How does the hiking tour Grading System work?

Our hikes are graded in accordance with the Australian Walking Track Grading System.

Grade 1 – The trail will be under 5 kilometres and doesn’t require any bush walking experience. The track will be flat and even with no stairs or overly steep sections.  To be rated a grade 1 the track should be suitable for people in wheelchairs (with assistance) and children’s strollers.

Grade 2 (easy) – A grade 2 track will be under 10km and like the grade 1 it doesn’t require any prior bushwalking experience. These are great tracks to get started on. The track will have a hardened or compacted path and may include some gentle slopes and occasional steps.

Grade 3 (moderate) – These tracks maybe up to 20km long. They are suitable for most ages and fitness levels. The tracks are well formed and marked, but may have short steep hill sections, steps and uneven ground. In parts there may be obstacles you need to go over or under.

Grade 4 (challenging) – A grade 4 track is likely to be longer and include rough ground and very steep sections. They may be any length and directional signs and markers are likely to be more limited. A reasonable level of fitness and unrestricted movement will be required.

Grade 5 (hard) – The tracks are likely to be less defined, rough, steep and have very few directional signs or track markers.

What is the Layering System and how do I use it?

When it comes to the outdoors, there are three principal layers: Base, Mid and Shell/Outer.

Each layer has its own function.

  • The Base Layer is the layer closest to your skin and manages moisture.
  • The Mid Layer keeps you warm.
  • The Shell/Outer Layer protects you from wind, rain and snow.

Simply mix and match the layers to suit the conditions. If it’s cold and wet, wear all layers. If it’s raining, but it’s warm, wear the Base Layer and the Shell/Outer Layer. If there’s chill in the air, but it’s not windy and/or wet, wear the Base Layer and the Mid Layer.

Experiment with the layers. When it feels good and comfortable, you will know you got it right.

What happens if I am too slow and I hold up the group?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a hiking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery and plenty of photos along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk, but no one get’s left behind.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 to 6km per hour, we tend to average just over 3km per hour on bush tracks and even less on more challenging and difficult terrain. It’s not a stroll, but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Refer to Fitness under Essential Info for more tips on how to get ready for our hikes.

What is a Code Red day?

Code Red is the highest level of rating in Victoria and it signifies the worst conditions for grassfires or bushfires. A Code Red Fire Danger Rating means that if a fire were to start, it will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving and fire services will find it difficult to put out. All our tours will be cancelled on Code Red days. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Why do I have to wear gaiters and what are they good for?

All participants on our tours must wear gaiters, when instructed to do so by the tour guide, while on the track to help protect you from thorns and branches and to prevent mud, snow and debris getting into your boots. When it’s wet, they help keep your feet dry. They also help protect your lower legs from a snake bite.


What happens after I book?

After you have filled out an online booking form and made a payment via PayPal, you will receive a registration form via e-mail. The registration form must be completed by all participants, so if you are booking on behalf of others, make sure that you forward the e-mail with the link to the registration form to all the participants.

Next will be time for you to get ready for your hiking adventure.

Our website provides information on what you will need to bring, tips about food, fitness, important information about how much water you will need on your hike, how to best pack your backpack and lot of other helpful information.

Please read all the information about the tour you have purchased and its itinerary as it provides the time and location of a briefing session, pick up time and location and other important information.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you can’t find answers to any of your questions on our website or if you have any concerns that you would like to discuss.

Why do I have to attend the briefing session?

Check the details/itinerary of the hiking tour you selected for time and location of the briefing session.

Briefing sessions for some of our multi day hikes are conducted the evening prior to the start of the tour, so you will need to be in the area the day before.

It’s very important that you attend the briefing session as this is where we discuss any possible hazards, emergency strategies and evacuation. We talk about the tour, its itinerary and what to expect. You get to meet your guide and your fellow hikers. Very importantly, we distribute all the equipment, show you the ins and outs of your backpack, explain how best to pack it, help you adjust the harness and answer any questions you might have. Having the equipment the night before the tour gives you an opportunity to pack everything you will be taking on the hiking tour, have a good nights’ rest and be ready for your hike the next morning.

There will be no time on the morning of the tour to do any of the above.

When do I wear short sleeve and when long sleeve Base Layer?

We are all different. Some of us get cold easily and others tend to overheat, so deciding on what base layer you will wear on your trip will depend entirely on you. But, here are a few tips.

On a 1 day hike, if it’s warm you can wear a short sleeve top. Some people prefer to wear a long sleeve top to protect their arms from the sun. If that’s what you prefer, it’s good to wear a short sleeve base layer with a lightweight long sleeve button up shirt over the top.

Short sleeve base layer is also suitable on cool days with your mid layer on top.

If it’s cold, long sleeve top will be the most suitable.

One 2 to 3 day hikes, I recommend to bring one short sleeve and one long sleeve top.

On 4 to 5 day hikes, in warm weather, I recommend 2 short sleeve tops and 1 long sleeve top and in colder conditions, I recommend 1 short sleeve top and 2 long sleeve tops.

Remember that when you are wearing a short sleeve top, you need to apply sunscreen to your arms.

Why do I have to share a tent?

All our tents are two man tents.

Our aim is to make the hiking trip as comfortable for you as possible. One way of achieving that, is reducing the number of items you have to carry. Sharing a tent and other items such as cooking equipment will reduce the weight of your backpack. One person can carry the tent while the other person carries both sleeping mats, cooking equipment and perhaps larger amount of water or food.

It’s also cosier and happier in the tent if you are sharing the space with your hiking buddy.

If there are an odd number of participants on a hike, one participant will have to carry all the equipment they’ll need for the trip including the two man tent.

Can I bring my pet along?

Sorry, no pets are allowed in Alpine National Park and Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resort.