Challenge Yourself on One of Australia’s Greatest Hikes

Take on one of Australia’s epic multi-day hikes. From the Thorsborne Trail in Queensland to the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail in South Australia, here are our insider’s top picks.


Photo © Laura Waters

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. 

Thorsborne Trail, Queensland

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.

Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, South Australia

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, South Australia. Photo credit: Laura Waters

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.

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Great North Walk, New South Wales

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.

Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Main Range Walk, Mt Kosciuszko, New South Wales

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 Pass, and weaves its way to the top of the mountain range. Passing the Snowy River and several glacial lakes, it offers endless mountain views and wildflowers in spring. A chairlift from Thredbo will shorten the route to the summit to 8mi (13km) return. Beware, this hike will be snowbound in winter.

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.

Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Related articles

Travel Insurance

Simple and flexible travel insurance

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

No Comments

Add a Comment