Traverse the Australian coast with these spectacular walking adventures.
By Amy Bryant
The Australian coast is a unique natural landscape encompassing white sandy beaches, rolling oceans, lush rainforest and striking clifftop views. What better way to immerse yourself in such coastal beauty than exploring it on foot. These epic walks range from easy to challenging, and combine the experience of shoreline serenity with outdoor adventure.
Bondi to Coogee, Sydney
The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of Sydney’s most famous and quintessential experiences. The coastal walk between two of Australia’s popular beaches is a stunning six-kilometer (3.7 mile) track that takes you through beaches like Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly, and offers panoramic views over the east coast shore. You’ll also come across ocean baths, the tranquil Gordon’s Bay and many brilliant beachside cafes. Plus, don’t miss the world’s biggest sculpture exhibition, Sculptures by the Sea, that returns to the coastal track each spring.
Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay
The Cape Byron lighthouse track in Byron Bay will take you on a coastal journey through rainforest, grasslands and beaches, as you slowly make your way up to the lighthouse. The loop track runs 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles), with a combination of boardwalk and bush tracks. Keep your eye out for dolphins, turtles, and whales, and be sure to take a picture standing at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Tip – the view from the Byron Bay lighthouse over the ocean is pure golden magic during sunrise or sunset.
Noosa National Park, Noosa
The Noosa Heads coastal track in the Noosa National Park is a scenic shoreline walk that crosses 6.82 kilometers (4 miles) of bayside beauty, woodlands and rugged shoreline cliffs. Catch the views over pristine beaches from lookouts like Boiling Pot, Dolphin Point and Hell’s Gate. Start from Noosa and end in Sunshine Beach, where you can cool off with a swim, have lunch and catch the bus back to Noosa center.
Seal Bay Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island
The beautiful sandy beach at Seal Bay is home to a protected colony of sea lions, making this coastal walk a must-do when visiting South Australia’s Kangaroo Island. As you cruise along the 800 metre boardwalk, soak in the views of sea lions paddling in the water, lounging on the beach and nursing their young. You can join a guided tour and wander amongst the sea lions on the beach or follow the boardwalk to the lookout for great views over the bay.
Great Ocean Walk, Apollo Bay
This incredible walk spans across 100 kilometers (62 miles) of dramatic coastlines between Apollo Bay and the iconic Twelve Apostles. There are shorter walks dotted along the coastal strip, like Crayfish Bay perfect for snorkelling, and The Gables, offering one of the most spectacular clifftop lookouts across the Great Ocean. There are three easy tracks to the beautiful Loch Ard Gorge and the nearby Twelve Apostles, with information about the location’s history provided along the track. This guide offers some great track options, ranging from short walks to seven day adventures.
Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River
Spanning 135 kilometers (nearly 22 miles) along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, the Cape to Cape Walking Track takes you from the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin in the south west of Western Australia. As you embark on the coastal bush walk you’ll encounter incredible rock formations, forests, caves and spectacular beaches. It’s between a five to eight-day walk, starting from Cape Naturaliste, in the Margaret River region, and is around a 3-hour drive south east of Perth.
Seven Peaks Walk, Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a New South Wales UNESCO World Heritage-listed destination, and is home to the spectacular Seven Peaks track. Based out of Pinetrees Lodge, the 45 kilometre (27 mile) coastal walk spans over five days, and is for the more avid hiker with a grade of moderate to challenging. The walk showcases Lord Howe Island’s expansive natural landscapes with volcanic peaks, coastal cliffs and tropical forests.
Squeaky Beach, Whisky Beach and Picnic Beach track, Wilsons Promontory National Park
In the beautiful Wilsons Promontory National Park, located about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south-east of Melbourne, is the scenic walk from Tidal River visitor centre to Picnic Bay via Squeaky Beach. On the walk along the Tidal River banks, you’ll encounter pristine sands – so fine that it literally squeaks – and incredible views of Mt Oberon. To Squeaky Beach it’s an easy 50-minute walk over 2.1 kilometers (1.2 miles) of rugged coastal beauty.
South Coast Track, Tasmania
The South Coast Track spans across 85 kilometres (53 miles) of remote coastal beauty, between Melaleuca and Cockle Creek. It’s a short plane ride to Melaleuca from Hobart, where the challenging track begins, and takes between six and eight days to complete. Perfect for the avid hiker, the South Coast Track will take you across sparkling lagoons, mountain ranges, untouched beaches and vast heathland. Check out this page for detailed information on what to bring and when to visit the South Coast track, and this day to day walking guide.