6 Spectacular Hikes in Australia
Today, I’m honoured to introduce an inspiring, young and tonic globe-trotter: Megan Clair (www.mappingmegan.com). Native of Australia, she kindly responded to the RootsTraveler community, to share the best hikes in Australia you should have on your bucket list.
Take the time to go through this great article, it’s definitely a travel by itself…
Australia is a spectacular country best known for its diversity of landscapes. From rainforests to mountain ranges and sweeping red terrain; from regions of coastal wilderness to open plains and amazing limestone caves; Australia is an incredibly unique destination, with so much to offer the hiker who is prepared to pull out their boots and get stuck in!
Australia is full of epic walking trails, many which can be completed in a day, many of which can be cut up into short scenic sections, and many of which can be stretched over weeks, or even months, if attempting the whole trail! Hiking options are available all over the country to suit every fitness level, and every level of crazy! Unfortunately in the past I have been known to fall into the top tier of “crazy”, and have found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere attempting incredibly challenging terrain far too often! I have, over time, come to appreciate the less challenging hiking trails which still offer spectacular views, many of which leading through and to World Heritage Listed sites!
Here are some of my favorites!
Larapinta Trail – 250km (155 miles)
We’re starting with “crazy”! Larapinta Trail is a breathtaking semi-desert trail which winds through the Australian outback, through the spectacular McDonnell Ranges. The 250km (155 mile) track is an incredibly challenging and difficult hike; it takes 14 days from start to finish, however you don’t have to walk the entire length. There are plenty of day and multi day hikes which can be completed through the most scenic sections; and unless you have some incredible need to walk the entire length, I would highly recommend this instead!
The hike is incredibly remote, and is best to be attempted in a group.
Cape to Cape Track – 135 km (84 miles)
The Cape to Cape Track follows the rugged coastline of Western Australia for 135 kilometres between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. Leading through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, this 7 day walk winds partially along cliff top paths, crosses beautiful beaches and navigates through eucalyptus forests.
Kings Canyon Rim Walk – 6km (4 miles)
One of the best short walks in the world, the Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the Grand Canyon experience of Australia. Once past the 500 step climb to the top the walk is flat, and takes around 4 hours to circle the entire rim. With some of the most spectacular views you will ever see – Kings Canyon is an enormous ancient gorge, with sheer cliff walls, weathered sandstone domes, and views of endless mountain ranges. Set off early to miss the mid-day heat!
Great Ocean Walk – 104 km (56 miles)
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most famous attractions; however have you considered walking it?! The Great Ocean Walk allows those with an enthusiasm for hiking an opportunity to venture to parts of the area where the road doesn’t lead. It’s a 104 kilometre (56 mile) trail which stretches from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead, which leads through gum and eucalypt forest, sand dunes, beaches and cliff-top tracks. The views are absolutely to die for – the Twelve Apostles (above photo) are one of the most photographed natural landmarks in the world – and the beaches are some of the best in the country.
If you’re not keen on completing the whole track, there are many points along the road which have been designed for short hikes, day hikes and overnight hikes.
The Blue Mountains have absolutely amazing options for bushwalks and hikes; many of which can be done in a day, and all of which offer awesome views of valleys, canyons, waterfalls and cliffs, and lead through eucalypt forests and limestone caves. The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark, an unusual rock formation located at Echo Point Katoomba, and other highlights include Aboriginal rock art sites as well as Featherdale Wildlife Park which provides a natural habitat for hundreds of Koalas. There are literally hundreds of accommodation options available within the Blue Mountains, however those who love the great outdoors should consider camping.
The Blue Mountains are easily accessible from Sydney and since 2000 the region has been World Heritage Listed.
With many national parks, forests, lakes, waterfalls and beaches, Tasmania attracts hikers and bush-walkers from all around the world who are drawn to locations such as Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Freycinet National Park and Maria Island. The natural beauty of Tasmania is unlike any other location on earth; hiking through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness on the Overland Track you’ll see lakes, forests and gorges, mountains and moors, spectacular waterfalls and steep, stony peaks. Exploring Maria Island offers an abundance of wildlife, convict ruins, remote sandy beaches, mountains and fossil cliffs. Hiking up to the top of the Freycinet National Park offers spectacular views over Wineglass Bay – pristine white beaches and untouched natural wilderness.
Photo: Maria Island, Tasmania
Have you already experienced one of these hikes in Australia, have something to share about them? Or maybe you would like to challenge this selection with some more suggestions? Please, tell Megan if you enjoyed this reading and if you feel as inspired as I do !
Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg has recently launched “Mapping Megan”, an up and coming travel blog which aims to give you the best tips and advice on travelling, volunteering, living, working and holidaying abroad. She hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list!