Australia’s vast landscape varies from desert to tropical rainforest, alpine mountains to an endless coastline. Hiking is the ultimate way to experience these landscapes, but you’ll need to have the right gear and food to tackle these walks. Always carry a map, compass, GPS, first-aid kit and Personal Locator Beacon.
World Heritage-listed Hinchinbrook Island feels like the land that time forgot. Rocky peaks soar from the rainforest, palm trees line pristine beaches and the interior hides swamp and grassy plains, making for a spectacularly diverse trail. Swimming in cascades and rivers is a daily treat, and Zoe Falls is a highlight.
Time: 20mi/32km, 4–5 days
Getting there: Catch a ferry from Cardwell, a 2.5-hour drive south of Cairns.
Tip: Metal boxes provided at camp will prevent bush rats from raiding your food.
Combining rugged ocean cliff tops with pristine beaches and tea tree forest, this spectacular walk is also a hotspot for kangaroos, koalas and fur seals. The Remarkable Rocks, sculpted by the elements, are a highlight along with a sea cave at Admirals Arch that drips with stalactites. Enjoy the flash campsites with cooking shelters and unisex toilets.
Time: 38mi/61km, five days
Getting there: SeaLink operate a bus and ferry from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, or you can self-drive.
Tip: Don’t miss the side trip to Cape du Couedic and Admirals Arch.
Starting in the heart of Sydney, this route winds through urban and natural landscapes north to Newcastle. Taking in attractions such as Lane Cove National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the Hawkesbury River and the Hunter region, it has a good mix of bush terrain and passes 14 Indigenous rock art sites. Regular access points make side-trips and section hiking popular.
There are multiple train stations along the Great North Walk, so if you’re not feeling up to hiking the whole epic trail, catch a train to Cowan station and do a shorter walk to the lone palm tree at Jerusalem Bay (3mi/5km-return).
Time: 155mi/250km, 10–14 days
Getting there: Walk from Macquarie Place in Sydney and catch a bus or train back to Sydney from Newcastle.
Tip: Avoid summer when the bushfire risk is high.
Stand at the top of Mount Kosciuszko, the roof of Australia at 7,310ft (2,228m) above sea level. This stunning alpine loop track starts at Charlottes
Time: 14mi/22km, 8–9 hours
Getting there: Park at Charlottes Pass, a three-hour drive from Canberra.
Tip: Always pack windproof and waterproof gear, and bring enough food for the day.
A bad wildlife experience may not always be easy to spot. As with any aspect of responsible travel, do your research.
Master the art of landscape photography with pro photographer Charlie Waite. Learn the importance of composition, exposure and patience.
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.Get a quote