The classic small group tours provide a 'highlights' of Tasmania tour for a group of up to 12 or so likeminded guests with tours ranging in duration from 4 to 8 days, staying in comfortable accommodation with a dedicated vehicle and guide. There are regular departures as well as special interest departures for those with interests more geared towards wildlife and national parks.
Those more inclined to adventure and getting off the beaten track should consider one of the magnificent small group walking tours, or perhaps even a multi day kayaking tour.
Tasmania is Australia's walking state and in fact is probably one of the greatest walking destinations in the world with a climate, landscape and diversity that lends itself perfectly to exploration by foot.
The small group walking tours in Tasmania are some of the best experiences of their kind in the world.
Think award-winning architect-styled eco lodges cantilevered from granite, orange lichen-stained cliffs or secreted in the sun-dappled bush tucked behind endless wild beaches pounded by turquoise seas, the playground for mega pods of dolphin, and the passage for whales on their trip north; imagine dining by candle and starlight in decadent standing camps protected by parrot-filled forest canopies, finished off with a night in a historic homestead with a roaring log fire, a warm bath the reward for a day’s hike; always, no matter how remote you seem to be, a convivial dinner of gourmet food washed down with some of the crispest, smoothest wines in the New World, made from grapes that have been allowed to ripen at their leisure in the long, balmy Tasmanian autumn.
With nearly fifty per cent of the island protected by World Heritage or National Park status, vast swathes of land both impenetrable and uninhabited by people, the power of nature that dominates a land lying forty degrees south in the Great Southern Ocean is not to be understated, and of course unguided walkers need to keep their wits about them - which is why there has been such a proliferation of guided short and long walks developed in the last few years.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that walking in Tassie is only for the young and super fit. Far from it. In recent decades the appeal of walking, particularly among the older generation has given birth to a new style of walking holiday that puts comfort, even luxury, and experience at equal first in the list of criteria.
There are a huge range of easily accessible short walks for those who are unwilling or unable to embark on a longer journey by foot. For those who want to experience all Tasmania's top walking spots under the guidance of an expert, Premier Travel Tasmania has the perfect solution - seven day guided walking tour that combines the comfort of travel by luxury vehicle and blissful accommodation with the very best day walks.
But for those who want to see the world from a different perspective, there are several world-class multi-day walks in Tasmania that take rambling to a new level of sophistication.
With always a minimum of two knowledgeable guides for every group of just eight of ten in a group, the pace is dictated by the slowest walker, with plenty of opportunity for the faster paced walkers to stretch themselves. Sometimes the walking can be less taxing than choosing which wine to have with your sautéed scallops. On Tasmania’s walks your soul will be as grateful as your taste buds. The simple process of putting one foot in front of the other will lead you on a path through magnificent scenery to extraordinary natural highs, both literally and figuratively. To say Tasmania’s walks can bring with them life-changing experiences is honestly not an understatement.
One of Tasmania’s top walks, the Maria Island Walk, describes itself with justification as four days that last a lifetime. Another promises a life changing experience or your money back. What is guaranteed is that you will see and learn things that will change your view on the world forever, and it is highly likely that you will leave Tasmania having made friends for life. Walking is perhaps the world’s first social network. Best of all, in Tasmania, for the most part you are far more likely to come face to face with Tasmania’s weird and wonderful wildlife than another human being, apart from your fellow walkers.
So, for a true immersion into Tasmania’s magical wilderness, eschew the hire car, at least for a day or two, longer if you can, and make sure you pack a pair of comfortable walking boots. Follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, delving deep into 60 million year old rainforests, along stunning sea cliffs and down to white sand deserted beaches, inaccessible other than by foot. You won’t regret a single step of the journey. Walk once in Tassie and you will almost certainly return to walk here again.
Arguably the only way to explore the iconic Freycinet Peninsula, this three night walk covers the length of the peninsula and its national park on Tasmania’s East Coast, taking walkers into parts that no one else is permitted to enter. It culminates in one of Tasmania’s most remarkable vistas – Wineglass Bay - against a back drop of the Hazards Mountains. You walk out each day from your base, the art and antique filled Friendly Beaches Lodge, to return to the nightly luxury of comfortable beds and a sumptuous dinner by a log fire. The solar powered lodge is one of those rare gems, tucked away in the bush on one of the most stunning beaches you will ever set foot on.
One of Australia’s most decorated tourism experiences, this four-day walk explores the breath-taking landscape of the east coast island national park with its deep-etched convict history. Walk among the fecund wildlife with light packs, on gentle tracks, staying at two forest camps with comfortable beds, and outstanding food and wine, rewarded by a final night in the restored historic Bernacchi House. With rich aboriginal history, a penal settlement that predates Port Arthur and an extraordinary density of wildlife (including all Tasmania’s endemic birds) this is the walk for animal lovers. The recent release of wild Tasmanian devils has added a new dimension.
Explore the breathtaking coastline known as the Bay of Fires, so-named by the early sea-farers who saw the first settlers’ fires burning on the shore. Stay in the Bay of Fires Lodge, whose minimalist design probably put Tasmania’s walking on the grown-up map when it opened in 1998. Named by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top 10 spots to visit in 2009, this remote landscape in Tasmania’s north east, littered with Aboriginal middens, is the passage from one world to another, a place unchanged by time. Two nights are spent in the Lodge, and one night is spent in the Forester Beach Camp.
This six day, 40 mile guided walk follows the iconic ten day Overland Track – possibly the world’s greatest multi day walk - through Tasmania’s glacial and mountainous World Heritage area from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Those with moderate to good fitness will walk through land only usually accessible to the hardiest thanks to the most ecologically sustainable private huts, warm showers, good meals and an experience that makes the bucket list in spade loads.
More of a gourmet and wildlife extravaganza with a bit of walking thrown in – or at least enough to make you feel suitably active. The camp is of the highest standard, and the food and wine are what you would expect from an island located off an island that has its very own natural larder of wines, cheeses, oysters and a posse of makers poised to share it with you. Access to and from Bruny Island, a national park in its own right with some of the highest cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere is normally an hour’s drive from Hobart and a short ferry ride, but here you do it in style, with a private boat to and from the island from Hobart.
Image credit: Premier Travel Tasmania