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Home  >  Latest News from Great Walks  >  2012  >  October

Great Walks of Australia Launch – Consumer Press Release

Wednesday, 31 0ctober 2012: Great Walks of Australia (GWOA) launched today showcasing Australia as one of the world’s most attractive walking destinations, giving nature lovers new incentive to dust off their hiking boots and explore the remote wilderness of Australia.

GWOA is an inspiring collection of destination-based walks across the country offering journeys that explore Australia’s magnificent landscapes, without foregoing the creature comforts.

Seven independently owned and managed walks comprise the founding members of Great Walks of Australia: Cradle Mountain Huts Walk (TAS), Freycinet Experience Walk (TAS), The Arkaba Walk (SA) The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk (TAS), The Great Ocean Walk (VIC), The Larapinta Trail by World Expeditions (NT), The Maria Island Walk (TAS).

GWOA aims to increase the accessibility of Australia’s high-end walks and build awareness of Australia as a world-class walking destination.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy welcomed the initiative commenting on the quality of the walk operators.

“With so many of our country’s great hikes located in such stunning settings, the opportunities to build the best of Australia’s walks into the Australian holiday experience are enormous,” Mr McEvoy said.

“Importantly, the professional experience and expertise behind this initiative will help make these walks more accessible to visitors, especially those markets who want to explore and interact with our nature but also value the knowledge and insight that an experienced and passionate guide can bring to their experience.”

GWOA members offer superb and quintessentially Australian walking experiences that engage walkers in some of the world’s most spectacular terrain. They inspire travellers to explore Australia’s diverse landscape by foot, where guests reconnect with nature in small, intimate groups. The journeys are led by guides with a deep understanding of the environment and all operators provide the utmost in comfort through gourmet meals and exclusive, comfortable lodge facilities.

Dana Ronan, Acting Executive Officer, GWOA and owner of the Great Ocean Walk by bothfeet explained the distinct services offered by GWOA members.

“Given the highly specialised nature of Australia’s habitat, walking is by far the best way to actually immerse your senses in the subtleties of the bush and gain a genuine understanding of it. Whether it is taking in Tasmania’s alpine landscapes, Victoria’s spectacular coastline or the sheer space and magnitude of the outback, the Great Walks of Australia offer a very different and altogether inspiring perspective on Australia’s remarkable environment,” said Ms Ronan.

Charles Carlow, CEO Wild Bush Luxury, owner operator of The Arkaba Walk believes the formation of the organisation will enable a greater number of people to participate in Australia’s exceptional walking experiences.

“By bringing some of Australia’s most outstanding walks together we hope to attract more people to experience Australia’s varied terrain and the many stories of the land,” said Mr Carlow.

“As an activity, walking is not the preserve of the ‘super active’ – each of the Great Walks is accessible to most ages and varying degrees of fitness. Walkers do not have to carry a heavy pack and can look forward to fine food and wine at the end of a day’s walking in the bush.”

The GWOA initiative invites people to become a ‘Great Australian Walker’ and walking itineraries will be easy to plan through the organisation’s website www.greatwalksofaustralia.com.au.

Download a PDF version of this Press Release →

Media contacts:

Dana Ronan
Acting Executive Officer, Great Walks of Australia
Director Great Ocean Walk by bothfeet
Email: dronan@bothfeet.com.au
Phone: 1300 767 416
Mobile: 0407 522 098

Wednesday 31 October, 2012: Australia’s most iconic walks will be promoted more aggressively internationally as part of the work to be undertaken by a new association announced today, Great Walks of Australia (GWOA).

Seven independently owned and managed walks comprise the founding members of Great Walks of Australia: Cradle Mountain Huts Walk (TAS), Freycinet Experience Walk (TAS), The Arkaba Walk (SA) The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk (TAS), The Great Ocean Walk (VIC), The Larapinta Trail by World Expeditions (NT), The Maria Island Walk (TAS).

The organisation aims to build awareness of Australia’s profile as a world class walking destination by promoting the diversity and high standard of Australia’s best walking operations.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy welcomed the initiative, commenting on its potential for attracting international and domestic markets.

“With so many of our country’s great hikes located in such stunning settings, the opportunities to build the best of Australia’s walks into the Australian holiday experience are enormous,” Mr McEvoy said.

Great Walks of Australia will undoubtedly raise the profile of Australia as a hiking destination for international and domestic visitors, highlighting unique and immersive ways to experience Australia’s incredible natural environment.”

Dana Ronan, Acting Executive Officer, GWOA and owner of the Great Ocean Walk by bothfeet also commented on the organisation’s capacity for highlighting Australia’s competitive walking offerings.

“Australia is not well recognised on the world stage as a hiking destination but the walks we have are certainly world class and the sheer diversity of habitat we have as a walking destination is second to none. Through Great Walks of Australia we’ll have a platform to showcase what we offer the walking market,” said Ms Ronan.

Great Walks of Australia will promote fully guided walking experiences with exclusive accommodation that cater for small groups which deliver a richer, deeper experience to visitors.”

“Given the highly specialised nature of Australia’s habitat, walking is by far the best way to actually immerse your senses in the subtleties of the bush and gain a genuine understanding of it. Whether it is taking in Tasmania’s alpine landscapes, Victoria’s spectacular coastline or the sheer space and magnitude of the outback, the Great Walks of Australia offer a very different and altogether inspiring perspective on Australia’s remarkable environment,” continued Ms Ronan.

Great Walks of Australia will use its website and trade promotion channels to target international markets including the UK and Europe and North America.

Charles Carlow, CEO Wild Bush Luxury, owner operator of The Arkaba Walk believes that the formation of Great Walks of Australia will enable a greater number of people to participate in Australia’s distinct walking experiences.

“By collectively marketing some of Australia’s most outstanding walks we hope to attract more people to experience the incredible landscape of Australia, its varied terrain and the many stories of the land,” said Mr Carlow.

“As an activity, walking is not the preserve of the ‘super active’ – each of the Great Walks is accessible to most ages and varying degrees of fitness. Walkers do not have to carry a heavy pack and can look forward to fine food and wine at the end of a day’s walking in the bush.”

Great Walks of Australia has set high standards with members all expected to provide high levels of service, experienced guides, and deliver a best-in-class experience,” added Mr Carlow.

The GWOA initiative invites people to become a ‘Great Australian Walker’ and walking itineraries will be easy to plan through the organisation’s website www.greatwalksofaustralia.com.au.

Download a PDF version of this Press Release →

Media contacts:

Dana Ronan
Acting Executive Officer, Great Walks of Australia
Director Great Ocean Walk by bothfeet
Email: dronan@bothfeet.com.au
Phone: 1300 767 416
Mobile: 0407 522 098

The Cradle Mountain Huts and Bay of Fires Lodge Walks in northern Tasmania will introduce several exciting new experiences for guests when the walking season operates again from 1 October, 2012 to 1 May, 2013.

Recently voted the “Best Adventure Tourism” experience by readers of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, Cradle Mountain Huts Walk is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

This iconic six-day walk through the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park takes guests along the Overland Track in small groups of no more than 10 with two highly experienced guides.

Taking in a diversity of landscapes including sedgeland moors, glacial mountain lakes and rainforests, craggy peaks, button grass plains and alpine meadows, walkers will often come face to snout with wombats, echidnas, wallabies and Tasmanian Devils all making the area their home.

Guests also enjoy stunning views of the Lemonthyme Forests from the Forth Valley lookout and spectacular waterfalls before reaching the shores of Lake St Clair – Australia’s deepest lake – on the final day.

This season sees the introduction of “The Climb Every Mountain Adventure Walks” for those looking for something a little more challenging.  This walk will follow the same path but will allow all guests on the departure to climb the mountains that are found along the way.  These include Cradle Mountain, Barn Bluff, Mt Oakleigh and Mt Ossa providing some of the most outstanding views in the country.  These walks will have limited departures but will also be available for groups who want to sign up together.

Short walks of only four days will continue to be offered on the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk this season for time starved travellers – especially good to help them fit into an international itinerary.  These are also on limited departures.  The four-day itinerary stays at the first three huts along the track – Barn Bluff, Pine Forest Moor and Pelion and then leaves by the Arm River Track.

Each evening’s accommodation is in one of the private huts nestled away in this remarkable Park. They are exclusively for guests of the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk and provide a haven at the end of the day with hot showers, drying rooms for damp boots, and cosy heating, along with a welcome hearty three-course dinner and fine Tasmanian wines.

Well known Tasmanian chef, Daniel Alps will return to the Walks this year, designing the new season menus and training the guides to use the best of local Tasmanian produce and other seasonal ingredients.  Former owner and chef at Strathlynn, Daniel now runs local food store and cooking school Alps and Amici.  This is his second stint with the Walks and guests will be sure to benefit from his expertise and enthusiasm.

The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk is also a four day walk – in this case along the pristine beaches of the north eastern coastline of Tasmania and past the granite boulders covered in bright orange lichen that gives this location its name.  Noted by National Geographic as one of the top 15 walks in the world, this experience not only takes in the white sandy stretches of beach but also the grassy windblown heath-lands that make for great marsupial spotting.  Native birds and marine life such as seals and dolphins are often spotted along the way.

The first night is spent in comfortable semi-permanent tents set back from stunning Foresters Beach.  The second two nights are at the award winning Bay of Fires Lodge designed by famed architect and previous owner, Ken Latona.

Located at the edge of the Mt. William National Park, the Bay of Fires Lodge is the only building situated in this near-uninhabited 20-kilometre stretch of wilderness paradise, guaranteeing guests both solitude and comfort. Set on a hilltop, 40-metres above the sea and surrounded by National Park, the Lodge has been designed and built to be both ecologically friendly and in keeping with the natural surroundings.

Two long timber and glass pavilions allow maximum connection to the landscape with minimum impact on the environment. The lodge is self-sufficient in providing and managing its existence using sustainable materials and employing non-polluting services such as roof water collection, grey water treatment systems, composting toilets and energy-efficient solar power. It is this connection with the unspoiled beauty of the environment, which creates the magical experience guests enjoy at the Bay of Fires Lodge.

The third day allows for a relaxing kayaking adventure up the Anson’s River before returning home on the following day.

In 2012/2013 a new guest experience will be introduced to complete the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk adventure.  On the return journey, walkers will have a stop at renowned winemaker, Andrew Pirie’s new winery, Apogee Tasmania, near Labrina.  Credited for his award-winning wines at Ninth Island and Piper’s Brook Vineyards, Andrew will be offering guests the chance to try his new sparkling wine variety and some delicious canapés before returning to their Launceston accommodation or the airport.  This allows for guests to meet the late departures back to the mainland.

Each of the walks commences at the walking base in the converted stables building at the beautifully restored Quamby Estate heritage homestead, about 20 minutes outside of Launceston.

For more information or bookings contact 03 6392 2211 or visit Bay of Fires Lodge Walk or Cradle Mountain Huts Walk website.

Download a PDF version of this Press Release →

For media information, please contact:

Jill Collins
Barking Owl Communications
0417 654 474
jill.collins@barkingowlcommunications.com.au