Through our lightweight gear, carefully planned itineraries and experienced guides, Wilderness Expeditions allows novice walkers to experience Tasmania’s world-renowned walks. However, all of the walks we offer require a basic level of fitness: You must be comfortable walking for hours on end and be able to deal with slippery, steep and uneven surfaces. Virtually all tracks in Tasmania involve hills. While you aren’t required to break any speed records, you will need to have enough cardio-vascular fitness to manage large climbs at a steady pace. Any training you do will pay enormous dividends in terms of your enjoyment of the walk.

Here is a breakdown of our walks and their respective difficulties:

Walls of Jerusalem – Easy

Cradle Circuit -Easy/Moderate

Overland Experience -Easy/Moderate

Overland Express – Moderate

South Coast Track -Moderate

Frenchman’s Cap -Moderate/Hard

Other walks – Easy to Severe

 

Walk Grades:

Assigning a particular grade to a walk is a notoriously difficult task. Many different factors contribute to the difficulty of a walk. These include the distances covered, the condition of the track underfoot, elevation gain, pack weight, steepness, exposure to weather, technical skills required, how sustained the difficulties, are and countless others. The local context is also important. Tasmania is well known for its challenging walking and what is considered an “easy” walk here might feel significantly more difficult than a “hard” walk elsewhere.

Some walks contain days of varying difficulty and have been given multiple ratings to reflect this (eg. easy-moderate).

Ratings are for the main track only. Side trips will often have a harder rating, however they are always optional and a full-pack is generally not required.

Easy

Easy walks are on well formed tracks, with generous time frames and relatively short distances. Elevation gain per day is usually modest (less than 400m) and any steep sections will be short and technically easy. While the tracks covered might not be manicured paths, they require no technical skills or prior experience and should be comfortably manageable for first time walkers with a basic level of fitness.

Moderate

Moderate walks are on tracks that are rougher underfoot and require bigger days. Roots, broken rocks and shallow mud will be encountered, and walkers will need to move slowly and carefully. There will be more time spent walking each day (6 hours or more) and longer distances will be covered (above 15 km). Elevation gain will be greater (more than 400m) and there may be sustained, steeper sections where hands are needed for balance. There may be exposed sections of track where the full force of bad weather will be felt. These walks are suitable for adventurous first-time walkers with a moderate level of fitness.

Hard

Hard walks are on very rough tracks that involve deep mud, overgrown vegetation and steep, difficult terrain.  Longer days (8 hours or more) will be required to cover the minimum distances between campsites and the pace will be a little faster out of necessity. Significant elevation gain (up to 1000m) may be necessary and steep sections can be long and relentless. No climbing experience is necessary, but walkers must be comfortable scrambling over rough terrain with some exposure. On walks of this difficulty, walkers may be required to carry a small portion of the food, resulting in heavier packs. Hard walks are only suitable for those with good fitness and previous bushwalking experience.

Severe

Severe walks are on extremely rugged tracks or routes that traverse untracked areas. Days can be long (10 hours or more) and exhausting even for very fit and experienced individuals. Climbs of more than 1000m with unrelentingly steep gradients are to be expected. The vegetation can range from overgrown branches that have to be manoeuvred around, to fallen trees that must be crawled under to dense walls of scrub that have to be bashed through. Technical rock climbing abilities are not required, but there are likely to be sections that border on rock climbing. Large, unprotected drops will be unavoidable. There may be multiple days spent on ridgetops exposed to the weather. Walkers will need to carry more gear and a portion of the food. Severe walks should only be considered by those with excellent fitness and extensive bushwalking experience.

 

The minimum age for our tours is 10. For walks given the Hard or Severe rating, 16 is generally the minimum with certain exceptions. All children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

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 unpredictable, the ‘awakening’ flora can add a touch of magic, all the water sources are full and fresh and the average temperatures can make for more pleasant walking than mid-summer.

Winter tours can be challenging in Tasmania, especially in the high country. With the correct planning, guidance, equipment and a little luck with the weather, however, winter 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 predictably ‘short’ and cool, can be clear and sunny for some extended periods.

If you are traveling alone and looking to join a group, you may be limited somewhat to other booked departure dates (with already sufficient numbers). 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, less popular, areas and seasons, tour departures are comparatively 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, especially so 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 off any main route, 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 the constraints of itineraries.

On arrival at a first camp, 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, time as dictated by the day’s activities. You won’t be expected to help with catering/cleaning as our groups are relatively small, meals are mostly pre-prepared and guides are well practiced. Your free time is usually well received, to relax, attend to personal matters, read, 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 on a tour as an option, as we make ours available regardless). however, we do offer some discount concessions. These are applied as a percentage deducted from the final/balance payment of a tour or to the total payment for transport /self guided:

  • Group: Discounts available by quote for 5 or more booking a guided tour, 3 or more on self guided tours and 4 or more booking transport.
  • Family Discounts: Additional youth discount for 16yrs or younger on guided tours.

REFUNDS

**COVID REFUND POLICY – Updated August 2021. If you are unable to join a tour due to border closures/quarantine requirements we will offer a postponement of the trip (if possible), credit for a future trip or a refund (minus 50% of the booking fee).***

Rarely do we need to postpone or cancel a scheduled tour or other service. If so we may offer alternatives for guided tours once commenced. If, for example, a tour cannot proceed due to severe weather, otherwise, if a cancellation happens prior to scheduled departure, 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. We often also incur a loss in not offering/holding place/s on your behalf.

The following refunds apply:

Payments for Guided Tours

  • Fifty percent (50%) of booking fee/deposit is non-refundable.
  • Within four weeks of tour departure deposit is non-refundable.
  • Within seven (7) days  of tour departure, forty percent of you balance payment is forfeit.
  • Within forty-eight (48) hours 75% of your balance payment is forfeit.
  • Postponements will incur a payment of a second booking deposit/ fee.

Payments for Self-Guided walks

If you need to cancel ten percent (10%) of your payment is non-refundable. If you cancel within the final week prior to departure, we will refund your total payment minus twenty percent (25%) to cover admin and any loss. We may also need to deduct any (unusual) third party components paid/invoiced on your behalf. Payment for Overland Track Passes/expenses may be refundable from the Parks & Wildlife Service (the Terms and Conditions are set out in the documentation supplied when booking).

Payments for Transport

If you cancel please expect a 15% administration fee from your total payment, and an additional 15% from this payment 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). 

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 your chosen activity.

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 other walkers 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.

You are welcome to book directly into those tours with the option available either via our booking portal  or alternatively just send an enquiry and we’ll take it from there with a linked booking form. Once booked you should expect a receipt for your booking which will contain important information for your booking. A deposit payment will need to accompany your booking, generally paid via card – if you wish to pay the full amount on booking please contact us for our linked form. This deposit payment then forms part of the total tour price. Any balance remaining becomes due four weeks prior to departure and payment can be taken from the credit card used on booking or bank transfer if you prefer.  If your tour date is less than four weeks from booking, full payment is necessary.

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. This info helps us in equipment allocation and driver/guide briefing (and is held, in the unlikely event it should be required by emergency services). You’ll need to pay in full for the self-guided service to confirm your booking (refund policy applies). Should we book/outfit or transport more than one party with the same date/destination, we will offer a pro rata discount. Any resulting discounts will be refunded following your tour.

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 are based in Hobart but can access a variety of pick-up points depending on the location of the tour. For northern walks (Overland Track, Walls of Jerusalem, Cradle Circuit) we can arrange a pick-up and drop-off in Launceston. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about your pick-up.

You are welcome to bring baggage you don’t plan on taking with you on the walk. After fitting you out with gear, any extra baggage will be stored securely at our base and returned to you at the end of the tour.

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