One of my favourite activities to do when I travel is hiking. Whenever I arrive in a new place, the first thing I do is look for the nearest walking trails, whether it be along the beach or in the outback or up some ridiculous mountain. Hiking is defiantly one of my all time favourite things to do, so here are some of my favourite walking trails around Australia.
Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit
4 km return | challenging
Starting at Waterfall Gully hike your way up a steep 4 km trail to the Mount Lofty Summit. Along the way be amazed at the beautiful scenery as you hike through Cleland Conservation Park. At the top awaits a panorama view of the Adelaide City, a view that makes the hike worthwhile. As steep as the hike was coming up the mountain, it’s going to be just as steep on the way down (and it is very steep).
Marrano Creek Hike
6.7 km | challenging
Located in Deep Creek Conservation Park, in the southern point of the Fleurieu Peninsula, is this beautiful hiking trail. Hike to the beautiful Blowhole Beach, a very secluded, pure and peaceful beach which is about half way along the hike. Make your way around and finish back at Cobble Hill. See Kangaroos along the hike and down on the beach but be warned, they may creep up on you behind the bushes, but at least they are friendly.
1200 km | thru-hike
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, hike the Heysen Trail. Starting at Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula and stretching 1200 km north to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges, this hike is not for the light-hearted. Hike along coastal areas to bushland to vineyards to forests to gorges.
Don’t stress! If a thru-hike is not your style then there are a number of different day hikes scattered along the Heysen Trail. Head to Kuitpo Forest, Deep Creek Conservation Park, Wilpena Pound, Victor Harbour and many other areas that all offer short, looped trails along the Heysen Trail.
Blue Lake Walk
3.6 km | moderate
The Blue Lake is a large volcanic crater located in the town of Mount Gambier. Take the 3.6 km walk around the Blue Lake which directs visitors to the number of viewing platforms to see the different angles of this beautiful formation. Make sure to head there between November and March if you would like to see the magnificent blue colour of the lake, at other times it takes on more of a grey appearance.
Great Ocean Road Walk
104 km | long distance hiking
Starting in the beautiful town of Apollo Bay, head west towards the famous 12 apostles, walking along the magnificent Great Ocean Walk. See towering coastal cliffs, epic ocean views, and lush national parks. Located at the end of the spectacular Great Ocean Walk, the twelve apostles is a great place to stop and take in the scenery. There are only eight visible apostles left and it is said the more apostles will be formed in the future.
9 km return | moderate – hard
A challenging hike but also the most rewarding hike within the Grampians National Park. There are a number of ways to hike up this mountain varying in distance and difficulty. A popular starting point is from the Wonderland car park which shortens the walk to just 4 km return. The Sundial car park is another option which will take you up the other side of the mountain. This route is the easiest climb and accessible to almost anyone. For the adventures, start in the town of Halls Gap, hike your way up the mountain on the marked trail and stop at the lookouts for amazing views.
At the top of The Pinnacle awaits an epic panorama view of the mountain ranges and valleys of the Grampians. The Pinnacle is the most popular walk to do in the Grampians and it’s no surprise. Make sure to spend some time at the peak of the mountain that provides, without a doubt, the best views of the park.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
3 km – 17 km | easy – moderate
There are a number of different walking trails around Wilsons Promontory National Park, ranging from coastal walks to mountain hikes. Walk around Wilsons Promontory National Park and see nature at this best. Mountains, oceans, and surf beaches are just some of the beautiful things to witness in this national park. Go on a big 2-day hike to the southern most point of Australia, taking in the beautiful scenery.
1 km return | easy
Starting at the Nobbies Head Information Centre on Phillip Island, head down towards to beach where there will be a beautiful boardwalk. Walk along the coasts of Phillip Island taking in the beauty of Seal Rock. Seal Rock, which is just 1 1/2 km offshore, is home to the largest Fur Seal colony in Australia. This area offers beautiful coastline views from the boardwalk.
New South Wales
Newcastle Memorial Walk
1 km return | easy
Take a walk along the Newcastle Memorial Walk to learn about the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing in Gallipoli. See beautiful ocean views as you climb the 137 steps to the Stzelechi Lookout.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk
14 km return | easy
Located in the heart of the Blue Mountains is the Prince Henry Cliff Walk which provides astounding views of the Three Sisters and the rest of the Blue Mountains. Starting at Katoomba, go via the iconic Three Sisters and Echo Point, and finish in Leura. A lovely walk that can be enjoyed by almost everyone.
Different lengths | easy
The best capital city in Australia for those who want adventure, iconic Australian landmarks, and overall epicness. Sydney is the largest city in Australia and certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to looking good. Walk along the banks of the harbour for hours enjoying some quiet time, big city life, and plenty of family-friendly activities. It’s no wonder people love visiting Sydney.
Crystal Showers Walk
3.5 km return | easy
Located in the Dorrigo National Park, walk amongst the rainforest and to the beautiful waterfalls. Walk to the beautiful Crystal Showers but be careful of leeches. Dorrigo National Park is covered in world heritage rainforest, waterfalls, and wildlife. See the magnificent views, explore the scenic rainforests, and indulge in the excellent birdwatching.
Tip: Watch out for leeches! I was seriously covered in them by the time I finished this hike and it has become my partners biggest fear. We can’t go to any national park anymore without my partner first asking if there are any leeches.
3.2 km return | moderate
The highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia and absolutely beautiful is Wallaman Falls! Located in Girringun National Park, in the tropics of northern Queensland, is a place great for camping and enjoying nature at its best. Hike through some of the oldest rainforests on earth, keeping a look out for some endangered plants and animals. Walk all the way on the Djyinda Walk to the bottom of the falls where you can see and hear the powerful waterfall.
1.8 km | easy
There are a number of walking trails located around the Daintree National Park, and the Dubuji Boardwalk is one of them. Walk through the oldest rainforest in the world, see cascading waters, and be amazed at how beautiful this walk really is.
Bluff Point Walking Trail
2.3 km | easy – moderate
Located in the small town of Yeppoon, Bluff Point walking trail is a local favourite and great for people travelling through too. Walk around the Capricorn National Park and to Bluff Point where there is a great 360 view that awaits at the top. See the epic coastline of Yeppoon and look over this beautiful town.
Castle Hill Walk Trails
1 km – 3.5 km | moderate – challenging
Castle Hill is located in the town of Townsville and is a beautiful place that offers many walking trails. Walk one or many of the 12 walking trails located around Castle Hill ranging from less than 1 km to 3.5 km, all with different difficulties. From easy to moderate to hard, there is a trail for everyone. Hike or drive to the top of the hill for beautiful, panorama views of Townsville and the ocean.
Tip: Beware of saltwater crocodiles when hiking near any oceans, rivers, or lakes, particularly in North Queensland.
Uluru Base Walk
10 km | easy
Get up close and personal with Uluru by walking along the 10 km base around this massive rock. Learn about the history of Uluru which is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. Learn about the Aboriginal people whom first lived here and their traditions.
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
6 km | moderate
Hike around Kings Canyon on one of the canyon walks including the big Rim Walk, a 6 km Rim Walk that will take you through some of the best locations in the Australian outback. Rise early for sunrise or stay late for sunset and watch the canyon change colours. Hike to the Garden of Eden for some swimming and relaxing.
Howard Springs Nature Reserve
1.8 km | easy
Howard Springs is a beautiful reserve located just 30 km from Darwin. Walk through the 1.8 km forest and along the natural springs. This place is beautiful and peaceful and great for a lovely stroll or run.
4 km | moderate
Edith Falls is a series of 3 waterfalls, all cascading into one another. Located in the Nitmiluk National Park, walk to the 3 pools along Edith Falls and stop for a refreshing swim.
Tip: Beware of saltwater crocodiles when hiking near any oceans, rivers or lakes, particularly in the northern areas.
Yaburara Heritage Trail
3.5 km one way | moderate – hard
Learn about local Aboriginal culture along one of the walking trails and also learn about the history of Karratha. See local Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, echidnas, lizards and birds. There are five walking trails: the Point to Point Trail, the Rotary Trail, the Short Loop Trail the Waterfall Trail, and the Long Loop Trail. Walking along one of the five trails along the Yaburara Heritage Trail is a must do when in Karratha.
Mandu Mandu Gorge
3 km return | moderate
Located in Cape Range National Park is the Mandu Mandu Gorge. Take the walking trail from the car park, making your way towards this jaw-dropping Gorge and loops around back to the car park. Go earlier in the morning for cooler weather to avoid flies, crowds, and maybe spot a rock wallaby or a mountain goat.
One Mile Jetty
3.2 km return | easy
Although it is not really a walking trail, it is a really long jetty that can be walked on from beginning to end. Walk for a mile along this old wooden jetty as it takes you out to shore. Take in the history of this jetty as there are signs at the beginning of One Mile Jetty. Head out to the end of the jetty to witness an incredible sunset over the water and indulge in the incredible scenery.
Island Rock – Natural Bridge
1 km one way | easy
Take the boardwalk from Island Rock to Natural Bridge for views of epic coastlines, towering cliffs, and rock formations. Keep an eye out for whales (seasonally) as they migrate through the oceans along Kalbarri National Park. Take your time walking along this boardwalk and head to the lookouts for spectacular views. Island Rock and Natural Bridge are both naturally beautiful and I highly recommend a visit to these two areas.
2 km | easy
Located along the East Esk River in Launceston, go walking along the cliff’s edge, see epic panorama views and hop on the chairlift to see the gorge from above. The Cataract Gorge chairlift is said to be the longest chairlift span in the world. This walk is truly beautiful so make sure to indulge in the beautify that surrounds Cataract Gorge.
3 km return | challenging
Take the incredible hike up this gorgeous mountain and experience a climb like no other. With breathtaking views of Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay, and the Freycinet National Park, this hike is well worth the hard climb. An absolute must do when driving along the east coast of Tasmania.
Note: Mount Amos is a hard mountain to climb. It is, at points, literally rock climbing and at times I thought I may very well fall off this mountain. Make should you are physically fit and carry plenty of water and snacks.
Drive all the way to the summit or stop at one of the car parks and follow the trails up the mountain. See incredible views at the summit of Hobart and it’s surroundings of cities, national parks and oceans.
Cradle Mountain Summit Walk
12 km return | very challenging
Located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is like nothing else in the world. There are a number of hiking trails located around Cradle Mountain, ranging from easy to very challenging. Walk through enchanting rainforests, rock climb to the summit and enjoy the Australian wildlife on the way up. See phenomenal views from all over the Cradle Mountain region.
Australia offers a number of different walks from coastal views to outback adventures to mountain hikes to river strolls. So, whichever state you find yourself in there will be a lovely walking trail waiting for you.