Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales © Jason Wing, Jodie Barker
Top city walks in Australia
Meander through a maze of laneways, bridges, riverbanks and parks on Australia's best urban walks.
By Leah Dobihal
Full of bustling laneways, trendy neighbourhood haunts and calm coastline, Australia's cities offer some incredible on-foot adventures. Wander local suburbs and discover hidden gems on one of these stunning urban walks.
Hidden Secrets Tour, Melbourne
With winding alleys and art-filled laneways, the city of Melbourne has more than a few secrets to discover. That's what a Hidden Secrets of Melbourne tour is all about. Go with a local guide that will show you the lesser-known eateries, street art and more. You'll visit up-and-coming brewers, independent designers and cool local cafés, all nestled away from Melbourne's main streets.
Arcades and Laneways Walk, Melbourne
If you are eager to explore Melbourne's lanes and alleyways on your own, take the Arcades and Laneways Walk. This walk begins at the historic Flinders Street Station before turning down Degraves Street, known for its impeccable espresso. Wind through a maze of arcades, shops, theatres and alleys before ending up right where you started – just in time to dine out along Flinders Lane. Choose between the spicy dishes at Chin Chin and modern Indian-inspired plates at Tonka.
Koorie Heritage Trust Walk, Melbourne
Located in the middle of Melbourne at Federation Square, the Koorie Heritage Trust is dedicated to showcasing the culture of Aboriginal people. Join a friendly Koorie guide on a walking tour that shares the history of modern-day Melbourne and the significance it holds as an important gathering place for the traditional custodians of the land, the Kulin Nation.
Battery Point Sculpture Trail, Hobart
With a serene waterfront and quaint nature, Hobart is a great walking city. One of the most intriguing walks is the Battery Point Sculpture Trail. This path connects nine large sculptures; each sculpture along the walk is a number that represents a weight, year, distance or quantity relating to a story integral to the location. You'll come across a sculpture cut from a hedge, one that floats atop the river and one that glows after dark.
Welcome to Adelaide Tour, Adelaide
For the perfect on-foot introduction to Adelaide, join a Welcome to Adelaide walking tour. This tour will show you Adelaide's main streets and key landmarks – a great orientation for exploring on your own later on. Your local guide will share the city's best shopping venues, restaurants and nightlife. Plus, the tour ends at the Adelaide Central Market, so be sure to stop in for a taste of some of the city's best bites.
The Brisbane Riverwalk moves between two of the city's most vibrant precincts, beginning at the historic Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane's city centre and ending in the leafy suburb of New Farm. This walk however, isn't just along the water's edge; it's a suspended path that allows you to walk above the water. Take the Riverwalk after dark to enjoy the shining skyline.
Culture Scouts, Sydney
Known as the Harbour City, Sydney is famous for its coastal beauty. But one walk with Culture Scouts and you'll see a different side to the city. Culture Scouts tours wander through Sydney's hippest inner-city hubs, stopping at art galleries, studios, shops and bars. Sip a glass of craft beer at the local brewery, discover a pop-up exhibition of captivating art or taste dumplings and custard puffs from a hole-in-the-wall haunt.
Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, Sydney
When it comes to coastal walks, the path from Bondi to Bronte is hard to beat. It's a favourite for locals and visitors alike, beginning at Notts Avenue near Bondi Icebergs Club. Take in the blue water, white waves and golden sands as you walk the coastal cliffs. Don't miss two iconic public swimming pools along the way: the Bondi Icebergs pool and Bronte Baths. Each year in late October, the Bondi to Bronte path becomes an outdoor art gallery as the large art installations of Sculpture by the Sea dot the coastline.
Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk, Sydney
Another of Sydney's best walks, the Manly to Spit Bridge walk weaves through a mix of secluded inlets, lush bushland, rocky coastline and often-empty beaches. The trail begins in Manly, a laid-back seaside suburb known for surfing and sun. Follow the path from Manly Wharf to pass golden beaches, lighthouses and an Aboriginal engraving site. Bring along your swimming costume to take a dip along the way.
The Rocks, Sydney
The Rocks is Sydney's most historic neighbourhood, beginning as a convict settlement. You can take a self-guided walk through the area's heritage buildings and cobblestone streets, or you can learn the history behind the facades on a daily guided walking tour. Alternatively, take an Aboriginal Dreaming Tour with Dreamtime Southern X. On this tour, you'll hear about the local Aboriginal people's saltwater heritage within Sydney Harbour, their spiritual connection to the waterways and their continuing culture within contemporary Sydney.
Waterfront walk, Darwin
Just a five-minute walk from Darwin's city centre lies a beautiful waterfront precinct complete with cafés, lawns, lagoons and walking paths. You never know what you'll find as you wander along the water. Cool off in the calm saltwater of the waterfront wave lagoon, grab a bite of Darwin's fresh seafood at The Oyster Bar or simply enjoy the tranquil ocean views and laid-back vibe.
Go Cultural Tour, Perth
One of the best ways to explore a city on foot is alongside an Aboriginal guide whose ancestors have lived on the land for tens of thousands of years. On a Go Cultural tour, you'll learn about the history and culture of Aboriginal life prior to European settlement in Perth, as well as how the culture continues to thrive. Your Nyungar guide will teach you of ancient campgrounds, forgotten lakes and sacred sites that remain among Perth's city centre and suburbs.
City Beach to Scarborough Beach, Perth
Perth is a coastal city, so there's no shortage of long walks along the beach. One of the best is the route from City Beach to Scarborough Beach. Beginning at City Beach, choose between walking along the paved path or the long stretch of sand. Grab a leisurely lunch at Clancy's Fish Pub before passing Floret Beach and finishing at Scarborough Beach where you can pull up a chair at one of the many beachfront venues.
Kings Park, Perth
Perth's Kings Park is one of the world's largest inner-city parks, and nearly two-thirds of it is natural bushland. It's best explored on a leisurely stroll, and you're spoiled with several walking trails. The Bushland Nature Trail takes in the park's wildflowers, trees and birdlife and takes only 25 minutes to complete, while the Boodja Gnarning Walk explores the connection between the city's original inhabitants and the land they've lived on for centuries.