How’s it going, mates? Australia, our beloved “Land Down Under”, is home to a diverse landscape teeming with natural beauty, boasting everything from sun-kissed beaches and rainforests, to rocky mountains and barren deserts. As we all know, it’s no wonder that hiking has become a favourite pastime in our corner of the world.
The Great Ocean Walk
Our journey begins with the Great Ocean Walk, a gem located in Victoria and stretching approximately 104 km from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead. This trail offers hikers an intimate journey along Australia’s most treasured coastline, with highlights such as the Twelve Apostles limestone formations and the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Now, if you’re thinking about tackling this beauty, keep in mind it’s considered a moderate-to-hard hike and can take around eight days to complete. To plan your trek, check out our guide on the best national parks for hiking in Australia for detailed information.
Before embarking on this trail, ensure you’ve got your permit from Parks Victoria and equipped yourself with the right essential hiking gear for Australia’s diverse terrain. For a comprehensive guide on the Great Ocean Walk, have a look at Australia’s Best Hiking Trails.
The Larapinta Trail
Next on the list, we head to the Red Centre – the heart of our vast country – to explore the Larapinta Trail. This trail meanders through the rugged beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory. It spans 223 km and usually takes around 14 days to traverse. Along the way, you’ll experience the spirituality of the land that is deeply significant to the indigenous Arrernte people.
When hiking in this culturally rich terrain, it’s critical to respect local customs and regulations. As such, a permit from the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife is required. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from May to August. Brush up on your hiking safety tips for Australia before you set out on this adventure.
The Overland Track
Down in Tasmania, the Overland Track awaits. This 65-km trail starts at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St. Clair, the deepest natural freshwater lake in Australia. As mentioned earlier, be sure to pack your essential hiking gear, as this trail is considered hard and can take about six days to complete. It’s rich in diverse wildlife and offers unparalleled scenery of ancient rainforests, alpine meadows, and spectacular waterfalls.
Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania provides the necessary permit to embark on this journey. Detailed information about the Overland Track can be found at Lonely Planet’s Top Hiking Trails in Australia.
The Cape to Cape Track
Finally, we venture to Western Australia to the Cape to Cape Track, a 123 km trail that runs between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. If diverse flora and fauna are your cup of tea, you’ll be in your element here. This trail is rich with wildflowers, native plants, and wildlife. The best time to visit is from September to November when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
Before setting out, make sure you’ve obtained your permit from the Department of Parks and Wildlife. For an in-depth look at the Cape to Cape Track, check out Australian Geographic’s Guide to Hiking in Australia.
In summary, Australia offers an incredible variety of hiking trails that cater to all levels of adventurers. Whether you’re drawn to the coastal charm of the Great Ocean Walk, the cultural significance of the Larapinta Trail, the stunning scenery of the Overland Track, or the biodiverse Cape to Cape Track, there’s something for everyone. So, lace up your hiking boots and explore the hidden treasures of our beautiful country!