Understanding hike gradings…
Every hike is unique and somewhat unpredictable. But Australia has created its own grading system that many people are now using as a guide. It’s important to also be attentive to other influences that change from one day to the next, like the weather, the participants including ages, abilities and the length of the hike (day or multi-day). Most Didier Walks hikes are graded 3 or 4 as they are multi-day.
Grade 1 – Suitable for the disabled with assistance
The trail will be under 5 kilometres and doesn’t require any hiking experience. The track will be flat and even with no stairs or overly steep sections. To be rated a grade 1 the track should be suitable for people in wheelchairs (with assistance) and children’s’ strollers.
Grade 2 – Suitable for families with young children
These are great tracks to get started on. The track will have a hardened A grade 2 track will be under 10 kilometres and like the grade 1, it doesn’t require any prior hiking experience or compacted path and may include some gentle slopes and occasional steps.
Grade 3 – Recommended for people with some hiking experience
These tracks may be up to 20km long but you’ll find many under 5km. They are suitable for most ages and fitness levels but it’s suggested that you have some hiking experience. The tracks are well-formed and marked but may have short steep hill sections, steps and uneven ground. In parts, there may be obstacles you need to go over or under.
Grade 4 – Recommended for experienced hikers
A grade 4 track is likely to be longer and includes rough ground and very steep sections. These tracks are suggested for people with experience hiking. They may be any length and directional signs and markers are likely to be more limited. A reasonable level of fitness and unrestricted movement will be required.
Grade 5 – Recommended for very experienced hikers
These tracks are only for very experienced hikers with specialised skills and equipment including navigation, emergency first aid and climbing. The tracks are likely to be less defined, rough, steep and have very few directional signs or track markers.