Australia has many fine walking trails across the country which offer the walker world class experiences. Australia has been poor, however, in building long distance walks with roofed accommodation. This is partly because there is simply no towns with accommodation on some routes, and partly because our Government tourism bodies have been hopeless at product development for the international walking market.
Jeff Floyd, the former CEO of both this State’s (Victoria) parks and tourism agencies, is passionate about long distance walking. In 2013 he resolved to build a walk to rival the great walks in the UK, Europe and the US. Out of this passion, ‘The Great Gold Walk’ (TGGW) was born, which takes walkers from goldfields town to goldfields town along the State of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range through some great and varied landscapes and heritage sites.
Over the last 20 years Government agencies and many volunteers have built a continuous trail along the range. What was needed was an attractive route linking the gold-era towns, a quality guidebook suitable for the average walker, and an accommodation booking service. Walking and rewalking the route to develop the guidebook took Jeff two years, with the great support of his partner Susan.