Guest blogger: Gina Woodward - email@example.com
If you’ve never experienced an Australian outback sky, then taking one of the Great Walks of Australia is a very special way to experience this breathtaking sight.
The changing of the seasons is also very special to experience. Sometimes we can forget what seasons really mean - apart from just grabbing a sweater or turning up the heat.
It’s these transformative moments when you take yourself out of the everyday, that can make all the difference to a vacation – they form the experience. One that you get to take home and call on whenever you need.
Here are some more amazing places to experience these moments, on foot and in comfort on one of the Great Walks of Australia.
In Central Australia, the Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort by Australian Walking Holidays is a unique way to enjoy highlights of the iconic Larapinta Trail over 6 days with comfort provided in spacious tents complete with relaxing deck areas.
Three semi-permanent camps located throughout the West MacDonnell Ranges offer a unique and supported way to discover the delights of the outback on foot. Indigenous experiences are key to this walk including food and informative guides.
The winter months in the Red Center of Australia are not only prime night sky viewing thanks to less humidity and clear skies, but also a great time for bird-watching. Again, more campfire moments, shared travel stories and laughs over wine offer transformative experiences for travelers.
In South East Queensland’s Main Range National Park is the Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers Retreats. Famous for its stunning collection of mountains, ridges, forest and ancient volcanic plateaus, this 4 day walk covers trail areas with private access only. The walk finishes with a night at the luxurious Spicers Peak Lodge, also one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia, and Australia’s highest non-alpine lodge at 1100m.
In the middle of their walking season, cooler temperatures are great for walking, and the night-time atmosphere with a glass of red wine and crackling logs on the fire is friendly and warm. The hot tubs at Canopy and Spicers Peak Lodges are truly tempting and can offer post-hike relief for weary limbs.
Many of the animals in this conservation area start to get a little more active in August with the impending Spring and breeding season.
Expanding the collection
In acknowledging the existence and development of even more incredible trails around the country, Great Walks of Australia expanded beyond their Signature Collection Walks in 2017. The new walk members offer the same standards as the signature walks – great service, fabulous food and wine, expert guides, and unique locations. Only the accommodation differs, hence their inclusion at a different level than the strict criteria of signature collection members.
New South Wales
Two new member walks have been added, both in NSW. The first was the new Seven Peaks Walk on Lord Howe Island. A first for NSW in the Great Walks of Australia collection, this six day walk is based at Pinetrees Lodge - stunning boutique accommodation that's not however for the exclusive use of just walkers, unlike those in the signature collection. This UNESCO World Heritage listed island destination is a bird watcher’s paradise and offers a range of walking trails, from moderate days out exploring the island through to the extreme challenge of the Mt Gower ascent. Walk options are determined with the guides depending on guest ability and enthusiasm.
Recognizing the need to also add some shorter walks to the group for those who are more limited in their holiday time, the second walk is the Blue Mountains Grand Traverse by AusWalk. This walk takes in spectacular highlights of the easily accessed Blue Mountains – the Grand Canyon, the National Pass and Ruined Castle. A three day/two night trip ex-Sydney, this walk gives a true taste of a great walks experience but allows guests to make the most of limited time and easy access to a capital city.
[Read our Previous blog Great Walks Of Australia : Part I]
Many guests reflecting on their Great Walks of Australia experiences often refer to moments that transformed them, and what parts of each experience they can refer to in their daily lives. Was it the delicate detail of the wildflowers? Did they meet eye-to-eye with some friendly wildlife and share a moment? Did they spot a bird they’d never previously seen, or share a fireside story with a stranger? Were they surprised by their ability to switch off their devices and manage without them? Did they embrace their natural curls and secretly not miss their hairdryer? Whatever their moment was, it's their own to embrace and remind them to sometimes step outside their comfort zone and explore something new when the time arises.
Whatever you call it – walking, trekking, hiking, bush-walking or tramping, exploring on foot brings a whole new meaning to a place, and is a great way to discover in-depth the place you have chosen to explore with your guide and some new friends.
If you want to experience a transformative holiday, a moment in time that changes you, then the next step is yours …