Frequently Asked Questions
Included here are some of the more common questions and answers about the walks we offer at Great Walks of Australia. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Browse through our list of Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about what to expect from our multi-day guided walks in Australia and hiking experiences on offer. We want to ensure you enjoy every step of your Great Walk!
What is happening with the Great Walks Of Australia & Covid-19? Which walks are open?
All of the Great Walks Of Australia are open as per their normal operating seasons.
We couldn’t think of a better holiday than in the great outdoors, with only small groups of people, private accommodation and plenty of space and fresh air.
What happens if I have to change my booking because of Covid-19?
If for any reason there are unexpected border closures or travel restrictions that prevent you from doing your walk, the walk operator you have booked with will assist you with everything you need to know. Please continue to liaise with them direct about your options.
What precautions are walks taking for their walkers to prevent Covid-19?
Our walkers safety is paramount on all of the Great Walks and something we take incredibly seriously.
All of our walks are taking extra measures and precautions during this time to ensure the safety of both our walkers and our guides, hosts and staff. This includes regular sanitisation, health check-ins with guests prior to departure and other precautionary activities.
Please check in with the walk operator you are dealing for the specific measures they are implementing on their walk.
How fit do I need to be to do a Great Walk Of Australia?
All of the Great Walks are graded with a different degree of difficulty, ranging from easy to moderate to hard, to ensure there’s a walk that’s right for all ages and all levels of experience.
The majority of our walks are achievable with a moderate level of fitness. As long as you exercise regularly, and are capable of walking approx 10km per day over multiple days, you will likely be able to comfortably complete most of the Great Walks.
Our more challenging walks will require a bit more preparation for those with average fitness. Walk operators may recommend a few months with bi-weekly hill or steep climbs before your departure to make sure you’re comfortably prepared.
Throughout each walk, our guides will be with you to provide encouragement and to make sure you have the best experience possible. Importantly, all walks allow plenty of time each day to sit and rest, together with the opportunity to explore so you won’t feel rushed.
It’s also worth noting some of our walks are lodge based, carrying only a day-pack, while others are through-walks carrying a light backpack with all of your belongings. Some involve an element of soft sand walking, while others have continuous undulations and occasional steep sections over rough ground. These should also factor into your decision when choosing the right walk for you.
If you have any concerns about fitness, please contact us.
How far will we walk each day on a Great Walk?
Most of the Great Walks Of Australia cover between 12 – 15km (5 – 10 miles) per day. Your guides will provide you with information along the way, judging your fitness and also allowing for local weather conditions.
Some have optional side trips, adding to the distance and challenge. Being able to do these side trips will depend again on fitness levels of those wanting to partake and weather conditions on the day.
How many guides will we have on our walk?
Great Walks of Australia walks typically have two walking guides at minimum. Some walks may have a walking guide (or guides) and a driver to accompany the group on each trip.
How many guests will there be in our walking group?
Group sizes on the Great Walks vary, but generally you can expect somewhere between 6 and 16 walkers. 8 – 12 is the average.
Can I walk the Great Walks Of Australia solo?
Absolutely! It’s not only possible, we actively encourage coming and doing any of the Great Walks Of Australia on your own. We have many solo walkers coming and walking with us. It’s an exhilarating experience and an awesome achievement to conquer these iconic walks solo, while still having company along the way when you want it.
Women of all ages in particular love being able to hike in the wilderness with us, and still have the security of a small group with them.
The benefits of walking in a small group, being led safely by a guide through different terrains and in different weather conditions, and having the stress of buying and carrying equipment, food and accommodation taken off your shoulders, makes it significantly easier and safer to go out into remote places than on your own.
What is the accommodation like on the Great Walks of Australia?
Our accommodation ranges from safari tents to eco-cabins, to luxury homesteads, retreats and eco-lodges depending on the walk.
For hiking in remote wilderness areas, accommodation is always comfortable and sure to give you a good night’s sleep.
Accommodation is typically based on twin-share, with singles catered for in a shared room with another guest, or in a single room with single supplement, or as numbers and accommodation allow.
Can I book a single room?
Yes. All of our starting prices for walks are based on twin share, however guaranteed single rooms can be booked for an additional single supplement on most walks.
Some of our walks don’t charge a single supplement and you will be guaranteed to have your own room/tent if requested (limited numbers per departure apply). These walks are Classic Larapinta Trek In Comfort (throughout 2023 and 2024), Freycinet Experience Walk and Arkaba Walk.
Other walks may upgrade you to a single room pending availability and group size.
We recommend discussing the accommodation and any single bookings further with the operator of the walk you are interested in prior to booking as every walk is different.
What is the food like?
The food on the Great Walks is a real highlight! Always gourmet, ample and delicious, eating while hiking has rarely looked (or tasted) as good as it does on our walks.
You can look forward to three main meals, plus tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day, along with wine and beer on nearly all of the walks at dinner.
A typical breakfast might be bacon and scrambled eggs, or a continental spread with toast and cereals .
Walkers often carry their own lunches, so after breakfast you will likely collect your lunchbox to take on the trail, plus stock up on muesli bars, cookies, fruit and others snacks to keep you going throughout the day.
Morning tea is usually somewhere with epic views, perfect to have a quick cup of coffee or tea and a slice of cake.
Lunch might be a delicious wrap with salad, cheeses and smoked meats, or a selection of hearty salads and frittata.
Before dinner, it’s time for a beer, wine or mocktail of your choice, plus a grazing board with cheeses, dips and other treats.
Dinner is always a substantial 2-3 courses and often showcases local produce from the region you’re walking in. From fresh fish and shellfish, to curries, steak, roasts, BBQs and oodles of delicious vegetable dishes, you’ll be hard pressed to find room for dessert. But who can say no to pannacotta, a freshly baked tart or strawberries and icecream?
For foodies, it’s a dream come true! And we cater for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets as well.
What if I have special dietary needs?
No problem! All walks are able to cater for common special dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. You will need to notify the walk operator of your requirements at the time of booking your walk, so they are prepared with everything they need for your meals. in advance.
The guides or lodge staff prepare delicious, nutritious meals, using the freshest, high quality local ingredients available.
Please let the walk operator know of any special dietary requests you have at the time of booking. Due to the remote nature of some walks and provisioning of huts, if individual requirements can’t be accommodated for any reason, the walk operator will advise you in advance of finalising the walk booking.
What are the bathrooms like where will we be staying on our walk?
Bathroom facilities vary from walk to walk, but are clean and presentable at minimum and even luxurious at times!
Some walks offer ensuite facilities, while others have shared bathrooms.
Being in remote locations, a number of the walks run on rain water, therefore are on timed showers or utilise bucket showers, roughly lasting 3-5 minutes.
In some walk areas, water catchment is especially limited and it may be that showers are not available every day, so best to pack extra deodorant or wipes.
Many of the walks have premium compost toilet facilities, which are so good you’ll wish you had them at home!
Each walk will outline what to expect at the time of booking, so you are fully prepared in terms of washing and bathing.
How much will our backpacks weigh?
On some of our walks only day packs are required, and you can expect these to weigh around 5kg.
Other walks are called ‘through walks’ and require hikers to carry enough clothing and personal items for multiple days. You can expect your pack on these walks to weigh around 7.5 -10 kg.
Our guides are expert walkers and know what’s necessary to put in your pack and what isn’t. Before each trip, they will check your pack weight to make sure you have the right mix of gear and haven’t overloaded yourself with unnecessary items.
Your other luggage and any excess items will be able to be safely stored before you depart.
What should I bring with me?
What you bring to put into your backpack depends on the kind of walk you are doing and, of course, the season. We’ll be able to give you specific information when you contact us about the walk you’re interested in.
Each walk operator will provide you with a specific packing lists for each walk once you have booked.
At minimum, expect to have some well worn in hiking books or shoes (depending on your walk), some warm layers, thermals, hats and gloves in cooler seasons, and shorts and bathers in warmer seasons. Plus, don’t forget your camera, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Can’t I walk these trails on my own?
Great Walks Of Australia walks are highly popular, because we take care of everything, allowing you to relax and connect fully with your surroundings.
Walking independently on a multi-day hike means having to carry all your own gear, including food, and sleeping in campsites and public huts.
Some of the tracks we use are publicly accessible trails, while others are on private land, only accessible through the walk operator on a guided walk.
The lodges and camps that comprise the accommodation along the way are also exclusive to the operator of the walk.
For many people, a guided walk enables them to experience the trails with experts that know what they’re doing, who can answer the questions and share the stories behind the place you are in. Remember that the walks will also take you through wilderness areas with rapidly changing weather conditions. Having a guide who knows the region and the weather makes a big difference, helps to keep you safe, and takes the stress out of going it alone.
The other stress saver is that you won’t need to purchase specialist equipment and carry even heavier packs that include your food and sleeping gear.
Choosing to walk with a Great Walks of Australia operator means everything is organised for you, including meeting you in the closest major town or city and dropping you back at the end of the walk. You experience the best accommodation on the walk, sample delicious things to eat along the way, and are provided with invaluable insights from experts. The only things you carry are essential clothing, personal items, water, your lunch, your camera and a sense of curiosity, allowing you to focus completely on the amazing environment around you and having a good time.
What shoes can I wear on a Great Walk?
All Great Walks of Australia operators require walkers to have solid, closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots, preferably with ankle support, that are well broken in and comfortable for long walks.
Sports shoes, trainers or runners are not suitable to complete these walks.
Turning an ankle a long way into the track due to poor footwear presents an unnecessary challenge for you and your guides to get back to where you can be treated, and may bring an end to your walk early. Better to be prepared with the right footwear to start with!
Do I need to have my own backpack and rain jacket?
Backpacks and rain jackets are available for you to use on all of our walks, if you would like to (most people use ours).
Otherwise you are more than welcome to bring your own gear, including your own backpack, if you would prefer.
Do I need travel insurance?
It’s recommended that walkers planning to go hiking take out personal travel insurance to cover unforeseen cancellations or other personal situations. Guests from outside of Australia are recommended to take out cover in the unlikely event of a medical emergency (see below for more info on this).
Can I still travel with a pre-existing medical condition?
We recommend checking with the walk operator of the walk you intend to undertake, but in many cases, pre-existing medical conditions won’t prevent you from walking.
All walk operators will require you to inform them of any condition that has an impact on your ability to walk and any medication you might be taking during that time. Some forms of medication may require you to seek your doctor’s approval before you walk.
Due to Covid-19, any guests that are sick at the time of travel will not be allowed to join the group. Please continue to liaise with your walk operator for further details.
What are the easiest Great Walks of Australia?
Murray River Walk (South Australia), Maria Island Walk (Tasmania) and Bay Of Fires Signature Walk (Tasmania) are rated the easiest of the Great Walks Of Australia, as they have the flattest elevations for the majority of the walk.
What are the most difficult Great Walks of Australia?
Seven Peaks Walk (Lord Howe Island), Scenic Rim Trail (Queensland), Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort (Northern Territory) and Cradle Mountain Signature Walk (Tasmania) are all rated moderate to hard walks. They are recommended for more experienced hikers but can still be comfortably done by anyone who has done some training ahead of departure.
Do you have any jobs as a guide/host/driver/something else on one of your walks?
Yes! Our member walks are always on the look out for great staff. You’ll need to contact them directly about job vacancies. Experienced guides and other staff are needed every season. If you don’t have experience, our walk operators are still excellent to talk to find out what they look for when hiring guides and any qualifications needed, and may be able to offer advice on a guiding career path. Visit www.greatwalksofaustralia.com.au/careers