Aug 22, 2019

Great Walks editor Brent McKean chooses his three favourite Life’s An Adventure pack-free guided walks.

“Having been on quite a few Life’s an Adventures walks choosing three of my favourites is tough but here goes. My first is the 5-day Kakadu Walk and Beyond. I had the opportunity to take my family – my partner Holly and our kids, Matilda (9) and Billy (7) – so that made it extra special.

Having a splash at Jim Jim Falls

It was so good seeing the kids in true wilderness and in a part of Australia, they knew little of. They managed to do most of the walks and particularly liked the walk to Jim Jim Falls which required a bit of rock-hopping. But then we had a lovely long swim and tasty lunch at the falls.

Another highlight was visiting the Ubirr rock art site. Guide Bettina gave an excellent commentary on the artwork which made it all that more special. And as always the food and accommodation was first-class and got the kids’ tick of approval.

The guides were so patient with our little ones and I know Matilda became really close to Bettina. In fact, Matilda was crying when she had to say goodbye to her at the end of the trip. It was without a doubt the best family holiday we have been on.

Purnululu National Park from the air.

My next favourite walk is also in Northern Australia. The 5-Day Kimberley Bungles & Beyond Walk showcases the timeless beauty of the WA’s Kimberley Region and I reckon it’s Australia’s most underrated destination.

The first part of the trip was exploring El Questro Station, 700,000 acres of vast and stunningly beautiful terrain. This diverse landscape extends 80km north to south and 60km east to west and is mostly unexplored. It’s that big! We experienced rugged sandstone ranges, rainforest pockets, thermal springs, gorges and permanent waterfalls.

From there we headed to Purnululu National Park, a vast World Heritage Site. Why is everything so BIG up this way?! Purnululu is famous for its unique orange and black striped beehive mounds. I’d never seen anything like it. But the real ‘Wow! Factor” was a helicopter flight into Purnululu gorge, which would normally take a three-day hike to get to. We were then dropped off and spent the day exploring this ancient landscape before being collected by the choppers. It’s a trip I will never forget.

The beauty of WA’s south coast.

My final walk would have to be the five-day Bibbulmun walk, also in WA. The Bibbulmun Track is a 1000km track that starts just outside of Perth and heads southeast, all the way down to Albany on the state’s south coast. Of course, most people only have the time and inclination to explore a part of this long-distance walk and this five-day trip showcased many of the area’s highlights. We discovered gorgeous karri and tingle tree forests and explored some of Australia’s most magnificent coastline with their giant granite boulders, stunning beaches and flowering heathlands. We also had a cooking class with a famous local chef and visited a number of vineyards the area is famous for. This trip ticked all the boxes for me!

So there you have it, three varied walking experiences but all with the same excellent services you’d expect from a Life’s An Adventure guided walk.”

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