Adventure News - Our grading system explained

Our grading system explained

23 / 02 / 2017

Has trekking always been on your wish-list, but you’re just not sure if your body or mind can cope?

We feel you! The good news is that not all treks are the extreme undertakings that you may be thinking, and can be within reach with some simple physical and mental preparation.

There are many different factors that contribute to the grading of a particular trip. The combination of the length of the tour, terrain, altitude and weather conditions are considered to provide you with a general indication of our grading to help with your trip planning. It’s important to note here, that these gradings do not take into account personal factors such as interests, abilities or experience. If you have questions about your suitability for a particular trip, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert Adventure Consultants  on 1300 767 381.

In the meantime, we’ve detailed exactly what our grading system means, and what type of training we recommend for these adventures.

First things first: to show the relative difficulty of our walking holidays and active adventures, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 8, with 1 being the easiest, and 8 being the most challenging. The majority of our walking holidays fall into grade 4: Introductory to Moderate, however each grading is detailed below.

Discovery and Cruising

These are our least demanding trips. These journeys of discovery and cruises involve little or no extended activity and are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health. The itinerary may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travelling days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms.

Suggested preparation: Once or twice a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour, for at least 2-3 months prior to departure.     

We recommend: Kimberley Cruise Mitchell Plateau - Cruise the Kimberley, Australia's most spectacular wilderness coastline. The new expedition catamaran the Odyssey 2, offers the perfect combination of small group (20 berths), comfort, on board facilities and access to the Kimberley's exceptional wilderness.

View all trips graded “Discovery and Cruising”  

Adventure Touring

These adventure tours sometimes may visit remote areas where facilities are often basic. Many of these trips sometimes involve some camping or basic lodging.They will often involve long journeys and rough roads. To enjoy these adventures we suggest reasonable fitness and health, a moderately active lifestyle and a positive attitude.

Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.  

We recommend:
Cradle Mountain Short Escape - Discover Cradle Mountain National Park on a series of stunning walks designed with the family in mind including an optional ascent of Cradle Mountain
Art Expedition Flinders Ranges - Guided artists excursions South Australia's Flinders Ranges. Led by art teacher Michael Herron with comfortable outback camping, this trip allows both amateur and professional artists to capture the inspiration of the Flinders Ranges.’

View all trips graded “Adventure Touring”


These trips involve trekking or walking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. Terrain may include undulations, rocky surfaces, bush scrub or boardwalks.

Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling, stealthy hill walking or jogging) three times a week. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

We recommend:
Bruny Island Long WeekendAn exceptional long weekend of coastal walks, luxury camping, exquisite meals and even a wildlife cruise
Kimberley Explorer Walking Adventure - This tour captures all the iconic features and stunning landscapes of the Kimberley with the perfect balance of activities and comfortable pace.

View all trips graded “Introductory” 

Introductory to Moderate

The majority of our trips are rated Introductory to Moderate. These trips involve a combination of introductory and moderate walking conditions in remote areas. Some days may see you walking a slow and steady pace for up to 6 hours in the day. Other days may be more difficult, involving early morning departures and ascents to lookouts. Depending on the trip, you may be expected to carry either a day-pack or a full pack of around 15kgs. Terrain may include walking off-track, through bush and scrublands, or on duckboards and boardwalks, or a combination of these.

Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

We recommend:
Flinders Island Walking Adventure - Enjoy 6 days exploring the breathtaking rugged beauty off the coast of Tasmania on Flinders Island
Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort - Stay in stylish, comfortable semi-permanent campsites during your guided walk along Australia's most iconic desert trek. Enjoy hot showers, three course meals and professional wilderness guides on this rewarding adventure.

View all trips graded “Introductory to Moderate” 


These adventures involve trekking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Treks may involve carrying a full pack around 15kg, which includes your camping gear, food and personal belongings. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions, including rain, hail, snow or strong winds.

Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

We recommend: The Overland Track - This renowned trek holds a legendary status as one of the finest walks in Australia. Experience breathtaking views, from the stunning crags of Cradle Mountain to the rainforest-clad shores of Lake St. Clair, with many exciting side trips along the way.

View all trips graded “Moderate” 

Moderate to Challenging

This trip grading involves a combination of what is described in our ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’ levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with several challenging stages. These trips can involve more physical challenges such as tougher terrain, harsh conditions or high ascents. Self guided adventures rated moderate to challenging involve carrying a full pack and being self-reliant (with emergency support available).

Suggested preparation: One hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.    

We recommend: Walls of Jerusalem Circuit - This full-pack bushwalking expedition is a comprehensive circuit of Tasmania's remote World Heritage alpine wilderness, only accessible by foot. Explore the spectacular mountain scenery, pristine wilderness as well as unique flora and fauna.

View all trips graded “Moderate to Challenging” 


These adventures involve trekking, cycling or rafting in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day, possibly more. With remoteness comes potential to encounter variable weather conditions. You will need an excellent level of fitness, be prepared to carry a full pack weighing up to 20kgs and be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions and remote locations where evacuation may be very difficult.

Suggested preparation: One hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also a must.    

We recommend: South Coast Track - Trek the untouched beaches, mountains ranges, pristine rivers and towering rainforests of the remote South Coast Track wilderness

View all trips graded “Challenging”

Entry Level Mountaineering

These adventures are classed as expeditions. They involve either extreme trekking and or basic mountaineering. Expect remote and poorly defined trails in variable weather conditions for up to 12 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). This may include a number of demanding high pass crossings and isolated terrain.  Suitable for first time mountaineers wishing to take the step from trekking into the realm of mountaineering.  Prior experience trekking is essential and you should be comfortable in adverse weather conditions. Prior technical mountaineering experience is not necessary. Terrain will involve low angle slopes. Ropes may be used during treks for steeper sections. Basic mountaineering instruction is given by our mountaineering guides.

We offer two entry level mountaineering trips in Tasmania: Federation Peak and the Western Arthurs Traverse. Please contact us directly for more information about these departures.