HIKING AND BIKING
If you find lounging about pool-side, sipping cocktails a rather ho-hum way to spend your holidays, why not get the heart pumping and soak up the great outdoors with some hiking and biking across our land down under.
Whether your focus is on thrill-seeking for the advanced or ensuring trails are family-friendly, AT shows you which track to take.
If two wheels are your preferred way of getting around then then these adventurous cycling holidays will definitely have you in a spin (part of from Natural Australia: 16 Ultimate Escapes) Pedalling panorama, Flinders Ranges, SA Mountain bikers will be in a spin over the Flinders Ranges By Bike cycle track, a three-and-a-half day, 200km journey from Wilpena Pound to Blinman. For beginners, there are plenty of shorter and gentler trips to soak up the outback scenery (from Rawnsley Park Station). More, Ultimate Escapes: Flinders Ranges Biking into the Blue (Mountains), NSW Bushwalking is big in Sydney’s Blue Mountains but have you tried...
If you're looking for a hike through a distinctly Australian landscape with a touch of pampering and luxury, here are seven superb places to start (and finish). The Arkaba Walk, Flinders Ranges, South Australia Over four days and 45 ‘k’s, traverse 600 million years’ worth of geological splendour. Sleep under sequinned night skies in the Flinders Ranges and indulge in three-course camp dinners; $2150 per person, twin-share. See Arkaba Walk. Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Tasmania Travel this remote coastal landscape at a moderate pace (33 kilometres over two days), kayak from your base at Bay of Fires Lodge, where...
As part of this restorative new Sunshine Coast guided walk, Megan Arkinstall explores the depths of the rainforest by foot and reviews each day from the deck of a luxury rainforest pavilion. The crunch of leaves and rocky earth beneath our feet is all I hear, interrupted occasionally by gleeful birdsong. I take deep breaths of mountain-fresh air to clean out my city lungs. The sound of another pair of feet coming towards us startles me. Quick hellos are exchanged with the lone bushwalker as our paths cross, and we continue deeper into the green oasis. In the entire time we spend walking...
The Hedonistic Hiking company has put a couple of new feathers in the cap of its Victorian Alpine experiences. Sue Gough Henly goes into gourmet-Heidi mode The aptly named Hedonistic Hiking company combines several of life’s great pleasures – fabulous food, fine wines and great guided walks – in tours of the spectacular Victorian High Country. This year, company owners Mick and Jackie Parsons, whose knowledge of the area’s natural and cultural heritage is enlightening, have added two new hikes to an already indulgent programme. Walk #1: The Highlights of Mount Buffalo National Park This itinerary is your ticket to three fully...
It’s not at all about relaxing on a beach anymore, Australians are increasingly happy to lace up their walking boots to explore the countryside on foot in their time off. On the ‘100 Greatest Holidays of Australia’ list walking of all types took centre-stage, from the exclusive luxury of Freycinet and Bay of Fires in Tasmania to the outback walks of the Northern Territory and a coastal walk in southern WA. One theme that did reign supreme was, well, Tasmania, taking out the top four spots on Australia's Greatest Walking Holidays destinations. Here are the top 10 (with the number they finished overall...
A glimpse into Tasmania’s award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, through the lens of photographer Elise Hassey. This place is so incredible that I want to keep it a secret,” says Sydney-based photographer Elise Hassey. Unfortunately for her, that’s not an option. She’s been sent by AT on assignment to capture just what makes the four-day Bay of Fires Lodge Walk – which weaves through Mt William National Park in Tasmania’s far north-east corner – an award-winning experience. “I think it comes down to the sheer natural beauty of the area and the isolation, where you’re the only one standing on these sensational beaches that...
Road trips are great, but stretching your legs along shorter stretches of coastline is a fantastic way to really immerse yourself in the surroundings. Whether it’s a DIY half-day hike along the Spit to Manly walk in Sydney (you’ll forget you’re in the middle of our biggest city); a weekend overnighter like the Coast Track in NSW’s Royal National Park; a mid-length adventure along the Twelve Apostles Walk in Victoria; or a longer, guided trek like the Cape to Cape Track in WA, there’s a walking route to suit every family and fitness level. The option you choose will depend...
Alissa Jenkins explores ten stunning luxury walks around Australia. Larapinta Trail,NT What: Australian Walking Holidays run a six-day, all-inclusive and fully-supported trek featuring selected sections of this iconic trail through the West MacDonnell Ranges. That is, guests are picked up in a 4WD and dropped off to walk the best parts of the trail, so they can see the sights without having to trek the whole 223km. Starting in Alice Springs and ending at Mt Sonder, this 88km journey also includes all meals, transfers and camping equipment, which is transported for your arrival to beautiful, permanent campsites, complete with hot...
Their plan was to scale the Flinders Ranges by bicycle: born-again pedallers Chris Ryan and his wife came, got sore, and got conquered. When my wife gave me a flash mountain bike for my 30th birthday, I was a little puzzled. The last time I’d ridden regularly was when I was going to and from school on my BMX, and I’d never even owned a bike with gears. I should have realised it was part of a plan. Fiona had bought a bike for herself too. Together we would launch into my fourth decade embracing an active lifestyle and the...
Where is it? Cradle Mountain-Lake Sinclair National Park, Tas. Walking the 65km Overland Track is easily the best way to get your blood pumping in the magical Tasmanian wilderness. The rapidly changeable weather will keep you on your toes during the six-day trek and you’ll have to be in top physical condition, but the finish-line view is unbelievable. Sure, it might not be the highest mountain in Tasmania, but it has become one of the most recognisable peaks in Australia. December through April is the best time to hike because of the longer hours of warmth and daylight. “This is...
Where is it? Watarrka National Park, 300km north-east of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT. Most people visit the Red Centre to see the Rock. While Uluru is undeniably an experience not to be missed, a surprise highlight for many is Kings Canyon. It’s astounding that this phenomenal land formation so often flies under the tourist radar, but in a way it’s a good thing. If you’re in the area for Uluru alone, you’ll be overjoyed to find this rugged, prehistoric-looking canyon, with walls rising up to 270m above the canyon floor. A sheer climb up the rock face allows access to...
Where is it? In the Hamersley Ranges of the Pilbara in north-western WA A two-hour drive from Newman, you’ll find the gorges, mountains, lookouts, secret swimming holes and waterfalls that define this awe-inspiring National Park. Expectations of arid, desolate landscapes are exchanged for delight at this diverse, rugged, red-rock landscape with often surprisingly green patches, and numerous places to take a dip. There are plenty of shady campsites in the Park. Be sure to base yourself for at least a night at Dales Gorge, from where you can hike to spectacular Circular Pool....
Ever dreamed of taking part in the famous Tour de France, soaking up the amazingly varied scenery as you ride along? Well, now you can make that dream a reality (albeit on a much smaller scale) without even having to leave the country – technically. Welcome to the Tour de Norfolk Island Cycling Challenge via Mountain Bike. By Alex Hargaves Over two days in July, this inaugural Norfolk Island experience, packed with fun-filled cycling events for all ages and skill levels, is sure to be memorable, set on one of Australia’s truly unique and diverse islands. Strap on your helmet...
Why drive when you can ride? Shed the GPS system and four wheels, trade in your boot for a basket, and head to the High Country in northeast Victoria, home to Pedal to Produce, a series of food and wine trails designed specially for cyclists. We’re not talking about lycra-clad, hairless professionals. This gourmet experience is perfect for food-loving folk who want a bit of fresh air between cheese sampling and wine tasting. You won’t be on the road for long before stopping at Milawa Cheese Factory (No. 77 on this list), hopping back on the track only to pop...
Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia. With a tick of excellence from Lonely Planet as the “hottest” travel destination for 2009, Tasmania’s Bay of Fires Walk can only be classed as one of the best wilderness hiking adventures in the country. Led by a team of eco-guides who really know their stuff, this is a four-day breathtaking escape into nature where you’ll find every trail tells a story. For some it’s a castaway experience that would do Robinson Crusoe proud, with hours spent clambering...
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