Stretch your legs and expand your soul on Australia's epic walking trails.
Do day walks, short scenic sections or stride end-to-end on journeys that take weeks and even months to complete. Traverse Tasmania's World Heritage-listed wilderness on the Overland Track or follow the Larapinta Trail across the Northern Territory's West MacDonnell Ranges. Do sections of South Australia's Heysen Trail, which stretches from the Fleurieu Peninsula to Flinders Ranges. Spend three days in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains or hike through Gondwanan rainforest on the Gold Coast. Do day walks through Victoria's Wilsons Promontory or soak up the beauty of Western Australia's south-west corner on the Bibbulmun Track.
Sydney's Great Coastal Walk
Traverse Sydney's entire, spectacular coastline - from Barrenjoey in the north to Cronulla in the south - on this unique week-long adventure. You can walk in either direction and hop on and off the trail as you wish. Do day walks, short scenic sections or any of the many walks looping off the main trail.
Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
Walk through lush Gondwanan rainforest and along the rim of an ancient, eroded volcano on this spectacular series of day walks. The trail traverses a landscape as old as the dinosaurs, linking World Heritage-listed Lamington and Springbrook plateaux with Egg Rock and Turtle Rock in the scenic Numinbah Valley. See the Tweed Volcano which erupted around 25 million years ago and the powerful, crystal-clear streams and waterfalls that continue to erode it today. Explore Woonoongoora, known to the local Yugambeh people as ‘Queen of the Mountains'. Learn their ancient ancestral legends of how the rivers and valleys were formed. Camp in the rainforest at Green Mountains, Woonoongoora and The Settlement or in the private camping area at Binna Burra. The best time to walk this track is between March and October, when temperatures are milder.
Six Foot Track
The Overland Track, Tasmania
Travel through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness on this famous 65-kilometre trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Walk the entire Overland Track in six days or do short and day walks from the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake. Remember the end-to-end walk requires planning. You’ll need to book in advance with Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service and take with you a good tent and warm sleeping bag. While the route has eight basic stove-heated huts, there’s no guarantee of space. The best time to walk the track is between November and April, when the weather is milder and days are longer for Daylight Saving. During April, you can see the spectacular changing colours of the deciduous beech. As well as a physical challenge, this walk is a true communion with nature. You’ll see lakes, forests and gorges, mountains and moors, spectacular waterfalls and steep, stony peaks.
The Bibbulmun Track
Discover towering forests, tranquil farmland and wild beaches on this award-winning walk through Western Australia's south-west. The gold snake signs that mark the trail stretch almost 1,000 kilometres, from the Perth hills to Albany on the south coast. Scale Mt Cooke in the Darling Range and lose yourself in the lush forest fringing the Darling River. Visit vineyards in the Blackwood Valley, walk next to waterfalls and wildflowers in Beedelup National Park and clamber over granite boulders on the Pingerup Plains. Walk through sky-scraping karri trees in the Valley of the Giants, swim from Peaceful Bay and watch migrating whales from Albany. Do the walk in sections, or mix and match day and multi-day treks according to your time, the scenery you want to see, and your energy. Keep in mind it would take around two months to follow the snake markers all the way! The track is well-equipped, with hikers' huts or camping sites situated a day's walk apart.
The Thorsborne Trail
Trek the 32km Thorsborne Trail along the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island - an untouched tropical paradise on the coast between Townsville and Cairns. Over four days you'll traverse cloud-cloaked mountains, jungle-like rainforest, melaleuca swamps and pristine white beaches. See a panorama of wildlife, from bright butterflies and birds to crocodiles, sea turtles, dugongs and dolphins. This is a true wilderness walk for the experienced walker - the path isn't graded or hardened so can be difficult to traverse in places. Walk in either direction, camp in any of the seven designated sites and remember to ‘leave no trace'. Only 40 people can walk the trail at any one time, so book your permit well in advance. Planning and following safety guidelines is vital. The best time to walk is during the cooler months from April to September. You can reach the island on a ferry or water taxi from Cardwell or Lucinda.
Australian Alps Walking Track
Cross three states, four national parks and some of Australia's highest peaks on this tough long-distance walk. The trail follows the crest of the Australian Alps for 65km, from Walhalla in Victoria to Tharwa just south of Canberra. Wind up and down the Baw Baw Plateau, Mt Howitt, the Bogong High Plains and the Cobberras in Victoria. Traverse the rugged mountains of Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales and the rocky wilderness of Namadgi National Park near Canberra. Pitch your tent in the wilderness, stay in camping grounds, historic huts or alpine resorts close to the track. Do day treks or combine shorter, more manageable sections of the trail. The end-to-end walk takes about 50 to 60 days and is strictly for the intrepid traveller.
The Heysen Trail
Hike all the way from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to the mountain town of Parachilna on the 1,200 kilometre Heysen Trail. Or mix and match day and multi-day walks, choosing from dramatic coastlines, farmland and forests, picturebook towns, vine-lined valleys and rugged mountain ranges. Like a quality box of chocolates, this trail offers the best of South Australia's wildly assorted scenic beauty. Walk next to waterfalls in Deep Creek Conservation Park and visit the historic German village of Hahndorf. Taste wine in the world-famous Barossa Valley and see settler-relics in the grazing country beyond. Head into the Flinders Ranges, where fossils date back millennia and Aboriginal rock art is as old as the Dreaming. Walk over Mt Remarkable and to the rim of the ancient, awe-inspiring crater of Wilpena Pound. Sleep in campsites, huts and shelters or in any of the towns dotting the trail.
Walking is the best way to explore the natural sanctuary of Wilsons Promontory. Known as ‘The Prom' to locals, it embraces 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on mainland Australia's southernmost tip. The many well-marked trails traverse empty beaches and eucalypt forest, heath and swamp, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountain tops. Opt for short and scenic trails, like the Loo-Errn Track, ideal for families and the mobility-impaired. Do a day trek to the lighthouse or spend three days on the Wilsons Promontory Circuit Trail, which starts from the main tourist hub of Tidal River. Scale Mount Oberon or hike out to remote and beautiful Millers Landing. Stay at campsites throughout the park and get up close to the park's incredible array of native plants, birds and animals. You can also dive and snorkel with magical marine life in the clear, protected waters offshore.
Trek along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges to attractions such as Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. This epic chain of day walks stretches more than 223km from the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount Sonder and Mount Razorback. Stand on ancient escarpments and look out over vast ochre-colored landscapes. Visit sites sacred to the Arrernte Aboriginal people. Scramble down sheltered gorges, swim in cool waterholes and sleep under a sea of stars. Outback camping is one of the trail's highlights, along with the diversity of desert habitats, native birds, animals and nearly 600 species of rare flora. Tailor your walk along 12 sections, which range from effortless to arduous and have four wheel drive access. Or give yourself three weeks and a challenge yourself on the end-to-end trek.