhythm of the seasons, and where natural and spiritual treasures unfold at every step. We will wander through the beautiful forest to visit 34 of the 88 impressive temples. Those who do make the effort to leave the bustle of Japan's city life behind soon find themselves rewarded by an island of immense natural beauty, steeped in colourful legend and history.

Before crossing the water to Shikoku, we travel the short distance from Osaka, where we spend two nights in the serene and secluded town of Koyasan. This is the site of Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum and the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism.

3 nights Temples with a combination of private and shared facilities

10 nights Hotels with a combination of private and shared facilities

ESCORTED/HOSTED GROUP TRIP

 

DEPARTURE DATES: October 20, 2019 & March 18, 2020

 

TRIP LENGTH: 14 days/13 nights

 

GROUP SIZE: Maximum 14       

 

MEALS: 13 Breakfasts, 9 Dinners 

 

OTHER: Luggage Transfer - 15kg. * See additional information in 'A Note About the Walking' section below

 

TRIP GRADE: Moderate  

 

TRIP TYPE: Experienced local leader/guide

 

PRICE FROM: Yen 525,000 per person 

 

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: On request 

 

DEPOSIT: AU$1,500

DEPARTURE DATES: 

March 18, 2020

Prepare for your walk

If you are joining a Park Trek tour there are a few things to note.

  • Most healthy adult can participate in a Park Trek walking holiday. If you can walk upwards of 15 kilometres or more in a day, carrying a lightweight day pack, you will find our tours totally achievable.
  • While we typically walk on well forged walking tracks, the quality and degree of difficulty can vary greatly. You may find some tracks rocky and lumpy underfoot, soft and sandy, or muddy and slippery.
  • Sometimes there is the need to negotiate obstacles such as fallen trees, sections of scree or steep steps.
  • Ensure you come along with, not only the right footwear, rain gear and clothing, but also the right frame of mind!

What you need to bring

  • Clothing for the duration of the trip
  • A comfortable pair of walking shoes (runners or flat-soled shoes will not suffice except as something you can wear after a day’s activity)
  • Toiletries and any personal medication.
  • Walking poles with a telescopic arm (if you are comfortable with using these).
  • Other items relevant to specific trips will be detailed in trip notes sent to you prior to travel.

Note: Full details of what to bring can be found in the downloadable trip notes.

You are only required to carry a day back pack with you on the walking trails. This should contain your lunch/snacks, plenty of water (bottled or in a water bladder), sunscreen/sunhat, light waterproof jacket, and a hat/beanie is a good idea if the weather is likely to be changeable.

A soft bag is ideal for the trip. Soft bags are more forgiving in terms of packing/unpacking and storage. They are also more manageable for the guides to lift and move around.

Although not compulsory, comfortable hiking boots are strongly encouraged on the hikes. Often the ground underfoot is rocky and uneven, and hiking boots make the walking a little easier. If you are going to purchase new boots specifically for the hike, we suggest you wear them in well before the walk begins.

Usually at the bottom of the trip notes you receive when you complete your tour booking, you will notice a list of suggested items to pack for the trip. Of course these will differ from trip to trip, but are generally a great indication of what you will need, to make the trip comfortable.

With prior notification (usually on booking) we can cater for most dietary requirements, ie: lactose intolerance, coeliac, vegetarian, gluten free to name a few. Even if its a simple request such as: “I prefer soy milk” we can cater for this.

If you have a favorite brand of food you particularly like, or a food item with a particular flavor for example, by all means bring it along with you. There are some restrictions bringing in fresh food in some locations, ie you can not take honey onto Kangaroo Island. If you are unsure just check with us and we can advise you of any restrictions that may apply to the destination of your tour.

Park Trek only offers non-alcoholic beverages while on tour. We do however welcome guests to bring wine/beer along with them. If you are bringing bottled wine please pack this well in your main bag to avoid breakages. We often stop en-route on the first day at a bottle shop where you can purchase alcohol for the tour.

Unless listed in the itinerary, such as a restaurant meal or coffee, all expenses are included in the tour price. There are no hidden extra costs, such as National Park fees or transfer charges.

On the first day of the tour we collect guests from a central pickup point. This point is listed in the trip notes you receive upon booking your tour. For example: if you are going on the Daylesford Goldfields Track walk, the central pickup point is the National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

If you would like to organise a private group tour, we can easily organise this for you, whether it be a large or small number of people.

All of the walking destinations on our scheduled departure calendar can be organised for private groups or charters. We can also tailor make a package to a destination of your choosing. Just get in touch to ask us how.

Here is a brief overview of what we can offer:

  • Expert guides who will drive and cater for your group. Park Trek guides are hardworking, resourceful, talented and friendly.
  • Walking with small day packs only so there is no need for guests to carry heavy back packs.
  • Accommodation which can vary from 3 to 5 stars. It just comes down to your budget.
  • Transport and other logistical details. We can collect you from a location that is convenient to you, whether that be the airport, your place of stay or elsewhere.
  • Park Trek can provide all meals, or a combination of guide-catered meals and local restaurant dining.
  • Your tour fees also cover any Parks entrance fees.
  • Length of journey and location of walk to suit style and budget
  • We can also combine trips and tailor make a package just for you!

All you need to do is contact us with your request for more information about a particular trip and we can work out the costs for you.

Feel free to give us a call in the office during business hours (03) 5639 2615, or send us an email with an outline of what you’re after and we can get in touch to discuss the details.

Park Trek is passionate about providing quality, unique and unforgettable nature-based walking holidays.

As an eco-certified organisation, we seek to guide walkers to beautiful and interesting locations all around Australia. While this gives us enormous satisfaction, we are also well aware of the impact this has on the environment and the places we visit.

To ensure we preserve the character and beauty of these destinations, we try to minimize our environmental footprint as well as supporting local communities.

Our guides are dedicated and informative who share their passion of the great outdoors and knowledge on local history, wildlife and topography.

We are proud to be able to provide a safe, social and healthy environment for like-minded travellers to enjoy the great outdoors.

Park Trek is passionate about providing quality, unique and unforgettable nature-based walking holidays. We are committed to best practice with all environmental aspects of our business and endeavour to identify and minimise all possible environmental risks that the business may encounter.

As an Advanced Eco-certified organisation, we seek to guide walkers to beautiful and interesting locations all around Australia. While this gives us enormous satisfaction, we are also well aware of the impact this has on the environment and the places we visit.

To ensure we preserve the character and beauty of these destinations, we try to minimize our environmental footprint as well as supporting local communities. We stay in locally owned and operated accommodation on all tours and seek out environmentally and socially responsible partnerships with our suppliers—who create sustainable business through their efforts. In addition, we purchase supplies and tour food items where possible from local businesses to ensure low food miles.

Our locally employed guides are able to share their cultural and historical knowledge of tour locations. By employing expert guides who live in the region where they lead trips, we both benefit the local economy and open doors to authentic personal interactions with the community.

We are proud to be able to provide a safe, social and healthy environment for like-minded travellers to enjoy the great outdoors. We understand that environmental concerns are a shared responsibility and we encourage all guests to observe to the following when on the trail:

• Leave no trace. Leave everything as you found it. Don’t disturb places of historical significance, Aboriginal sites, plants, animals or geological features

• Choose appropriate footwear for the terrain you will be encountering. Lightweight hiking boots or shoes should suffice

• Don’t stray from the track, even if it’s rough or muddy. Walking on the track edges and cutting corners on steep, zigzagging tracks increases erosion and visual scarring

• Respect and appreciate the local wildlife

• Be quiet where possible. This reduces the chance of disturbing wildlife and increases the likelihood of seeing it

• Take all rubbish with you. Even discarded organic litter such as apple cores or orange skin adds nutrients to the soil which can aid the spread of weeds

• Avoid walking on sensitive vegetation by staying on rocks and hard ground wherever possible. Swamp and bog plants, mosses and other soft vegetation are easily destroyed by trampling

• Only use toothpaste and soap if you’re at least 50m from any waterways, to prevent harm to fish and other wildlife

• Please don’t feed native animals – it can damage their health and make them dependent on humans for food

• Do not damage or remove any native plant species, shells from beaches, coastal areas or inland middens

Advanced EcoTourism Certification assures travellers that our products are supported by a strong, well-managed commitment
to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.
The advanced EcoTourism Certification Program is a world first and it has been developed to address the need to identify genuine nature and ecotourism operators.

Australia's leading and most innovative ecotourism products that operate with minimal impact on the environment and provide opportunities to learn about the environment with operators who are committed to achieving best practice, using resources wisely, contributing to conserving the environment and helping local communities.

Most walkers are familiar with the basics of minimal impact behavior or the ‘Leave-No-Trace’ philosophy. Some the most important points are:Prepare – through contacts with park managers we know the regulations and special concerns of the areas we visit.

  • Prepare – through contacts with park managers we know the regulations and special concerns of the areas we visit.
  • Tread softly – we stay on tracks and board walks whenever possible. When walking off the beaten track we try to stay on hard surface to avoid creating new tracks.
  • Pack in-Pack out – we do not leave anything on the trail. Any rubbish generated by us is always brought back out.
  • Small groups – while walking we are trying to limits groups sizes. Larger groups are often split into two parties.
  • Respect wildlife – we don’t interfere with animals in anyway, and avoid feeding or touching wildlife. When we encounter wildlife we do our best not to disturb them.
  • Consider hosts and other visitors – we respect the wishes of our hosts, be it Indigenous people, land managers or locals. We respect other visitors we encounter on the trails.

The destinations we visit are more often than not located in remote or rural communities. As visitors we are dependent on the locals to provide us with accommodation and other services. To support the local economy we use local service providers as much as we can.

  • Accommodation – when looking for places to stay, we favor locally owned accommodation, particularly those committed to environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Eat and shop local – on each tour we usually spend at least one night out, be it at a small cozy restaurant or at the local pub. Our guests often pick up locally made goods along the way further supporting the local economy.
  • Local guides – on many tours we are joined by local guides to help provide expert local knowledge. We also often join local tours to learn about bush tucker, indigenous culture or local wildlife.

Many of our tours take place in sensitive protected areas, National Parks and World heritage-listed locations. Only licensed Tour Operators with a proven record of operating according to best practice environmental standards are allowed to operate in such areas.

Each state has its own stringent conditions that tour operators have to abide by. Park Trek is proud of the fact that we are licensed to operate tours in National Parks and protected areas all over Australia. Our guides undertake specialised training focused on Aboriginal culture and heritage and are certified to lead tours in iconic World Heritage sites such as Kakadu.

The food we serve is healthy, hearty and home style. Our menus are designed to showcase the fabulous regional produce. Fresh local cheese, yoghurt, fruit,  vegetables, fish and meats are used, supporting local farmers and minimising our food miles.

We don’t offer five-star dining, but our guides take pride in ensuring that all meals are delicious and plentiful, prepared with top quality fresh seasonal ingredients.

Breakfast is a continental spread of cereals, stewed fruit, yoghurt, toast and spreads. Coffee and tea are always available at your base accommodation.

Lunch can vary from day to day, but includes meat, salad, bread and wraps. Some days might include something different like a roasted chicken or a quiche.

Dinner is a casual two-course meal of main and dessert prepared by your guides. The menu changes to suit available fresh produce but could  include a classic roast lamb, salmon fillet or Thai chicken. Dessert may include things like maple baked apples, pears in red wine or seasonal fruit salad.

Snacks and nibbles –  guests can prepare their own trail each morning from the self serve trail mix selection. There will be fresh fruit for the trail, and biscuits or fruit cake for tea breaks.

Pre-dinner antipasto – each evening we prepare a tasty selection of antipasto delights, dips, cheese and crackers before dinner.

Dietary requirements – we are able to accommodate guests’ specific dietary requirements if advised beforehand, and can prepare meals to meet individual needs.

Alcohol – out tours do not include include alcoholic beverages, however guests are most welcome to bring beer/wine along with them. If you are bringing bottled wine please ensure this is packed well in your main bag to avoid breakages. There may also be an opportunity to visit a local bottle shop while on tour.

Park Trek’s walking holidays are relaxed and friendly accommodating guests of all ages. Our small group tours attract like-minded people generally aged between 45 and 75 years.

Guests range from people travelling on their own, to couples, friends and groups.

What Park Trek provides:

As soon as you join a Park Trek tour your needs are looked after. We provide:

  • All transport in comfortable mini-coaches
  • Experienced and helpful guides
  • Fully guided walking tours and interpretation along the trail
  • Thoughtfully planned itineraries
  • Excellent meals and snacks
  • Warm and friendly atmosphere

Cindy Tomlin

Cindy is passionate about travel, nature and wildlife. She has ventured to many places, spending two years living and travelling in North America. During this time she volunteered with Earth Watch Expeditions and studied grey whales, kayaked with humpback whales in Alaska and had close encounters with Kodiak brown bears and polar bears.

Her travels fueled her passion and interest in the field of Eco Tourism so she completed a Diploma at William Angliss. Cindy is a keen scuba diver and has worked with Park Trek for several years. She has lead numerous Park Trek Tours into Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk, Kangaroo Island, the Great Ocean Walk and The Tarkine Wilderness.

Andrew Zylinski

Andrew is Park Trek’s Tarkine specialist. He has been guiding with Park Trek for a number of years and you can be assured of his deep knowledge across a wide range of interests including bird watching, geology, botany, climate and history.

His in-depth knowledge has been gained by his time as an engineer, teacher and traveller in Australia and around the world.

Andrew really enjoys preparing delicious meals for his guests using fresh produce. His relaxed manner, professional approach and ability to talk about any topic will ensure you will extract the maximum possible value out of any trip you take under his capable leadership.

These days Andrew shares his time between winters at El Questro and summers down south taking Park Trek tours.

Ann McCoy

Ann is a passionate guide, loves working in the great outdoors and enjoys talking about the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

As a Park Trek guide, Ann’s goal is to provide opportunities for guests to unwind, relax and develop connections with the natural world and come away feeling refreshed and invigorated by their experiences.

She thinks the natural environment provides people with an escape from their busy and often stressful working lives, by reconnecting with the slow pace of nature it allows people to step back and re-evaluate their priorities.

Ann holds a Bachelor of Science specialising in plant ecology and a graduate diploma in outdoor education. She hosts mostly Great Ocean Walk, Grampians, Wilsons Prom and Alpine walks.

Angie Richards

After more than 25 years in education, Angie has taken a career change to join Park Trek.

A keen walker and cyclist, she has explored the great outdoors extensively, both in Australia and overseas. One of the biggest challenges Angie faces when travelling is deciding what adventure to pursue next as she likes to keep herself busy.

Angie is keen to share her passion for the outdoors, her no fuss and relaxed attitude ensures guests have a great time on her walks. She has a genuine interest in her guests and thrives on the opportunity to make ‘maybes’ become ‘realities’. Rest assured Angie will provide friendly, efficient and accommodating guiding for your next outdoor adventure!

Allistair Gehan

Allistair has been with the Park Trek team for a number of years now and has travelled the length and breadth of Australia delivering tours to happy guests. Al is one of the youngest members of the team, but fits in perfectly on tour with our guests and guides alike. Everyone loves Al and his affable personality. His love of history, amazing organisational and logistics skills and calm, caring nature make him a great addition to the Park Trek team and ensure all of the tours he works on gain rave reviews.

Al lives in Ballarat and when he is not hitting the trails with Park Trek he enjoys gaming in his down time. You’re likely to see Al on one of our many tours around the country whether it be in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, NSW or Victoria.

Nick Morgan

Nick has spent the past decade gallivanting about the globe – seeking out good times & adventure. Trekking endeavours have taken him across the South American Andes, New Zealand, Morocco & South East Asia – but as another mad keen Tasmanian local, he says it is his island home which still gives him the most inspiration.

Nick has also worked as a walking guide on both the Overland Track & the Larapinta Trail, and occasionally works as an outdoor education instructor. His favourite places to hang out include “The Organ Pipes” on Mt Wellington, Mt Arapiles & of course – the South-West Tasmanian wilderness.

Zane Robnik

Zane grew up in the north east of Tasmania in a family that is passionate about bushwalking, the environment, and fostering curiosity.

He started work as a Tasmanian bushwalking guide at the age of 19, and loves to pass his values onto his guests to help create an unforgettable holiday. When he isn’t guiding, Zane loves to travel, cook, and spend time with his mates. But mostly, he can be found bushwalking all over Tasmania!

He is the youngest person to have climbed the Abels (158 highest mountains in Tasmania), and also achieved this goal in a record time frame. Zane is a passionate Tasmanian, and is always keen to share his knowledge.

Katri Werner

Despite being from South-East Queensland Katri has quickly made Tasmania her adopted home.

Although relatively new to tour guiding, it would be hard to find someone else with the same passion in teaching guests about the various flora and fauna the island has to offer.

Katri has always been one for adventure, spending a year in British Columbia working on ranches and exploring the wilderness of Patagonia.

She is a keen photographer, having captured some of Australia’s pristine landscapes and when not guiding you’ll find her behind the lens of some of Tasmania’s many landmarks.

Please read these booking conditions carefully as they form the basis on which bookings are accepted by Park Trek. The contract will be governed by and subject to these booking conditions, and to general information contained in Park Trek brochures, trip letters and the website.

How to book

  1. Contact us via phone or email and enquire about the specific trip/s you are interested in.
  2. We’ll respond and advise of availability.
  3. Once we have assured you of availability we will require a $250 deposit from you to guarantee the booking. You can do this via direct deposit or by cheque.
  4. We will also require you to complete a booking form and send it through either at the time of making the booking or soon after so we have all of the details we need from you including emergency contact, dietary requirements, etc.
  5. Final payment falls due 60 days prior to the trips departure, or if you are booking within 60 days of the trip departure the full amount is payable upon booking.
  6. You are always welcome to call us prior to your departure with any questions.

When you have chosen your itinerary please contact Park Trek to book. Reservations are subject to availability at the time of booking.

For domestic departures Park Trek requires a non-refundable holding deposit of AUD $250 per person (AUD $500 for Kimberley and AUD $400 for Bibbulmun) to accompany the booking form.

For international departures, the non-refundable holding deposit varies for different tours. The amount required for a non-refundable deposit is listed on individual international tours.

If you choose to pay the deposit via credit card there is a 2% surcharge transaction fee. This is a charge we pass on from our transaction supplier.

If a booking is made within 60 days of the trips departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. If, for any reason, your final payment fails to reach Park Trek by the due date, Park Trek reserves the right to treat the booking as being cancelled and thus applying the relevant cancellation fees shown below.

 

Booking Conditions for Luxury Escapes

If booking a package through Luxury Escapes, the high demand and limited departure dates does not allow any cancellations unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Luxury Escapes Refund Policy applies.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following are circumstances that DO NOT qualify for refunds:

  • if you change your mind (except where such change of mind and request is within the required cancellation periods outlined in this policy)

 

Booking Conditions for Wandering the World Tours

At Wandering the World we want your travel choices and plans to be as straight forward as possible.

It is essential to read and understand the conditions of booking, also to ensure you have a full understanding of the day to day itinerary and trip brief, and refer any questions to Wandering the World prior to making your booking.

Payment terms – A deposit is required at the time of booking to secure your place, in the currency stated on the website. The deposit will be in either AUD, USD, or EURO, (and the price will be quoted in either AUD, USD, EURO, GBP or YEN) as quoted by currency and amount. The balance will be due 60 days prior to the trip departure date, or as indicated for specialist groups (90 days). Please note where we have priced the trip in local currency and taking the deposit in Australian dollars, the balance due will calculate the local currency amount at the Westpac International Payment rate of the day and the deposit paid will be deducted from the balance due. Please also note the amount paid must exclude any bank fees to Wandering the World.

If the booking is made within 60 days of the trip departing, full monies is required at the time of booking. All monies are a direct deposit into Wandering the World’s bank account. No credit card payments are accepted, and apologies for any inconvenience.

Cancellation 60 plus days (90 days for specialist groups) from the date of trip departure is automatic loss of deposit.
Cancellation within 60 days of trip departure is loss of full monies 100% of trip price. No refunds will apply should you leave the trip for any reason.

Administration/change fee – Wandering the World reserve the right to pass on administration fees and/or change fees, whenever amendments are made to dates, pre and post accommodation, trip modification, and name changes, at any time from receiving the deposit.

Wandering the World reserves the right to cancel a trip, and/or review the itinerary at any stage prior, or during the trip, for situations not within Wandering the World’s control.

Pre and Post Accommodation is optional, and subject to availability. Please note if you confirm this option of additional pre, and or post accommodation, this is non-refundable, and will be included in the final invoice and calculated at the Westpac International Payment rate of the day. Please also note hotel listings will not be provided until final documentation approximately 30 days from the start of the trip.

Documentation

All necessary documentation will be forwarded via email up to 30 days prior to your Wandering the World trip departing, depending on the destination. Also please note for many of the itineraries, all directions, maps and essential information will be waiting at your joining hotel, on the date your trip is due to start (not at the place, or on the date of your pre-accommodation).

Insurance is compulsory for everyone who travels with Wandering the World. The insurance policy must include cover against personal accident.

Passports and visas are the responsibility of the individual. The applicants MUST ensure their passport carry a 6-month validity beyond the duration of your trip. Wandering the World cannot accept any responsibility if the applicant is refused entry to a country due to incorrect passport, or visa documentation. It is also advisable to carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times.

Responsibility – Wandering the World travels to a variety of countries, including Asia and parts of the world where standards of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, telecommunications, medical facilities and general infrastructure can vary from place to place. This may be unfamiliar to your usual living arrangements, or differ from a conventional holiday. Please take this into account at the time of booking and understand the levels of personal risk, which the applicant agrees to fully assume.

The applicant understands that during the course of the trip certain events may occur, including, but not limited to, accident or illness in remote places without medical facilities, political instability and the forces of nature. The applicant agrees to assume all risks associated with the journey to the maximum extent permitted by law. Any medical evacuation expenses incurred due to injury or illness will be the responsibility of the participant. Wandering the World reserves the right to refuse an applicant entry onto a tour due to medical or fitness grounds.

The applicant acknowledges that travel with Wandering the World requires a degree of flexibility and understands that the trip’s route, accommodation and modes of transport are subject to change without prior notice due to local circumstances. Should Wandering the World deem it advisable to amend an itinerary for any reason, it may do so by shortening, varying or re-routing any trip. These changes are binding and additional expenses will be charged to the applicant if the reason for any major alteration is outside Wandering the World’s control.

While travelling with Wandering the World the applicant agrees to accept the authority of the leader, or local operator at all times. The applicant is aware that travel within a group may involve compromise to accommodate the diverse desires and physical abilities of group members. The applicant understands that Wandering the World reserves the right to decline, accept, or retain any person as a member of the group at any time.

The applicant acknowledges that Wandering the World may contract with a network of companies, government agencies and individuals throughout Asia and worldwide to assist in the running of its tours. To the best of Wandering the Worlds knowledge, these third parties are qualified to perform the duties they are contracted to perform. However Wandering the World will not be held liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur due to the behaviour of these third parties. Wandering the World will not accept responsibility or liability for any traveller who contravenes any law or regulation of any country visited.

No employee, servant or agent of Wandering the World has authority to vary these conditions. This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia.

Government Travel Advice – The applicant acknowledges that by paying the deposit they have given due consideration to relevant Government travel advisories concerning the destination chosen and that it is their responsibility to be acquainted with such information and advice. Also, prior to travel and during your overseas trip, it is critical to understand the up to date Government Travel Advice. Governments publish this advice for countries around the world. Wandering the World highly recommend checking with government authorities regularly prior to travel to ensure up to date information is obtained. The following governing bodies regularly publish information for
travellers:

  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • U.S. Department of State

Trip costs are based on ground costs and exchange rates at the time of booking. Whilst we will do our utmost to avoid any price increases Wandering the World reserve the right to amend our prices without notice, at any time up to and including the day of trip departure, in the event of significant exchange rate fluctuations, increases in fuel costs, local flight costs or increases in ground operator service fees. Wandering the World will absorb up to the first AUD50 per person of any overall price increase from its ground operations and exchange rate fluctuations but reserve the right to pass any further increases onto the passenger.

Open Age & Fitness Levels -Wandering the World trips are designed for travellers of all ages assuming you are fit and healthy. Pre-holiday health preparation is advised along with a check-up with your regular doctor. Health advice in relation to vaccinations and any possible anti-malarial medication is also recommended.

The payment of deposit indicates you have read and fully understood the booking conditions. Any concerns at the time of booking must be raised directly with Glenyce Johnson: glenycej@wanderingtheworld.com.au.

 

The participant agrees to indemnify Park Trek, and its servant and agents, in relation to any liability, loss and damage which Park Trek, or its servants and/or agents may incur as a result of the participants, negligence or misconduct during the tour.

Smoking is not permitted on the bus, or in tents or in other accommodation being used by Park Trek at the time that a trip is being conducted.

In the event that you cancel your booking, the following charges apply.

Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Park Trek, with the following conditions:

Domestic tours

  • 60 days plus prior to trip departure – loss of deposit
  • 59 – 30 days prior to trip departure – 50% of the full price of the tour
  • 29 – 15 days prior to trip departure – 75% of full price of tour
  • Within 14 days of the trip departure – 100% of the full price of the total price for the trip.All prices are GST inclusive.
    No refund is available after departure of a tour has commenced.

International departures
Overseas Travel:

Cancellation of More than 70 days – Loss of Deposit
Between 69 and 31 days – Loss of 50% of Tour Cost
30 days or less – Loss of 100% of Tour Cost

  • International departures do not include GST
  • No refund is available after departure of a tour has commenced.

Local conditions may necessitate changes to sightseeing, walking and driving routes, camping and accommodation locations. While every effort will be made to provide the services and experiences as offered in our brochure, on our website, and in our trip letters, we reserve the right to vary your itinerary.

In the event that we are forced to change your arrangements, substitute arrangements of a similar standard will be provided. Park Trek will not be liable where interruptions to itineraries are caused by weather conditions, technical problems to transport used by Park Trek, industrial action, political or civil commotion or other circumstances beyond our control. We refer you to the conditions regarding travel insurance.

While Park Trek will do its utmost to honour its pricing unforeseen circumstances may mean that prices may be subject to change without notice.

In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled reservations in certain circumstances, Park Trek strongly recommends suitable travel insurance be purchased at the time the holding deposit is paid. We recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance against loss of baggage and medical expenses.

Please contact us directly to enquire about this product.

Check out some of our other tours below:

Victorian Alps – 4 day

Enjoy exceptional walking around the Bogong High Plains, be inspired and amazed by the panoramic vistas you’ll see on the trail and return every evening to a cosy lodge in the alpine village of Falls Creek.

VIEW TOUR »

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