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The Ultimate Guide to... Slackpacking?

What is Slackpacking?

Out of all the terms within the hiking and trekking world – slackpacking might be our new favourite, even though it's something we think has been around for a long time.

Slackpacking requires another person, host, or porter, to carry or drive around the majority of your gear while you hike the spectacular long-distance trails of the world unburdened by a heavy pack. Nepal treks anyone?

The load carrier will be carrying your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food supplies… and you’ll only need to carry a lightweight daypack with your snacks, water and everything else you need for the day (sounds a lot like what we offer on our trips).

After your hike, you'll meet back up with your luggage and enjoy all the comforts without sore feet and shoulder aches. So, slackpacking can apply to both guided and self-guided hikes.

Views from the Salcantay Pass |  <i>Mark Tipple</i>

Why go Slackpacking?

Slackpacking can save you from tedious and mind-boggling logistics and expenses if there are particularly difficult sections of the trail. In addition, for those looking to reach a personal best, lightweight packs mean you can reach your goal faster.

It's perfect for anyone who wants a little extra support when achieving a goal. If you’re trying to reduce the stress on your body, or if you've been injured, this mode of hiking is for you. Reduce the load by outsourcing the burden. 

And finally, if you just hate carrying a heavy pack, then Slackpacking is a great alternative.

Passing through historic postal towns on the Nakasendo Way

How does one Slackpack?

Some trekkers recruit a relative or good friend to drive their gear around to and from locations. Doesn't really take the slack out of Slackpacking.

Another option is to travel with a company that handles these arrangements for you. Porters base their livelihoods on the income from this service, and in places like Nepal, Kilimanjaro and Peru, this is a great opportunity to support locals and get to know the people who live in the spectacular places we travel to.

Companies may also have support vehicles that shuttle your luggage for you – which can be an added reassurance while you’re out on the trail.

Trekking in Nepal's Annapurna region |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>

Our Top Slackpacking Destinations: 

Everest Region - Nepal

Home to some of the most incredible mountains and trekking adventures in the world, this region can be quite intimidating for some travellers. Slackpacking is a great alternative to regular backpacking through the Everest Region.

Supporting local Nepalese porters is one of the best ways to meet the people of this spectacular region – but do your research beforehand. Not all companies treat their porters equally, and some are not provided with adequate working conditions – like suitable clothing and first aid care.

Before you head to Nepal, you should learn more about our Porter Protection Policy.

Our highly trained team will add another level of comfort to your adventure in Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Buddhist Stupa beneath towering mountains |  <i>Kelvin Law</i> Perfect weather crossing the Renjo La |  <i>Angela Parajo</i>

Transcaucasian Trail – Armenia and Georgia

The freshly mapped Transcaucasian Trail is still relatively unknown in mainstream trekking, which is a great thing if you prefer some privacy on your hike – but getting someone to shuttle your luggage could be a bit difficult.

Luckily, our guides ensure your luggage is carted between your accommodation – so it will be waiting for you each evening at your guesthouse or hotel.

Haghpat village hike |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i> Haghartsin monastery near Dilijan, constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries. Transcaucasian Trail markers guide hikers through the Caucasus. |  <i>Breanna Wilson</i>

Larapinta Trail – Australia

Desert trekking can get a bit sweaty, even if you do it in winter. Taking a daypack instead of a full-pack can make the difference between reaching the top of Mount Sonder or giving up halfway.

On our award-winning Larapinta program, travellers have the option to stay in our Eco-Comfort Camps each night – our guides will shuttle your belongings to the next camp. No stress. No worries. No heavy packs.

The Larapinta Trail is Australia's most popular desert walking experience |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i> Enjoying the views on the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i> Standley Chasm |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i>

Flinders Island – Australia

Hidden just off the unassuming coast of Tasmania is one of the world’s best coastal walking destinations – Flinders Island. With a population of under 900 residents, it’s no easy feat to find someone willing to cart your gear around – so camping at a central location is the best option.

Try our Eco-Comfort Camps, just a hundred meters from the beach, with all the creature comforts you could possibly need. It kind of takes ‘slackpacking’ to a whole new level.

Hiking on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Sleep comfortably in our spacious tents on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Shelby Pinkteron |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

All in all - is it better to go Slackpacking?

The answer is different for every traveller. Some hardcore hikers will prefer the challenge of carrying their gear with them, while others prefer the weight taken off their shoulders.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual. If it’s something you’re considering – learn more about destinations that we think are perfect for Slackpacking.

On the Couch: China Adventures with Mr Su Zhi Wei

Mr Su is a part of World Expeditions history. He was there when we were the first company to operate cycling tours in China almost 40 years ago, a time when he couldn't have even thought to own a car. Now, with driving one of his favourite forms of travel, and feeling more optimistic about tourism in China post-Covid, he recounts some fun and key highlights during his time at World Expeditions.

Hello ‘Mr Su’. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Hello! I live in Guangzhou, China where I run a travel company which operates both in-bound tourism and out-bound as well. I have a family of 3, my wife (who works in our company) and my daughter. My daughter lives in California with my 7 year old grandson, so we travel to the USA often to visit the.

I feel very fortunate that I chose a career that I could devote myself to it for my whole life, because I always love travel. I’d love to see the outside world since I was a child. And I love to bring people to see our own world and our people the outside. Besides travel, I love hiking, biking, fishing and driving. I love cars. For me, a car means freedom of travel.

I have worked for World Expeditions China tour program since 1986, when I was 25 years old. Now I am 63, and have helped the company with over 600 China adventure tours during my career. 

When did you first begin in the tourism industry in China? 

My first job after my graduation from college was arranged by the government. Those days in the 70s and 80s the government paid for our education and assigned us to work for them. 

It was not like now, where graduates find their own jobs. So, I was assigned to work in the ministry of foreign affairs in Beijing in 1982. 

But after 4 years I found this job didn’t suit me. I quit in 1986. I found a new job in my hometown, Guangzhou, in a travel company. My job was sales and marketing, and I also worked as a guide. 

Su Zhi Wei at Machu Picchu

What are the biggest changes you have noticed in China’s tourism industry during your time? 

I witness great changes of China in all aspects during the past 3-4 decades. When I was leading trips in the 80s, when China was booming with construction, some senior Americans told me your country is experiencing drastic changes. 

A Swiss journalist asked me what car I liked when all I had was a bicycle! A car was a dream for me and an apartment of our own was even more so. But in a matter of 10-ish years, we had our own apartment and our own car. We owe this success to our Reform and Open policy. The Western world embraced China. 

How did you first come to meet with World Expeditions? 

The travel company I first worked at ran bicycle tours for World Expeditions in the 1980’s. I was there in 1986 and I met the founders then later there was a man called Charles Stuart, a manager for China trips. 

Then we had Tian An Men Square event in 1989. China was boycotted. Those were difficult years for us all running China tours. 

I left the travel company I worked for and started to work for myself after a few years. 

What was the first World Expeditions tour you operated? Any ‘interesting’ memories? 

World Expeditions ran the first bicycle trip in China back in early 1980’s. I think before that time there were no other foreign tour company doing this type of trip. In the minds of Chinese, we thought this cycle tourism was insane. We assumed travel and tour should be comfortable with no physical challenge. 

Because I was a green-hand in 1986, I was not qualified to guide for World Expeditions. Instead, I was sent to work for a single young Aussie lady from another travel company, cycling one day from Guangzhou to Zhaoqing. 

I was a bit sorry for the lady. Those days hotels in rural China were government owned and in poor management. Ten minutes after we checked in, she knocked on my door bringing me to see a big black spider crawling out of her bed in her room. I tried to calm her down saying this was not a poisonous spider and quickly had front desk change her room. She was in tears till we returned to Guangzhou. 

Mr Su in Patagonia

In 1980’s, World Expeditions’ bike groups entered China from Macao and cycled through rural South Guangdong to Guangzhou. South Guangdong manufacturing industry was booming those years and attracted people from all over China to work there creating busy traffic year on year. 

Feedback came that the traffic was too busy. After learning this I developed a new bike route in North Guangdong. This new bike trip was very popular with World Expeditions travellers and we had full trips for a couple of years! But unfortunately, in 1989 we had a Tian An Men Square event and China was boycotted. 

In the 1990’s World Expeditions numbers were picking up. In 1996 I started to have my own business. The first trip was a cycling trip of North Guangdong. It was a group of 8 Australians. 

Those days World Expeditions sent their own tour leader, Stan Corney. I led quite a few trips with him. He was a strong man and had a great sense of humour. He brought a lot of laughter for the group and we built a strong friendship. After he retired I invited him for a bike ride around Taiwan Island and later another bike ride in Tibet. 

Those days in rural China things were not easy. You may have very poor hotels. Western food was a no. Most roads were gravel and unpaved. In rainy days the roads were so bad and muddy that our support vehicles were easily stranded. We had to hire local farmers to help out once! 

The World Expeditions travellers were very nice. They found all these challenges acceptable (no one had tried to do this tour before) and made no complaints. 

Discover the heart of China when you travel by bike |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i>

What is the favourite trip you have designed for World Expeditions?

It used to be China by Bike, but it lost popularity. It looks like the older generations liked physical challenge but not younger generations. Now, it is the China Silk Road. 

This trip was quite popular and remained a best seller for many years. Silk Road is a great trip, but tricky to operate. 

There was one year when one group happened to cross the border during our national day holiday. The Chinese border control let the group go. The group travelled over the no-man zone and came to the Kyrgyzstan border where they were told they were closed during the Chinese holiday. The group returned back to the China side but could not enter China anymore with their visas void! They stayed overnight at the army barracks of China. Our partners in Kyrgyzstan ran to their rescue the next day. 

Preparations at Ta'er Monastery |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

The pandemic. How did you survive?

The government locked down the whole country for 3 years from January 2020 till March 2023. Because we specialized in in-bound tours, there was little room for us to get a bite from domestic Chinese market. To survive we tried to reduce all costs as much as possible and all staff paid half salary. 

Now is far from pre-pandemic level. But 2025 likely will be much better than this year. We estimate 2025 will be much better than 2024 according to the inquiries we receive so far, but not yet to the level pre-pandemic. In 2019 there were 380 flights weekly between China and USA, now is only 100 flights. 

Benefits of travelling to China now?

If I had never been to China, now is a great time to come. Very few foreign tourists now. In the old days there were so many Europeans in big cities, now we don’t see any. 

Any final comments you'd like to share? 

As common people, I can assure you that Chinese people are a friendly one. We always welcome all westerners to come visiting our country. China gave free visa to quite a few Asian countries. Now free visa to 6 European countries, ie Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Spain and Belgium. I wish same will apply to Aussies, Kiwis and other countries in the near future. We seem to be back in normal with Australia relation again with trade ban lifted.

View all China Adventures
Top Training Tips for Big Mountains

Mountain climbing is more like a marathon than a sprint. While power and strength are important, endurance is critical. 

If you’ve been dreaming of bagging a big peak, you may be wondering if you’re fit enough. And what does fitness even mean on the mountain? 

Mountaineering can involve everything from extreme backpacking and ridge walking to technical multi-pitches in freezing conditions. Think of mountaineering as a very steep, long and exposed hike with a very heavy pack in a very challenging environment. 

Climbers descending from Island Peak |  <i>Bir Singh Gurung</i>

There’s no single plan that will ensure everyone is fit enough to get to the top. Training for mountaineering can be very technical and individual. We suggest you connect with a professional fitness trainer, physiotherapist or doctor before you get started to develop a customized plan. Focus on your own journey – focus on getting as fit as you can.

Here are 12 key approaches: 

  1. Be realistic – A visit to your doctor or a fitness trainer can help you get an accurate sense of how fit you truly are right now. That’ll help you set a solid baseline before you begin to plan your training and get you on the right track with realistic goals. 
  2. Start today – Regardless of how much time you have, the sooner you start training, the better you’ll perform on the mountain. Ideally, give yourself at least four months to get in prime shape. 
  3. Talk to your guide – The World Expeditions team is committed to your mountaineering success and is here to help you cater your training to your destination. Reach out to our team for help! 

Trekkers preparing equipment before a day of climbing |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

  1. Start ‘small’ – The early days of training consist of day hiking with a mid-weight backpack at lower elevations. Slowly add intensity, duration, distance and pack weight. Cross-country skiing, walking on a treadmill or climbing on a Stairmaster also work. Gradually work your way up to longer, steeper and heavier. 
  2. Kick up the cardio —Think hiking, running, biking, cross-country skiing – any activity where you can carry weight while getting your heart rates up is ideal because it blends cardio and strength. 

Uphill gravel riding on South Island Explorer |  <i>Hana Black</i>

  1. Integrate Intervals – Interval cardio training is one of the best ways to prepare for high altitude. High-intensity workouts interspersed with breaks train your body to better use oxygen. Working out with sets of high-intensity aerobic activities in high repetition and then recovering with low intensity also builds endurance. 
  2. Strength Matters – The big muscles in your legs and core will be put to use while mountaineering. Focus weight-bearing exercises on the whole body to see steady growth. Consistency is key! 
  3. Balance and flexibility – Make sure you warm up, cool down and stretch! Yoga is also a great way to increase your performance and avoid injury. 

Early morning stretching |  <i>Gavin Turner</i>

  1. Train your brain – Mental fitness can be as important as physical fitness on a mountaineering trip, just as in life! While it’s good to keep your eye on the prize – in this case, the summit – being present in the moment starts when you begin training. Mindful meditation can be helpful here. 
  2. Rest and recovery – Build your training gradually, and take at least one day a week off a week. This will help you avoid injury. 
  3. Don’t push it – If you’re sore, very tired or injured, stop! The last thing you want is to be unable to participate when the big summit push comes. 
  4. Take a break – In the last week or two before your trip, consider backing off your training to allow your body to recover and be in top shape for your upcoming target.

As you progress your training, focus on your achievements so far. It may feel daunting, but with a good plan, you’ll be sure to make it to Base Camp in top shape. 

See you on the mountain!

The Big Why: What Makes Climbing Mountains so Alluring

There’s no question climbing is hard. But for many, the rewards just can’t compare to any other experience – climbing becomes a way of life, a lifestyle. Why is that? What makes climbing mountains so appealing and attractive? Climbing takes you to some of the most beautiful places on the planet, and it pushes you to your limits. It’s challenging, rewarding, full of life lessons, and unlike anything else.

Here are 10 reasons why

  1. It’s really hard – Climbing mountains involves overcoming many obstacles. Each pitch is a puzzle and there’s no getting away from giving it your all.
  2. It’s humbling – You are never in full control out there. The mountain doesn’t care about your past or your dilemmas or your history or your current condition. Living conditions can be simple and rugged, and that strips away all pretentions and privileges – it’s a true equalizer.

Approaching the summit of Cholo in perfect conditions, Khumbu region, Nepal |  <i>Soren Kruse Ledet</i>

  1. It’s incredibly rewarding – Applying all you’ve got in terms of fitness, endurance, willpower and patience while also confronting danger and risk breeds deep gratitude. The summit is the ultimate satisfaction.
  2. It’s a learning experience – As you prepare for a climb and then as you move up a mountain, it’s crucial to approach with a growth mindset. Climbing appeals to those who consider themselves lifelong learners, people who want to expand themselves.

Happy climbers summitting Mt Blanc on an introductory climbing course |  <i>© Pierre Schmidt</i>

  1. It’s fascinating – Climbing is about exploration. Out there, you get to meet new cultures and understand the complexities of Earth Sciences in a very hands-on way.
  2. It builds your confidence – In that classic “because it’s there” humble way, climbers have accumulated experiences that make them stronger mentally and physically. The more you climb, the better you get, and that poise and self-assuredness plays out across your life.

Hiker admiring the view from the summit of Volcan Acatenango

  1. It’s beautiful – of course, there’s an incredible view at the top, and very few people get to enjoy it. Mountains are beautiful and it feel joyful to be amidst them.
  2. It’s good for your health – Climbing is superb for fitness. It requires strength, power and endurance. It requires nutrition. It demands all aspects of your body are functioning well. That includes emotional health as well – a positive mental mindset can be as critical as muscle mass.

Summit success on Peak Lenin |  <i>Soren Kruse Ledet</i>

  1. It’s fun – The people of mountaineering are a blast. They know how to relax, laugh and celebrate. The culture of mountains is unique and varied. People who climb together often quickly can become lifelong friends
  2. It’s different for everyone – Just as every mountain is unique, each climber’s experience is deeply personal. That’s the beauty of it all.

What does climbing mean to you?

5 Reasons Why You’ll Love Tibet

Tibet has so much to offer travellers seeking the paths less travelled, with vast high altitude landscapes, untouristed trails, colourful festivals and a fascinating ancient culture to discover.

There is no denying the profound challenges that Tibet has encountered over the years. Yet despite these struggles, the strength and tenacity of the Tibetan people prevails.

Tibet is a deeply religious land with an ancient culture that is still preserved today. Visiting the sacred places where the Tibetan people worship is inspiring. It is an experience that remains with those fortunate enough to visit for many years.

Whatever adventure you choose in Tibet, we are sure that you’ll fall in love with this spiritual, dramatic and inspiring autonomous region.

1. Tibet's Unique Landscape

Tibet’s phenomenal landscape is like no other place on Earth: rugged, remote and unforgettable. The vast Tibetan plateau contrasted against the snowcapped peaks of the world’s highest mountains will leave you in awe.

Tibet is often referred to as the ‘roof of the world’. This is because the majority of Tibet sits at an altitude around 4500m above sea level. The Tibetan plateau stretches for some 2000km from west to east, with many peaks on the border of Nepal soaring well above that. With the Himalaya to the south, the Karakoram to the west and the Kunlun to the north, you only have to turn your head to get another magnificent view of the mountains.

A highlight of travelling to Tibet is the memorable flight to Lhasa over the Himalayan range. With clear weather, the views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and countless other peaks stretching into the horizon are breathtaking.

Tibet is a superb trekking destination. The remarkable landscapes and Himalaya views are one of the greatest reasons to visit Tibet. As you trek the high passes and winding trails that are strewn with Buddhist prayer flags you’ll feel greatly inspired by this ancient land.

2. The Tibetan People and Culture

Experiencing the Tibetan culture is undoubtedly a highlight of visiting Tibet.

Tibetans are deeply religious people. Their devotion to Buddhism can be traced back to the earliest days of Buddhism’s introduction into Tibet, more than 1300 years ago. The profound influence of Buddhism for the Tibetan people is a highlight of any visit to Tibet.

Aside from a wide array of Buddhist gods and goddesses worhsipped by the Tibetan people, they also worship the mountains as living deities. All over Tibet you will spot pilgrims spinning prayer wheels and walking around temples, monasteries and mountains. This is always in a clockwise direction, whereas followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion, the Bon, walk around sacred sites in an anti-clockwise direction.

Despite the grandeur of the scenery, the most memorable experiences of Tibet are likely to come from moments you’ve shared with the locals. Whether it’s the yak-butter tea offered to you from a monk in a remote monastery or a spontaneous picnic with a herding family on the shores of a remote lake, you are bound to leave Tibet with a deeper insight and appreciation into their unique cultural identity.


3. Festivals

There are over 100 festivals in Tibet that occur throughout the year. Experiencing a festival in Tibet is a unique way to get an insight into Tibetan Buddhism.

One of Tibet’s most significant festivals is the Saga Dawa festival held at Mount Kailash - one of the most sacred places in the Buddhist and Hindu religions.

At the Saga Dawa Festival many thousands of pilgrims throughout Tibet pay homage to Mount Kailash. The sacred mountain has long been regarded by Hindus and Buddhists as the Mythical Mount Meru, the cosmic centre of the universe from which all life flows.

Thousands of pilgrims will gather and pay homage to the mountain by performing a kora, or clockwise circumambulation of the base of the mountain. The trek lasts several days and crosses a 5800m pass.

4. The Remarkable Monasteries

Ancient monasteries are scattered throughout Tibet and were the most significant social institutions of historical Tibet. With religion being extremely important to Tibetans, monasteries are centers of learning were monks and nuns are responsible for preserving and spreading Buddhist teachings.

Sadly over 6000 monasteries were destroyed during China’s Cultural Revolution. Since the 1980s some monasteries have rebuilt, with greater religious freedom being granted. Today, monks have returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education has continued.

Most monasteries and temples in Tibet extend a warm welcome to visitors and even in remote areas they will often offer places to stay the night. Some of the monasteries visited on our trips include Samye, Ganden and Jorkhang. Visiting a monastery in Tibet is a fascinating way to get an insight into the religion that has profoundly shaped Tibet today.

5. Travelling on the Friendship Highway

The journey on the Friendship Highway is an epic drive over 850km between Kathmandu and Lhasa. It is without doubt one of the most spectacular journeys in the world.

The border crossing between Nepal and Tibet was closed after it was damaged in the 2015 earthquake. However, no other section of the highway is damaged so it is still possible to drive through Tibet right up to Rongphu Monastery and Everest base camp.

The drive along the highway will take 2-3 days but is well worth it with spectacular scenery along the way. You’ll see special cultural monuments, as well as vast grasslands, the upper valley of Yarlung Tsangpo River and breathtaking Himalayan views.

Want to see it for yourself? Explore our range of active adventures in Tibet.

10 Essential Japanese Food and Drink Experiences with Ben Groundwater

Get ready to indulge your senses and explore the rich tapestry of flavours, textures, and traditions that define Japanese cuisine with Ben Groundwater. The celebrated columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, accomplished feature writer, broadcaster, and author of the acclaimed guidebook "Neon Lights in Tokyo", has been exploring Japan, and its unique cuisine, for over 15 years. 

There is no way you should ever limit yourself to just 10 different dishes when you’re in Japan. This is quite possibly the most exciting, most consistently delicious and most diverse food scene on the planet. Why stick to just 10?

Not only does Japan have its own varied and tasty styles of cuisine (many of which are listed below), but there are also extensive options available from around the world, some of which – Italian, for example – have even been improved upon by talented local cooks.

However, you can’t eat everything. And so, with just a small amount of time in Japan, here is what you should be sampling. The best of the best. The crème de la crème. The 10 dishes you just have to try.

Sushi chef |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


You can’t skip Japan’s most famous delicacy, even though it’s not quite as ubiquitous in its homeland as you might expect. Still, there is genuine love and respect for sushi in Japan, and also incredible skill, as you will realise upon visiting any high-end, omakase-style sushi bar. The nigiri at these places is mind-blowing in its exquisite flavour and texture, driven by the laser-like attention to detail of the chefs.


Ramen noodles Tokyo |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


Yes, all the noodles, because you can’t choose between the legends here, between ramen, the noodle of true obsessives, and soba, so pristine and beautiful, and udon, hearty and filling. Or at least, I can’t. When you’re travelling in Japan you should seek out all examples from the noodle world, served hot or cold, with hearty soups or clear broths, with side dishes or given solo starring roles.

  Delicious yakitori |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


What is yakitori? It’s chicken on a stick. Bits of chicken, stuck on skewers, grilled over charcoal. However, that basic description sells this style of cuisine well short, because in practice yakitori is a refined art, as chefs take all sorts of interesting cuts of poultry and vegetables and grill them over artisanal binchotan coals to absolute perfection.


Meats are being cooked on the stove in a Japanese restaurant.


Here’s another simple concept – grilled beef – launched into the stratosphere. At typical Japanese yakiniku joints, diners gather around small grills and cook their own cuts of wagyu, everything from sirloin and rib to tongue, oyster blade and more. It’s a social, relaxed and enjoyable way to eat, though the beef can be seriously high-end.


Ika shiokara cattlefish or squid.


OK team, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and sample a classic Japanese beer snack that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Though, it’s going to be a challenge. Shiokara means “salty-spicy”: it’s raw squid that’s chopped up and mixed with a paste of salty fermented squid guts. It won’t be everyone’s idea of a good time, but if you do enjoy the taste, you will love shiokara with a cold beer.


Pasta is extremely popular in Japan. |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


Pasta, in Japan? Is that legit? We are here to tell you this is 100 per cent legit. The Japanese have a great love of noodles, and pasta is simply an extension of that, a style of cuisine that has been mastered, and many would say improved upon, by local chefs. This is actually your entry point into a world of foreign foods made with great skill in Japan, everything from classic French pastries to Valencian paella to Neapolitan pizza and more.


Japanese pork katsu, served with shredded cabbage. |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


This is an easy sell. Katsu is crumbed, deep-fried meat. You’re in, right? And just wait until you discover tonkatsu, the king of the katsu world, a chunky pork schnitzel that is served with shredded cabbage doused in sesame dressing, with rice on the side, and usually a cold beer. Though, you could also have your katsu with curry sauce (katsu kare). Or, on rice with an eggy sauce (katsudon). Can’t lose.


Japan has an incredible strong coffee culture. |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


It’s no surprise to find that coffee is a big deal in Japan. The coffee culture here has evolved immensely over the last 100 years or so, though you can still find purveyors of all the historical styles, from the old-fashioned “kissaten” coffee shops, to the American-style chain stores, to the new-wave espresso joints, to the hipster boltholes doing artisanal pour-overs. It’s all good.


Japanese Sake |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


There’s little point trying to properly understand the sake world – unless you have, say, a spare 10 years or so for study and experience. It’s just too diverse and complicated. Instead, just drink this delicious Japanese rice-wine, either at an izakaya – a laidback sake bar with good food – or from the source, by visiting a sake brewery. And don’t miss other boozy Japanese beverages such as local beer, whisky, and awamori.


Japanese wagashi, often served with green tea, anko and fruit. |  <i>Ben Groundwater</i>


It’s nice to finish with a sweet treat, in this case, wagashi. These are the delicate, beautifully crafted morsels that are typically served alongside matcha tea, though also occasionally to end a kaiseki meal. They’re so gorgeous, it almost seems a shame to eat them. Almost.


Join travel and food writer Ben Groundwater on his next exclusive foodie tour.

Our Flinders Island Walk Named the 13th Great Walk of Australia

Great Walks of Australia, the premier collection of Australia's greatest multi-day guided walking experiences - done with a dash of eco-luxury comfort - has officially named our Flinders Island Walking Adventure - In Comfort as the 13th walk in their exclusive line-up.

To say we're thrilled is an understatement. After years of hard work developing a unique walking experience on this mesmerising island featuring spectacular mountain and coastal landscapes, epic views, abundant wildlife and, of course, our pioneering beachside Eco-Comfort Camp, we believe it is truly deserving of the prestigious inclusion. 

The trip joins the ranks of 12 other incredible walks, like our award-winning Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort, which, so far, has earned five Brolgas in the Northern Territory's official tourism awards.

Our six-day guided experience covers 42 kilometres of easy-to-moderate walking exploring what is considered the hidden hiking jewel of Tasmania. With the full support of expert guides, walkers travel with only a daypack, and sleep in exclusive safari-style tents, complete with a see-through roof so you can drift off under a blanket of stars, with the beach almost at your doorstep. 

Hiking the stunning Flinders Island coastline |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Wildlife on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Hiking on Mt Strzelecki |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

“We’re so thrilled to be adding the 13th Great Walk of Australia to our collection.”

“Rugged, pristine and remote, this gem of a destination is perfect for anyone wanting to get off the beaten track to a unique, undiscovered wild landscape with blockbuster views and feel like you have it nearly all to yourself.”

“I have no doubt hikers from around the world are going to be excited about having this special new experience launch and love it as much as our other 12 incredible Great Walks,” 

- Liz O’Rourke, Great Walks of Australia Executive Officer

Sleep comfortably in our spacious tents on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Our Flinders Island Eco-Comfort Camp is in a secluded setting with beach access |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Our clean amenities are sustainably sourced and operated |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

What makes this a ‘Great Walk’?  

Spectacular Walking Opportunities and Eco-Comfort Camping 

Hike past lagoons, woodlands and coastal heaths, skirt around striking granite mountain ranges and summit the dramatic peaks of Mt Killiecrankie and Mt Strzelecki, affording you spectacular views over the entire island.

One of the biggest highlights of this walk is our exclusive Eco-comfort Camp, which are big on comforts but small on environmental impact.

The extra creature comforts make all the difference on a multi-day walk. Our innovative retreats are full of life's little luxuries that many don't expect in a wild and remote setting like a bed, hot shower and toilets. The camp also has a private beach access, and generously sized safari pod tents with clear roofs so you can enjoy sleeping under a starry Tasmanian night sky.


Ready to discover the newest Great Walk of Australia? See all of our Flinders Island walking adventures here.
USA: 8 Best National Parks for Hiking

The US has some of the most impressive national parks in the world, from the iconic Grand Canyon in Arizona to Volcanoes in Hawaii and, of course, Yosemite in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California

These glorious natural wonderlands are home to breathtaking hiking trails, unique geological formations, native animals and sensational vistas.

But with more visitors heading to these wild places than ever, you’ll want to ensure your trip takes you far beyond the carpark, to places you can only get to by foot. Ahead, our favourite national parks in the US for hiking.


Yellowstone National Park |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone is the world’s first national park, and it remains one of the most popular for its hot springs, geysers and megafauna including bears, bison and elk! And sure, Old Faithful is worth a visit, but with over 3,468 square miles (8,983 square km) of natural beauty, there’s plenty more to see at Yellowstone than a crowd of tourists and a punctual geyser.

During the summer months, we love the Wapiti Lake Trail, which takes you away from the crowds and past waterfalls, lakes, and a phenomenal hydrothermal area. 

But in our humble opinion, winter in Yellowstone is even more magical – the trails are quiet, the animals are active and the geothermal energy contrasts spectacularly with the snow.


Grand Canyon National Park, USA |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon National Park needs no introduction – home to the world’s most famous valley, this Arizona landmark is totally worth the hype. 

While close to 5 million visitors flock to the Canyon each year, only 5% hike below the rim, and even fewer make it to the Colorado River, so lace up your hiking boots and explore one of the most incredible places on earth by foot to truly connect with this icon and truly understand why it is worthy of the name 'Grand'.

Be prepared, the hiking is hot and tough but well worth the effort.


Hiking in Zion National Park, Utah |  <i>©</i>

Zion National Park, Utah

Any trip to the American Southwest isn’t complete without exploring the extraordinary Zion National Park in Utah. 

A highlight is the hike to Angel’s Landing, an exhilirating ascent that’ll definitely keep you on your toes but is well worth it for the panoramic view at the top. 

Red rocks, deep canyons and natural arches abound in this dream hiking destination.


The unique hoodoos of Bryce Canyon |  <i>©</i>

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Considered by many to be North America’s most beautiful canyon, Bryce Canyon is a must-see destination for hikers and nature lovers alike. 

The spectacular park covers almost 40,000 acres, featuring colourful and unique rock formations called hoodoos, so vast and bright they’ll take your breath away.

The colour contrast between the red rocks, green of the pines and blue of the sky is truly a feast for the eyes.


Arches National Park, Utah |  <i>©</i>

Arches National Park, Utah

Another Utah gem is Arches National Park, home to over 2000 natural stone arches and the thousands of miles (or kms) of hiking trails that meander through them. 

These geological marvels have been forming for the past 65 million years and are still changing to this day. In 2008, one of the larger arches, Wall Arch, crumbled due to the constant erosion that shapes these masterpieces. 

Don’t miss Double Arch or Delicate Arch – two of our all-time faves!


View to Half Dome, Yosemite National Park |  <i>Nathaniel Wynne </i>

Yosemite National Park, California

If you loved the Oscar-winning climbing documentary, Free Solo, it’s time to put Yosemite on your bucket list, stat. 

This diverse national park in the Sierra Nevada mountains is home to some of Cali’s most spectacular vistas, hikes and climbs. 

The view from the summit of Half Dome is, quite honestly, a spiritual experience, but if you miss out on the lottery-based permit, there are loads of other incredible spots in the area to explore.


Hiking on a lava field on Hawaii's Big Island |  <i>Rachel Imber</i>

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

If you’re interested in geology, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to explore Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. 

Walk among active volcanoes to see islands in the making, check out the beauty and power of fresh lava as it erupts, and marvel at a unique and unfamiliar landscape that feels like another planet.

The park is also home to cultural sites of significance, and unique wildlife that have been forged on this evolutionary frontier.


Trekking the beautiful Denali National Park |  <i>Jake Hutchins</i>


Denali National Park, Alaska

The contiguous United States has many National Parks to occupy you for a lifetime, but for those seeking a more alpine experience it makes sense to look north, to Alaska, in particular Denali National Park.

Alaska is home to 17 of the highest mountains in the USA, with Denali being the biggest at 6190m. There aren't many trails in Denali, but the ones that do exist are usually void of people, and they are best enjoyed in the safety of an experienced guide.

The drive to the park is an experience in itself, with the first views of the mighty Alaska range reminiscent of scenes from the Indian Himalaya. Not to be missed.

Ready to explore the best National Parks in the USA?

From the CEO's Desk: What's in store for 2024

The World Expeditions Travel Group CEO, Sue Badyari, has been at the frontlines of the adventure travel industry longer than most of her peers. 

Her expert insights are the closest thing you’ll find to an adventure travel crystal ball and has attracted the attention of the likes of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO), who have both invited her to be part of their various panels in recent years. 

As the year of the rabbit hops its way out, we sat down with Sue for a quick look back at what we achieved last year and what she's most excited about for 2024.

Our CEO (right) in Nepal's Everest region |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Hiking in Katherine Gorge |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Sue Badyari, CEO World Expeditions Travel Group |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>

Sue, what are you most excited about for 2024?


At World Expeditions, our teams in Australia and Kathmandu have been working very hard over the past 10 months to provide our Eco-Comfort Camps in Nepal’s Everest and Annapurna regions with an exciting and fresh facelift.

It’s been more challenging than you might think, you can’t just give it a fresh lick of paint in winter, it won’t dry. And with the Lukla flight issues it has also been a challenge simply to transport certain items to our various Eco-Comfort Camps in the Everest region.

But we’ve overcome all the obstacles, and I can’t wait to announce when the improvements are complete in the very near future. I’ll be presenting a special webinar on the Eco-Comfort Camp upgrades on March 16. It’s worth registering even if you think you can’t make the live event as we’ll send a link to everyone after the event.


Speaking of webinars, we hope it will be the first of many more this year. We had over 600 people register for our special online event with Jean-Claude Razel, and we hope that we will connect even more of our talented adventurers with the wider public so they can tap into their vast knowledge.


Looking further across the entire World Expeditions Travel Group, we have some exciting news out of our New Zealand divisions, with new Cycle Trails coming online soon as well as the release of a new self-guided cycling product on the Alps to Ocean.

On the ‘small footprint’ side of things, our Walkers Britain division will become completely paperless later this year; we’ll be releasing at least 3 more Regenerative Travel projects, and we have recently joined the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund. Our Great Canadian Trails division is about to get its certification, joining the 1% for the Planet global movement.


We’ve also established a working committee to establish our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) who are even more motivated to finalise our commitment plan following the discouraging result of the Voice referendum that took place in Australia late last year. Tourism which involves indigenous people, as we well know, is the best tourism, and truly enhances the travel experience.


And finally, our Nepal Eco-Camps aren’t the only place you’ll find a fresh new look this year. We are very much looking forward to unveiling a fresh, new intuitive website experience later this year. Stay tuned, and thank you to those in our community who were involved in our user research over the past 6 months.


World Expeditions is turning 50 in 2025. Anything exciting travellers can look forward to?

It is an amazing testament to our teams over the last five decades that we will be able to celebrate such a significant milestone in such a young industry. Travel has been around for a long time, but adventure travel, especially our style of active travel, has always been a niche. 

Conflicts, political unrest, airline collapses, unprecedented natural disasters and of course, a global pandemic, we’ve navigated through them all. Careful management, whether it be in the pricing department, which creates great value trips, or running the tours in the field, is a hallmark of our company.

For some perspective, the tiny Himalayan landlocked country of Bhutan only opened its border 50 years ago this year. We started in the Himalaya a year later. So, we’ve seen a lot and gained a lot of experience, and we’re always thrilled to share this knowledge with our travellers.

We are planning some BIG parties to celebrate our place as one of the world’s oldest adventure travel companies in 2025 and plan to release details on what will likely be the world’s highest banquet around May this year.

Got any insights on 2024 adventure travel trends?

Internationally, Georgia is my hot tip. 

Just before the pandemic, we highlighted that the Transcaucasian Trail would be the next BIG thing in trekking. It’s proven to be correct, but it’s not just for trekkers. 

We have sent many private groups, including a singing group, and our cultural journey that combines Georgia with Azerbaijan and Armenia was one of the top sellers in our Black Friday sales.

Our active Europe division, UTracks, also has some exceptional new trips in 2024. The Isle of Arran is like a miniature Scotland and has certainly caught the attention of our most avid walkers. I also expect the Camino Norte to come into vogue once scenes filmed along this part of the Camino for the sequel of The Way is released.

Here in Australia, it has to be magical Flinders Island. Having visited the island late last year and meeting the friendly folk who call this home, I was blown away. It is a truly special place to visit. The Great Walks of Australia collection agree, they've just added our Flinders Island Walking Adventure in Comfort as the 13th walk of their exclusive collection.

There’s more to share on new trips that are coming online, so don’t miss reading our 2024 Adventure Travel trends to see what they are.

Ushguli, a community of four villages located at the head of the Enguri gorge in Svaneti, Georgia. Hiking the spectacular Flinders Island coastline |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Taking a break on the Transcaucasian Trail, Georgia |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i>

Looking back, your proudest achievements in 2023?

We’re obviously doing something right with our Eco-Comfort camps in Australia. Our Larapinta Trail walking program, which features 4 Eco-Comfort Camps along this iconic Aussie desert trail, won its second ‘Best in Adventure Travel’ Brolga Award in a row (that’s 5 Brolga’s now!) while our newest Eco-Comfort Camp on Flinders Island, in the Furneaux Group off Tasmania, helped our Flinders Island Walking Adventure – In Comfort, become the newest Great Walk of Australia, a very select line-up of walks that also features our Classic Larapinta Walk in Comfort.


Our Huma Charity Challenge division helped charities raise over AU$ 1 million last year, bringing the total now to $10 million raised since its inception a decade ago. 

What is unique about Charity Challenges is that participants are often new to adventure travel and usually well outside their comfort zone. What many of our travellers do for pleasure, these committed individuals do for a cause close to their heart. It’s quite moving.

Our community has really embraced our Regenerative 2030 project with more than 300 travellers making a micro-donation upon booking their own adventure, which has helped the World Expeditions Foundation raise over AU$20,000. 

This has helped us fund 5 projects already, training female farmers in Nepal with new vermicomposting techniques, providing clean cookstoves in Peru and helping remote indigenous school students in far north Queensland.


And while it wasn’t perhaps a ‘proud’ achievement, it was pretty cool that our Blue Mountains Adventure Company was asked by Tourism NSW to host Zac Efron and his Netflix crew. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the Habitat Conservation Episode of Down to Earth (S2E1) to see why our Empress Falls Canyoning trip has become very popular with American visitors.

Any final words?

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to our incredible community of adventure travellers. Your unwavering support, boundless enthusiasm for exploring our natural wonders, and the meaningful connections forged with our local staff and fellow adventurers on our small group departures are truly appreciated.

So, thank you for being more than just participants, you’ve become friends who make our adventure travel journeys extraordinary.

Prefer Remote Treks? Zanskar ticks all the boxes

If you're intent on discovering wild and remote lands, then consider a trek in the Zanskar region of the Indian Himalaya, the most isolated region of Ladakh.

If you prefer your treks to offer a truly off-the-beaten-track destination that is unspoiled, offers dramatic and challenging landscapes as well as cultural richness, keep reading.

Where is Zanskar, and why should I visit?

Zanskar is relatively remote and one of the less trekked regions in the Himalaya. Enclosed by spectacular high mountains – including the snow-capped peaks of the Great Himalaya and the rugged Zanskar Range - it sits in the northen part of India, in the region of Ladakh.

The Buddhist region of Zanskar is a Trans Himalayan land, showcasing an ancient Tibetan culture reflected in its exquisite Buddhist monasteries where the turn of the prayer wheel turns in harmony with the seasons and where tiny, whitewashed settlements extend to the borderlands of Tibet.

A trek through Zanskar will introduce you to many remote villages and monasteries where the way of life has been unchanged for generations.

Trekking through Zanskar's wild and dramatic landscapes |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

When is the best time to visit?

There is a very narrow window of opportunity to trek in Zanskar. In winter, with the exception of the walking down the icebound Zanskar river, the region is isolated, cut off by snow that precludes local people from travelling to other regions of Ladakh for seven months of the year. 

Zanskar lies beyond the influence of the Indian monsoon with a trekking season that extends from when the snow melts on the passes in June until the first snows settle on the same passes in late October. 

September is the only feasible month to complete treks through the remote and rugged gorges. September is also when the water levels drop, making it possible to undertake the many river crossings required when trekking through Zanskar – and yes, there are many, so come prepared!

Hiking through Zanskars wild and rugged mountains |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

Will I see a snow leopard?

In Zanskar’s outlying gorges and passes herds of bharal or blue sheep graze on scant pastures, ibex roam the cliff tops, and brown bears are regularly seen close to many settlements. 

As for the elusive snow leopard, the chances of seeing a cat are still on par with winning the lottery. However, due to the good work of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, there is evidence of increasing numbers. Birds of prey are a further attraction. Golden Eagles and lammergeier soar the thermals in search of prey and carrion.


Zanskar's Buddhist legacy

With its deep seated Tibetan traditions, Buddhism defines the high culture of Zanskar. 

Ancient monasteries, dating back to the 11th century, located on top of sugarloaf mountains or carved out of  precipitous cliff faces characterise this rugged land. 

Colourful prayer flags fluttering on the high passes, mani walls – some of the longest in the Himalaya – together with impressive chotens along the trails, add a constant reminder of Zanskar’s enduring Buddhist legacy.


Monks who call the Zanskar region home |  <i>Garry Weare</i> Trekkers make their way over the Zalung La, Ladakh Chanpa nomads |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

Is it still possible to trek in Zanskar?

Many companies still promote trekking itineraries in Zanskar that follow roads. Since the early 2000s, road developments have completely changed the landscape for those seeking a truly remote trekking experience, and our team has ensured that we have found new, less travelled paths.

The classic treks that extended across Zanskar are now roads. Most of the treks included in Garry Weare’s Lonely Planet Trekking in the Indian Himalaya guide are no longer possible, making it increasingly difficult to devise itineraries that avoid roads, but this shouldn't stop anyone from considering trekking in Zanskar.

Zanskar village cut into the side of the mountain |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

Zanskar: the adventurous years – an aside

Ladakh was open to tourists in 1974, and Zanskar two years later. Our experience in the region stems back to this time.

In October 1979, veteran World Expeditions guide, Garry Weare, led the first rafting expedition down the Zanskar to the confluence of the Indus River.

While road development have changed the landscape, it is still possible to enjoy trekking in Zanskar - just come prepared for the challenging terrain and river crossings.

Rafting Zanskar gorge, October 1979 |  <i>Garry Weare</i>

All in all, Zanskar is a unique destination that is a must-visit for any adventurer worth their salt. Its spectacular landscape, ancient Tibetan culture, and exotic wildlife make it a perfect destination for trekking enthusiasts.

View all Indian Himalayan treks

9 Reasons Active Outdoor Travel is Good for Young People

There’s something special about embarking on a trip into the unknown and really experiencing the world. Whether it’s a trek into the mountains or cycling along rural back roads, an active adventure can benefit a young person's physical, mental and emotional state.

However, our community is changing. The evolving trend for more comfortable travel supports the headlines about our growing sedentary lifestyle. 

Most alarmingly, many of these reports point towards today’s youth. Increases in child weight gain, depression and an addiction to an electronic umbilical cord that pumps out advertisements heralding the benefits of manufactured foods and even more computer activity have seemingly caused a rapid decline in the time spent outdoors by children.

With all the advances in modern living through an increased urban lifestyle, we’re worried that the next generation will pass on the concept that nature is not our friend and that it offers little benefit.

While there are many types of travel experiences on offer for young people, here are 9 reasons why we believe combining active travel elements in your trip is a wise option.


Kids cooling off during a walk in Kakadu National Park |  <i>Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught</i>

1. Spending time outdoors reduces stress

There’s a reason why there’s a smile on everyone’s face after they’ve come back from an active adventure.

Australians are some of the most stressed-out people in the world, with a recent report reporting that stress levels have been rising around the country for the past five years. Thankfully, research suggests that nature walks can reduce stress, as well as boost levels of attention, which is very relevant for students.

Gregory Bratman, the lead author of the study, said that 'nature experiences, even of a short duration, can decrease this pattern of thinking that is associated with the onset, in some cases depression.'


2. Nature makes exercise easier

Some kids have difficulty motivating themselves to get fit. So, make it fun and give them a goal to aim towards.

Research conducted at the University of Essex suggests that exercise feels easier when you are viewing the colour green, such as on trees, grass and other plants in nature.

The study conducted tested cyclists pedalling in front of green, red and grey images. Those who pedalled in front of the green screen reported that they felt lower exertion during their cycling, as well as displayed fewer mood disturbances than the other participants. 


3. Nature can rejuvenate your soul

One of the best reasons to spend time outdoors trekking and cycling is that it can reinvigorate your mental state. Studies have shown that viewing natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which can release endorphins and trigger a mental boost.

An interview by Huffington Post with a Seattle-based environmental psychologist states: 'In addition to helping decrease stress levels, spending more time with nature shows a shift toward more positive moods... the theory is that we respond positively to things that are good for us. Trees offer shade, protection and often have fruits and nuts, so they are a source of food as well as protection and comfort.'

Ultimately, we tend to be drawn and attracted to things that are beneficial to our survival, which is one of the reasons why trees and other natural elements can help lift our moods.


View of Everest from Accommodation in Nepal |  <i>Indigo Axford</i>


4. Gain a sense of accomplishment

Regardless of age and size, taking on an overseas adventure can create feelings associated with personal achievement. The greater the challenge, the more sense of achievement we feel when we accomplish those goals.


5. Travel increases your self-awareness

A byproduct of travel is raising your self-awareness and it’s one of the most beneficial parts of taking on an adventurous school trip overseas.

Adventure travel brings you closer to your “inner self”, giving you the chance to examine and challenge yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible.

Stepping into the unknown and taking a risk demands our increased attention and can bring an intense state of self-awareness – one of the reasons that people, such as mountain climbers, engage in adventure activities.


6. The outdoors can make you smarter

Immersing a child in the outdoors can increase their higher-order cognition in more ways than one. This study found that brain scans taken after exercise showed that the participants had greater and more focused activity in the prefrontal cortex than they did before.

What’s more, active adventures help increase activity in your hippocampus, the brain’s main “storage unit”.


A Yomad making friends with the local village kids |  <i>Brad Atwal</i>


7. Forge new friendships

After an adventure, it's not uncommon to see bonds form between students who prior to the trip perhaps weren't as close. The common goals shared of achieving a physical challenge can bring kids together.

Embarking on a challenge with other people can bring them closer together; sharing the trials and the triumphs gives them something to bond over and forms relationships that'll embed deep in their memories for many years to come.


8. Learn new life skills

Travel develops a child in many ways. From problem-solving to growing confidence and building resilience, the experiences gained from entering new surroundings and immersing yourself in a different culture create exciting challenges that can enable students to expand their skill set.


9. Know that you're making a difference when you travel ethically

There’s more to travel than just experiencing nature’s finest spaces. Embarking on a trip to some of the world’s most remote and untouched corners puts money into the local economy and helps preserve these pristine landscapes.

As many of these far-flung destinations are located in some of the world’s poorest countries, eco-tourism helps these countries in their efforts to save and preserve their land through organisations that ultimately aim to save the planet.





Let's get going:

Children as young as 12, who are confident and experienced in the outdoors, are able to join you on many of our exciting active adventures. While we suggest trips graded from introductory to moderate, it does depend on the child and the itinerary, so talk to our team about their suitability.

In conjunction with our medical advisor, Dr Ross Anderson, we have developed the following altitude guidelines for younger travellers:

  • From 15 to 17 years: the maximum sleeping altitude is 5000m.
  • From 12 to 14 years: the maximum sleeping altitude is 4500m.
  • From 7- to 12-year-olds: the maximum sleeping altitude is 3500m.
See our list of guaranteed upcoming adventures here
Morocco Earthquake Appeal Raises Over $20,000

On the evening of Friday, September 8 evening, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco, with its epicentre in the High Atlas Mountain range, approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Marrakech. 

In response, we quickly released our Morocco Earthquake Appeal, where all donations would be channelled directly into the reconstruction efforts aimed at helping the High Atlas villages that had been profoundly affected. 

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who donated to our Morocco Fundraising Appeal, which raised over AU$20,000. World Expeditions kickstarted the initiative with a donation of AU$10,000, and thanks to our community we were thrilled that this amount doubled. 

As with all World Expeditions Foundation appeals, donations over $2 are tax deductible (in Australia only) and 100% of funds raised go directly to the cause we are supporting. We are truly humbled by your kindness and the impact we can collectively make. 

We want to reassure everyone that it is safe to travel to Morocco and they are ready to welcome tourists with open arms. Our experienced team on the ground have been closely monitoring the situation and is fully prepared to provide you with the exceptional travel experience you deserve. 

By travelling to the remote towns and villages in the Atlas Mountains, you will not only have the opportunity to experience the vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes firsthand but also contribute to the recovery efforts of the local communities.

Traveller stories: Travelling to Morocco After the Earthquake

A Change of Plans

I’m fresh off the plane from Morocco and a few people are surprised that I didn't cancel my travel plans, asking if it's safe to travel there after the recent earthquake. 

I was due to land in Marrakech 3 days after the earthquake to begin an 11-day private Moroccan adventure. I chose to cut it down to a 7-day trip, flying into Tangier instead, and picking up my existing plans from there. 

Only a few further days on, travellers were able to enjoy the Marrakech Medina as before and for hikes in the Atlas Mountains, there have always been numerous routes to choose from so there is no need to avoid this spectacular area.

Despite hearing so much about the earthquake on the news, travel in Morocco felt very normal and as welcoming as ever. Places that had temporarily closed were quick to re-open.

Rabat Medina |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Chefchaouen Kasbah |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Fes tanneries |  <i>Jac Lofts</i>

The Earthquake's Effect

I discovered that the people who have been most affected live in remote, small, villages in the Atlas Mountains where few tourists venture.

Outside of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, there had been little, if any, physical damage or disruption but still they faced cancellations from travellers which greatly impacted their livelihood. So they were keen to move on - and even more excited to see our faces.

Carpet shopping in Chefchaouen |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Cats of Chefchaouen |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Cosy rooftop of Riad Cherifa in Chefchaouen |  <i>Jac Lofts</i>

Is it safe to travel to Morocco?

It is absolutely safe to still travel there and tourism is an industry that supports so many local people in Morocco. The message I got whilst I was there is: "Please continue to visit & experience this magical destination".

Highlights and tips for travelling to Morocco: 

Check your airline baggage allowance and bring an extra suitcase to take home, the shopping is next level in Morocco!

Leather bags and sandals. Carpets and cushions. Tagines and other decorative ceramics, copper pots and silver jewellery. Spices & perfumes and argan oil. Baskets. 

The stalls themselves are a beautiful sight. And talking and haggling with your seller is all part of the experience – ask your guide, or hotel or look at blogs online to get a rough idea of what to pay for certain things and then have fun! Ultimately, if you like it, the price you’re happy to pay is the right one.

Architecture, doorways, tiles 
In our briefing on the first day, our guide warned us to watch our footing and ensure we look down so we don't trip over on steps or uneven ground. I thought this seemed unnecessary until I found myself constantly distracted staring at yet another magnificent intricate doorway or ceiling.

Mint tea 
Enjoying mint tea is a ritual in Morocco. The pretty glass cups, filled with hot sweet tea and stuffed with mint - morning, noon and night you’ll be offered mint tea and even watching it be poured for you is fun.

This is how you pour tea in Morocco |  <i>Jac Lofts</i>

When the server brings the distinctive clay pot to your table and lifts the lid on the bubbling hot tagine, you know you’re in for something special. There are more varieties of tagine than I ever imagined and so many seafood options once you’re in the north of the country like swordfish tagine and anchovy tagine, always with a serving of fresh round bread to tear up and dip into the dish along with a big bowl of delicious olives.

Staying in a riad is such a unique Moroccan experience. Essentially a guesthouse, here you are warmly welcomed by your hosts, staying in often old and intricately decorated homes. The many dishes at breakfast are a delight.


Riad Cherifa in Chefchaouen |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Breakfast, Morocco style |  <i>Jac Lofts</i> Great local tour guide in Morocco |  <i>Jac Lofts</i>


On the Couch with Nina Karnikowski

Travelling with intention, or Mindful Travel, is part of a new slower style of travel – but what does that entail? 

We enlisted travel writer, tour guide, and mindfulness expert Nina Karnikowski to work out what Thoughtful Travel truly means and how we can become more mindful travellers. 


Your upcoming trip, Mindful Travel in the Himalayas with Nina Karnikowski, focuses on the concept of travelling mindfully - can you tell us a little bit about what it means? 

The term mindful can be subbed out with conscious or thoughtful, so it's about travelling with intention and clarity.  

This idea of the obliteration of presence has become solid in modern life. The trip is really about reclaiming that sense of presence, so about connecting intentionally to our surroundings through things like journalling and mindful photography, which is something we could all learn a lot about in the day of smartphones where we click away a million times a day and don't take in what's in front of us. 

So, I want to encourage people to take in the moment with all of their senses and be present there. Be present for the people – for the culture, for nature – because otherwise, what a tragedy, we miss these beautiful places we'll see. When you think about it, a lot of modern travel is taking away from us being present in the area, so this is returning to how we used to travel. When you're attuned to the place that you're in, you can see how you can give back to a place, and you're mindful about what you're doing there, and how you're behaving so there's that charming cross-section there that we'll be able to explore in this trip. 

Nina Karnikowski Nepal

So, you’ll be heading to Nepal in October; one thing we like to say about Nepal is that it’s a boomerang destination – people keep coming back. As someone who’s spent their fair share of time there, what is it about Nepal that keeps you coming back? 

I'm a big fan of visiting a place multiple times. I interviewed with ABC recently about precisely that, and there are two camps - the people that say ''been there, done that, tick that off" and then the people that go back all the time. 

A trip like this makes it even more insane to be in that mindset of just ticking things off because what you want to do is develop a deeper relationship with a place, and when you go somewhere like Nepal, you want so badly to create a connection to it. 

I think, in so many ways, the Nepalese have the keys to a good life, and that's due to a mixture of a lot of things. It's a mixture of the incredible natural beauty that is there and the kind of energy that is in the Himalayan region that really can't be described. You have to go, you have to feel it, and once you've felt it, you just crave more of it. 

It's also the Buddhist underpinnings of the Sherpa people in the Himalayas who came from Tibet. There's all this Tibetan Buddhism weaved into the culture there, so the idea of interconnectedness between all things is a significant tenant of the Buddhist belief. Understanding that connection between the natural world and yourself is just something that is inherent in Nepalese culture, in Sherpa culture, and witnessing that in people's lives first-hand is just so beautiful and moving, and, when you go to places like the monastery that we'll be visiting, you see that in action - you see it in action in just about everybody you meet. There's that lightness of being; there's this incredible sense of humour that Nepalese people seem to have. 

Nepalese people have been through the most horrendous these things, most recently the earthquake and then Covid, but when you speak to them about those times, they'll be telling you a horrible story, but they'll be laughing and saying, "What can you do? This is life." What can we do? We continue and always prevail. I think those beliefs are just so beautiful to be around. I think they really change us as people. 


There is so much to love about Nepal - What location are you most looking forward to sharing with them? 

Well, I think just sharing the Everest region in the Himalayas, just being in the mountains, in high altitudes, makes you feel amazing. You feel this sense of presence that comes with that. 

Of course, I can't wait to go to Namche Bazaar - that's the "capital of Sherpa culture", so there are little Sherpa shops and Tibetan stalls and all that sort of thing, but then rounded by the majestic Himalayas.  

I wrote a book a couple of years ago called 'Go Lightly', which was all about how to travel more sustainably, and those kinds of places are just that in action. You're in a natural environment, you're taking things slowly, you're seeing these beautiful places, and you have no choice but to interact with the locals because you know there's all these amazing local handicrafts that you can support the local community by buying, and I think also staying in eco-camps is another really exciting thing for people to experience as well. 


Nina Karnikowski Nepal Nina Karnikowski Nepal Nina Karnikowski Nepal

In the upcoming trip, there will be exclusive workshops with you -what’s the outcome for travellers who choose to take part? What do you want them to walk away with? 

It's not only about the experience within the destination. I hope people connect more deeply to Nepal by doing things like reflective writing and taking time to take far fewer photos and do that more mindfully. Walking slowly, with a consciousness about what's around - all of these things will enhance the moment, yes, but then when they go home, I would hope that people continue some of those things.  

Not everybody, for instance, would love to continue journaling. However, I teach a lot of journalling, and I have yet to meet anybody who finishes and goes, "I'm never going to do that again" I've had people from teenage girls to 75-year-old men saying oh my gosh, I had forgotten about this, or I never knew I had access to this. It's such a life enhancer, so I'm very passionate about people taking that on, but really, it's about just developing a more significant presence in this special place.


The trip will also feature a special presentation with Dr Ananda from a great project called T-HELP; why was this a must-do on your itinerary? 

Well, I'm constantly thinking about this idea of being as nourishing for the places we visit as they are for us. So, people have in their heads ''I've got to go and build an orphanage if I want to give back" or something similar. 

It's actually not about that at all. It's so much wider than that, and there are things that we can do, such as spending money in local communities at places like the stalls in Namche Bazaar or eating at local restaurants. 

This is such a beautiful project. To facilitate women to learn about worm farming and, if we're trying to do things that are beneficial for the environment - what could be better than empowering women to learn new skills in ways that can help move them away from any kind of industrialised Agriculture? Worm farming is a tenant of permaculture and regenerative farming, so for people to understand what's happening in that in that area is really beneficial. 

 Nina Karnikowski Nepal


So, the trip goes from October 15th to 28th, and coincides with the Hindu festival Dashain. Could you tell us a bit about what that festival means? 

I was lucky enough to actually be in Nepal at that time last year as well, so I learnt a little bit about it then. It's just beautiful to be there at that time because there is an abundance of colour and family gatherings and beautiful offerings everywhere, which there are in Nepal generally, but at that time, it's heightened.  

It's a Hindu festival all about good prevailing over evil, which is also a beautiful thing to weave into this particular trip, but it’s a time for Hindus to worship the goddess Durga - victory over a demon. 

The goddess Durga symbolises fertility, so it's also about celebrating the fertility of the land and receiving blessings for a good harvest ahead, so I was in the Himalayas last year and you would see families congregating wearing red, they also had this holy grass called Jamarra, which the women put in their hair and then they put it on the offering tables along with any incense. It's the biggest and most auspicious festival in Nepal, so it's an amazing time to be there. Then at the very end of Dashain, I was in Kathmandu and saw all of the processions that happened there.  

On this trip, we're going to be spending a few days in Kathmandu, so we’ll probably see that too. There are these ancient, beautiful temples where the festivities are taking place - so you see people creating music and coming out with their offerings; it's a really special time to be there, and everybody's just in that celebratory mood which is very special. 


The actual trekking part of the trip will be for eight days; how challenging would you say it is?

Well, it’s classed as introductory to moderate, so it's perfect for first-time visitors to Nepal and first-time Trekkers. We do reach out of about 3900 M, which is relatively high, so you need to have a good level of Fitness. Having said that, altitude: we can't predict the way that it will affect people. You could be the fittest, strongest person, and it might still affect you, or you could be completely unfit and wouldn't affect you at all.

Luckily, there are medications and things you can take. There’s an amazing group of people on the trek to take care of everybody and make sure that everything is incredibly safe in that respect. In terms of fitness, it's recommended that you do regular exercise three to four days a week. 

If you miss it here or there, that's totally fine - you do not have to be crazy fit for this. We're not going to be running up Everest - we are going to be working very slowly and mindfully and really taking it all in. It's more about that than anything else - being in this beautiful place and walking (note: walking, not running). 

It will be deliberately like that in order to allow for the slow gain in altitude because that way, it's much less likely to affect you.  


You have published some great books over the last few years, including Go Lightly and Make a Living, Living, but your newest project will release just prior to this trip – what can readers expect? 

I'm very excited about this one - and nervous - because it's a memoir, so it's a lot more personal than my books in the past. It's going to be called 'the Mindful Traveller'. There you go,  in perfect alignment with this trip. 

It comes out on August 29th, and it's a memoir about my travels. But more than that, it's about the gifts of stillness, reflection, and coming into a deeper connection with the natural world. That's what we’re focusing on this trip, and I wanted to create something that would help anybody out there who is wondering: how do I become a better steward for the planet - a better force for good? It's really to give people an example of what that might look like. People who love travel and nature and who are searching for ways to come into a deep relationship with the natural world, which is what we'll be doing in Nepal.

What is 'Regenerative Travel'?

Regenerative Travel is a relatively new term in travel circles that aims to go beyond sustainable travel practices. While sustainable travel focuses on minimising negative impacts and returning a net neutrality on the environment and local communities, Regenerative Travel aims to have a positive and transformative effect on those environments and communities. 

Put simply, the core principle of Regenerative Travel urges travellers to have a positive impact by giving back more than they take from the destinations they visit. 

The term was born during the Covid pandemic, when locations typically overtouristed began to see improvements in key indicators like air quality, and less pollution. 

The question was soon posed - how can these improvements continue when travellers return? How can a destination benefit yet still incentivise the protection of natural and cultural assets AND still provide an enriching experience for the traveller? 

Enter, Regenerative Travel. 

Beach clean-up is an important part of coastal restoration and regeneration

A Regenerative Travel program involves travellers committing to activities such as actively restoring and regenerating ecosystems, supporting local economies, engaging in community lead initiatives, fostering cultural exchange and reducing their carbon footprint. 

The benefits of Regenerative Travel are seen on many levels. This type of 'slow travel' seeks to create a net positive cycle, where travellers and destinations mutually benefit from the experience, leaving a lasting positive impact on the environment, building capacities for local communities, and increasing respect for cultures encountered during the journey. 

When travellers support locally driven initiatives and businesses, the communities receive the resources they require to care for and protect their environment. 

The demand for this style of travel also drives the local communities to engage in activities supporting this regenerative approach, and the traveller, sharing more meaningful experiences during their journey, is more driven to respect and protect the land and local communities while travelling. 


Vermicomposting workshops educating Nepali farmers to build environmentally sustainable livelihoods |  <i>Trans-Himalayan Environment and Livelihood Program</i> Vermicomposting kits supplied to farmers by Trans-Himalayan Environment and Livelihood Program |  <i>Trans-Himalayan Environment and Livelihood Program</i> Vermicomposting workshops educating Nepali farmers about sustainable farming |  <i>Trans-Himalayan Environment and Livelihood Program</i>

We have teamed up with a local NGO, T-HELP, to implement a service program and help train local female farmers in the techniques of vermicomposting. This is combined with a group trek through the Annapurna Range through small farming communities and villages, into the location of the service program, gaining an understanding of the local environment and terrain, as well as gaining incomparable views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. 

Overall, Regenerative Travel offers travellers a unique opportunity to combine personal growth, cultural understanding, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. It empowers people to become responsible global citizens who actively contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world.

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