Monday 12 May 2014

Luxe Trekking Launches On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

One of Australia’s most spectacular – and most accessible – nature walks, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, is now offering a ‘luxe trekking’ option for those who want to savour the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast rainforest, while also savouring deluxe accommodation, indulgent spa baths, and fine food and wine.

The aptly named 58km Great Walk rambles its way over the peaks and ravines of the Blackall Range, linking several parks and reserves, including Kondalilla National Park, Mapleton Falls National Park and Mapleton Forest Reserve.

There are steep sections, but nothing extreme, with the trails excellently maintained and signposted. Along the way, walkers can view the tumbling cascades of Kondillila Falls, cool off in a rainforest rock pool or experience the meandering Obi Obi Gorge, carved by water over millions of years.

Just 30 minutes from Sunshine Coast Airport, trekkers are totally immersed in the rainforest experience, with only the occasional cacophony of cicadas and the elegant call of the whipbird to disturb the silence. The most distinctive tree in the forest canopy is the imposing bunya pine whose branches form a uniform radius for his entire lofty height.

One of the most attractive features of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is that it can be walked in a series of day or half day sections, making it perfect for those who want to combine their walk with sightseeing and a luxury getaway.

The multi-award winning Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat is located near Montville adjacent to the Hinterland Great Walk, and is celebrating its reopening following a major upgrade by offering a new Luxe Trekking package.

The three day/two night package offers the best of nature, and the best of comfort.

It includes two nights in a rainforest pavilion, with dining facilities, spa bath, lounge room and veranda. On their first afternoon, guests can be transferred to one of the walks for a short introductory self-guided walk, or they can explore the villages of Montville and Maleny. Dinner on the first night is at a local restaurant, with transfers included.

Day two starts with breakfast in the pavilion followed by a mid-morning departure for a spectacular guided walk from Lake Baroon to Kondalilla Falls. The approximately five hours walk includes a gourmet picnic lunch en route and ends at the rock-pool at Kondalilla Falls where walkers can cool off with a swim, followed by champagne before returning to Narrows Escape for a BBQ dinner on the veranda of their pavilion.

Day three explores the Conondale Great Walk near Kenilworth in the Hinterland. OffBeat Eco Tours conducts the half-day tour starting with a 4WD river crossing, then a guided walk to view the remarkable Andy Goldsworthy Strangler Cairn artwork. The walk covers many aspects of local indigenous history and culture and includes a bush-tucker inspired morning tea along the walk.

The package is available for $1500 per couple. An optional champagne Sunset Tour of the picturesque new Maleny Botanic Gardens, with transfers, a private aviary tour, champagne and (local) cheese platter, and picnic blanket to watch sunset over the Glasshouse Mountains is available for $245 per couple.

Bookings and further information - (07) 5478 5000;
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