Tassie Tracks - Southern Sojourn November 2024

Tassie Tracks are back with a brand new itinerary!
~ Southern Sojourn ~
Saturday 9 – Monday 18 NOVEMBER 2024

 
Horizon Guides' new 10-day itinerary takes in some of the most wild, beautiful and dramatic landscapes of southern Tasmania. Pristine beaches, towering dolerite cliffs, sub-alpine forests and glacial tarns. Dip into the history, life and culture of these unique areas so close to Hobart. You will be treated to a truly memorable experience -
from mountains to sea!


Tour Highlights include:

TASMAN PENINSULA

  • 3 nights at the Lufra Hotel overlooking the Tessellated Pavement
  • Spectacular 3 hr Tasman Island Cruise to view Australia's tallest sea cliffs (Pennicott Wilderness Journeys)
  • Hike dramatic Cape Hauy on the Tasman Peninsula


HUON VALLEY

  • Stay 3 nights at historic Kermandie Hotel overlooking the Huon River
  • Hike to Ladies Tarn and Hartz Peak (360 views across the SW and to Bruny Island!)
  • Marvel at the delicate features in Hastings Caves
  • Visit the Wooden Boat Centre


BRUNY ISLAND

  • Stay 3 nights (private lodge) on ruggedly spectacular Bruny Island (access by vehicle ferry only)
  • Hike South Bruny Island taking in beaches, heathland and clifftops
  • Also … delightful art studio on North Bruny Island
  • Sampling delicious local fare


Plus you can expect many more serendipitous delights along the way...

The tour is fully accommodated with all breakfasts, dinners and most lunches included.
 
We'd love to know if this is the Tasmanian adventure for you ... please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest. We are currently putting all the finishing touches on this trip - and working out the price. As soon as all the details are available you will be able to reserve your place …
 

DATES: Saturday 9 - Monday 18 November 2024
9 nights - Fully accommodated – private and shared facilities
Level of challenge: Moderate + (Carry daypack only)
Price:  TBA per person twin share
Ex: Hobart
Group Size: Minimum 5 / maximum 10 guests + 2 Guides

Questions?

To receive a comprehensive information and reservation package, or if you have any further questions or would like to discuss the suitability of these walks for you, call 0417 760 966 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

 
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Tassie Tracks - Bruny Island to the Western Wilds - Returning in 2025!

TASSIE TRACKS: BRUNY ISLAND to the WESTERN WILDS!
 
Our 14-day trip will take your breath away and fill your soul ℘
Covering a tremendous sweep of Tasmania's wild and iconic southwest we travel in a small van as well as on foot, by kayak, by train and under sail.

Places are strictly limited to 10 guests so please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. straight away if you wish to book your place. Please call Teresa on 0417 760 966 to make sure there is availability before you pay a deposit.

Tour Highlights include:

  • Stay 4 nights (private lodge) on ruggedly spectacular Bruny Island (access by vehicle ferry only)
  • Full day of sea kayaking with Sea Kayaking Bruny Island
  • Hike Bruny - Fluted Cape and Cape Queen Elizabeth
  • Also … Bruny Lighthouse, local art studio and stops to sample delicious local fare
  • Stay 3 nights at Pedder Wilderness Lodge in the Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers NP
  • Kayak on Lake Pedder with Tassie Bound
  • View the spectacular engineering of the Gordon Dam
  • Hike a beautiful valley to glacier carved Lake Judd in Southwest NP
  • Stay 2 nights at Derwent Bridge Chalets (self contained, shared facilities)
  • Hike the lovely Shadow Lake Circuit beneath Mt Rufus in Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair NP
  • Drive through some of the world’s most mineral rich landscapes on the Lyell Highway to Queenstown and on to Strahan
  • Take the half-day ‘Rack and Gorge – Wilderness Class’ trip on the famous steam train with the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Queenstown
  • Stay 2 nights at waterfront Risby Cove on Strahan Harbour
  • Hike to Ocean Beach where the Indian Ocean breaks on a wild, wide shore
  • Enjoy interactive and fun theatre at ‘The Ship That Never Was’
  • Explore the Historic Foreshore and the Huon Pine Precinct in Strahan
  • Overnight aboard the ‘Stormbreaker’ – sailing up Macquarie Harbour via Sarah Island and overnight at Heritage Landing nestled in the silence of the Gordon River – truly awesome!
  • Stay 1 night at The Empire Hotel in Deloraine for our final dinner. On the final day, take the byways through historic villages en route to Launceston

The tour is fully accommodated with all breakfasts, dinners and most lunches included. To receive the detailed itinerary please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GUIDES

Based in Boonah (Queensland) Teresa Cause set up Horizon Guides in 2007 to offer a specialised bushwalking guide service. She has extensive experience in guiding tours in Australia and overseas with a particular emphasis on natural history. Providing experiences that connect people to places and to each other is especially rewarding! Teresa also owns and runs Far Outdoors outdoor equipment business in Boonah.

Born and raised in Pyengana Lesley Nicklason describes herself as … "a 4th generation local, Blue Tier protection campaigner for 25 years, wilderness lover, big tree hunter, mother, grandmother, nurse and inveterate bushwalker". Lesley is all this and more and it is a delight to have her co-guide this Tasmania journey!

Arriving early – staying after? There are myriad reasons to arrive early for this tour – and to stay longer!

Hobart: If you arrive before the tour Hobart has much of historical and contemporary interest. Here are a few links to get you started …

Wooden Boat Festival  10 - 13 February 2023

Salamanca Market – Saturday mornings.

Cascade Brewery – can be reached by walking along the Rivulet

Female Factory (highly recommended – and best experienced by taking the guided tour and experiential theatre tour)

Historic Houses - Markree and Narryna – these have links to the experience of female convicts in Hobart.

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Mawson’s Hut replica museum – excellent!

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) (requires a full day)

Port Arthur – thoroughly great experiences to take in on the Tasman Peninsula

Port Arthur Historic Site

Osbourne Heli Tours

Tasman Island Cruises - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Launceston

The Cataract Gorge

Design Tasmania wood and craft centre – fine craft gallery and store.

Clarendon House near Evandale


We look forward to walking with you all and sharing these magnificent Tassie tracks!

Questions?

To receive a comprehensive information and reservation package, or if you have any further questions or would like to discuss the suitability of these walks for you, call 0417 760 966 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

 
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Great Ocean Walk

HORIZON GUIDES invites you to experience Victoria's Great Ocean Walk - a truly spectacular spring journey through some of the most wild landscapes in Australia.

Driving along the iconic Great Ocean Road is just the start of our week-long exploration of the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks. Known as the ‘Shipwreck Coast’ this part of Australia’s coastline is ruggedly beautiful and in the era of sail formed the extremely hazardous approach to Melbourne. Today we can enjoy the coastline and tall forests on the Great Ocean Walk. Opened in 2005 the track takes us to places that are invisible from the highway. On foot you can feel and breathe the ocean and adjacent forests in all their wildness.

Starting at the eastern end of the GOW at the seaside town of Apollo Bay we walk a new section of track each day until we complete the 104km walk at the 12 Apostles. This eco-guided, and vehicle-supported walking holiday allows you to become immersed in the history and natural beauty of the region. 

Here are the planned tour highlights ... but expect some serendipity too ....

  • 104km of spectacular scenery and wonderful walking!
  • Diverse environments: rocky shores, towering cliffs, pristine beaches, mountain ash and myrtle beech forest, coastal heath and still river inlets. 
  • Historic beaches and places: Wreck Beach, Melanesia Beach, the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
  • Abundant wildlife including Koalas, Little Penguins, prolific birdlife and unique creatures like the Otway Snail

DAY 1 

Walk:     Apollo Bay to Shelly Beach 8.5km Medium/Hard

Trans:    Bus from Melbourne Airport

Accom:   Sea Eagle Retreat (Shared facilities)

Meals:     L (own in Apollo Bay) D

Pickup at Melbourne Airport is around 10am. Once we arrive in Apollo Bay there will be a chance for a bite to eat and a bit of a stretch before we take the first step on the Great Ocean Walk. The track first takes the Great Ocean Road to cross the Barham River then from Marengo Beach the GOW is a diverse mixture of beach and bush walking. Depending on the time and the tide/sea conditions we will take the track or walk the intricately patterned rocky shelves. The bus will meet us at Shelly Beach then we continue to Sea Eagle Retreat and settle in to our private retreat.

DAY 2 

Walk:      Full day Shelly Beach to Parker Hill 20.5km Medium/hard (6 – 7 hrs of walking)

Trans:     Shuttle to walk start (approx 30 mins)

Accom:    Sea Eagle Retreat (Shared facilities)

Meals:     BLD

Shelly Beach to Blanket Bay (13.5km: Medium/hard) From Shelly Beach the track climbs steeply up to the Elliot Ridge GOW campsite in the heart of the forest. The tall wet forests of Mountain Ash dominate this walk along old forestry tracks. Keep an eye out for koalas, black cockatoos and other wildlife.

To Parker River Inlet 7.4 km: The track winds through dry coastal forests with views over Parker Inlet. There is a river crossing here to finish – generally it requires shallow wading. It was near here that the wooden ship ‘Eric the Red’ was smashed to pieces in 15 minutes in the early foggy hours of 4 September 1880.

Note: The Parker River crossing is dependent on tides and river levels. If the river is impassable the walk section will end at Blanket Bay. 

DAY 3 

Walk:     Parker Hill to Aire River 16.5km Medium

Trans:    Shuttle return to accommodation (approx 35 mins)

Accom:   Sea Eagle Retreat

Meals:    BLD

Today we return to Parker Hill and take the escarpment track above the cliffs to Cape Otway. If conditions are right we can take the short side trip to beautiful Crayfish Bay. From the Cape Otway Light Station entrance, the sandy track crosses Paynters Hill and passes by the historic Cape Otway cemetery. From here the track meanders through dense wind-sculpted vegetation hugging the slopes and cliff tops above Station Beach. If the tides are in our favour today we can take the return side trip to Rainbow Falls, an unusual seepage over limestone cliffs where algae creates colourful features above the beach rock platforms. The next couple of kilometres are along the wild expanse of Station Beach. Keep an eye out for the endangered Hooded Plovers and interesting flotsam and jetsam before rejoining the escarpment track. From the Escarpment Lookout over the Aire River mouth the track drops down through dense vegetation before emerging beside the Aire River estuary

DAY 4 

Walk:      Rest and Travel Day

Trans:     Transfer to 12 Apostles accommodation.

Accom:    Apostles Motel & Country Retreat (All rooms have private facilities)

Meals:      BLD

After a few days of long walking today is a chance to recover - but we will still be active! Starting with a couple of hours at the historic Cape Otway Light Station precinct. Once through the entry you are free to explore at your leisure – there is a great deal to see here as well as enjoying a cuppa the Café.

Continuing west on the Great Ocean Road we travel across to Loch Ard Gorge – scene of the tragic loss of the Loch Ard and the remarkable survival story of two young people. We will spend about 1 ½ hrs to take in all the walks, viewpoints and stories.

Time permitting, other features on our itinerary are London Bridge, the Arch and the Bay of Islands and the sleepy fishing village of Peterborough pop. 178 - the site of the infamous shipwreck of the Schomberg in 1885. Said to be the “most perfect clipper ever built” it ran aground on a sand spit in controversial circumstances. There was no loss of life apart from the drowning of two men who planned to salvage the cargo. Eventually it was all lost to the sea. The surf and fishing village of Port Campbell has a lovely foreshore and jetty area. Here you have some free time to browse the shops or sit by the bay. Our accommodation for the next four nights is the Apostles Motel.

For those who are keen there is an opportunity to take a helicopter flight along this spectacular section of coastline. www.12apostleshelicopters.com.au The experience isn’t cheap but it is worth every second! This can be arranged on the day (at your cost).

DAY 5 

Walk:       Aire River to Johanna Beach 12.4km

Trans:      Shuttle to Aire River

Accom:    Apostles Motel & Country Retreat (All rooms have private facilities)

Meals:      BLD

Returning to Aire River this morning our walk continues with an initial climb back up to the escarpment via the GOW campsite. From here the track traverses coastal heathland for the next 5.5km sneaking beneath the sculpted cliffs with fabulous views along the coast before we arrive at Castle Cove, a beautiful beach rimmed by spectacular cliffs. Not far from here some of Australia’s most important dinosaur finds were made between 1984 and 1994 under very challenging conditions as the excavations were made off rock platforms frequently subject to wild sea conditions. From Castle Cove we continue the westward journey traversing heathland with wildflowers, grass trees and cliff top views. The last part of this 6.9km section is along Johanna Beach. There is no inland route so if the day is pleasant we can take our time beachcombing. Though this is famous as a surfing location; swimming is not recommended at Johanna Beach.

DAY 6 

Walk:       Melanesia Gate / Moonlight Head / Gables 16.5km Medium / Hard

Trans:      Shuttle to Melanesia Gate (Approx. 50 mins) / from Gable (approx. 30 mins)

Accom:    Apostles Motel and Country Retreat

Meals:      BLD

This is arguably the most spectacular section of the whole GOW and it is also one of the most challenging sections of terrain. We first walk the old 4WD fishing track and meet the beach at the eastern end. The geology here is truly remarkable and quite unique. We’ll spend time appreciating the features before turning inland to climb above the beach with great views.

Between Melanesia Beach and Moonlight Head (9.6km) the walking is hard though the track is well constructed (with steps in steep parts) through the rough terrain and the last section to Moonlight Head is along an old fishing track. Moonlight Head is a magic spot with extensive views east and west. The last section of today’s walk starts along a country road then takes a trail inland to arrive the Gables Lookout where the walk ends for the day.

DAY 7 

Walk:      The Gables to the 12 Apostles 19km Easy / Medium

Trans:     Shuttle to The Gables

Accom:    Apostles Motel and Country Retreat

Meals:      BLD

This is the last section of our Great Ocean Walk. We need to be mindful of the tides as the famous Wreck Beach is part of today’s walk and here the ocean crashes straight into the massive cliff-line at high tide. There is a high tide route if we cannot make the low tide.

Today’s walk takes off from the spectacular Gables Lookout. There is a steep descent to Wreck Beach where high cliffs of sedimentary limestone tower over the narrow beach. The anchors of the wreck of the Fiji (1891) are stuck fast in the beach rock at the western end of the beach. From the end of the beach the track skirts steeply around the Devil’s Kitchen with great views of the beach. The next 7.7km parallels the Old Coach Road to Princetown. Crossing the Gellibrand River the track heads back into the low-growing coastal heath of Port Campbell NP. The views are extensive and as we approach walk finale, the rock stacks of the Apostles dominate the landscape. The Great Ocean Walk passes near historic Glenample Homestead, once home to the farmers who played an important role in caring for survivors of the Loch Ard disaster of 1878, and ends at the 12 Apostles Visitor Centre. Tonight we enjoy a final dinner together.

DAY 8 

Trans:      Bus return to Melbourne Airport

Meals:      B

Today we farewell the Great Ocean Walk and the Shipwreck Coast, returning to Melbourne via The Princes Highway. Arrival at Melbourne Airport is expected to be by 12 noon.

GUIDES

Teresa Cause based in Boonah, founded Horizon Guides Pty Ltd in 2007. Offering a specialised bushwalking guide service, Teresa has a background in outdoor and environmental education, with a particular emphasis on natural history.  Teresa's extensive guiding experience includes tours in Australia and overseas. She is also the proprietor of Far Outdoors in Boonah.

Jenny Lambert Based in Ocean Grove, Jenny is an educator, adventurer and outdoorswoman of great experience. She will provide logistical support and back-up on walks.

GENERAL TOUR NOTES:

Accommodations

Sea Eagle Retreat www.seaeagleretreat.com.au

Private retreat with shared bathrooms, full kitchen, laundry and indoor pool.

Apostle Motel and Country Retreat. (RACV 3 Star Rating) Twin share rooms with private facilities. Bar and restaurant.

Meals All meals and snacks are provided except lunch on the first and last days. Every effort has been made to cater for special dietary needs.

Laundry There is a laundry at Sea Eagle but none at Apostles Motel. However there is a Laundromat in Port Campbell and if necessary we can go there mid-tour. It is recommended to pack a small amount of washing detergent for hand washing.

Alcohol at Sea Eagle Retreat we will provide wine/beer/non-alcoholic beverages for happy hours before dinner. If you prefer spirits (or more than a glass or two of your favourite tipple) then you may purchase this prior to the tour in Apollo Bay. There is a bar at 12 Apostles Motel where you may purchase drinks.

Daily briefings Each evening there will be a briefing on the walk or options for the following day.

Mobile Phone Coverage There is adequate mobile phone coverage at some places along the walk. Emergency access via 112 is more available.

TRACK NOTES:

Distances and track section times Officially the track is 104km in length. We are covering pretty much all this on foot – all except for a section that we drive. Where indicated the time taken for each section is approximate.

Grading Most of the Great Ocean Walk is graded Easy – Medium. There are some Hard sections. Refer to daily notes for grading on each section. Being a coastal walk, elevation gain and loss is moderate over short distances.

Shortening walks On some sections of the walk there is vehicle access to certain points. For those who don’t feel up to hiking the entire daily section, there may be the opportunity to walk part of the way a have a pick-up arranged - one of the best aspects of a vehicle supported walking holiday!

Toilets Each of the walk-in sites has composting toilets and in several places we will also walk through public access areas with toilet facilities.

Track direction The GOW is designed to be walked East to West. This gives all walkers a better opportunity to walk ‘alone’ as there will be less chance of passing walkers.

Tides Inland vs. beach walks. In places there are decision points for safely walking sections. This will be strictly weather and tide-dependent. The track walking is generally easier going, as the beach sands may be soft and therefore harder walking.

Weather Spring weather can be quite changeable in the region so you may expect to encounter all sorts of conditions from sunshine to wild squalls. Please take note of the detailed packing list.

Steps There is quite a lot of ‘up and down’ on this walk with steps of stone or timber construction in steep sections. It is not recommended for anyone with knee conditions.

Swimming There are no patrolled beaches on the walk and many beaches have strong currents and rough water. Swimming is not recommended.

Hydration / Water There is usually rainwater at the GOW campsites and water treatment will be available. It is recommended to carry 2 litres of water in 1litre containers per day.

Phytophthora fungus Boot cleaning is encouraged in the effort to help prevent spread of Phytophthora fungus that causes ‘die-back’ of a variety of plant species.

European Wasps In summer European wasps may be a problem around water sources. Keep water containers capped when not drinking from them.

Snakes Along the track there are ample snake warnings. In places the narrow track and scrubby bush close on either side makes spotting snakes difficult.

 

 

 

 

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Contact info

7 Church St, Boonah QLD 4310

Phone +61 07 54634 114
Mobile +61 0417 760 966

walks@horizonguides.com.au

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