Take the long road: Walking holidays to take in Queensland
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. Explore crater lakes, see ancient rock art, wander through an outback oasis and cool off under a waterfall – all while your feet make their own way around these walking holidays in Queensland.
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 in Queensland 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 cheeseboard 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.
If you’re ready to take your walking commitments to the next level, join up to the new five-day option in 2020.
There’s no need to picture yourself weighed down like a snail. All the heavy lifting is done by the Spicers team, so all you’ll have to do is focus on putting one foot after the other.
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? Perhaps you’re looking for the experts who champion doing it all, just really fast.
Join Experientia Sunshine Coast who condense six mountains into one day of hiking on the Sunshine Coast (here’s how).
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, multiple mountain views prettier than a postcard and instant calf muscles are guaranteed with this day trip around the Sunshine Coast.
4. From bush to the beach: International 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 International 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 in the Whitsundays before saving the best ‘til last; a day cruise to the most beautiful beach in the world, Whitehaven Beach.
5. 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 and thank yourself with a day on Dunk Island.
There’s no going hungry on this trail, with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided. And trail mix of course.
6. Walk through wine region: International Park Tours
Calling all wine lovers, one of the walking holidays in Queensland has its very own Napa Valley.
Join International Park Tours 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 in spring is no coincidence either. Bring your wildflower book to spot golden wattle, pea flowers, orchids and native bluebells out in colour.
Accommodation is as memorable as the hike itself, atop southern Queensland’s highest mountain at Mt Barney Lodge and Girraween Lodge, just outside Girraween National Park. If you’re timing your visit for January 2020, Mt Barney Lodge has created a new on-site sculpture trail, perfect for strolling through as you wind down your day. Summer SILHOUETTE Sculptures showcases uplit outdoor works of art at various scenic points on the property, best viewed between dawn and dusk over the entire month.
Mt Barney’s peak and sunset skies are the perfect backdrop to frame a variety of outdoor sculptures and installations created by esteemed local artists during the January 2020 Summer SILHOUETTE Sculpture trail.
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.
This post was published in January 2019 and updated in December 2019.