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15 amazing hiking trails in Australia

11 February, 2016

When it comes to hiking destinations, Australia really is spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking for an intense hike or a leisurely stroll, there is a wide range of options suited to entice walkers of all aims, levels and abilities. Here, we’ve taken a look at the 15 best hiking destinations in Australia to set you on the path.

1. Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

1. Larapinta

Located in the West MacDonnell Range, the Larapinta Trail is a challenging 16-20 day trek that covers 223km of bleak yet beautiful scenery. This is a hike that definitely isn’t for beginners, and walking during the cooler months from April to September is highly recommended.

Food drops and rest days are required to complete the hike, and while the hike is hard, it is one way with relatively good access at both entrance points. For hikers willing to take on the challenge, the reward in the form of jaw-dropping, unique scenery is one that’s well worth the effort.

2. Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Tasmania

2. Bay of Fires

The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, covering a patch of coastline at the edge of Mount William National Park in north-eastern Tasmania, is an idyllic hike that takes you through scenery that appears to be untouched for thousands of years. Rocky headlines and a pristine stretch of pure water provide a dramatic backdrop to your hike, and gives you the opportunity to explore caves and beaches with perfect, soft white sand.

Anytime from October to May is the best time of year to enjoy this dramatic hike, and experience some of the most glorious natural scenery and spectacular views that Australia’s southernmost state has to offer visitors.

3. Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, Tasmania

3. Cradle Mountain

The Bay of Fires is not the only region of Tassie that has the potential for some spectacular hiking.

Cradle Mountain, one of Australia’s most spectacular World Heritage Areas, offers two hiking options – a challenging six day course or a shorter, easier four day walk for hikers who have a little less time on their hands. During both of these options you will have the opportunity to wander through ancient rainforests that seem frozen in time past waterfalls and over boundless grass plains that will do great things for your sense of wellbeing.

4. Scenic Rim Trail, Queensland

4. Scenic Rim

South East Queensland’s Main Range National Park is best explored through the four day Scenic Rim Trail which showcases the unique wildlife and vegetation of this part of Australia. Discover stories, rituals and traditions of the indigenous inhabitants of the region while you walk through ancient volcanic plateaus, mountains, ridges, escarpments and forests.

This is one part of Australia that definitely isn’t explored as much as it should be, and provides a restful yet enlightening spiritual experience for anyone looking to see how the natural living environment connects with the local indigenous people. Definitely a must-walk if you ever find yourself in South East Queensland.

5. The Arkaba Walk, South Australia

5. Arkaba Walk

A guided four day walk that traverses South Australia’s ancient, iconic Flinders Ranges, The Arkaba Walk is the perfect hike to explore this unique part of the country. This experience will have you seeing iconic Australian wildlife like kangaroos, wallaroos and emus, as well as rich, spectacular Outback scenery.

The terrain reflects over 600 years of geological history and also is a part of recent history. Hiking through the terrain will give you a renewed respect for the pioneers who settled in this part of the country, which is harsh yet undoubtedly beautiful. Camp under endless starry skies and enjoy this unique, strangely touching part of the country.

6. Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk, Victoria

6. Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles Lodge walk is a trail alive with native bushland and wildlife, taking you through a variety of landscapes along the spectacular coastline between Apollo Bay and the iconic Twelve Apostles.

From cool-climate rainforests to coastal cliff tops and even remote beaches that seem lost to time, the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk has something to offer every hiker. Witness Australia’s iconic wildlife like wallabies, koalas and fur seals and see some wildlife that you’ll see nowhere else in the world. The Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk is a sedate, easy way to visit some of the sites that often get missed when someone drives hastily through the Great Ocean Road.

7. The Maria Island Walk, Tasmania

7. Maria Island Walk

If tranquil, unspoilt beauty is something you’re interested in then you can’t do much better than the Maria Island Walk in Tasmania’s Maria Island National Park. J

ust a few kilometres off Tasmania’s east coast, this walk blends spectacular coastlines with rare wildlife and a look into Australia’s unique convict history. A must-do if you’re ever in that part of the world. 

8. Freycinet Experience Walk, Tasmania

8. Freycinet

Another beautiful Tasmanian hike, the Freycinet Experience Walk is a four day hike that takes you straight through the Hazard Mountains (renowned for their pink granite) and the rich coast forests of Wineglass Bay.

While you’re hiking the Freycinet Experience Walk you will be able to discover some rich, rarely explored corners of this spectacular part of the world.

9. Fraser Island Great Walk, Queensland

9. Fraser Island

The Fraser Island Great Walk is a five to seven day trek covering 84 kilometres, which serves as a perfect introduction to this part of the world.

It’s a relatively easy trek, although walking during the colder months of the year from April to September is generally recommended and you will be required to take out camping permits for wherever you stop during the trek.

10. South Coast Track, Tasmania

10. South Coast Track

Yet another amazing coastal hike to take if you’re visiting Tasmania, the South Coast Track generally takes from six to nine days to complete and spans a distance of 85 kilometres.

It’s generally regarded to be a track with a medium difficulty level, and is easy accessible via public transport, but it is recommended that you complete the trek during the warmer months of the year.

11. Cape to Cape Track, Western Australia

11. Cape to Cape

If you ever find yourself on the West Coast of Australia, you owe it to yourself to attempt the Cape to Cape Track which spans some spectacular scenery unique to that part of the world.

Water is a little hard to find on the track, but the trek is relatively easy and should take you anywhere from six to eight days to complete.

12. Western Arthur Range Traverse, Tasmania

12. Western Arthur

Image source

The Western Arthur Range Traverse is located in Southwest Tasmania and provides one of the more difficult routes mentioned on the list.

It’s recommended you make the walk during summer as it follows a steep and tricky route that spans 75 kilometres and generally takes about eight to 11 days to complete.

13. Wilderness Coast Walk, Victoria to NSW

13. Wilderness Coast Walk

What better way to explore the Eastern coast of Australia than to embark upon the Wilderness Coast Walk?

While you will need to get a permit in advance to take this route, the reward is some beautiful, jaw-dropping scenery over four to five days of hiking with a moderate difficulty.

14. Australian Alps Walking Track, Victoria/NSW/ACT

14. Australia Alps Walking Track

This is one route that is not for the faint of heart. The Australian Alps Walking Tracks takes hikers from the high country of ACT, NSW and Victoria over 655 kilometres of sometimes-brutal terrain, and generally takes 45-60 days of difficult hiking to complete.

The rewards including the scenery and sense of accomplishment are well worth the effort though.

15. Thorsborne Trail, Queensland

15. Thorsborne Trail

Image Source

If you ever find yourself in Hinchinbrook Island in Far North Queensland, you owe it to yourself to attempt the Thorsborne Trail. This four to five day hike has a moderate difficulty but rewards you with some spectacular scenery.

Please be aware though that if attempting the hike you will have to book in advance.

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