These are what I call “get off your butt” vacations. I’ve never been much into flying or driving a long distance just to lie on a beach. I walk a lot wherever I go. I walked my ass off in Paris. The Metro was like a continuous step class. No wonder Parisians are so slender.
My sister trekked Nepal for a month, sleeping on the floor of a tent. It took her two weeks to get over it when she got home. I wouldn’t be good at that. I need a comfy bed to soothe my throbbing feet at the end of the day. And carrying a heavy pack is definitely not my thing.
Australian Adventure Tour specialist Life’s An Adventure has just released the latest in their range of walking holidays, including a three-day experience on Tasmania’s beautiful Maria Island with guests’ overnight bags carried for the entire trip. Scallops on the beach at the end of the day’s walk. Not bad!
“This island is pure heaven and has everything you would want in a walking holiday including spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and so much natural beauty, it’s one of Tasmania’s little gems that is unknown to many Australians, ” he says.
This tour is designed for those looking for a walking and camping holiday experience without having to carry a lot of stuff. You even get hot showers, walk-in tents and off the ground camping beds. That’s my style. Gourmet meals on tour are designed and prepared by Tasmanian master chef Karen Goodwin Roberts, author of the Tasmania book Picnics in Paradise, and includes local produce such as BBQ Spring Bay scallops with tomato and verjuice salsa, hot smoked bush liqueur ocean trout, slow cooked beef, and spiced strawberries and rhubarb with shortbread and valley cream. Don’t worry, you’ll walk it all off the following day.
Life’s An Adventure’s three-day Maria Island walking holidays start from $A999 per person with earlybird savings of $A200 per couple. A 10 per cent discount is also available for those combining their Bay of Fires and Maria Island tours. Life’s An Adventure has just recently been named winner in 2011 Greater Sydney Tourism Awards of Excellence in both the Adventure Tourism and Tour Operator categories. www.lifesanadventure.com.au
In New Zealand three gorgeous walks in the southeast corner of the North Island reveal rugged and dramatic scenery. The Tora Coastal Walk in New Zealand has spectacular views. Do check the weather report before you go – the region has high sunshine hours but is also prey to screaming southerly winds. Tora Coastal Walk is a three-day, three-night adventure which encompasses private hill country coastal farms, river valleys, native bush walks, expansive ridge-tops (with unsurpassed 360 degree views of the Wairarapa) meandering creek walks and the spectacular Tora coastline. This is definitely the road less travelled. Prices from $NZ455 www.toracoastalwalk.co.nz
Nearby, the Orui Walk is a three-day walking experience over private farmland and Wairarapa coastline. The walk begins and ends at Orui Station located at Riversdale Beach (40 minutes drive east of Masterton). Prices from $NZ390 www.oruiwalk.co.nz
The Whareama Coastal Walk is a challenging and breathtaking two-day, two-night walk over private farmland and isolated Wairarapa coastline. The ideal midweek or weekend getaway for people looking for a truly rural and coastal walking experience. Prices from $NZ275 www.whareamawalk.co.nz
Australian Walking Tours Fabulous Flinders Walk in South Australia is a six-day, fully guided experience that combines outback accommodation, the best local food and wine and a walking programme never offered before. The trip is supported with guide and vehicle. Each day’s walk showcases the breathtaking landscapes so unique to the Flinders Ranges. Highlights include traversing Wilpena Pound and an ascent of St Mary Peak; a geological time-trip through Brachina Gorge, a cradle of earth’s earliest life forms; and a wildlife-filled walk from Blinman Pools. In a nice twist, the drive from Adelaide to Hawker is broken with a cycle through the sublime vales and vineyards of Clare Valley. It’s the chance for a civilized Riesling before entering the mighty red ranges. The Fabulous Flinders Walk will cost $A2850, including all meals, accommodation, transport and guiding. www.australianwalkingtours.com.au