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Best Hiking Destinations in Australia

by Stacy D

Australia’s diverse landscapes, ranging from rugged coastlines to ancient rainforests and towering mountain ranges, offer hikers an abundance of trails to explore. Whether you’re seeking a challenging multi-day trek or a day hike, there’s something for every hiker. Find your new favourite trail with our guide to some of the top hiking destinations in Australia.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales

The Blue Mountains is famous for its picturesque ridges, deep valleys, and expansive eucalyptus forests. The region’s unique blue haze, caused by the scattering of light by fine droplets of eucalyptus oil, lends the mountains their distinctive name and adds to the area’s mystique. 

Popular hiking trails in the Blue Mountains include:

Three Sisters Walk: A short but scenic trail with dramatic vistas of the iconic Three Sisters rock formation and the Jamison Valley.

National Pass Trail: A historic track that winds along sandstone cliffs, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, lush rainforest, and the dale below.

Wentworth Falls Track: This trail takes hikers past the stunning Wentworth Falls, one of the Blue Mountains’ most celebrated cascades, and presents panoramas of the Jamison Valley.

Grampians National Park, Victoria

The Grampians is characterised by its dramatic sandstone peaks, deep dales, and cascading falls, giving visitors dazzling vistas at every turn. The park’s landscapes are the result of millions of years of geological activity, including folding, faulting, and erosion. The mountain range is also of great cultural significance to the Aboriginal people of Australia, with evidence of Indigenous occupation dating back thousands of years. The park is home to numerous rock art sites, including the prominent Bunjil’s Shelter, which features ancient paintings depicting the creation story of the local Indigenous people.

Popular hiking trails in the Grampians include:

The Pinnacle Walk: A moderate hike that leads to a stunning rock formation known as The Pinnacle, offering stunning sights of the surrounding landscape.
MacKenzie Falls: A short but steep walk that takes visitors to the base of MacKenzie Falls, one of the park’s most renowned waterfalls.
Grampians Peaks Trail: A challenging multi-day trek that traverses the park’s highest peaks, offering hikers a chance to explore remote wilderness areas and enjoy spectacular views.

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

The Great Ocean Walk is a 104-kilometre long-distance hiking trail that stretches along the spectacular coastline of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road region. The trail begins in the seaside town of Apollo Bay and ends at the eminent Twelve Apostles rock formations near Princetown. Home to an array of wildlife and flora, including native birds, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and even the occasional koala, you may also encounter unique plant species such as the coastal tea tree and the distinguished coastal banksia. The waters off the coast are also teeming with marine life, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins, seals, and even whales during the winter migration season. Highlights along the trail include notable landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Gibson Steps, and the Otway Lighthouse.

Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

The Larapinta Trail, a 223-kilometre-long hiking trail that traverses the West MacDonnell, ranges and stretches from Alice Springs in the east to Mount Sonder in the west. The land is rich in Aboriginal culture and heritage, with significant sites of cultural and spiritual significance to the local Arrernte people. Offering spectacular landscapes in the Australian Outback, hikers can learn about Aboriginal Dreaming stories, traditional bush tucker, and ancient rock art along the trail. The Larapinta Trail is an important area, and it’s crucial to respect Indigenous culture, heritage, and land management practices while hiking and to adhere to any cultural protocols or restrictions in place.

Overland Track, Tasmania

The Overland Track is one of Australia’s premier long-distance hiking trails, renowned for its stunning alpine scenery, ancient rainforests, and diverse ecosystems. Located in Tasmania, the island state of Australia, the Overland Track offers adventurers an unforgettable journey through some of the most pristine wilderness areas in the country. Embark on the famed multi-day treks through the wilderness of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, passing by beautiful landscapes. Marvel at the stunning vistas of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, trek through the lush Myrtle Forest and cross the rugged terrain of the Pelion and Du Cane Ranges.

Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Wilsons Promontory National Park covers an area of approximately 50,000 hectares and is home to a diverse range of habitats, including granite mountains, dense forests, coastal heathlands, and pure beaches. The park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities other than hiking, including camping, swimming, wildlife watching, and photography. Discover the rugged beauty of Victoria’s southernmost point, where coastal heathlands meet stunning beaches and granite mountains. Hike to the summit of Mount Oberon for surreal views of the park, explore the remote beaches of Sealers Cove and Little Waterloo Bay, and trek along the mesmerising Southern Circuit.

Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania

The Freycinet Peninsula is part of Freycinet National Park, which covers an area of approximately 24,000 hectares and is one of Tasmania’s oldest and most popular national parks. The peninsula is known for its stunning natural beauty, with highlights including Wineglass Bay. Often rated as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the bay is characterised by its immaculate white sand, turquoise waters, and panoramic sceneries of the surrounding granite peaks. Trek to the summit of Mount Amos for spectacular vistas of the peninsula and discover secluded beaches along the scenic Hazards Beach Track.

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