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Travel Better: Memorable Responsible Travel Moments

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of our pioneering Responsible Travel Guidebook, a document designed to educate travellers on how they could reduce their impact when travelling.  Since then, our commitment to minimal impact tourism has seen us introduce many more initiatives that have been embraced by our travelling community – check out the highlights below.

In a world that is so beautiful, we aim to bring you closer with nature and create meaningful experiences with local communities and their cultures responsibly. It is a world with endless natural wonders to explore; a place we call our home. But it is a world that is undoubtedly under threat from our impact.

Since our inaugural Himalayan trek in 1975, we have been leaders in Thoughtful Travel. From day one, our ethos was to get out of the bus and to reduce our impact by exploring the world under our own steam. For over four decades, we've been creating genuine and sustainable itineraries to help protect what is delicate and to leave a positive influence. It has been in the past 20 years, however – where 'green travel' has become mainstream – that our responsible travel initiatives have received the public support required to become a real success.

A particular highlight was receiving the Environmental Achievement Award for our ‘Responsible Travel Guidebook’ publication from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2001, which educated travellers to reduce their impact and has since evolved into our Thoughtful Traveller booklet. Almost 20 years on, we’ve continued to pioneer minimal impact travel ideas with our ‘BIG Adventures. Small Footprint’ travel ethos at the backbone of our itineraries which we consciously craft to respect and positively impact the well-being of the communities and ecosystems we visit.

But we could not have come this far without our thoughtful travellers who have supported us and helped collectively change the world for good. Not only do our travellers leave with an enriching and transformative adventure experience with us, they have helped champion positive changes so others can also appreciate and experience the beauty of the earth. So thank you!

Your support means we can continue to make lasting positive impacts so future generations can also experience the wilderness of the Franklin just as beautifully 40 years on; or to responsibly walk the Larapinta Trail in the footsteps of the Arrernte people, one of the longest continuing cultures on the planet.

From protecting wildlife and supporting renewable energy, to lending a philanthropic arm for our Lend A Hand Appeal – with over $38K raised so far for struggling travel industry workers, our travellers and supporters are all amazing! Learn more about our most memorable responsible travel achievements and commitments below.

Quick links: jump to an achievement
Offering carbon-neutral trips
Allowing travellers to invest in local communities and support cleaner energy at no extra cost
Distributed 485 emergency packages to stricken communities
Launching Community Project Travel in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami
Allowing travellers to sleep greener at our eco-friendly campsites
Raised over $7 million for charities worldwide
Funding and supporting education projects in poor communities
Bringing tourism dollars to remote communities
Pioneering regenerative travel which aims at positive social and environmental impact
Became a founding member of the 10 Pieces Litter Collection
First company to develop a formalised animal welfare code of conduct
First company to stop offering orphanage tourism
Became founding supporters of the International Porter Protection Group
Hosted a Thoughtful Travel Q&A
Were the first charter member of the ‘Peace Through Tourism’ campaign
Completed over 400 Youth Service Learning Programs
An ongoing commitment to improve through the power of partnerships

Thoughtful Travel Highlights

Offering carbon-neutral trips

We have long been concerned about the impacts of global warming and the impacts tourism contributes to that. While travelling has unavoidable carbon emissions, we're continuing to take BIG steps to reduce our footprint and improve our operations at every level.

From November 2019, we began to offset 100% of the unavoidable carbon emission from our adventure travel holidays, so travellers can explore the world sustainably.

“Travellers can continue to travel, providing incredibly important revenues into nations where tourism is a vital part of the national GDP mix, and do it guilt-free. We also encourage travellers to carbon offset their flights using the airline programmes. It’s an important trajectory that we hope the entire industry will join in on.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

In the industry, we can continue to foster change for good while supporting jobs for those employed by tourism around the globe, and that is a win-win.

Allowing travellers to invest in local communities and support cleaner energy at no extra cost

The carbon credits purchased from South Pole to offset emissions from trips are absorbed by World Expeditions, not passed on to travellers. In turn, our travellers help the climate cause to transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy and help to protect and regenerate forests that capture and store carbon from the atmosphere.

This means that for each active holiday our travellers book onto, they are directly supporting Positive Impact Projects in places such as Australia, Vietnam, China and Zimbabwe, which address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

You are supporting projects in Australia, Africa and Asia.

Distributed 485 emergency packages to stricken communities

Food and hygiene packages have been distributed to families in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, India and Peru thanks to our 'Lend A Hand Appeal' supporters. Read more about the appeal and how you can donate today.

Porter families in Nepal receiving our 'Lend a Hand Appeal' food packages

Launching Community Project Travel in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami

Our travellers across the globe with World Expeditions have been making tangible change in underprivileged communities that receive little to no government support and require assistance through our Community Project Travel trips.

The dedicated division first launched in 2005 in response to the devastating Asian Tsunami in 2004 and has been a continuing force for good. Working alongside volunteers from the host communities, travellers complete grass-roots construction projects that have been funded by the World Expeditions Foundation.

“It has become the portal for travellers to immerse in community project works that, while small scale, are measurable and leave a permanent benefit for the community once complete. As a profit for purpose division, we were able to deliver dozens of projects across the globe. This is a great pride for us, and a joy for the travellers that participated.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

Allowing travellers to sleep greener at our eco-friendly campsites

Our portfolio of adventure holidays have always had a light environmental footprint by designing trips that allow adventurers to travel under their own steam – on foot, by bike or kayaking or rafting, with low carbon accommodation preferred.


In Nepal, our exclusive campsites offer new levels of comfort during a trek whilst caring for the environment and local communities. It provides year-round employment and career opportunities for the Nepali people (a camping-based trek can employ 25% more local people than a teahouse or lodge-based trek) and ensures a significantly smaller environmental impact, as deforestation is a major ongoing concern in the Himalaya.

On our Larapinta trips in Australia, our three-time award-winning campsites continue to set the standard, incorporating new sustainable technologies including solar lighting systems and a hybrid grey water disposal system designed for the arid environment.

Facilities at our eco camps |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>

Where campsites aren’t used, we use comfortable, locally-owned accommodation to support the local economy and are eco-friendly and which often encourage communities to preserve their traditions so travellers can enjoy their downtime and feel great about it.

World Expeditions' active itineraries are crafted to minimise road travel and to maximize our travellers own power to get them from point A to B.

Collectively raised over $7 million for charities worldwide

Since its inception, our dedicated charity brand, Huma Charity Challenge, developed programmes that allow our Charity Challenger participants to run, cycle, trek or climb their way around the world whilst raising much-needed funds for important causes. View various Charity Challenges you could take up >

The Conquer Kozi team at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko |  <i>Ayla Rowe</i>

Funding and supporting education projects in poor communities through our philanthropic arm, the World Expeditions Foundation

Founded in 2007, the World Expeditions Foundation aims to improve the standard of living in poor and indigenous communities, largely through education-oriented projects from donations raised.

It served Nepal very well after the earthquakes in 2015 where the generous flow of donations were able to relieve many people in the worst-hit regions with tin roofing, canvass and canopies as well as fuel and food to help them get through the earliest days of the disaster.

One of the charity’s major programmes is the Rebuild Nepal Projects, which continues to support the redevelopment of classrooms across remote mountain communities affected by those earthquakes.

“It took sheer perseverance to see through the establishment of the World Expeditions Foundation to become a full DGR entity. That is, those donating to the foundation could receive a tax-deductible receipt which is a major propellant to heightening donations to create greater positive impacts with the projects we are supporting.” – Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions Travel Group

Bringing tourism dollars to remote communities who have limited access to income from other sources

Our unrivalled range of exploratory treks to remote destinations, like the Great Himalaya Trail, spread tourism dollars to local communities that benefit from travellers visiting.

Partnering with local operators and hiring local guides and leaders sees our traveller’s dollars investing in these local economies. It’s a fantastic way our travellers can give back to the communities they visit and better spread out the positive and negative impacts of tourism on the destination.

Local people of western Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Pioneering regenerative travel which aims at positive social and environmental impact

On top of our sustainable practices, we actively work to improve the destinations our travellers visit and essentially leave the place better than they found it. It’s about restoring and improving the health of the earth, not just maintaining it.

As pioneers of the Franklin River Rafting Expedition in Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness since 1978, our responsible travel practices has allowed future generations to experience it just as beautifully 40 years down the track.


On the Larapinta Trail, as visitors on the sacred land, we work alongside the indigenous traditional owners and NT National Parks & Wildlife to allow clients to gain a deeper understanding of the need to conserve the Aboriginal cultures and respect their place and lifestyle in Australia. A partnership between the landscape and the campsites has been established to maintain respect for country, to enhance the sense of place and to provide a total environment experience of the Larapinta trek.

Our Larapinta eco campsites provide shelter to our walking groups through a series of minimal impact structures and each campsite's semi-permanent design allows the land to recover during the off-season.

Became a founding member of the 10 Pieces Litter Collection

Focusing on litter ‘hotspots’ on mountain trails, it is offered on treks in Nepal, Bhutan and Peru, as well as the Mount Rinjani and Mount Kilimanjaro summit treks. This litter minimisation initiative and education lobby, helps supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal of climate action, through traveller engagement.

As the only Australian tour operator of ‘10 Pieces’, this initiative encourages trekkers to pick up 10 pieces of litter each day. While ‘10’ may sound like a nominal number, it multiplies immensely through the collective power of a group of travellers.

First company to develop a formalised animal welfare code of conduct

Under the guidance of World Animal Protection, World Expeditions developed a 10-step ‘Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct’ on how to be an animal-friendly traveller and see wildlife in a responsible way that does not cause harm.

World Expeditions' animal welfare policy is an industry-leading step towards integrating animal welfare with broader responsible tourism

Nicola Beynon, World Animal Protection

Most recently, we removed the Eagle Hunting Festival from its Mongolian programme, as part of its drive to ensure all its trips adhere to the strictest standards of animal welfare.

First company to stop offering orphanage tourism to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children in developing countries

All instances of orphanage tourism were removed from our itineraries in 2013, when research first revealed a direct link between the increase in the number of orphanages in developing nations and the increase in tourism numbers. Read more about Child Safe Tourism.


Became founding supporters of the International Porter Protection Group

Mountain porters are an integral part of each World Expeditions trekking or mountaineering adventure. We support the International Porter Protection Group, Porters' Progress UK and the International Mountain Explorers Connection and, to ensure safe working conditions, developed a dedicated ‘Porter Welfare Code of Conduct’ for the porters it employs in Nepal, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Tanzania.


Hosted a Thoughtful Travel Q&A

The Q&A in March 2018 provided quality information and guidance on best sustainable travel practices and to inspire attendees to become stewards for travelling sustainably and responsibly. The live-streamed event featured expert panellists who discussed important responsible travel topics including ethical voluntourism, working conditions for porters in Nepal, voluntourism and why travellers should think twice before visiting an orphanage overseas. You can watch the discussion in the below video.

Were the first charter member of the ‘Peace Through Tourism’ campaign

It aims to create awareness that the privilege of travelling provides a unique opportunity to learn more about Earth, the wonder of its natural beauty, and its many diverse peoples, cultures and heritage while fostering mutual respect, understanding and appreciation with each person we encounter in the process.

From animal welfare to child safe tourism, World Expeditions has always adopted and adhered to responsible and sustainable travel practices

Successfully completed over 400 Youth Service Learning Programs, which tie in projects that aid communities and natural environments

Through our youth brand, World Youth Adventures, we have committed to instilling service values in students and young travellers by providing Service Learning Programs guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals for schools across the globe – from renovating schools to assisting the upkeep of wildlife sanctuaries. Find out more >

Painting at a community project in Nepal |  <i>Greg Pike</i>

An ongoing commitment to improve through the power of partnerships

We continually collaborate and seek guidance from a range of expert organisations, including World Animal Protection, ReThink Orphanages, 10 Pieces, South Pole Group, Leave No Trace, World Peace Tours and the International Porter Protection Group. This ensures that our travel philosophy and in-field operations reflect up-to-date sustainable practices.

As said by American novelist, poet, environmental activist and farmer, Wendell Barry: “The earth is what we all have in common.”

Together, we can foster change and instil greener and smarter travel behaviours to protect our planet's most vulnerable destinations and transform tourism's impact on nature and communities.

Let’s continue to do our part to leave a positive impact and use thoughtful travel to not only see the world, but to make it a better home.

Published 1 December 2020.

Recipe: Peter Kuruvita's Coconut Sambal

One of Australia's most foremost chefs and restaurateurs, Peter Kuruvita shares his simple coconut sambal recipe you can easily make at home.

Peter Kuruvita has led a number of specialty culinary tours with World Expeditions, with a knack for really knowing how to bond with locals anywhere over a mutual love of food and produce.

Famous for his signature style of quality local produce with a focus on seafood spiced with Sri Lankan and world flavours, join him on his next food fused adventure where he is with you every step of the tour. Enjoy hands-on cooking demonstrations with Peter and the chance to know the local's lore and their cooking secrets.

How to serve coconut sambal

Fresh pol (coconut) sambal is great with everything and is served with nearly every meal, including breakfast, when it is eaten with egg hoppers and kiri bath. It's especially delicious when paired with a snapper curry or served on hot crusty bread.

Peter Kuruvita's grandmother had a Miris Gulla (Chilli stone), the blender of the past, which was used to make all the spices and pastes

When our houseboy Nehal brought us the crusty bread from the bakery next door it was still steaming hot. I used to love cutting thick slices of the bread and putting spoonfuls of pol sambal on it – it was delicious. The coconut oil would come out and the flavours would intensify.

"When we first arrived in Australia in 1979 it was very hard to get a fresh coconut so we had to reconstitute desiccated coconut with some warm water. It is not as juicy as fresh coconut, but is an acceptable alternative. I have used paprika solely to give the sambal a rich red colour; you can use more red chilli if you want it very hot."

Pol (coconut) sambal recipe

Region: Sri Lanka | Makes 2 cups | Difficulty: Easy


1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon Maldive fish flakes
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 large fresh coconut, scraped or 100 g (31/2 oz) desiccated coconut, combined with 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) water
Juice of 1 lime

Making coconut sambal in a cooking class with Peter Kuruvita


1. Place the peppercorns and Maldive fish flakes in a large mortar and grind with a pestle until a coarse paste forms.

2. Add the onion, chilli powder and paprika and pound until a coarse paste forms.

3. Add the coconut and pound until thoroughly combined.

4. Stir in the lime juice, a little at a time so the sambal is not too sour, then season to taste with salt.

Cook's note: Sambal will keep for up to 5 days when refrigerated in an airtight container.

Image and recipe from 'Serendip, My Sri Lankan Kitchen' by Peter Kuruvita, Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99. Photo: Alan Benson.

4 cycling trips that'll make you fall in love with Australia

Full of extraordinary wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and charming hospitality, Australia is a beautiful country. While key sights such as the Sydney Opera House and Uluru aren’t to be missed, for a truly unique experience of travelling to Australia there’s nothing quite like getting off the beaten track and onto a cycleway.

Whether you’re keen to challenge yourself on an Australian trail or you’re after more of a leisurely pedal, these cycling destinations offer the perfect dose of nature, epic bike trails, gourmet food and wildlife spotting.

4 Australian cycling destinations that you need to experience

Victoria’s Rail Trails

Cyclists near Yea Station in Victoria's high country

Embrace the diverse landscapes of country Victoria as you follow the Great Victoria Rail Trail, Australia’s longest rail trail. Originally built to take steam engines, this dedicated cycleway showcases classic Australian scenery such as valleys, lakes, rivers and mountains. It’s not just the surroundings that will keep you spellbound; the divine food and wine of rural Victoria is the perfect reward for an enjoyable day of cycling. One of the highlights of this trip is pedal through the historic 200m long Cheviot Tunnel.

Hunter Valley NSW

Follow the Hunter Valley's dedicated cycle route |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>

How does a leisurely ride through one of Australia’s premier wine regions sound? The Hunter Valley is just a couple of hours drive from Sydney and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are many charming vineyards to explore that offer both award-winning wines to try as well as sprawling views of the countryside. There’s a dedicated cycle path linking many of the wineries with gentle distances to cover between them.

On our self-guided cycling tours, we provide an itinerary of recommended vineyards to discover. It’s the best way to experience Australia’s famous wines.

The East Coast of Tasmania

Cycling along the Tasmanian east coast |  <i>Oscar Bedford</i>

Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s most pristine nature. It’s an unspoilt island with remarkable rainforests, rugged mountains, stunning beaches, wild rivers and cosy villages. If you’re interested in an incredible cycling adventure in Australia then Tasmania will surprise and delight. Explore destinations with vivid names such as the Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay and Cradle Mountain National Park and reward yourself with some of the best food and wine Australia has to offer, largely due to the pure waters of Tasmania’s rivers.

South Coast NSW

Cycle between charming seaside towns |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>

Explore Australia’s spectacular coastline on the south coast of New South Wales. This region has everything a traveller to Australia could want. Highlights include spotting whales and dolphins, the famous white sandy beaches of Jervis Bay National Park, coastal cliff walks, encountering inquisitive kangaroos, plus visiting an award-winning vineyard or two in the historic town of Berry. All of these experiences are possible on one of the self-guided cycling tours in the South Coast region. The close proximity to Sydney (Wollongong is just an hour away!) makes the South Coast an easily accessible journey.

Which of these destinations is at the top of your cycling to-do list? Share your choice in the comment section below.
What I love about self guided walking

Nothing feels better than that first day out on the trail. You’ve left behind the city and all that comes with it; the crowds, the lights, the noises, and the hustle and bustle. You are free to forget about work; the deadlines, the emails and your 9 to 5 routine.

There’s no room for any of that in the bush. You are too distracted by the beauty of where you are and the need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's truly an amazing feeling to know that for the next few days you don’t need an alarm clock, you don’t need a schedule. All you need to think about is getting from one campsite to the next. That is the beauty of a self guided walk, it opens you up to live life completely on your own terms.

The other upside is that all the nitty-gritty details of organising transport, food, accommodation, route logistics and mapping were all taken care of beforehand. Meaning that you can simply focus on your experience ahead.

Something I love to do when I go bushwalking on my own is to take my watch off – leave it behind completely. Why do I need a clock anyway? I can eat when I’m hungry, sleep when I’m tired and wake up to the sun. I take pleasure in the fact that I don’t need to set an alarm. Instead, I always try to position my tent so that I am facing the sunrise; there’s no better way to wake up than to the sunrise.

A self guided walk gives you freedom. The freedom to walk at your own pace, stop when you want or keep walking as long as you want. You can spend 15 minutes getting that perfect photo of a beautiful wildflower, or just sit and look out and contemplate. There will be no one telling you that it’s time to leave or to hurry up because you are running late. No one telling you to stop and rest when you don’t need to.

Walking self guided on the Overland Track in Tasmania

Though you shouldn't worry about being completely isolated as you won’t be the only one out there doing it on your own. You will meet other people who are also enjoying the perks of a self guided walk. While you may not walk with them during the day, they will all be waiting for everyone to arrive safely at camp. It becomes a lovely little community with everyone looking out for each other, sharing some tea or some chocolate and lending a hand if something breaks.

By the end of the week, you will have formed friendships with other hikers – who knows, you may have found a new hiking buddy for future adventures!

There may be moments where you second-guess yourself on the trail, where you think, 'Maybe I can’t do this? Maybe I should have bought that other pair of boots or an extra layer of warmth or that flask of port?' By the end of the walk though, you will have had to motivate yourself, talk yourself through situations, saying, 'Hang on, I can do this!'

Knowing that you made it all this way, relying on no one other than yourself, awards you with such a great sense of achievement you will be planning your next self guided adventure on the way back home.

Ideal for the confident and independent traveller with support in the background, self guided hikes are fun and flexible. Find your walk today >

Words by Holly Van De Beek, co-owner of Wild Island Adventure Hire. Over the past decade, Holly has been involved in the gear and outdoor industry in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, having walked almost every major trail.

Meet the team: Shelby Pinkerton, Tasmanian Operations

When she's not scouting for new routes, refining our itineraries and making sure everything is smooth sailing for our trips to operate, Shelby Pinkerton likes to hit the trails herself – the longer and more challenging the better! Read on as she shares the places that shaped her, what she can never leave behind on a camping trip and why preparation is key when on a trek.

Like many of us, Shelby had a case of itchy feet and went on a mission to work in a different US state for every season, ultimately travelling across 28 states in the USA. (At one point she had seven jobs in one year!) Her travels eventually landed her in the Australian state of Tasmania where she guided for three seasons, before taking the reins of Operations and Logistics Manager for our Tasmanian programs.

Expanding my hiking resume is what gets me giddy... Some of my highlights would be walking the Camino de Santiago, the Kumano Kodo, the Appalachian Trail, the Larapinta Trail and the Jordan Trail.

Shelby on the Larapinta Trail

While Shelby holds a strong passion for long-distance trails, you'll often find her climbing up crags when she gets the chance. A hiker at her core, Shelby's love for the outdoors is fuelled by a sense of responsibility to protect it.

What inspired you to pursue a career in adventure travel?

I got my foot in the door back in 2014. I studied Entertainment Business Management at uni and was working as a travelling popcorn maker for Cirque Du Soleil. The travelling awoke the adventurous side of me and I became an enthusiastic rock climber.

I fell deeply in love with climbing that I wanted to do it 24/7 and so the logical step was to turn it into a job. I started out guiding at Via Ferrata in West Virginia, USA and somewhere along the line, my passions turned to hiking and so I reflected that in my pursuit of my ideal career.

Walking out to stunning coastal views |  <i>Shelby Pinkerton</i>

How do you assess and manage the risks involved in an adventure trek?

I personally get a lot out of a trek if, at some point along the way, I feel like I may not be able to complete it.

When the option is to give up in the wilderness or to keep going the mantra by Kurt Hahn echoes: ‘There is more in you than you know’.

I find that taking on a challenge brings out a new level of resilience and strength that I thrive on.

Plenty of laughs and smiles guiding a group in Tasmania's east coast

In terms of assessing the risk involved, preparation is key.

Knowing you can ride a storm, as well as having strong navigation and back up communication allows you to push your limits a little bit more each trip, which will expand your capabilities continuously.

I am not one to recommend going from zero to a hundred, however, I think you should always assess your risk based on the ability of your least experienced group member; allowing for them to feel challenged but not overwhelmed, and having the means to de-escalate a situation.

What are your favourite gear items?

Most of the personal travel I do these days is based around distance hiking, so I like to keep it light. A couple of simple items I would never leave behind are my camping pillow (I know! Total sucker for comfort!) and my insulated mug.

What's a destination or adventure that has shaped you and why?

In 2016 I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail solo. Those six months on the trail changed me irrevocably and I find it is a difficult experience to summarise.

It taught me so much about community, how a shared experience can bind you closely to a stranger and how willing people can be to offer kindness and help for no gain.

It also taught me, as a young woman, to embrace myself and celebrate my body for its physical capabilities and achievements instead of picking it apart for superficial flaws.

Taking on a long distance trail not only builds experiences in the natural world, but opens up a chance to learn about yourself

I gained a lot of satisfaction and self-confidence from the experience as well as a connection to nature and simplistic living that I have strived to maintain through my subsequent adventures and lifestyle.

What are your favourite Tasmanian trips?

I just love the Overland Track, it was my first experience of Tasmania and I think everybody should get out to see it for themselves.

My first trip on the Overland (though, I've done it a dozen times by now) was with my closest friend who loves being in nature but is not a strong walker. She would take the day ambling to the next hut taking rests and photos and I would go climb the mountains on the side trails and meet her at camp, both of us exhausted at the end of the day.

I think that the Overland Track is an amazing trail for all levels of experience and physicality, it would also be impossible to spend a week in those mountains and not feel a sense of responsibility to protect it.

How would you best describe Tasmania?

For me, it is a place to discover your limits and significance.

What are some preparation tips you can offer to someone interested in taking on a more challenging trek?

Being physically fit is always going to be important, but being mentally prepared for a challenging trek is just as paramount.

Be prepared to be uncomfortable and pre-plan your solutions to common problems.

For instance, it is likely you will get blisters and sore knees, so pack some first aid and use hiking poles. Having easy solutions to common problems once you are in the field will give you a sense of control over a situation rather than feeling helpless. This will help you keep your head in the game and your morale high for the challenges ahead.

Be supported by a team that will make your adventure special. Browse our range of active Tasmanian holidays.

8 reasons to choose a guided tour

Want to get the most out of your adventure holiday and accomplish things you otherwise wouldn’t have thought possible? Prefer to take the hassle out of planning transport, food and logistics? A guided trip is a convenient and stress-free way to discover a new destination with all the trip details already organised for you, and with a team to support you every step of the way.

This is especially the case when you're looking to explore more remote destinations where food drops are needed, when you prefer an experienced guide on hand to keep you on track, or when carrying a full pack with all your camping gear seems overwhelming and tiring.

The addition of a local guide also allows you to better appreciate and truly immerse in the culture of the place you are visiting. Plus, you'll have the chance to forge life-long friendships with like-minded travellers.

Still unsure? Read on as we unpack eight reasons why you can get more out of a destination when on a guided tour.

1. Local and knowledgeable guides

Secret spots, tips and the best of laughs, it takes a special kind of person to be a guide. In addition to being friendly and engaging, they are skilled at getting groups to interact and become fast and lifelong friends.

Guides have a special knack for making good trips great. From informative daily briefings, funny stories over dinner and pep talks when the going gets tough, guides strive to make sure that things are fun and that you are having the trip of a lifetime. 

Guides sharing understanding of the land

If you’re new to the area, don’t speak the local language or just want good advice; tour guides can be an invaluable resource. Our local guides are passionate about their country or region you are exploring and will help bring to life the history, culture, flora and fauna of their homelands. They are often what make your walking, cycling or rafting adventure extra special.

As well as knowing hidden gems, our professional team of local guides and tour leaders can enhance your adventure so you can focus on your outdoor experiences and less about getting lost or what happens should you get into an accident.

Our guides also know about environmental regulations and local customs, so you can rest assured that the correct protocols are being followed. You’ll also be supporting the local economy of the destination you are visiting with your money going back to local businesses and its community.

2. Increased chance of success

Want to reach the prized summit of Kili or have always wanted to trek in the Himalayas but were too worried about altitude sickness? Our guides and tour leaders are highly experienced; they’ve seen it all and can help you overcome the biggest of hurdles.

Think of your tour leader or guide like personal trainers that will help you push your limits and walk that final kilometre or gear up for a long climb with their “can do” attitude.

While our team tries to ensure that travellers are of an adequate fitness level to complete their chosen adventure, we recommend guided trips for people who are nervous about their fitness level and capabilities and may benefit from the support of an experienced guide.

3. Added support

Our tour leaders are with you from the time your trip commences until it concludes and work tirelessly to ensure your holiday runs smoothly. Our team understands our travel style and expectations of an active holiday and can tailor trips to the group’s interests, that way everyone has a great experience.

Guides making sure our bikes are ready to ride the trails |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

For cycling trips, even though you’re travelling in a small group, you can still ride at your own pace – as far or as little as you feel comfortable – knowing a support vehicle is close by for you to hop on should you want a break from your cycle.

4. Convenience

You can forget the stress of researching the best walking or cycling routes for hours on end, or where the next town is to find food. Leave the planning and the boring stuff to the experts so you can focus on the exciting adventure ahead. Our guided itineraries are fully supported with plenty of quality inclusions – from comfortable accommodation to hearty, delicious meals.

5. Comfort, value and more inclusions

Enjoy the best hand-picked accommodation and restaurants to make sure you get a high-quality experience and have somewhere comfortable to relax and unwind after a long day on foot or bike. We'll keep you energised for your adventure with most meals and dietary requirements catered for and snacks provided.

The inclusiveness of a guided holiday showcases great value for a quality experience, with the added flexibility of tailoring your experience based on your interests and fitness level.


6. Safety first

The guides are your eyes and ears of a tour and are trained to problem solve in difficult or unsafe situations (including medical emergencies). Having them around definitely takes the edge off should things not go as expected. It's always reassuring to know you are in safe hands with our experienced team.

7. Get access to more of the destination

With all the logistics taken care of and a support team backing you from beginning to end of your trip, you can simply focus on your beautiful surrounds and enjoy the solitude between walks or rides.

Stunning views from Ben Lomond |  <i>Destination Queenstown (DQ)</i>

World Expeditions have been pioneering remote, "out there" adventures on paths less travelled for over 45 years, crafting itineraries that allow travellers to delve deep into the culture and nature of a destination. So, it definitely helps to choose an experienced adventure specialist for your guided tour to get the chance to explore places you could not easily get to on your own.

8. Reduce your environmental footprint

While the active elements of your adventure by bike, on foot or on water does not emit carbon emissions, World Expeditions have calculated any emissions from your accommodation and have purchased credits in renewable projects so that you can be assured that your adventure tour is 100% carbon offset.

This means, by travelling with World Expeditions, you are directly supporting renewable energy and reforestation projects; another reason why your tour has nothing but a positive impact.


The bottom line: Are guided group tours worth it?

If you want to take the hassle out of planning and worrying about the safety and logistics of your trip, then signing up for a guided tour can make more sense than trying to go it alone. You can forget spending nights researching the best accommodation, transfer connections, trying to snatch up limited permits or figuring out a food budget since meals aren’t included. It may end up being cheaper than you think – especially for solo travellers who dread the single supplement surcharges – with additional values and lots of inclusions as part of the package.

The comfort and ease of having everything organised for you takes away the stress when going on an active holiday. Plus, the extra support and experience of a guide and the chance to travel with and meet like-minded people makes a guided group tour much more attractive.

In the end, it will depend on what you want out of your adventure and the conveniences you are after.

Start browsing our range of highly inclusive small group holidays >

Guided Walks on Wainwright's Coast to Coast

When you're thinking of some of the best ways to discover the heart of England, a Coast to Coast walk must be considered as one of your options. The trail, made famous by author Alfred Wainwright, crosses England on it's smallest stretch from the Irish Sea via three UK National Parks to the North Sea. Here we're listing some of the reasons why a guided Coast to Coast walk (whether you're travelling with your own group or joining one of our departures) is one of the best ways to take in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks.


Why Go Guided? 

✔ Enjoy the benefits of an experienced guide, who has first-aid qualifications, local contacts, and secret insights.

✔ Get a deeper insight of this part of the UK: it is your guide's passion is to bring to life the flora, fauna and history along the Coast to Coast

✔ Fully focus on the walking and taking in everything beautiful around you while not having to worry about the route or getting lost.

✔ Your guide will work tirelessly to tailor the trip to your interests while ensuring your holiday runs smoothly.

✔ If you book on one of our trips, you'll be joining a small group of international outdoor enthusiasts, all with the same goal of completing the trail. 


Guided Options on UK's Coast to Coast 

With World Expeditions you can choose from three trips following the famous Coast to Coast Trail. They range in length and grading level, but all have a group size of no more than 16 walkers plus your guide.

Find below your three options for your guided holiday crossing England on one of it's most epic long distance trails.


Coast to Coast Classic Guided Walk

Duration: 15 days

Grading: challenging

Start / Finish Point: St Bees / Robin Hood's Bay

Follow in Wainwright's footsteps on a guided walk along England's famous Coast to Coast trail and experience the satisfaction of completing one of Britain’s best long distance hikes from the Irish Sea to the North Sea coast.

Hiking to Borrowdale |  <i>Jon Millen</i>


Coast to Coast Guided Explorer

Duration: 17 days

Grading: challenging

Start / Finish Point: St Bees / Robin Hood's Bay

Walk the famous Coast to Coast trail guided from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay. Due to popular demand and with a slightly slower pace, we are offering this 17-day guided walk across the Coast to Coast.

Hikers making their way through Nanny Catch |  <i>John Millen</i>


Coast to Coast: St Bees to Kirkby Stephen Guided Walk

Duration: 8 days

Grading: moderate - challenging

Start / Finish Point: St Bees / Kirkby Stephen

Enjoy a guided walk experiencing the first half of the epic Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees towards the historic villages and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales to Kirkby Stephen.

Beginning the Coast to Coast walk along the green cliffs of England |  <i>Tim Charody</i>


Want to learn more about your options for a guided Coast to Coast walk with us? Please contact our expert team for an answer to all your queries.

6 benefits of choosing a self guided holiday

Whether you want to be the master of your own travel destiny or enjoy the journey of travelling solo, choosing to travel independently doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Enter self guided holidays. They provide the freedom of moving at your own pace and being challenged further. When there's a lot to consider on an active adventure – from transfers to accommodation, route mapping to gear hire – it helps when the hassle of organising is taken out of your hands.

What does a self guided holiday involve?

A self guided holiday is pretty much letting you control the steering wheel but having a personalised Siri navigator – i.e. an experienced travel company – help you along the way.

Especially when seeking out paths less travelled, a self guided adventure combines the flexibility, comfort and freedom of independent travel with the benefits of an organised tour.

Our self-guided departures don't compromise on security and organisation, with 24/7 support and logistics taken care of by our ground team. You can get the perks of gear hire included, have most meals (or food drops when out in the wilderness) provided, camp equipment use, maps and route details on hand, luggage transfers and more. All you need to do is arrive on the day of your great adventure and start navigating.

How different is a self guided tour to independent travel?

Independent tours are for travellers that want to go it alone, seeking out a unique experience with that extra freedom to venture where and how one pleases. And thanks to the internet, the boom in DIY has become the rage. But that means planning, researching, making calls, organising bookings and schedules, budgeting, doing more research, making more phone calls... I think you get the drift. Planning an itinerary and managing all the logistics can get tedious and exhausting. So is saving a few bucks worth sacrificing the overall experience, not to mention the time taken to co-ordinate a one to two week holiday? And, do you actually save that much money in the end?

Self guided holidays take the hassle away with expertly planned itineraries and service both on and off the trail with plenty of wiggle room to tailor your travel experience to suit your style, budget and needs.

While travel styles are continually evolving, a regular constant is people's need to seek out value for experience and value for money. So a boom in self guided tours makes a lot of sense for those that like the feel of independent travel but with the luxury of the expertise, advice, assistance and safety of a travel company.

Self guided walking or cycling trips offer a multitude of advantages, regardless of whether you are an experienced active traveller or a first-timer.

6 benefits of opting for a self guided trip:

1. Convenience: Researching all the possibilities can get exciting, but it is also time-consuming, overwhelming and even exhausting at times. Choosing our self guided holidays means we do all the leg work with specialist knowledge of your destination from our experienced team of adventures and experts. You'll save a lot of screen time not scouring the internet researching ideas and reading reviews with the luxury of an expertly crafted itinerary, based on years of experience and local knowledge of a destination. It allows you to make the most of your time and ensure you can travel worry-free with all the logistics sorted.

2. Competitive pricing: Travel companies can get a better price thanks to their volume. We can help pre-book accommodation, gear hire and activities at great prices and our team can help tailor your trip to meet your budget. Plus, with plenty of inclusions in the trip cost already, you can better budget for your adventure holiday and eliminate many out of pocket expenses. 

3. Luggage transport service: Having your bags transferred for you each day is a major plus where you simply leave your bags at the reception of your accommodation in the morning with our luggage tags attached and they’ll be picked up and dropped off at your following destination accommodation.

4. Travel at your own pace: With more flexibility, you can pick and choose what you want to do, where you wish to spend more time and not have to worry about keeping up with a tour group. (You can even choose your own travel buddies!) Under your own steam, you’ll have time to savour the sights and delights of the region.

5. Up-to-date and well-thought-out route notes and maps: These get updated more often than a guide book does and they always benefit from local insights and knowledge. Rest assured that we'll look after the logistics, so you can concentrate on the trail ahead.

6. Added security: If something goes wrong on your trip when travelling independently with a small group of friends or solo, who are you going to call? There's no need to go into 'survival mode'. Our self guided trips offer 24-hour local emergency contacts, which can be the difference between you getting back on the trail in a matter of hours, or aborting the trip completely. Travel with a peace of mind knowing that there is help only a fingertip away, especially when the unexpected has a way of happening.

Rather than thinking and worrying about trip logistics all day, isn’t it worth treating yourself to a trip where someone else takes on this thankless task, so you can focus on all the amazing reasons you came to the destination in the first place? We don’t doubt that independent travel doesn’t have its place, but there are certainly plenty of perks when you have expert support and advice on hand.

New to self guided trips? Start by browsing our range of holidays that let you travel at your own pace without the hassle of organising >

Best Places to Visit in the UK

Active Worldwide UK Adventures

Best places to visit in the UK 

Most of us may have had moments this year thinking back of all the amazing holidays we were lucky to enjoy before the world got to an almost complete standstill earlier in 2020. We’re excited that some form of travel is permitted once again and if you are unsure about the best places to visit in the UK itself, we are here to help. 
Check out our list of eight favourite active holiday destinations from around the world and find an alternative trip to embark on in the UK instead. 

Relaxed Booking Conditions

What’s more? Book and travel with complete confidence and flexibility with new health guidelines and relaxed booking conditions for 2020 & 2021.
Plus, for extra peace of mind, in 2021 we're waiving transfer or change fees for bookings up to 70 days prior to departure.
>> Learn More

#KeepDreamingBIG  #HolidayHere #ZeroDeposits


Loved the traverse of Costa Rica under your own steam?

    You may like the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast 

Coast to Coast walkers in Swaledale near Muker
Whether by bicycle or on foot, the ultimate crossing of England that you can do under your own steam is the Coast to Coast, or C2C when you’re cycling it. 

Loved the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage in Japan? 

    You may like the Kerry Camino Walk in Ireland

Hiking along the Kerry Way |  <i>Arthur Ward</i>
The Kerry Camino is an inspiring pilgrim route along the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland. St James Church in Dingle was originally a farewell point for pilgrims as they set sail to Finisterre in Spain to continue their walk to Santiago de Compostela. As with any pilgrimage, be sure to have your pilgrim passport available to be stamped. 

Did you know? If you complete both the Kumano Kodo and Camino de Santiago pilgrimages you can qualify for the dual pilgrim passport? 

Loved your Everest Base Camp trek? 

    You may like to summit Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis across Loch Linnie
Choose to add an extra day to our West Highland Way walks in Scotland and you have a chance to summit Britain’s highest peak. Although slightly shorter than Mount Everest, with 4408ft (1345m), Ben Nevis does offer rewarding views of the surrounding highlands. On the walk (claimed by some to be the most popular walking train in the UK), follow valley routes through the mountains round Crianlarich and open heather moorland across the Rannoch Moor wilderness area.

Loved walking the Great Wall of China?

    You may like to follow Hadrian’s Wall Trail

Take a walk back through history along Hadrian's Wall, England
Emperor Hadrian’s wall was built “to separate Romans from Barbarians,” across northern Britain at its narrowest point back in 122 AD. Today, you can experience the scenic variety of this part of England from cities such as Newcastle Upon Tyne and medieval Carlisle of from the heights of Highshields Crags in the Northumberland National Park. Along the way, discover ruins of Roman forts & reservoirs, the old ‘vallum’, and ancient castles. 

Loved the Queen Charlotte & Abel Tasman hike in NZ?

    You may like to walk the South West Coastal Path

Hike along Cape Cornwall on the Cornish Coastal Path |  <i>John Millen</i>
England’s longest and, many would say, finest trail is the 630 miles long South West Peninsula Coastal Path from Poole to Minehead, of which almost half is in Cornwall. Escape the crowds, dip in and out of coves and harbours and ascend beside dramatic cliffs, up to high viewpoints, along promontories and back down to expansive beaches in Cornwall. 

Loved the John Muir Trail in Yosemite Park?

    You may like to follow in John Muir’s footsteps in his native Scotland

Fishermens' cottages  in Port Seton |  <i>John Millen</i>
The John Muir Trail in California has been famous for years, and Scotland in 2014 also recognized its famous son with a trail in his native land. The John Muir Way is a route that symbolically links Dunbar with Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and with Helensburgh in the west, forming a fabulous Scottish coast to coast route.

Loved taking in life along the Mekong River?

    You may like to walk the Thames Path

Approaching Kingston |  <i>John Millen</i>
The Thames Path offers a huge range of mixed scenery and an amazing amount of history. See palaces such as Hampton Court and Syon Park; castles such as Windsor and the Tower of London, multiple bridges each with their own history and wildlife reserves. As the backdrop to it all the life on the river, barges, yachts, powerboats, kayaks and paddle boards. The walking is generally easy and few of the days are too long that you could not pause at an attraction for an hour or two.

Loved cycling on Prince Edward Island in Canada?

    You may like to explore the Isle of Wight on two wheels

Taking a break above Alum Bay
This is a lovely short break for cyclists who want an attractive sightseeing tour, with a mixture of town and country. Almost half the island has been designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and after the beaches of the north, the route tracks inland on fast roads through some attractive forest and farmlands. 
If you require any specific advice on travelling in the UK, contact us during business hours. We're here to help you organise your break away.  
A Final Hurrah From Porters’ Progress UK

All good things have to come to an end and with big achievements since its inception in 2005, Porters’ Progress UK have now reached that time. Their closure didn’t go quietly though, as they have shared their final funds to our Lend a Hand Appeal and that way we have been able to support 317 porters and their families in Nepal. It marks a very welcome and thankful final positive hurrah during these unprecedented times. 


Priceless Nepali smile upon receiving a 'Lend A Hand Appeal' food package


Many World Expeditions travellers have supported the charity over the years and you will be happy learn that the aim of Porters’ Progress UK, “to support trekking porters in Nepal who, back in 2005, experienced acutely poor welfare and working conditions and often were exploited by trekking companies” has been realised effectively. 

Although examples for improvement still exist, over the years conditions for porters in Nepal have improved slowly. They now benefit from a Government-directed minimum wage and the majority of trekking companies have followed our lead and now take responsibility to look after the porters they hire by ensuring they are properly clothed and have health insurance. On top of that, local training sessions are more common and porters are made aware of their rights when trekking and have a greater awareness of their own health and safety at altitude. Fantastic achievements that Porters’ Progress UK have made with their partners and we like to congratulate them on that! 


World Expeditions representatives distributing food packages in Rasuwa area Distribution of food packages in the Bandipur area of Nepal Porter families in Nepal receiving our 'Lend a Hand Appeal' food packages

Thanks to the generosity of Porters’ Progress UK, we are pleased to inform you that their donation carefully distributed to 317 porters in Nepal and their families. The porters come from 7 different districts and they work as porters in areas like the Annapurna region, Langtang, Makalu and Everest.


>> If you are keen to learn more about the closure of the charity, have a look here.

>> Our Lend a Hand Appeal is on-going, and if you have the means to also support our people in Nepal, Peru, India, Tanzania and Kenya, you can do so via our fundraising page. 

Lend A Hand Appeal: distribution update

Thanks to the generosity of supporters for our recent Lend a Hand Appeal we've been able to distribute hundreds of emergency food packages to stricken communities in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, India and Peru.

When COVID-19 struck, our travellers responded quickly to our Lend a Hand Appeal through our charity arm, the World Expeditions Foundation, raising over AUD$37,900. 

The first round of food and hygiene packages have now been distributed to the recipients intended, with no administration fees withheld. Although packages vary in each recipient country (see below for exact breakdown), they are designed to last a family of five for one month and typically contain: rice, flour, cooking kerosene or oil, tea, lentils, pasta as well as body and laundry soap.

Recipients include horsemen, kitchen staff, guides, assistant guides, cooks and porters, many of whom have no means of earning income, with travel restrictions in place. We asked our partners in each country to nominate staff members who were most in need of support.


World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, said that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the international travel and tourism industry, particularly those in poorer countries, where there are literally no safety nets for those who find themselves without work, including contractors such as mountain porters, drivers and camp hands.

“It's heartbreaking to hear of the suffering in our partner communities in Nepal, Tanzania, India, Kenya and Peru who are facing an uncertain future with travel halted,” Ms Badyari said.

“The trickle-down effect on their families and broader communities is truly devastating. Sadly, there is no JobKeeper for these people.”

“I am confident that many travellers who remember with fondness the guides and support crews who helped make their overseas adventures so memorable will be keen to show support now,” she said.  

You can still help Lend A Hand

While the COVID pandemic continues, we are committed to continue sending care packages to our team in need. 

Australian residents who donate more than $2 will receive a tax-deductible receipt and 100% of funds go to recipients in Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, India and Peru, with no administration fees withheld.

You can still support our campaign, visit the Lend a Hand fundraising page to make a donation.

Distribution breakdown

NEPAL: 139 employees (office staff and field staff) and their families received the following food package that is expected to last a family of five people for one month.

  • 30kgs rice
  • 2 litres of cooking oil
  • 2kgs red lentils
  • 2kgs black lentils
  • 1kg salt
  • 5kg flour

PERU: 125 employees and their families from Paucartambo, Tito Grande - Calca, San Salvador, Porters from Huilloc, Cooks/Drivers, received the following food & hygiene package that is expected to last a family of five, seven days (food) and one month (hygiene).

  • 2kgs sugar
  • 5kgs rice
  • 1 litre cooking oil
  • 1 kg salt
  • 2.5kgs spaghetti
  • 7 cans tuna
  • 3.5kgs lentils
  • 5kg varied pasta noodles
  • 5 x body soap
  • 5 x (210 grams each) of laundry soap
  • 5 x face masks

KENYA: 45 porters received the following food packages that are expected to last a family of five for three months.

  • 10kgs cooking oil
  • 10kgs wheat flour
  • 15kgs maize flour
  • 1kg tea
  • Soap, toilet paper and masks
  • KSV5000 to pay for Health Insurance and electricity for 3 months

TANZANIA: 160 employees (guides, assistant guides, cooks and porters) will receive the following food packages that are expected to last a family of five people one week.

  • 5kgs maize flour
  • 5kgs rice
  • 3 litres cooking oil 
  • 3kgs sugar
  • 100 grams tea
  • 6kgs cooking gas
  • 1 litre liquid soap  
  • 100 mls hand sanitiser
  • 2 pieces re-usable masks 

INDIA: 9 horsemen, 5 kitchen staff and 2 local guides received the following food packages that are expected to last a family of five for one month.

  • 40kgs rice
  • 10kgs flour
  • 7 litres of cooking oil
  • 7 kgs lentils
  • 1kg of tea
  • 7 kgs of sugar
  • 4 tins of milk 
  • 1 litre hand sanitiser
  • 6 x masks
  • 1 x liquid soap (750 ml)
  • 10 bars of soap
  • 20 litres of kerosene
  • 3 x carry bags

Post last updated 12 Oct 2020.
5 new places to visit in New Zealand’s South Island

With travel to far off exotic destinations off the cards for a little while, the message is clear – explore New Zealand and travel local.  Facebook, TV and social media are currently filled with images of Kiwis doing just that, travelling local, with many ticking off a multitude of bucket list items.  But have they ticked them all off??

Here are 5 destinations that are well worth the visit, and a little off the beaten track.


1.    Nydia Bay – Pelorus Sound

Located in Pelorus Sound, a 4-5 hour walk will take you to Nydia Bay, smack bang in the middle of the Nydia Track.

The bay itself offers stunning views across the sound to Kenepuru Inlet, whose peninsulas fold into the distance, and provides a picturesque place to relax.

More than a century ago, steam-powered haulers dragged timber from the bush to Nydia Bay for milling, with remnants still visible of the railway line that carried timber to a 300m wharf for shipment by barge

Nydia Track Hike sees you exploring the Nydia Track and bay and allows you to stay at the fabulous On the Track Lodge - offering a number of chalets, cabins and a yurt for your overnight options.

The Nydia Bay Jetty almost looks like a scene straight out of a movie |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>


2.    Stewart Island – Rakiura

It's NZ's third largest island, yet it's surprising how many people are yet to tick a hike on Stewart Island off their bucket list.

Over 85% of the island is National Park and is any hiker or birdwatcher’s paradise. With just 28km of road, the 280km of walking tracks are a welcome substitute, suited to short walks, day walks and multi-day hikes.

Whether you enjoy wildlife, walking, boating, fishing, diving, kayaking, hunting or just relaxing, we'd recommend moving it to the top of your bucket list asap.

The island is easily accessible by ferry from Bluff, or by plane from Invercargill.


3.     Ben Lomond Station

Located just a short drive from Queenstown, Ben Lomond Station is one of the few remaining high- country stations owned and operated by New Zealanders. The private land is filled with old gold mining pack tracks, diverse landscapes and comfortable lodges making it the perfect place for hiking, relaxing and appreciating NZ's stunning beauty.

Moonlight Lodge easily makes the list as one of NZ's most comfortable and secluded back-country lodges, located deep in the Moonlight Valley. A most comfortable place to spend the night after a day’s walking through Queenstown backcountry on our Moonlight Valley & Ben Lomond hike.

To top things off, you'll experience true local hospitality with a delicious meal prepared by station owners, John and Ginny.

Heaven's Door - there must be a story behind the name, but amazing views nonetheless |  <i>Janet Oldham</i> Hopefully no goblins end up jumping out of Goblin Forest |  <i>Jase Blair (Tourism New Zealand)</i> Blue Jacket Hut - an old musterer's hut on Ben Lomond Station |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>


4.    Old Ghost Road

A ghost has awakened in the north western corner of the South Island.  Part of New Zealand’s rich gold-mining history, this old gold miner’s road has been revived as a challenging mountain biking and walking trail.

The 85km Old Ghost trail traverse’s majestic native forest, river flats, valleys and open tussock-land. Along the way, the trail is like an open-air museum, filled with old relics from the mining era, signs allowing you to stop and read about the history of the region and the trail as well as some amazing views and photographic opportunities.

Great for history buffs and avid walkers alike as well as for those that love flora and fauna with the opportunity to spot the rare blue duck along the trail.


5.     Paparoa Track

We are sure most Kiwis would not have ticked this one off the list yet, seeing as the Paparoa Track is one of the newest trails and Great Walks of New Zealand – but one to add to the bucket list for the coming summer season.

Found near the iconic Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks) along the rough and rugged west coast, where the wilderness is just that, ‘wild’, the Paparoa Track is a custom-built track, recently completed and opened, 55 kilometres in length and taking in limestone karst landscapes, rich and luscious rainforests, breathtaking views and a chance to once again explore NZ history.

Diverse eco-systems, rare wildlife, gold rush history of the 1800’s along with old farming tracks dot this trail and the remoteness and newness of it give it that extra little something special.

It is also part of NZ’s tragic recent history, created as a memorial to the men that lost their lives in the Pike River Mine and a thank you to New Zealander’s for their support of the families.

Rediscovering Cuba on an Adventure To Remember
Jane went on a World Expeditions tour to Cuba, her birthplace, where she had a fascinating adventure rediscovering the history, culture, and passions of Cuba. Enjoy her story.

I don’t think I would have ever gone to Cuba... if I hadn’t already been there!

I was, in fact, born in Cuba, many decades ago, in what the Cubans call “the American Period”, to two British parents who decided that Cuba, with its’ warmth and a tropical lifestyle, suited them better than dreary, rationed, post-war Britain, and we left to come to Australia when I was only 4-years-old. So as tourism began to open up in Cuba some years ago, it became time to revisit and rediscover this vibrant and unique island that was my birthplace.

Explore the photogenic streets of Havana in Cuba

World Expeditions has a great 12 day Cuba Adventure tour, and my sister (also Cuban born) and I planned to arrive a couple of days early. Our first evening we strolled down the wide pedestrian footpath in the middle of the Paseo de Marti, accompanied by couples walking hand in hand, young people whizzing by on skates, the older generation taking a rest on strategically placed benches, down to the iconic Malecon.

Havana’s seafront was heaving – everyone was out and about in the late afternoon sun. We ended up having dinner nearby in a small cafe, complete with a salsa band and dance floor. We were to discover bands and dancefloors everywhere!

The next day was magic. We had come armed with a number of addresses of homes we had lived in as tiny children, and so we set off in the hands of an obliging taxi driver to see them for ourselves. We had lived in a flat close to the vast El Cemeterio de Cristobal Colon in Vedado, above a flower shop. The cemetery had been our playground and a flower shop was still there. We drove through the suburban (non-tourist) streets, encountering people lining up outside the small local markets to pick up their rations, with kids playing baseball in the narrow laneways, dilapidated buildings everywhere. There was music in the air and dancing in the streets. We purchased bright, naive style paintings in the local market. 

Local girls in Trinidad, Cuba |  <i>Carlie Ballard</i>

For lunch, we enjoyed our favourite childhood meal, Cristianos y Moros – black beans and rice. We rode the elevator to the top of the fabulous Art Deco Bacardi building to see the length and breadth of Havana spread out below us. We admired the huge American vintage cars (many stopped in the middle of the road, with a pair of legs protruding as the driver tweaked an ailing and aging engine). We arrived sorrowfully at a large square, hundreds of locals dispersing, after a music concert – we had just missed it, but the music buzz was still there. We visited an art museum – Cuban art is bright, exciting, full of life, much of it also outside on the walls of crumbling buildings, alongside the propaganda slogans.

Our hotel room in Havana Vieja, Old Havana, was above a narrow pedestrian lane, crowded with locals that Saturday night, shouting, singing, dancing, drumming, making music till the early hours of the morning. So, what with jet lag plus the party outside, and a non-functioning alarm clock, we slept past our tour group meeting time, to be woken by loud banging on the door from hotel management! Not a good way to start a tour! (we made sure we were always on time from then on). However, once we had got our act together, it was a great day visiting magnificently restored buildings and experiencing all that Havana could offer us, including the huge Plaza Revolution, which was being prepared for the huge crowds of people, come to hear Fidel Castro as they celebrated the Bay of Pigs 50th anniversary soon after.

Local Cuban man riding his bike down the street |  <i>Vanessa Dean</i>

The next day, in our fabulous minivan (supplied by China), we set off for the western end of Cuba. Suddenly, there was a screech and a crashing sound, we had collided with a vehicle hurrying to work. OK, so not heading west just yet then! Our driver spent the whole day at the police station while we did a quick whip around to help pay for the repairs. Our tour guide took us to Plaza Vieja, treated us to a hot beverage and went off to find a new vehicle and driver. And we had a fascinating few hours seeing how Havana residents lived!

First, the older ladies came to do their outdoor exercises. Being so isolated from the rest of the gym obsessed world, there seemed to be a lot of floating around. So a couple of us joined in and showed them a few more up-to-date moves. They reciprocated by singing Happy Birthday, Cuban style, to my fellow passenger. Then came the kids doing their PE class, running up and down the square, jumping and shouting and generally having fun. All the time there were noisy road works, and water tankers buzzing around and nearby, a smelly public toilet, where, for a price, one could receive 2 small pieces of toilet paper to use. All in all, an experience so valued and one we could so easily have missed!

Young boy sitting in a car in Havana |  <i>Vanessa Dean</i>

When we did get going, I loved the beautiful Vinales area with its unusual topography, and tobacco farms – we visited a most interesting hand-rolled cigar making factory, Cuban cigars being state of the art! We enjoyed the best meal we had in Cuba – fresh lobster, in a tomato-based sauce, salads, the inevitable beans and rice, in the front room of someone’s home, now turned “cafe” (we had been warned that you don’t go to Cuba for the food, and they were generally speaking, correct!). We went offshore for a day to an island resort where I snorkelled amidst dying coral in choppy seas, and later kayaked in fresh winds that threatened to blow me out to sea. And we climbed a very steep path up to a cave which we explored with headlamps.

At the centre of the island we were enchanted by beautiful countryside, including lots of sugarcane, coming to a national park (complete with its own band and mojito stand). In the hot humid sun, we set out on a long hike, accompanied by our local National Park guide, who filled us in with all the wonders of the natural world there- birds, plants, animals, butterflies etc. I was to have a first-hand experience of some of these wonders, as I fell heavily, and my knee swelled up alarmingly. He ran into the forest and returned with several large green leaves and lengths of vine, and proceeded to bandage my knee while telling me of the leaves’ therapeutic qualities. I have to say I inwardly rolled my eyes - but he was right and I was wrong. That bandage stayed put for the next two hours as we trudged on, and the swelling reduced.

The crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea on the road to Trinidad |  <i>Carlie Ballard</i>

Trinidad, on the coast, with its cobbled streets, colourful buildings, markets, and ancient squares were fabulous. In spite of my crook knee, we danced the night way at an outdoor dance party, the music loud and insistent. Cienfuegos was a more dignified town, wide streets, old elegant palaces, shady squares - loved it. We swam at the Bay of Pigs while learning of its history and the upcoming anniversary. We visited another area of natural beauty for lunch and sighting of some spectacular hummingbirds. And we stopped at the shrine of the Virgen de la Calidad del Cobre, seen as the “Protectress of Cuba”, full of locals leaving treasured gifts in thanksgiving.

We came finally to Santiago de Cuba, one of my favourite towns. Huge statues commemorating Cuba’s long and turbulent history (Australia’s short history since colonial settlement seemed so boring in contrast); streets teeming with people, eating, playing dominoes, dancing to the ubiquitous music; a museum with bullet-ridden walls, where the revolution started; walls covered in propaganda graffiti; the huge Castillo San Pedro de la Roca fortress guarding the bay; trucks, long buses, horses pulling their carts - all full of life, all vibrant, colourful, loud.

Cuban man enjoying a Cuban cigar |  <i>Vanessa Dean</i>

Our last night in Havana, my sister and I decided to walk, one last time, down to the Malecon, to see the sunset. There we were serenaded by another pair of musos of course (for a price, but we didn’t care)! A fitting end, I thought, to our return visit to a fascinating country and culture, our birthplace.

Words by Jane Irwin.


Read more from Jane's travels:

Have you explored Cuba? What did you make of it? Let us know in the comment section below.


Top birding spots in Australia: where to go and when

Heading out to discover alluring natural settings drives many of us into wilderness areas – and spotting its animated birdlife adds to the adventure. Whether you're a 'birder' or simply enjoy nature and wildlife viewing, the various bird families and endemic species of Australia make this country a bird watcher's paradise. 

Fellow birders probably know about the popular areas at the Daintree Rainforest, Atherton Tablelands and the Iron Ranges of Far North Queensland. We thought to expand your birding 'life list' to regions you may not have considered, whilst giving you the chance to actively explore the beauty of the land Down Under. 

This guide showcases noteworthy birdwatching hotspots across Australia and how to best see them. Get ready to add these to your checklist!

Kakadu National Park & Nitmiluk National Park – Northern Territory

What makes it great for birding?
Its habitat allow good transition zones for biodiversity – from grasslands to the billabong and tropical forests. There are a number of remote microhabitats throughout the area which some birds, like the White-throated Grasswren, are restricted to and found nowhere else. Other species, like the Gouldian Finch, are nomadic throughout their range making it extra special when you do find them. However, it can be hard to predict where they will be as they follow the seeding grasses they feed on.

Keep your ears peeled for the raucous calls of Blue-winged Kookaburras |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i> Kakadu is a wonderful area for birdwatchers |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>Masked Finch, Kakadu National Park |  <i>Nicolas Cary</i> Sandstone Shrikethrush, Kakadu National Park

Target species: Chestnut-backed Buttonquail, Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon, Northern Rosella, Hooded Parrot, Rainbow Pitta, Great Bowerbird, Black-tailed Treecreeper, White-throated Grasswren, Green-backed Gerygone, Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Sandstone Shrike-Thrush, Silver-backed Butcherbird, Northern Fantail, Paperbark Flycatcher, Buff-sided Robin, Masked Finch, Gouldian Finch, Yellow-rumped Finch and Crimson Finch.

Best season and getting there: The best time of year to go is between May and September. A number of trips in the Top End guide you in true wilderness for a chance to see these wonderful species. Our Kakadu Explorer, Jatbula Trail, Katherine River Canoeing and Kakadu Stone Country Adventure offer beautiful wildlife experiences in NT's tropical paradise.

Don't forget to look up when walking through Kakadu National Park |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>Kakadu is home to a huge range of birds including the Forest Kingfisher |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i> Bird life is abundant in Kakadu |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i> Spot plenty of birdlife perching on tree branches |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>

Bonus stop: Keep an eye out or make a quick pit-stop in Pine Creek to see the Hooded Parrots – it's the best spot to see these birds, who are unlikely to be seen in the national park itself.

Bibbulmun Track & Margaret River Region – Western Australia

What makes it great for birding?
Coastal Heath, ancient Karri forest, grasslands and rocky outcroppings make for interesting landscapes and habitats to explore. There have been some great conservation efforts to the important habitats in this region, such as in Albany, which is one of the only places to find the Western Bristlebird. In addition to being a great birding region, you can combine your love of nature with great food and outstanding wine to make a great day of birdwatching even better.

Target species: Baudin’s Black Cockatoo, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, Western Corella, Red-capped Parrot, Regent Parrot, Western Rosella, Western Bristlebird, Rufous Treecreeper, Red-winged Fairywren, Western Thornbill, Western Gerygone, Gilbert’s Honeyeater, Western Spinebill, Western Wattlebird, White-breasted Robin and Red-eared Firetail.

Australian Shelduck, Cape Leeuwin WA |  <i>Nicolas Cary</i>

Best season and getting there: You can see most of the above-listed birds year-round, but springtime (September to October) will provide a chance to see courtships in action. Between September and May, the majority of the flowering trees will be blooming which provides lots of food for the birds making them easier to find.

Some of the trips for this region that offer a chance to see these great species are the Bibbulmun Track Albany to Denmark, Bibbulmun Track Walpole to Denmark, Cape to Cape and Bibbulmun in Luxury, Cape to Cape in Luxury and Munda Biddi Cycling Adventure.

Bonus stop: While in the region, don’t forget to take some time to explore Kings Park in Perth or take the ferry to Rottnest Island for a chance to see extra birdlife.


What makes it great for birding?
The isolation of Tasmania has meant that several species have evolved separately from their mainland counterparts into separate species with eccentric colourations and behaviours. Plus, the many pristine and wild areas of the Apple Isle provides plenty of ways to have an adventure while birdwatching, whether it’s rafting, cycling, or trekking.

While you can see most of these species throughout the region, some species have very restricted habitats, like that of the Forty-spotted Pardalote which is restricted to Bruny Island and Maria Island.

The birdlife on Bruny Island include numerous Shearwaters and Petrels

One of the biggest conservation efforts for birds in Australia is the Orange-bellied Parrot which breeds down in Tasmania where loss of habitat is its biggest threats. Birdwatching in this area can help with its conservation for reporting numbers and distribution, as well as helping local economies understand the importance of eco-tourism.  

Target species: Tasmanian Native-hen, Green Rosella, Orange-bellied Parrot, Tasmanian Thornbill, Tasmanian Scrubwren, Scrubtit, Forty-spotted Pardalote, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Strong-billed Honeyeater, Yellow Wattlebird, Black Currawong, Forest Raven and Dusky Robin.

Best season and getting there: The best time for birdwatching in Tasmania is during summer (November to March) when it is warm and some of the birds have migrated back from their overwintering territories in mainland Australia. There are a lot of combinations of the different trips we offer down in Tasmania that would enable you to make it a truly great birding trip but are also great if you are travelling with non-birdwatching companions.

Orange-bellied Parrots |  <i>Sylvia Ernst</i>

The Overland Track and the Walls of Jerusalem are some of the most popular where you camp deep in World Heritage-listed wilderness for an abundance of up-close opportunities with the park's birdlife. Other trips like the Cycle, Kayak and Walk Tasmania, the Great Tasmanian Traverse, Freycinet Circuit Walk, Franklin River and Frenchman’s Cap, Port Davey Track (for the best chance of seeing Orange-bellied Parrots) or the Bruny Island Food, Bike & Hike are other equally fun ways to explore the birds of Tasmania.

West McDonnell Ranges – Northern Territory

What makes it great for birding?
Heading to Australia's Red Centre offers highly specialised species which have adapted to the many different microclimates separated by vast areas of arid desert habitat. Many of these outback birds are highly nomadic covering large ranges which can make them a challenge to see.

Birds of the outback in the Red Centre are highly specialised species. These are Spinifex Pigeons |  <i>Gavin Yeates</i>

Other species are highly concentrated within one microhabitat and found nowhere else. With changes to the climate, some of these microclimates are becoming harder to find, so nomadic species like the Princess Parrot have become endangered along with a few other species.

While birding in this region can be challenging, it is definitely rewarding. Plus, you can do your bit by uploading your checklists of birds found to citizen science-based websites to help scientists track these specialised species. Read more about the ecology of Central Australia, home to over 180 unique species of birds.

Target species: Spinifex Pigeon, Dusky Grasswren, Spinifexbird, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Princess Parrot, Bourke’s Parrot, Western Bowerbird, White-browed Treecreeper, Redthroat, Slaty-backed Thornbill, Grey-headed Honeyeater, Chiming Wedgebill and Painted Firetail.

The Larapinta is home to many fascinating species |  <i>Gavin Yeates</i> Finches and other birds gather around the desert waterholes |  <i>Graham Michael Freeman</i> A birds eye view of the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

Best season and getting there: The best time to visit this region is in the autumn and winter from April to September, so you have access to the remote habitats at comfortable temperatures. There are many comfortable or hardier walks of the Larapinta Trail available, and the more space you cover, the more chances you will have to see more species.

Flinders Ranges – South Australia

What makes it great for birding?
The iconic Australian outback scenery of the Flinders Range makes it a novel habitat for wildlife. Many microclimates within this region support species which cannot be found elsewhere, as well as being a large transition area that supports many migratory species. When water reaches this region, you can also make a side trip up to Lake Eyre to experience an amazing spectacle of bird gatherings you won’t see anywhere else.

Target species: Mulga Parrot, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Short-tailed Grasswren, Redthroat, Chestnut-crowned Babbler, Cinnamon Quail-Thrush and Malleefowl.

A Red-capped Robin along the Murray River Walk

Best season and getting there: The best time to birdwatch in the region is between March and October. Heysen Trail and the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba Walk, Remote Northern Flinders Camel Trek and Flinders Ranges to the Murray River are some of the trips that can get you to this remote area to tick off these great species from your life lists.

While the chance to see these species can be high for each of the areas, wildlife viewings can never be guaranteed. However, this list includes the most accessible areas for ideal chances of birdwatching. Happy birding!

Words by fellow birder Nicolas Cary.

Have a favourite birdwatching location? Share them in the comments below.

Camino Walks: Introducing Europe’s Pilgrimage Routes

From Ireland to Spain and Switzerland to Italy, for centuries people have been congregating to places of worship like Santiago de Compostela and St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Coming from all directions, this has led to an extensive network of pilgrimage routes across Europe. 

Today, walkers and cyclists alike can enjoy these Camino walks, known as some of the world’s great active travel experiences. To help you find your way amongst all the options you have, we are introducing below the most famous Camino trails and how you can enjoy them. 


Spanish Camino de Santiago 

The end point of many Camino journeys is the city of Santiago de Compostela, which is the capital of an autonomous community in Spain's northwest. Naturally, Spain has a large network of Camino routes snaking their way through the countryside to reach this spiritual destination. The most famous one takes you from St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees via famous places like Leon and Sarria to the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela. 

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>

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Via Francigena in Italy & Switzerland

Ancient history and Roman ruins, romantic cities and rustic villages, world-famous cuisine, rich culture and mind-blowing natural beauty – all of this is present along the Via Francigena in Italy. The trail culminates at St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where walkers & cyclists obtain the final stamp in their credenziale. Begin your walk in Switzerland or follow the Italian section of this pilgrimage route that starts at the St Bernard Pass on the border with Switzerland and travels via the Apennine Mountains and Tuscany to Rome. 

Pilgrim walking into St Peters in Rome at the end of the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

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Camino Portuguese

For many pilgrims, the Camino Portuguese is more spiritually connected to the Camino than any other way as in Portugal, it is said, is where St James first preached. It is also believed that his final journey to Santiago was via Portugal when his bones were brought back from Jerusalem following his beheading. There Portuguese Camino routes typically starts in Lisbon and takes walkers and cyclists via Porto and Tui to Santiago.

Happy cyclists on the Porto to Santiago self guided cycle |  <i>Pat Rochon</i>

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The French Way of St James

The French Way of St James, also known as the Via Podiensis or Camino Le Puy Way, is often called the most beautiful of all the Camino pilgrimages. It takes walkers and cyclists alike from the ancient town of Le Puy en Velay to the Pyrenees at St Jean Pied de Port. The route passes a multitude of churches and monasteries, resembling a travelling museum of Romanesque art.

On the Way of St James in the Haute Provence near St Privat |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

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St Francis Way (Italy)

The St Francis Way is an Italian Camino route inspired by the life of St Francis of Assisi and links Florence to Rome. Walk through the “green heart” of Italy on this scenic and historic pilgrimage in eastern Tuscany and northern Umbria.

Walking on the open landscapes of western Tuscany on the St Francis Way

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Other Camino Trails in Spain

There are numerous more Camino pilgrimage routes in Spain such as the Camino Primitivo – the original trail from Oviedo and via Lugo; the Camino del Norte – along the north coast of Spain and considered the safest option during the time of the Moors; the English Way – that starts in Ferrol on the Atlantic Sea where the English arrived; or the Camino Finisterre – an extension to Cape Finisterre (historically considered the edge of the world known) after having reached Santiago de Compostela. 


2021 is an important year for the Camino de Santiago: it is a Jacobean Holy Year, and a Camino pilgrimage during this time is even more symbolic, as well as there being other special experiences to encounter. Read the Definitive Guide to the Jacobean Holy Year Camino Pilgrimage by our friends at UTracks. 


Did you know? You can obtain Dual Pilgrimage status if you complete both the Camino de Santiago and the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan. 

Contact our team to choose one of the spectacular European pilgrimage route to walk or cycle.
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