Walk this way
FANCY yourself as a bit of a trekker, but always chicken out because you're not confident in your bush skills?
Delay no more - pack your boots, because plenty of intrepid wannabe nature lovers just like you have found thrills, companionship and natural highs thanks to a unique soft adventure company called Park Trek.
Now in its ninth year of successful operation, Park Trek, Walking Tours of Australia, has forged a niche with travellers who yearn to be at one with nature, but feel more confident going with someone who knows their way around the bush.
Park Trek owner/operator Alan Fenner has been leading the way in the great outdoors for more than two decades.
He started Park Trek because he met so many people who envied his freedom in the wild, but felt they could never take on a major trek in unknown terrain.
“A very high percentage of our participants are single travellers,” says Alan, “and about two-thirds of them are female.
“We attract people aged between late 30s to late 60s, though there are exceptions.
“We had one 82-year-old lady who loved every minute of it, and at the other end, an 18-year-old from England who got a huge buzz from being in the Aussie bush.”
Alan says the premise behind Park Trek is to enable people to experience nature with a touch of comfort thrown in - and a good dose of healthy living.
“We focus a lot on sourcing and provisioning our trips with local organic produce,” says Alan.
“Whether it's a Red Centre trip, the Flinders Ranges or the Great Ocean Walk, in nearly every meal we serve there will be a majority of fresh organic and organic dry goods used.
“That was another key decision for us - we found that most folk love eating organic, but in their day to day life often don't find the time to source it out.”
Unlike many nature tour operators, Alan doesn't pursue the international market (although it's not uncommon to find an international visitor on his trips).
“We decided to concentrate on the domestic market. If we chased the overseas visitors, we'd have to put up our price points to cover marketing and other overheads, so we'd rather put our energy into the Australian traveller.