The New Year’s resolution you’ll want to keep: 6 walking holidays to take in Queensland
You know what a New Year means? A new you. A new you who’s going to graduate from short, national parks hikes to multi-day walking holidays. After all, you’ve grown up another year, so your hiking distances should increase too.
If the thought of going DIY on Queensland’s 10 Great Walks has you shaking in your hiking boots, ease into long-format walking with a guided adventure.
Here’s six guided hikes that prove you don’t always have to rough it to be outdoorsy.
1. Proof not all hikers eat dehydrated food: Trek West
Join Trek West for a luxury walking holiday that will have you hiking under big blue outback skies, sleeping under a cover of stars and tucking into gourmet food when you’re not busy with the other two.
The Trek West walking menu is entirely customisable, with a focus on flexibility to cater for groups of all sizes and niche interests like photography and birdwatching. Create your own hiking adventure down to the length of stay and where you go, or if you’d prefer to let the pros take control of the agenda, tackle one of their listed trails.
Either way, all walks come with an obligatory cheese board whipped out in time for sunset and a home-cooked meal that will ruin every other type of al fresco dining – as table settings miraculously appear amongst remote outback scenery.
Challenge yourself with Trek West’s Big Loop hike, which covers 66-km across five full days of trekking through the Boodjamulla National Park and Little’s Range, before leading back to Herbertvale Station.
2. Walk in World Heritage-listed luxury: Scenic Rim Rail
When you’re planning to walk through a region best known for 30,000 hectares of parkland, state forest and national park, it pays to have a guide who’s done the legwork to find the best spots.
There’s no need to picture yourself weighed down like a snail. With Scenic Rim Trail, all the heavy lifting is done by staff, so all you have to do is focus on putting one foot after another.
It’s not just the giant ferns, grass trees, and 1000-year-old hoop pines that keep this walking tour in high demand. It’s the fact it balances exercise with indulgence, where gourmet dinners matched with fine wines offer a light at the end of the hiking tunnel.
That and the fact you’ll end the walk under a different type of canvas at Spicers Canopy. At this definition of glamping, inflatable mattresses are replaced by king beds, rocky floors with timber ones and exposed awnings with covered decks with outdoor furniture.
3. The abridged version that saves on time, not experience: Experientia Sunshine Coast
So much to do? So little time? Partner with the experts who champion doing it all, just really fast.
It starts at 6am for a quick trek up Wild Horse Mountain, before getting progressively more intense as the day continues – Mount Beerburrum, Mount Ngungun, Mount Cooroora, Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum.
Paleo snacks, epic views and instant calf muscles are guaranteed with this day trip around the Sunshine Coast.
4. Take only memories. Carry your essentials: Aus Walk
If you’re going to spend eight days on foot discovering the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree, Mossman Gorge and Dunk Island in Tropical North Queensland, you’re going to want to do it without carrying your worldly possessions on your back.
Go pack-free with Aus Walk as you cover 87km across eight days of easy, flat hiking.
The perk of walking the tropics is not just guaranteed warm weather, but the reward of cooling off under famous waterfalls (hello, Millaa Millaa and Nandroya Falls) along the way.
Crater lakes (Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham), giant curtain figs and the ancient Wet Tropics Rainforest are just some of the natural encounters you’ll come across on this walk – and that’s before you get to see any of these animals you’ll only find in the Daintree.
It’s not all rainforest either – this walking tour comes with a dose of reef. You’ll not only see Cape Tribulation where the rainforest officially meets the reef, but finish the trip at Mission Beach ready to enjoy a day on Dunk Island.
There’s no going hungry on this trail, with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided. And trail mix of course, duh!
5. Go from bush to the beach (aka Carnarvon Gorge to Whitsundays Coast): Inter Park Tours
If you’re serious about taking a walking holiday, how about 13 days on foot hiking between Carnarvon Gorge and the Whitsundays Coast with Inter Park Tours?
Turn the clock back to the Dreamtime as you wander through the park discovering more than 2000 ochre stencils. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know the stories as you base yourself at the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge for three nights.
The walk wraps up in Coway National Park before saving the best ‘til last; a day cruise to the most beautiful beach in the world, Whitehaven Beach.
6. Walk through wine region: Qld Walking Holidays
Calling all wine lovers, Queensland has a walk through its very own Napa Valley.
Join Qld Walking Holidays walking the Granite Belt to Mt Barney, packing not just wine but almost every type of Australian bushland into five nights of hiking through a hype reel of Australian vegetation.
The walk covers creeks, subtropical rainforests, ascents of mountains and the granite capital of Queensland, Girraween National Park.
The timing of this trail, spring, is no coincidence either. Bring the wildflower book to spot golden wattle, pea flowers, orchids and native bluebells out in colour.
Covering 4-15km a day, a moderate fitness level is required but you’ll be grateful for the exercise to burn off the three gourmet meals a day – and wine. We repeat: you’ll be walking through wine country.