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!
“How fit do I need to be to do a Great Walk Of Australia?”
As long as you exercise regularly, and are capable of walking approx 10km per day for around 4 – 6 days over varied terrain, you’ll be fine. Each walk is different in terms of its degree of difficulty; some involve an element of soft sand walking, others have continuous undulations and occasional steep sections over rough ground.
All throughout, the guides will be with you to provide encouragement and local knowledge 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. If you have any concerns about fitness, please Contact Us.
“How many guides will we have on our walk?”
Great Walks of Australia walks typically have either two walking guides, or a walking guide and a driver to accompany the group on each trip.
“How many guests will there be in the walking group?”
Group sizes on our walks vary, but generally you can expect somewhere between 6 and 16 walkers. Accommodation typically based on twin-share, with singles catered for in a shared room with another guest, or in a single room, if numbers and accommodation allow. Single rooms can be booked for a supplement on some walks, while on other walks there is no single supplement and you will be guaranteed to have your own room if requested. We recommend discussing further with the walk operator prior to booking.
"Can I walk the Great Walks Of Australia solo?"
Absolutely! It’s not only possible, we encourage walking any of the Great Walks Of Australia on your own with us and have many solo walkers joining our walks. It’s an exhilarating experience and awesome achievement to conquer these iconic walks solo, while having some company along the way.
Women of all ages in particular love being able to go hiking in the wilderness with us, comfortable in the security of having 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 a lot easier to go out into remote places on your own.
“What are the facilities like where will we be staying on our walk?”
Bathroom facilities vary from walk to walk, but are clean and presentable at minimum. Some walks offer ensuite facilities, while others are shared. Some walks offer private bathrooms at the luxury end too. In some walk areas, water catchment is limited and it may be that showers are not available every day (so best to pack extra deodorant or wipes). Some of the lodges have compost toilet facilities which are so good you’ll wish you had them at home!
“How much weight will we carry in our backpack?”
On some of our walks only day packs are required, and you can expect these to weigh around 5kg. Other walks require hikers to carry enough gear for multiple days. You can expect these to weigh around 8kg. Walkers on the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk may carry up to 15kg.
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 to make sure you have the right mix of gear and haven’t overloaded yourself with unnecessary items.
“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.
“Will I need special hiking shoes?”
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.
“How far will we walk each day?”
Most of the trips 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.
“Do I need travel insurance?”
It’s recommended when hiking that walkers take out personal travel insurance to cover unforeseen cancellations. 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.
“What if I have special dietary needs?”
No problem. All walks are able to cater to most 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 of local ingredients available.
Due to the remote nature of some walks and provisioning of huts, if the individual requirements cannot be adhered to, then the walk operator will advise in advance of finalising the walk booking.