Inspirational guided walks in 11 National Parks located along the Great Dividing Range. Home to ancient World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests, tortuous escarpments, cliff face trails and canyons of the Greater Blue Mountains. Grand granite monoliths, and iconic limestone caves. – 11 days departing Brisbane or Sydney
Single Supplement AUD$1,265. Special Discounts apply to this tour. See Clause 4 of the Terms and Conditions. Early Bird price reverts to the Regular Price 6 months prior to each tour departure date. Minimum number of guests for this tour is 7.
2018 prices available and bookings received from mid 2017. Meanwhile register your interest for pre-release advice.
A journey of absolute contrast to the arid outback perception of Australia
Every day is filled with experiential delights:
For more than 125 million years the Great Dividing Range has acted as the dominant watershed between big river country to the east, and vital water courses meandering west toward the drier outback
Surprise yourself. Step into the very evolution of Australia
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Pre departure administration, meet ‘n greet and tour briefings in Brisbane or Sydney.
You’ll travel south from the city toward the lush farming land of the “Scenic Rim” and “Border Ranges” where we’ll enjoy a bush tea break in the Condamine Gorge then a short walk at the Queen Mary Falls. Lunch will be enjoyed on the verandah overlooking the peaks of the Main Range National Park and “The Head”, the spring source of our great inland rivers – or a unique “Shed Cafe” lunch in an historic apple orchard region. In the afternoon, a chance to limber-up with a comfortable but spectacular walk to the summit of Bald Rock, the largest granite monolith in the southern hemisphere. Then its a short drive to the historic town of Tenterfield proudly claimed as “the birth place of our nation”
Accommodation: Regional motel suites in Tenterfield – 2 nights
We’ll pack our supplies for an energetic walking day and head for the Girraween National Park. Here there are a number of formed trails of easy to moderate grade and length including climbs to the top of Castle Rock, The Pyramid, Turtle Rock and the Sphinx. A fascinating day amidst balancing boulders, wildflowers and wildlife.
Today includes highway travel south to the regional enclave of Armidale, a cold climate garden city and tertiary education base. You’ll enjoy a tea break beside Australia’s version of the Celtic “Standing Stones” and later a short walk to the dramatic gorge and Dangars Falls eating into the New England Tableland. Subject to availability we’ll choose to stay in a quality boutique guest house and winery for two nights and savour the delightful country setting.
Accommodation : Petersen’s Guest House or a regional Motor-Inn
Today you’ll visit the New England National Park and the nearby Waterfall Way. Walking in the world heritage New England National Park is a “must do” with its outstanding range of habitats and distant views to the Pacific Ocean, ancient Antarctic Beech trees, descendants from the Gondwana era, a precipitous lava layered escarpment and exposed plateau.
Then enjoy a leisurely walk in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park – Wollomombi Falls / Chandler Falls for outstanding cliff top views into tortuous gorges and perhaps overhead, the flight of our largest species of Eagle cruising the thermals on high.
Today you’ll travel back country roads through curious small villages fit for roaming, to reach Belltrees Station, home of the White Family since 1831, one of Australia’s most famous rural properties – 9000 ha or 22,000 acres located in the fertile Hunter River Valley. Here the original homestead and many other buildings of the past provide a chance to absorb the history and culture of the Australian country.
Accommodation: Cottages of Belltrees Station – 2 nights
Designed as a mid-tour relaxation day you have the chance to roam the station precincts, take in the rural ambience or join a half day visit to the Barrington Tops National Park a short drive away.
We depart Belltrees and travel through the Hunter Valley with its wineries, manicured horse studs and coal mining sites, one of Australia’s most productive and wealthy regions. We pass through the Yengo National Park headed for the historic village of St Albans and your overnight break at Wisemans Ferry on the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury River. You are entering magnificent sandstone country synonymous with the native flora of the region. We’ll visit the Finchley Lookout over the world heritage wilderness and one of the best Aboriginal sites and cultural walks in Australia with its rock art engravings. St Albans, named after the town north of London, is located in “The Forgotten Valley”, a beautiful but relatively unknown retreat which has been by-passed by all major road and rail corridors out of Sydney. We can’t possibly resist the temptation to call into the legendary Settlers Arms Inn for food and refreshments and for the history buffs, the old restored cemetery is the resting place of a number of First Fleeters who arrived in Australia in 1788.
Accommodation: The Wisemans Ferry Retreat
We continue our passage into the world heritage area of the Greater Blue Mountains, a reserve of over one million hectares, noted for its geographic, botanic and cultural values. We pass through the historic areas of Mt Wilson and Mt Victoria to enjoy a 3 night stop in Blackheath or Katoomba, central to our planned walks. Time to stop and roam in Mt Wilson, a renowned heritage garden village with some cool climate exotic gardens dating back 120 years, many open to the public. We’ll complete the day with a short walk onto Pulpit Rock and a staggering view over the Grose Valley and Sydney Blue Gum Forests.
Accommodation: Blackheath Resort or Katoomba Manor – 3 nights
We’ll arrange to commence our day with a picnic breakfast platter on a sublime point overlooking a grand panorama then head to the start of a magnificent 3 to 4 hr escarpment walk along the cliff face National Pass trail, below weeping hanging swamps, ending with lunch at the Conservation Hut. Fired with enthusiasm for the wilderness we’ll then visit the HQ of the National Park Service and plan further walks for the day to follow.
Shorter walks today in the Greater Blue Mountains National Park including the Grand Canyon and time to visit the National Park Heritage Centre, some inspirational lookouts, famous galleries and villages in this historic destination.
You’ll depart early for a guided walk in the underground wonderland of historic Jenolan Caves, followed by a walk out onto and along the Kanangra Walls wilderness to enjoy a day-pak lunch looking into The Deep of Kanangra Boyd National Park. In the afternoon you travel through high country back to the Blue Mountains for a refreshment and then the highway descent into Sydney and sadly, journeys end in the early evening.
Reverse itinerary applies – Sydney to Brisbane program
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