ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Great Trails Company is a family partnership by Jason and Fhon Williams. Jason brings decades of tourism experience and Fhon an organisational focus and sense of style and quality.
Jason took his first international bike ride on a 6 month European ride post-University. Over 20 years later and bicycle travel remains his passion and a defining part of his life. While living in Thailand Jason started Asia’s leading bike touring business. Ten years later when he moved back to Australia and sold the business it had grown to 70 staff in five countries with over 30,000 travellers having ridden on one Jason’s tours. Jason has also hiked extensively in Australia and overseas, completing the 700km Australia Alps Walking Track solo, Everest Base Camp, and more.
When the Williams family moved back to Jason’s homeland, the hills of the Dandenongs were the obvious place to live. Belgrave became their home and the trails of the surrounding hills their weekend adventures. The Dandenong Ranges Trail grew out of their desire to show the beauty of there neighbourhood to those looking to more deeply explore the trails, gardens and villages of the hills.
The concept behind The Great Trails Company is put all our energy and attention into a select number of trails and tours that we know like the back of our hands. We never want to offer hundreds of tours to destinations that we don’t know where everything is outsourced to a local operator with no connection to Great Trails.
Every tour or trail that we offer is designed and delivered by us. When working internationally we work with local partners to help us deliver our tours but the tours are still our creation with Great Trails designing the route, choosing the hotels and ensuring our style is what our travellers experience.
CYCLE THE WORLD
Through Pedal Pedal, our cycling division, we deliver international trips to some of the best cycling destinations in the world. Past trips include the Camino in Spain, wineries of France, and southern Japan. Every year we ride somewhere different, so while every trip might not appeal to you, there will be something at some stage that will appeal.
Locally, we organise weekend rides throughout Victoria that are free to join. You look after your own accommodation and we put together a couple nice back road or rail trail rides. There’s no support vehicle or formally organised riding, more of a social weekend to get together with like-minded cyclists for a bit of fun.
WALK THE HILLS
The Dandenong Ranges Trail is the first walking trail that we are offering. While still in development this walk through the Dandenongs we have big plans for. With the opportunity for 5 days of walking, staying in lovely local accommodation, visiting superb gardens and walking through incredible forests of giant eucalyptus and soft tree ferns.
Our trail development project includes building a dedicated website, writing a guidebook and offering supported self-guided hikes. We hope to be up and running with this sometime in 2019.