When you walk through the famous hiking trails in Australia, you can do more than trekking and observing the spectacular views, landscapes and water bodies in one of the world’s most beautifully preserved natural environments. As you plan for your next walk on an Aussie trail, here are some of the other activities you can participate in.
You can enjoy the benefits of a fun-filled wine tour as you hike the Great North Walk that takes you through the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. After you walk on the ridge line of Mount View, you will get to the Pokolbin Mount road. From here you can explore the magnificent vineyards in the Hunter Valley Gardens, which is Australia’s oldest and most popular wine producing region.
Nothing you have ever seen in any other part of Australia can match the year round opportunities to see amazing colours of vines, and other plants used to make wines. The beauty of the Hunter Valley is simply enchanting. Set on about 225 hectares of land that has been continually cultivated for several centuries, the Hunter Valley has about 60 acres of internationally acclaimed display gardens.
You will also have a chance to see a boutique shopping village which has carefully preserved green areas as well as a series of boutique retailers that promote top notch local produce, great artistic talent, superb cafe dining, and wine tasting at cellar doors.
At Hunter Valley’s international display gardens, you will see 10 themed gardens that reveal influences from Europe, Asia, America and other parts of the world. With more than 8 kilometres of pathways, 6,000 cultivated trees, and over 600,000 shrubs, you will experience a unique and lasting legacy that has been carefully preserved for future generations. The amazing sights, scintillating aroma and special floral and landscape arrangement provides an awesome experience for all visitors.
Whale watching involves observing dolphins and whales play in their natural habitat and it is one of the most popular recreational activities in Western Australia. Western Australia has one of the longest whale watching seasons in the country. So if you choose to hike on the Cape to Cape Walk in WA, you could enjoy one of the the best watching sessions ever. No hike around the southwestern area of WA should be concluded without spending time viewing and photographing the ocean life along the coastline.
Due to Cape Naturaliste’s unique location, you can enjoy amazing whale watching events from the middle of May till December. You can see humpback whales breaching from the coastline or go on organised whale watching tours and see rare blue and minke whales or the southern right whales as they perform their annual migrations. You will also see fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and sea birds. If you take a tour to the Geographe Bay, you could have the rare privilege of seeing the world’s biggest animal – the blue whale, especially if you arrive there between October and November.
Learn About Aboriginal Culture
Australia has a rich Aboriginal culture that dates back to about 60,000 years. You can’t claim to know Australia without taking a visit to some of the spiritual sites that were a vital part of the culture of the Aboriginals. Hiking offers you an opportunity to meet with friendly locals who can give you a lot of history lessons, and show you where many spiritual and cultural events of the Aboriginal people took place. From the Northern Territory to Queensland, you can enjoy great Aboriginal experiences while hiking. You will learn many local names and their meanings while you have a chance to learn about many amazing plants that these ancient people have adopted for different medicinal uses.
In Victoria, hiking on Bataluk Cultural Trail will give you amazing insight into over 30 000 years of local Gunaikurnai culture and history. You will see sacred trees and sites of worship as well as weapons and ancient relics. For instance, the Knob reserve is a high bluff above the Avon river that served as a major campsite for the Gunaikurnai people for many centuries. On it you can see the grooves where axe heads and sandstone grinding stones where sharpened.
At the Krowathunkooloong (Keeping Place), you can see well preserved artifacts and art works of indigenous people. It is one of the best places to learn about the Gippsland Aboriginal culture with displays such as bark canoes, boomerangs, grass baskets, and some modern aboriginal arts and crafts. Also, at the limestone caves at Buchan, you will hear about the stories of wicked Nyols that inhabited the caves under the earth. Buchan Caves are about the oldest cave sites from the Ice Age with evidence of Aboriginal existence and occupation that dates back to 18,000 years.
Australia has many trails where you can hike and engage in other interesting and rewarding activities such as wine tours, whale watching and historical and cultural education. Tours and hikes can be undertaken independently by experienced hikers or with guided tours that provide accomodation and food.