Thanks to beautiful landscapes and diverse environments both hikers and day-walkers are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking and walking tracks in Australia. From coastal scenery jotted with sandy beaches and palms to red deserts scattered with Boab trees and canyons, it’s no surprise that hiking and day walks are increasing in popularity around the country. Lace up your boots and check out our Top 5 Hiking Destinations and remember to only take photographs and leave footprints.

Great Ocean Walk

We’ve all heard of the Great Ocean Road but tackling Victoria’s famous South West coastline on foot opens up a whole new perspective and can reward you with spectacular vantage points and hidden gems not entirely accessible by car. Whether you’re stepping into a multi-day hike or cherry picking day trips the Great Ocean Walk kicks off in Apollo Bay and ends approximately 100km to within sight of the 12 Apostles. Famed for its stunningly beautiful scenery and picture perfect look-outs, the Great Ocean Walk offers the ultimate in multi-day or day trip walks. With a huge variety of difficulty levels walkers of all abilities are able to select locations throughout the walk to suit their fitness levels. December to March is a great time to explore this region.

Distance: Approximately 100km total however can be broken up into day trips.
Highlights: Apollo Bay, 12 Apostles, Look-outs along the Great Ocean Road
Difficulty: Easy – difficult depending on length of trail planned

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Bouddi Coastal Walk – New South Wales

Located in the idyllic Bouddi National Park on the NSW Central Coast, the Bouddi Coastal Walk makes its way along the coastline and is dotted with beautiful lookouts across pristine beaches and rugged headlands.  One of the more well known lookouts is Gerrin Point and can be found approximately 1km from Putty Beach. The reward for your efforts is a panoramic view of Maitland Bay and the Bouddi National Marine Park. On clear days the distant skyline of the Sydney CBD can be seen and in the right seasons walkers and hikers are also rewarded with views of migrating whales making their way along the coastline. With the right tide conditions the shipwreck S.S Maitland can also be seen.

The Bouddi Coastal Walk can be broken up into smaller sections to suit fitness levels and time constraints. With beautiful picnic areas sporting views of picturesque coastal rainforests and beaches the Bouddi Coastal Walk is perfect for day trips with the family.

Distance: Approximately 8km
Highlights: Bouddi National Park, Gerrin Point Lookout, Maitland Bay, Whale Watching during seasonal migration
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

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The Fraser Island Great Walk – Queensland

Located just off the Queensland Coastline Fraser Island is a world famous outdoors playground and offers hikers and day walkers a scenic adventure through a world heritage listed national park.

Once you’re on the largest sand island in the world – a short barge/boat trip from Hervey Bay or Inskip Point- you’re presented with options for either a 6-8 day walk or a series of smaller ½ day/day long trips. If multi-day hikes are your thing then Fraser Island offers the ultimate in lightweight camping through various landscapes. It’s no surprise that the island is regularly referred to as ‘where the rainforest meets the sea’. Fraser Island is very popular with campers and 4WD’ers and thanks to the various day hike options campers and 4WD’ers alike regularly take advantage of the walking trails.  Expect to be presented with ever changing scenery as you trek through popular attractions such as Lake Mackenzie, Lake Wabby, Central Stations, Kingfisher Bay, Sandy Cape and Indian Head.

Distance: 90km in total. Can be broken up into day trips.
Highlights: Central Station, Lake Mackenzie, Indian Head, Sandy Cape
Difficulty: Easy – difficult depending on length of trail planned

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The Heysen Trail – South Australia

Spanning a massive 1,200km, The Heysen Trail truly is one of the world’s greatest long distance walks. Reaching from Cape Jervis on the South Coast of South Australia to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges The Heysen Trail takes in some of South Australia’s picturesque landscapes including coastal scenes, bushland, forests, vineyards (including the Barossa Valley) and rich farming country. Thankfully The Heysen Trail can be broken up into smaller sections to accommodate day walkers or those seeking a short lightweight camping hike.

The more coastal areas of the Heysen Trail are well suited to beginner walkers and families whereas the more rural sections, particularly in the north are more suited to experienced hikers.

Distance: 1,200km in total. Can be broken up into day/multi-day trips.
Highlights: Barossa Valley, Cape Jervis, Flinders Ranges
Difficulty: Easy – difficult depending on length of trail planned

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Overland Track – Tasmania

The Overland Track is an iconic long distance hiking adventure that has earned itself a place among our Top 5 Hiking locations in Australia and is arguably one of the most well known multi day walks in Australia. Beginning at Cradle Mountain and meandering through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and ending at Lake St Clair – Australia’s deepest lake -this 65km week long hike brings the reward of stunning scenery for those braving its physical challenge.

Blanketed with picturesque landscapes and dotted with beautiful flora and fauna the Overland Track offers breathtaking views throughout the hike. With varied route options you can expect to see alpine meadows, ancient rainforests and gorgeous waterfalls as you make your way through the entire track or simply cherry pick your desired day trips or locations. With accommodation ranging from camping in lightweight tents to wooden cabins, the Overland Track can cater to those looking for a luxurious holiday or those immersing themselves in the scenery.

While some hikers and walkers are prepared to do the track in six days others simply stay or camp at one location, relax in the moment and enjoy day trips at leisure.

Distance: Approximately 65km.
Highlights: Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair, Ancient Rainforests, Mountain Summits.
Difficulty: Easy – difficult depending on length of trail planned

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Important Information

Before undertaking any hike or day walk please check with the local authorities to ensure all regulations have been abided by and if appropriate permit and license applications completed.

The Heysen Trail Images courtesy of Destination New South Wales, Hamilton Lund and Nick Rains.
Great Ocean Walk Images courtesy of Tourism Victoria.

The Overland Track Images courtesy of Tourism Tasmania, George Apostolidis, Don Fuchs, Gabi Mocatta, Anne Jordan and Anthology.

 

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