Wild luxury: walking tours that’ll change how you see Australia

With fine wines and multi-course dinners, these off-road adventures are sure to leave a long-lasting impression.

By Chris Ashton, October 11 2022
Wild luxury: walking tours that’ll change how you see Australia

Whether trekking Spain’s famed Camino Way or the sacred Kumano Kodo in Japan, nothing brings you to the heart of a destination quicker than your own two feet.

Here in Australia, travellers are spoiled for choice with an incredible array of hiking trails in our backyard too – and there’s no need to sacrifice creature comforts either. Think fine wines and delicious dinners; signature swags beneath a canopy of stars.

Dining amid the fiery Ikara-Flinders Ranges is just one highlight of the Arkaba Walk.
Dining amid the fiery Ikara-Flinders Ranges is just one highlight of the Arkaba Walk.

With that in mind, here’s how to explore this southern land in style.

1. Wukalina Walk, North East Tasmania

The Bay of Fires (larapuna) is among Tasmania’s greatest natural wonders – a dramatic area of rocky outcrops, white beaches and turquoise waters. It’s also the cultural homeland of the Palawa people.

wukalina, also known as Mt William National Park.
wukalina, also known as Mt William National Park.

Bringing this heritage to life is the indigenous owned and operated Wukalina Walk, following in the footsteps of traditional owners. Led by local guides, you’ll discover just how the unique landscape shaped their culture over generations.

Hikers stay in custom domed cabins amidst the sounds of nature.
Hikers stay in custom domed cabins amidst the sounds of nature.

Guests spend two nights in bespoke timber-lined domed huts, followed by a night in a renovated lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Delicious meals and snacks, as well as Tasmanian wines each night, will give you the fuel needed to continue.

Duration: four days / three nights
Distance: 66kms

2. Cape to Cape Walk, Margaret River

Indulgence and adventure come together on the Cape to Cape Walk in south west WA, taking in rocky headlands, remote beaches, and towering Karri forests, together with the celebrated wineries of the Margaret River region.

Trekking through the towering Boranup Karri forest near Margaret River
Trekking through the towering Boranup Karri forest near Margaret River

One of the ‘Great Walks of Australia’, this small group Walk Into Luxury tour travels at a moderate pace with plenty of stops along the way. Among them are a four-course long lunch at Vasse Felix and a chef’s dinner with paired wines.

Soak up Indian Ocean views in your pool villa at Injidup Spa Retreat.
Soak up Indian Ocean views in your pool villa at Injidup Spa Retreat.

Nightly accommodation is in pool villas at Injidup Spa Retreat, overlooking the Indian Ocean, with ample time to enjoy the famous West Aussie sunset over some well-earned cheese and wine.

Duration: four days / three nights
Distance: 41kms

3. The Arkaba Walk, Flinders Ranges

If the beauty and isolation of the outback calls to you in your sleep, the Arkaba Walk in the privately-owned Arkaba Conservancy within Ikara-Flinders Ranges is for you. More than a typical bush walk, this immersive safari combines conservation and tourism.

Step back in time amid the rugged mountains of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.
Step back in time amid the rugged mountains of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

Joined by expert guides, hikers also hear stories of the indigenous inhabitants, explorers and settlers who made this wild land their home.

Wake up to the sounds of the bush in Arkaba's signature swag camp.
Wake up to the sounds of the bush in Arkaba's signature swag camp.

It’s a chance to discover the sights, sounds, and scale of the outback, combined with gourmet dining and quality accommodation, including one night in a refurbished 1850s homestead and two at the Signature Swag Camp.

Lodge-based itineraries are also available for those who prefer not to sleep amid the elements. 

Duration: three days / four nights
Distance: 45kms

4. Seven Peaks Track, Lord Howe Island

Just a two-hour flight from Sydney, Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO listed paradise of renowned biodiversity, both on land and offshore. To fully experience its wonders, the Seven Peaks Walk is worth undertaking.

The Seven Peaks Walk is for experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge by day, and luxury by night.
The Seven Peaks Walk is for experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge by day, and luxury by night.

Over five days you’ll visit sheltered swimming coves, subtropical palm forests, rugged sea cliffs and more… but it won’t be a walk in the park. The tour dances the line between moderate and hard, although there are options to dial up or down intensity.

Gourmet meals at Pinetrees will give you the fuel needed to explore each day.
Gourmet meals at Pinetrees will give you the fuel needed to explore each day.

Accommodation is at the sensational Pinetrees, with hot showers, cold drinks and four-course dinners each night. If you’re up for more, there are also optional activities including kayaking, snorkelling, diving, bike riding and fishing.

Duration: five days / six nights
Distance: 45kms

5. Light to Light Walk, Sapphire Coast

Down in southern NSW, the Light to Light is one of the state’s best kept secrets. Weaving from the Lighthouse at Boyds Tower to the charming 1883 Lighthouse at Green Cape, the four day tour from Life’s an Adventure is your ticket to uncover it.

Trek past the dramatic, multi-hued Pinnacles near Merimbula.. Destination NSW
Trek past the dramatic, multi-hued Pinnacles near Merimbula.
Destination NSW

When you’re not marvelling at the kaleidoscope of colours unfolding with each step, you’ll witness seabirds and seals, historic ruins and rugged coastlines, all topped off with à la carte dining and wines at the Seahorse Hotel.

An historic tower within Beowa (Ben Boyd) National Park.. Destination NSW
An historic tower within Beowa (Ben Boyd) National Park.
Destination NSW

A wildlife cruise showcasing the region from a different perspective – migrating whales can be spotted from September to November – is an added bonus of this pack-free tour.

Duration: four days / three nights
Distance: 30kms

6. Scenic Rim Trail, South East Queensland

If your idea of camping involves running water, cheese and wine platters, or maybe chef-prepared meals under the stars, Spicers Scenic Rim Trail offers everything you seek – and lots of it.

Embrace the beauty of nature at Spicers Timber Getters Eco Camp.
Embrace the beauty of nature at Spicers Timber Getters Eco Camp.

From remnant rainforest to volcanic plateaus, this moderate to hard walk ranges from a two-day option at Spicers Canopy Luxury Tents up to a six-day tour staying at the Mount Mistake Farmhouse and Peak Lodge among others.

Explore the ridges and valleys of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland.
Explore the ridges and valleys of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland.

Whichever duration, you’ll be in for a thrilling experience led by knowledgeable guides. Along the way hikers will encounter 360-degree views at Bare Rock, scale the lofty heights of Mt Mathieson, follow the snaking waters of Oakey Creek and more.

Duration: up to six days / five nights
Distance: 24-80kms

Prefer your holidays a little less active? These small ship cruises or luxury Australian resorts and lodges could be just what the doctor ordered.


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