Walking in Tasmania

Helen Collier describes a trek through Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness.

As winter descends and the nights draw in, do your health a favour and book yourself on a walking holiday. Not only will you have something to look forward to, it’ll give you a good dose of much needed Vitamin D.

Plus, you’ll reap all kinds of health benefits from walking each day – doctors suggest a 30-minute daily walk can help maintain a healthy heart, reduce the risk of diabetes, burn more calories, boost your brain function, help you sleep better, give you more energy and improve your mental health.

On a five-day Park Trek tour in Tasmania’s ancient Tarkine Wilderness region, I braved my first walking holiday. There were seven others on the tour and each day we walked on average 9-12 kilometres. If that sounds a lot, don’t be put off – none of the walks were compulsory, a couple were even on the flat, and all were at a leisurely place.

The benefit to being in an organised group was that we had a knowledgeable guide who drove us, fed us, and led us through the pristine forest, stopping to explain the flora and fauna we were passing. Being cooked for each night and not having to think about where we were going each day was a winning combination; it meant we walkers had all the fun and none of the responsibility!

Our days were full and satisfying. We were up early and then early to bed. Climbing Mount Donaldson took care of a day, where we were rewarded with a staggering panoramic view of ancient rainforest as far as the eye could see. Next, we were floating down the mighty Pieman River aboard a 1930s huon pine pleasure cruiser, spotting sea eagles and marvelling at the majesty of the giant old growth trees. It took us to the blustery coast, where the constant westerly (aptly named the Roaring Forties) has battered the lichen-covered rocks into a rugged coastline. My highlight was walking the gentle three-hour return walk Montezuma Falls, the highest in Tasmania, where I bravely navigated its death defying (perfectly safe) swing suspension bridge.

Having only seen a Tasmanian Devil at the zoo, it was a thrill to see their distinctive paw-prints in the sand on the beach one day (their gait is two paws, one paw). The devil itself didn’t make an appearance, but it was enough to know that a healthy wild one was living nearby.

With 13 tours around Australia throughout the year, you’ll be bound to find a tour that suits.

Find out more about Park Trek.

Recommended reading - Managing chronic conditions with diet

Experts

Diabetes shopping tips

How to be savvy in the supermarket and make healthy choices.

Read more
In Brief

Mediterranean diet for diabetes prevention

Filling up on healthy fats favoured in the Mediterranean may help reduce your risk of diabetes.

Read more
In Brief

Top nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables

A new study ranks the top “powerhouse” fruits and veggies, according to their nutrient density score

Read more
Experts

One diet to rule them all

A scientific review paper has sought to answer the question of what is 'the' best diet for health.

Read more
Experts

A diet to fight arthritis

Feeling creaky? Learn how an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Read more
Experts

Low FODMAP diet for irritable bowel syndrome

Dr Sue Shepherd explains the origins of the low FODMAP diet.

Read more
Experts

The Paleo diet: pros and cons

Nutrition expert Professor Tim Crowe untangles the fact, fad and fantasy of the popular Paleo diet

Read more
Experts

Diet for type 2 diabetes

How to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes

Read more
Experts

5 reasons not to cut grains from your diet

Fibre-rich whole grains are vital to a balanced diet. Accredited Dietitan Tim Cassettari explains

Read more
Experts

Lower your blood pressure with the DASH diet

Here's what you need to know about the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet

Read more
Experts

The brain-boosting diet

Nourish your brain for better focus, memory and mood with these delicious and nutritious foods.

Read more
Experts

Super-foods!

Your mum was right, eat your greens!

Read more
Experts

Cutting your cancer risk

A diet rich in unprocessed grains and meats, fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of cancer.

Read more
Lifestyle

Bad fad diets

A look at some of the worst fad diets that somehow managed to gain a global following.

Read more
Experts

The truth about gluten

We asked dietician Larina Robinson who can really benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Read more
Experts

Cutting back on caffeine

Giving up caffeine for FebFast? Here’s some expert advice for letting go of your daily brew.

Read more
Lifestyle

8 benefits of cutting back on sugar

From weight loss to healthy skin, there are plenty of reasons to reduce your sugar intake.

Read more
Lifestyle

9 super-easy healthy food swaps

Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as making a few small changes each day.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.