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The 12 best hikes to tackle in Australia

Australia is a vast and diverse country, offering a plethora of stunning landscapes and unique ecosystems that make it a…

By Chan , in Travel , at December 7, 2023

Australia is a vast and diverse country, offering a plethora of stunning landscapes and unique ecosystems that make it a haven for hiking enthusiasts. From the rugged beauty of the Blue Mountains to the iconic red rock formations of the Outback, Australia boasts some of the best hiking trails in the world. Here, we’ll explore 12 of the most captivating hikes that showcase the country’s natural beauty.

  1. Overland Track, Tasmania: This renowned 65-kilometer trail takes hikers through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The diverse terrain includes ancient rainforests, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes, offering a challenging yet rewarding experience for those seeking an immersive wilderness adventure.
  2. Grampians Peaks Trail, Victoria: Located in the Grampians National Park, this trail spans 160 kilometers and showcases the dramatic landscapes of western Victoria. Hikers can expect breathtaking panoramic views, rugged sandstone peaks, and encounters with unique wildlife. The trail is divided into smaller sections, allowing for various trip lengths and difficulty levels.
  3. The Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory: Stretching for 223 kilometers across the West MacDonnell Ranges, the Larapinta Trail is a bucket-list experience for avid hikers. The trail offers a diverse range of landscapes, including rocky ridges, secluded waterholes, and vast desert plains. Trekking this trail allows hikers to witness stunning sunsets over the outback.
  4. Cape to Cape Track, Western Australia: This 135-kilometer coastal trail takes hikers through the diverse landscapes of the Margaret River region. With stunning ocean views, towering karri forests, and pristine beaches, the Cape to Cape Track provides a unique opportunity to explore the southwestern corner of Australia.
  5. Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, South Australia: Kangaroo Island, known for its unique wildlife, also offers a 61-kilometer wilderness trail. Hikers can explore the island’s rugged cliffs, dense forests, and pristine beaches while encountering seals, sea lions, and a variety of bird species.
  6. The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria: For those captivated by the famous Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Walk is a 104-kilometer trail that meanders along the iconic coastline. Hikers can enjoy spectacular views of limestone cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests while experiencing the beauty of the Shipwreck Coast.
  7. Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Walk, New South Wales: The Blue Mountains, located just outside of Sydney, offer a myriad of hiking opportunities. The Grand Canyon Walk is a 6-kilometer loop that takes hikers through lush rainforest, past waterfalls, and across dramatic sandstone cliffs, providing a taste of the region’s natural wonders.
  8. Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk, New South Wales: Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, can be conquered via a challenging but achievable 13-kilometer return hike. The trail takes hikers through the alpine meadows of the Snowy Mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
  9. The Pinnacles Walk, Western Australia: In Nambung National Park, the Pinnacles Desert showcases thousands of limestone pillars rising from the golden sand. The Pinnacles Walk is a short, easy trail that allows hikers to explore this unique landscape, especially captivating during sunrise or sunset.
  10. Wilsons Promontory Circuit, Victoria: Known as ‘The Prom,’ Wilsons Promontory National Park offers a challenging 48-kilometer circuit. Hikers can explore pristine beaches, granite mountains, and eucalypt forests while encountering diverse wildlife, including wombats and kangaroos.
  11. Jatbula Trail, Northern Territory: Stretching 62 kilometers through the Nitmiluk National Park, the Jatbula Trail follows the route of an ancient Aboriginal Dreaming track. Hikers traverse waterfalls, rock pools, and ancient landscapes, immersing themselves in the cultural and natural richness of the region.
  12. The Three Capes Track, Tasmania: This relatively new 46-kilometer trail on the Tasman Peninsula offers stunning coastal views and takes hikers to the edge of towering sea cliffs. The well-maintained track includes comfortable cabins for overnight stays, allowing hikers to appreciate the beauty of the Tasmanian coastline fully.

Australia’s hiking trails cater to a wide range of preferences and fitness levels, offering something for everyone, from novice hikers to seasoned adventurers. Whether you’re drawn to coastal vistas, mountainous terrain, or arid outback landscapes, the diverse beauty of Australia’s hiking trails is sure to leave an indelible mark on any nature lover’s soul.