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 the walking experiences on offer. We want to ensure you enjoy every step of your great walk.
“How fit do I need to be?”
As long as you exercise regularly and are capable of walking 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 the walk?”
Most Great Walks of Australia have either two walking guides or a walking guide and a driver to accompany the group on each trip.
“How many guests are there in the walking groups?”
Group sizes on our walks vary, but generally you can expect somewhere between 10 and 16 walkers. Accommodation along the way will be twin-share. If a group is full and numbers are uneven, single travellers may end up needing to share a room with another guest of the opposite gender. On some walks there is no single supplement and you will have your own room.
“What are the facilities like and where will we be staying?”
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?”
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. 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.
“What should I bring with me?”
“Can’t I walk these trails on my own?”
Many of the tracks are public access trails however some 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. Walking independently means having to carry all your own gear and sleeping in campsites and public huts.
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 some of the walks will take you through wilderness areas with rapidly changing weather conditions. Having a guide who knows the region and the weather makes a big difference.
Of course, 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.
“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. 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.
“How far will we walk each day?”
Most of the trips cover between 12 – 15km (5 – 10 miles) per day. Some have optional side trips, adding to the distance and challenge. Your guides will provide you with information on these side trips along the way, judging your fitness and also allowing for local conditions.
“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?”
The guides or lodge staff will prepare delicious, nutritious meals daily. All walks can cater to special dietary requirements, including vegetarian and gluten free, just let the operator know in advance. 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.