The more popular track-based walks, those highlighted on the home page, are suitable for anyone of average fitness (i.e with some form of regular basic fitness routine). For first-time walkers we would normally recommend either The Overland Track or Walls of Jerusalem for the level of track improvements and facilities, however, the other popular walks are not otherwise especially difficult. Most track-based walks in Tasmania still do have tougher sections or cover distances that could be challenging. With the popular walks this is  more from a stamina standpoint than from technically difficulty, no specific skills are needed.

We suggest looking at the walk grading and tour itineraries, weather links and other media and resources. At the end of the day we design our regular guided tours to cater for a wide range of participants and similar self-guided itineraries should be achievable by most. Between our staff we have taken thousands of walkers on these tracks without a major incident or evacuation, similarly never had a major incident reported by any self-guided party. That said the experience is definitely enhanced the higher level of fitness, perhaps try overnight camping beforehand too if possible. Once booked we provide some further notes including on fitness and training to help preparation.

Other guided walks available on request (though not advertised as tours) and can range from easy (e.g., flatter, shorter, coastal tracks) to very challenging (extended, steep, heavy scrub, heavier packs). We would normally negotiate/ collaborate with the group to issue an itinerary for these, ideally well before departure. Booking for more difficult routes might involve further assessment, perhaps the need for a medical consultation if you have any doubt or pre-existing condition or injury. In some cases, for extended expeditions, a lead-in shorter walk may be necessary to advise how participants might cope on an ‘expedition’.

Walk Grades are allocated grading in individual tour descriptions. These are of limited value other than defining a difference between our tours. At the very least our walks involve several hours walking each day to complete in a reasonable number of days. A level of activity everyone finds challenging in itself, at some level. So many factors can otherwise make walks more or less difficult for individuals. Besides the vagaries of weather, which can make any Tasmanian walk more challenging, expect that our grades reflect the usual effort and exposure required. Steep climbing, longer days with heavier packs will generally be reflected in the grade. Just ask if you would like more specific advice.

  • We nominally set a minimum age of 10 years for our easy/moderate, track based guided and self-guided tours. For the more challenging tracks and off track routes this minimum is 16 years. We find that much younger and they can struggle with the distances, especially when carrying the minimum equipment (needed in case they were somehow separated).
  • Those under 16 years must be accompanied by a guardian.
  • Family discount available (5% for those under 16).
  • Average age range: Most common would be within the 25 – 55 years age grouping though very much an arbitrary figure. We’ve taken many younger as well as a number well into their seventies on our track based walks.

All seasons have something unique to offer. You can study the historic data from the weather service (BOM), then, closer to departure, get a (general) idea of the weather coming up here: www.bom.gov.au/tas/forecasts/map.shtml

Mid-Summer, December-February, includes the more popular outdoor months in Tasmania. Australian summer school holidays fall in this period and so too does the most stable/driest weather. That said, autumn (March-May) walks can be less crowded and popular with photographers for the low light and seasonal change. Similarly, spring (October-November) can be less crowded. While spring weather can be the least predictable, the ‘awakening’ flora can add a touch of magic.

Winter tours can be challenging in the high country though with the correct equipment and planning can offer a unique, memorable ‘true’ wilderness experience. With few other walkers around and a landscape perhaps blanketed in snow winter tours always have an extra expeditionary feel. That said, keep in mind that even in mid-summer snow and daytime temperatures in single digits are not unusual. Alternatively, winter days, while ‘short’ can be clear and sunny.

If you are traveling alone and looking to join a group, you may be limited somewhat to other booked departures. The best chance of a departure closest to your preferred date would usually involve booking on one of our summer Overland Track walks (the most popular). For other areas and seasons, tour departures are comparatively much more irregular, giving us plenty of prior notice/booking early and having some flexibility can help especially for singles (i.e., to fit within work/school holidays etc).

Aside from an agreed start to the day the tour leaders tend to keep a reasonably flexible routine. This decided in consultation with the group and within limits of simply completing the day’s agreed distance. Generally we allocate a 9am start to the walking day allowing for breakfast and time for taking down camp and packing.  For smaller or private groups the guides will try to allow for preferences and with bad weather they will advise on shorter or alternative routes/campsites where available.

Once under way, the guides will normally disperse towards the front and at the end of larger groups that may tend to spread out while walking on formed tracks. It’s generally preferred to travel together and if spreading out, several planned meet-up points are determined to re-group and for each member to take a break if necessary.  There also isn’t really an expectation of pace or completing all side-walks, the guides will try to make completing the distances as easy as possible for each individual with some optional challenges and alternatives for the more adventurous depending on itineraries.

On arrival the first afternoon, the guide/s will familiarise and help you with the camping routine and setting up camp. They will then prepare and serve the evening meal, usually early, before dark preferably, and as dictated by the day’s activities. This usually occurs by around 5pm. You won’t be expected to help with catering/cleaning as our groups are relatively small, meals and mostly pre-prepared and guides are well practiced. Your free time is usually well received to relax, attend to personal concerns, explore the campsite settings and generally make the most of your holiday.

DISCOUNTS

Most of our costs are fixed and rely on several tour/transport participants to be profitable. We generally don’t discount for small expenses (such as bringing your own gear as an option as we make ours available regardless), however, we do offer the following concessions. These are applied as a percentage deducted from the final/balance payment:

  • Group & Family Discounts: Substantial discounts available by quote for 5 or more booking a guided tour or 3 or more on self guided tours. Youth discount for 10-16yrs.

REFUNDS
Rarely do we need to postpone or cancel a scheduled tour. We may offer alternatives (no obligation on your part), otherwise all payments will be fully refunded. Equally, given the commitment and logistics of such holidays we understand if you may need to cancel or postpone your tour.
We do incur expenses however and quite early in our planning:

  • Payments for Guided Tours- Fifty percent (50%) of booking fee/deposit is non-refundable.
    Within four weeks of tour departure deposit is non-refundable.
  • Postponements will incur a payment of a second booking fee
  • No refund within applies within 12 hours of prior to pick-up or thereafter.
  • Payments for Self-Guided walks – Fifty percent (50%) of booking fee/deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel we also need to deduct any third party components paid/invoiced on your behalf (eg. Accommodation or Overland Track Passes). Payment for Overland Track Passes may be refundable by providing a medical certificate and covering letter stating the reason for cancellation (The Terms and Conditions are set out in the documentation supplied by Parks and Wildlife)
    Within four weeks of departure, deposit is non-refundable.
  • A 50% maximum total refund applies to any cancellations in the final 12 hours prior to agreed tour /transport pick-up time.
  • Payments for Transport – If you cancel expect a 20% administration fee, an additional 20% in the final 48hrs prior to departure.

We recommend adequate insurances be taken to cover any possible financial loss (in addition to that for personal injury). In completing the booking form you’ll agree that, to the best of your knowledge all information is correct and all relevant details have been disclosed. Wilderness Expeditions (Tas) Pty Ltd (whilst taking great care for your safety and well-being) cannot be held liable for the outcomes of inherent risk and unforeseen events associated with our operations.

Waiver/Assumption of risk You will need to sign a ‘Waiver’ before departing on guided and self guided tours. It forms an acknowledgement that you have disclosed information as requested as well as have an appreciation and personal responsibility for any risk involved in such activities.

Guided Tours

Have a look through the tour itineraries keeping in mind the time you have available. We would suggest contacting us early if you have specific dates in mind, especially if you are on your own or with small numbers. All such walking tours need a minimum number of participants so booking early gives us time to find others to join you. Make an initial enquiry/ask questions using our enquiry form (normally the most efficient way), send an email or give us a call. We encourage questions early so as to give you the best tour and departure options.

We will normally attach a booking form when answering an initial enquiry if we have a tour leaving close to your desired departure dates. This can be completed online or printed for return. If you choose to book you should expect a mail/email confirmation and other details within several days. A deposit payment will need to accompany your booking, generally paid via credit card/bank deposit. This deposit payment then forms part of the total tour price. The balance payment can be paid at the same time or becomes due four weeks prior to departure.

Self- Guided Tours

Contact us as soon as you have dates in mind. You will need to complete a booking form with some background details and optional medical disclosure & noting any relevant experience. This info helps us in equipment allocation and driver/guide briefing (and is held should it be required by emergency services). You’ll need to pay a deposit for the self-guided service on booking with the balance can be paid at any stage and is due by 4 weeks prior to departure. Any discounts applicable will be deducted from balance payment.

Transport

Again, early booking is recommended. So too is contacting us first, before booking anything, track places, accommodation etc. We can find others to join you or suggest dates with others already booked to save you some expense. We will, similarly, forward a booking form to have your details on file pending a booking that will rely on others joining. Transport needs to be paid for in full at the time of booking, we will refund any relevant discounts (discounts based on final numbers) on departure.

We have a variety of pickup points depending on the location of the walk, as listed in the walk details. We suggest finalising a tour and departure date first and then we can help with accommodation and travel suggestions if necessary (as well as giving ourselves the most flexibility). Generally, for our northern walks including The Overland Track, most people choose to fly direct into Launceston given the more frequent air services.

You can also arrive/depart from Devonport on the day (where our tour base is located). The city is the entrance port for the daily passenger/vehicle ferry service from Melbourne (The ‘Spirit of Tasmania’) or a regular Qantas service to the local airport.

Here are some useful Links for Getting Here and Local Travel:wilder_heart

Air
Launceston: www.launcestonairport.com.au
Devonport: www.qantas.com.au

Sea Ferry
www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/bookings.html

Statewide Bus Services:
www.tasredline.com.au
www.tassielink.com.au/tassielink-timetables

Car Hire
www.rentalcars.com

If you have a car/caravan you may wish to make use of the parking facilities at our Devonport base or there are longer term parking facilities at the various city airports. All tours can be joined (by arrangement) in Devonport regardless of the departure point for the particular tour.

Pre/Post Tour Accommodation (Suggestions)

Devonport Backpackers
www.mollymalones.com.au

Devonport Bed/Breakfast
www.dannebrog.com.au/lodge

Launceston Backpackers
www.launcestonbackpackers.com.au

Launceston Hotel
www.batmanfawknerinn.com

Hobart Backpackers
www.thepickledfrog.com

Hobart Hotel
www.oldwoolstore.com.au

Tasmanian Park Service (Links to popular walks)
www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=409
Bushwalk Australia (National Forum – Reference for less visited areas)
bushwalk.com/forum/index.php