Australia is a diverse and expansive land; you could easily spend an entire lifetime traversing this great continent and still not see it all, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try! There’s no better way to really immerse yourself in your surrounding environment then on foot. Hiking and Australia go hand-in-hand, there’s simply no better means to to be able to explore all of it’s little nooks and crannies and there are some fantastic tracks ready and waiting for you to leave your foot print.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here is the Affordable Holidays guide to the top 10 hiking trails in the country – obviously this up for discussion so if you feel an amazing one has been missed, or you disagree with the inclusion of one of these trails, please feel free to comment below.
Blue Mountains (NSW):
The Blue Mountains is home to over 80 different walks, all of which are graded, and offers amazing views of valleys, waterfalls, cliffs, and forest. All of this is within an hour’s drive of the city limits of Sydney.
Whitsunday Islands (QLD):
Think of the Whitsunday’s and you automatically think of sailing, snorkelling and a bit of sunbaking on the white sand beaches, but it’s a little known fact that all of the resort islands in the archipelago have hiking trails; some of them with the most incredible view of sparkling turquoise water and reef that you will ever see. Some are flat, some hilly. Wallabies and butterflies are common sights. South Molle has the best network of trails and 360-degree island views from its peak. The new Ngaro Sea Trail also allows active travelers to combine kayaking sea routes with walks on Hook, Whitsunday, and South Molle islands.
Lamington National Park (QLD):
Lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area an outstanding place to visit. Few other national parks in Australia have such a well-marked network of trails (160km/99 miles in all) as this one. Located just 90 minutes from the Gold Coast it’s well worth a visit.
Larapinta Trail (NT):
The 223km long Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most spectacular bushwalking and trekking experiences. It is also one of Australia’s newest and is quickly emerging as one of its most popular. You can start from Alice Springs in the Red Centre and walk the entire 250km (155-mile) semidesert trail, which winds through the stark crimson McDonnell Ranges. You don’t have to walk the entire length — plenty of day-length and multiday sections are possible. This one’s for the cooler months only (Apr-Oct).
Kakadu National Park (NT):
Whether a wetlands stroll or an overnight hike in virgin bushland, you can find it in this World Heritage-listed park. You’ll see red cliffs, cycads, waterfalls, lily-filled lagoons hiding man-eating crocodiles, what sometimes looks like Australia’s entire bird population, and Aboriginal rock art.
The Bibbulmun Track (WA):
Australia’s answer to the great Appalachian Trail, the Bibbulmun weaves its way through almost 1,000km (625 miles) of some of WA’s finest scenery. It starts in the hills outside Perth and then swirls through granite mountains and jarrah forests, south to the great karri forests of the southwest, and then along the dramatic south coast before reaching WA’s oldest town, Albany. The walk can be done in bits, connecting where it crosses major roads, or in much longer stretches, utilizing the many timber shelters built 1 day’s walking apart. There are also “Walking Break” packages, based on the towns through which the track passes.
The Track extends over 135 km of coastal scenery, and is in close proximity to the caves, vineyards and other features and attractions of the “South West Capes”. Rugged sea cliffs, a china-blue sea, eucalyptus forest, white beaches, and coastal heath are what you will find as you hike between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, in the southwest corner of Western Australia. In season, you’ll see whales and wildflowers.
The Great Ocean Walk (VIC):
This 91km (56-mile) trail from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead (near the Twelve Apostles) on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is designed so walkers can step on and step off at a number of places, completing short walks of around 2 hours, or day or overnight hikes. And the views are to die for.
Freycinet National Park (TAS):
The 30 kilometre Freycinet Peninsula Circuit travels around the Hazard Mountains to Hazards Beach. The track continues south to Cooks and Bryans Beaches. Walkers then cross the Peninsula over a heathland plateau next to Mount Freycinet where spectacular views are possible before descending to the white, quartz sands of Wineglass Bay.
Cradle Mountain & Lake St. Clair National Park (TAS):
Cradle is the starting point for the world-famous overland-track, a magnificent 6 day walk that will take you through the heart of some of the finest mountain terrain.The 80km (50-mile) trek is arguably one of Australia’s best.
OK that’s it – all that’s left now is for you to get out, get active, explore and discover.