[Frequently Asked Questions – answered]


..where do Nature Trail tours go to?

From our base in Katoomba, Nature Trail explores the Blue Mountain Region and beyond into the adjacent Central Tablelands as well as the Southern Highlands, all within the state of New South Wales in Australia.

These are our close regions of our local knowledge, experience and special insight.  They are reasonably accessible to us from our Katoomba base.  We offer access either as hiking tours, road tours, or a combination of both.  We also offer led trekking tours only to suitably experienced and self-sufficient hikers.

Our tours are focused on outdoor walking at a physical yet relaxed pace, and can include sightseeing bushwalks, forest bushwalks, heathland clifftop bushwalks, walks into deep gorges, rainforest, wilderness bushwalking, and local heritage walks.

Other tours focus on special interests such as birdwatching, ecology, local events, private gardens, nature photography, and even bush teaching tours.  We are flexible to consider your special interest.

Contact Us to enquire specifically.


..how strenuous is the hiking and how fit and healthy do I need to be?

As a hiking and trekking tour operator, Nature Trail sensibly requires each participant (tour guest) to be healthy, fit, able-bodied and tolerable and adaptable to less than ideal conditions.

Hiking inherently involves walking through a variable natural environment where often the footing is uneven and can involve steep climbs and/or descents and many steps.  Whilst we adopt a moderate hiking pace on all our hiking tours, at times the terrain, track grade and condition, and weather can compound to make the journey more demanding than expected at times.

Therefore, if a number of people are to participate in and enjoy a walk it is crucial that every member of the group has a relatively high standard of fitness, does not suffer any general health disabilities and possesses a higher than average tolerance of physical challenges.

Each tour brochure and itinerary advises the standard track grade, forecast weather and walking conditions for a given hiking tour.

Suitable physical fitness: regular hiking or at least daily walking, running or cycling for at least a few kilometres at a time, preferably including up and down hills.  Your leg muscles in particular need to be in a healthy and fit condition.

General health disabilities: this could be any condition for which strenuous exercise during a walk might pose a risk. It would include many physical disabilities, any heart conditions and certain other medical conditions or medical treatment. If in doubt, ask.


..where is Nature Trail based?

Nature Trail is based in the regional township of Katoomba situated in the Blue Mountains, 100km west of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.


Our tours are now all on demand and by special private request.  No fixed tour dates – you call it.


..how much advanced notice do we need to provide to attend a tour?

Hiking Tours and Road Tours:

We require as much advanced notice as possible for booking a tour.  This includes:

  1. Allowing for each intending tour guest’s enquiries answered
  2. Tour Plan agreed
  3. Booking arrangements confirmed
  4. Each intending Tour Guest reading and returning a signed tour agreement
  5. Full prepayments

We term this process the ‘Tour Booking Finalisation‘.

These tasks are not complicated but necessary.  It is only after this that our Trip Leader is delegated the responsibilities of the specific trip planning, organising, resourcing and preparation.  Such is Nature Trail’s policy reflecting our professional approach to all our tours to ensure the safety and comfort of all tour guests and the reliability and quality of tour delivery and that tour guest expectations are achievable and successfully met.

A minimum of 24 hours notice after Tour Booking Finalisation is required in order for Nature Trail to adequately and properly plan and prepare for a given tour up to a Full-Day’ length in duration.  This applies to our Short, Half-Day and Full-Day tours.

Nature Trail tours with duration of 2-Days or more sensibly require much more time for trip planning, organising, resourcing and preparation by Nature Trail’s Trip Leader.  We recommend that for 2-Day tours a minimum of a week’s hours notice is required, and for multi-day tours that a minimum of two weeks notice is required.

We operate fairly on a First-In First-Served basis.

Give us lots of notice so we can make it all special.

Nature Trail Treks:

Nature Trail offers advanced-level 2-Day Treks and Multi-Day Treks only to experienced hikers who have proven to us to be suitably healthy and fit for the task and proven capable of self-sustaining the hiking, fully self-supplied tent camping and camp self-catered on extended hikes into remote areas.

We offer these treks to only those registered with us as ‘Nature Trail’s Trek Alumni‘.  Read More.

Bookings for a Nature Trail Treks requires a minimum of two weeks notice including the Tour Booking Finalisation.


..does Nature Trail collect and return participants to/from where they are staying or at nominated locations?

Yes, we provide a door-to door pickup and return service for our guests at no extra charge.  This is limited to our transport transfer range limit being between Wentworth Falls and Mount Victoria, so this includes Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

Beyond this range, participants will need to make their own transport arrangements to meet up with our tours in a timely manner.   We encourage all our guests and visitors to the Blue Mountains Region to relax and stay locally overnight in order to appreciate a truly worthwhile Mountains experience.

We do not travel east of Wentworth Falls.  We do not travel into metropolitan Sydney – it’s just too busy, hectic and costly with all the motorway tolls.

Instead, we recommend visitors ride the train from Sydney’s Central Station on the Blue Mountains Line to Katoomba.  Upon Tour Booking Finalisation, with advanced notice, we can then meet you at the Katoomba station platform and transfer you to your accommodation and to our tour start.



We advise our tour pick-up and return times to our tour guests prior to each trip.  These are usually not flexible in order so we keep to our tour booking schedule.

Each booked tour guest is required to be waiting at the agreed pick up location at least 5 minutes before the agreed pickup time.  If a tour guest is not present at the agreed pick up location on the agreed time, that tour guest will forfeit the tour and not be refunded the tour fee.


Nature Trail Hiking Tours and Treks are open to a mix of visitors from just 1 person up to a maximum of 6, in order to ensure safety and provide a quality personalised tour experience for each guest.

Nature Trail Road Tours may extend up to a maximum of 10 tour guests, so long as no hiking is scheduled or undertaken on the tour.


Nature Trail offers the best quality personal tour experiences for the Blue Mountains Region and NSW Central West.

Reasonably, we are competitively priced.  Therefore, we do not offer complimentary tours (‘famils’), discounts or concessions.

Check out our Tour Pricing on this website


All Nature Trail tours must be fully prepaid before the scheduled tour start time. Nature Trail does not accept part deposits.

We accept pre-payment only either by VISA or MasterCard.  Sorry, we do not accept other forms of payment by AMEX, other credit cards, EFTPOS, direct transfer, cash, foreign currency, travellers cheques, or IOUs.


Every Nature Trail tour includes a small provision of trail snacks as a complementary gesture to our tour guests, but this gesture does not constitute a meal.

For safety, it is a condition of every tour that each tour guest carries 2 litres of drinking water in order to maintain individual hydration and be stowed in their own day-pack/backpack so as to ensure both hands are kept free to grasp railings and the like.

Any catering (food or gear hire) is available as an optional extra service on any Nature Trail tour and must be prior arranged and prepaid by each respective tour guest at the time of booking.  Details of catering options for a given tour are provided by Nature Trail at the time of booking.


Catering Choices

Any requested catering on a Nature Trail tour is offered on an individual tour guest basis and outsourced by Nature Trail to a selected local caterer at cost.  Nature Trail does not profit from any tour catering.

Food catering options vary according the location and logistics of specific tour:

  • Gourmet picnic cut lunch choices
  • Café casual eat-in lunch choices (with flexible duration)
  • Restaurant dining lunch choices (with flexible duration)
  • We are also flexible to dietary needs and preferences

A tour guest may choose to self-cater however it is vital that in doing so that the tour guest accepts sole responsibility for all associated food waste and packaging to be carried in that tour guests day-pack/backpack and is disposed of in a garbage bin either during or after the end of the tour.

Nature  Trail’s Kitted Day-Pack Hire     $30 each

A Nature Trail Kitted Day-Pack is available for hire to each tour guest upon tour booking for each Road Tour and Hiking Tour at a cost of $30 per tour guest for the duration of the tour.  This is not a daily rate, but a tour rate per tour guest.

The contents includes a 30-litre day-pack kitted with basic hiking support and safety gear, plus trail snacks and 2 litres of drinking water.  The content details are outlined upon each tour guest’s booking confirmation.


Nature Trail is expert in providing quality hiking and otherwise exploratory walking tours in our great outdoors, including garden tours and heritage walking tours.

Sorry, we do NOT offer overnight tours, camping, rock-climbing, abseiling, canyoning, four-wheel drive tours, horse-riding, winery tours, mystery tours.  There are fortunately  other local tour operators specializing in such activities.


Nature Trail focuses on quality interpretative walking tours for adults interested in Nature and the best outdoor experience of the Blue Mountains.

For a number of reasons, including the nature of the walks and to better suit a homogenous group, Nature Trail walks are restricted to adults, i.e. a person aged 18 or over.  Also, a person of advanced age might not satisfy some other conditions.

We do not permit pets on any of our tours.


Smoking/vaping, drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs are strictly prohibited on any Nature Trail tour.

Nature Trail reserves the sole right to refuse/reject any tour guest from a Nature Trail tour who is considered by the Tour Leader to be using or under the influence of any substance.  Any associated abusive behaviour by a tour guest shall be immediately referred by Nature Trail to Police.


The most important gear item for hiking and outdoor walking in general is appropriate footwear.  Tour guests are required to wear closed walking shoes with grip soles at all times while on tour.  When hiking, footwear must fit snugly and properly, ensure reliable sole grip and preferably provide ankle support.

Examples of Safety Footwear recommended for Hiking:

Examples of Footwear NOT recommended for Hiking:


Such inappropriate footwear used on hiking tours poses an unacceptable risk of personal injury to the wearer.   So in the best interests of individual and group safety, any tour guests who presents for a tour wearing such inappropriate footwear or inappropriate clothing, shall be excluded from the tour by our delegated Trip Leader.

Ahead of each tour we advise each booked participant of the forecast weather (including temperatures, rain and ultraviolet intensity), walk conditions, and the required gear and clothing to wear and else include in a day pack.  It is important that each participant complies with our advice and takes personal responsibility for his/her safety, welfare and comfort.

We also advise recommended gear and clothing for each participant to include on the tour.

An example list of the usual gear we REQUIRE each participant to wear/carry in a daypack is as follows:

  • Wear comfortable closed walking shoes/bushwalking boots and bushwalking socks
  • Wear suitable lightweight clothing for bushwalking
  • A day pack to contain:
    • 1 litre of bottled water (more if hot conditions)
    • Rain jacket with hood
    • Broad-brimmed sun hat
    • Sunglasses
    • SPF30+ sunscreen
    • UV lip balm
    • Warm jumper
    • Woolen gloves
    • Woolen beanie
    • Any prescribed medication
    • Cash as advised
    • Trail snacks
    • Spare bushwalking socks
    • Mobile phone for emergency communications and great photos.

Inappropriate clothing for bushwalking are denim jeans, tracksuit pants, and long dresses.   Any participant presenting in such attire shall be excluded from a tour.   If in doubt please Contact Us at least 24 hours in advance.


It is expected that a Nature Trail tour shall commence and continue regardless of the weather conditions at the time. This could include fog, rain, or moderate wind conditions.

However there are specific weather conditions that will likely cause a tour to be cancelled  for reasons of safety to tour guests.

These are:

  1. Bushfire activity in the national park of the tour
  2. National Park access closed to the specific hiking tour route
  3. Road closure preventing access to the tour area
  4. Actual or forecast temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or higher in the tour area
  5. Actual or forecast temperature of zero degrees Celsius or lower in the tour area
  6. Actual or forecast thunderstorm (lightning risk) in the tour area
  7. Actual or forecast torrential rain in the tour area
  8. Actual or forecast wind gusts of 30kph (16 knots) or higher in the tour area
  9. Actual or forecast hail/sleet/snow in the tour area.


..are tours available in non-English?

Sorry, all Nature Trail walking tours are delivered in English only.

For safety reasons, Nature Trail requires each applicant for any given tour to have a competent level of written English in order to comprehensively understand the terms and condition of the Participant Agreement.  It is unacceptable for anyone besides the tour applicant themselves, to in any way fill-in, have translated or someone else sign their Participant Agreement.

For safety reasons, Nature Trail requires each guest on tour to have a competent level of conversational English.


..tour cancellations by a booked Tour Guest?

Nature Trail reasonably accepts a tour guest cancellation if notified in writing to us no less than one week ahead of the booked Trek Start Time in order for that tour guest to secure a 100% refund of the pre-payment.  This applies to each tour guest booked on the same trek.  Each booked tour guest must personally notify us of cancelling in order to secure a 100% refund of the pre-payment.

A cancellation notification by a tour guest received by Nature Trail less than one week ahead of the booked Trek Start Time forfeits 100% of the tour pre-payment.  We justify this because of the considerable expense we incur in the preparation ahead of each trek.  This cancellation and refund policy is consistent with current Australian Consumer Law.

..Tour cancellation by Nature Trail?

Last minute cancellations can occur due to unforeseen events beyond the control of Nature Trail – such as dangerous weather/conditions, vehicle breakdown, illness, etc.

In such a case, Nature Trail will immediately notify each booked guest by contact phone, explaining the circumstances, apologising and arranging a full refund promptly.

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This webpage updated 18th October 2022.