Australia is renowned for its great outdoors, with bushwalking (hiking) being one of the best ways to experience its vast wilderness. However, with so many trails to choose from, deciding the best ones to explore can be difficult. Here we present a list of the 10 Must-See Bushwalking Trails in Australia. With trekking routes varying from multi-day trails such as Tasmania’s Overland Track and the Heysen Trail in South Australia to shorter treks like the 32-kilometer Thorsborne Trail in Queensland, there’s something to suit everyone’s interests and abilities. Mostly, camping areas, huts, and lodges are available along the trails, but some require permits.
Australia is known for its vast wilderness, and there is no better way to experience it than through bushwalking. With countless trails to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones are worth exploring. To narrow down your options, we have compiled a list of 10 Must-See Bushwalking Trails in Australia.
1. Overland Track, Tasmania
The Overland Track is a 65 km (40 mi) trek through Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. This trail showcases stunning landscapes, including waterfalls, lakes, and stunning mountain views. The route usually takes six days to complete, and walkers pass through a range of terrains, from alpine forests to button-grass plains.
2. Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory
The Larapinta Trail spans 223 km (139 mi) across the Northern Territory’s West MacDonnell Range. This trail is the ultimate adventure for hikers who love red deserts, rocky gorges, and starry skies. It is a challenging trek that takes around two weeks to complete, but the rewards are endless.
3. Blue Mountains Trail, New South Wales
The Blue Mountains Trail is a 240 km (150 mi) route that traverses the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. This trail begins in Emu Plains and finishes in Katoomba, passing through a range of environments, including deep gorges, scenic lookouts, and dense forests. There are plenty of places to camp along the way, and the trail can be completed in seven to ten days.
4. Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
The Great Ocean Walk is a 104 km (65 mi) trail from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles in Victoria. This trek showcases one of Australia’s most iconic coastlines, with stunning views of the Great Ocean Road, beaches, and wind-swept cliffs. The walk can be completed in seven to eight days, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting along the way.
5. Cape to Cape Track, Western Australia
The Cape to Cape Track is a 135 km (84 mi) route along the south-west coast of Western Australia. This trail boasts spectacular coastal scenery, with views of cliffs, limestone formations, and pristine beaches. The track can be completed in five to seven days, and there are plenty of campsites and accommodations available.
6. Three Capes Track, Tasmania
The Three Capes Track is a 46 km (29 mi) trek in Tasmania’s Tasman National Park. This trail showcases some of Tasmania’s most rugged and isolated landscapes, including sea cliffs, cobalt bays, and vast eucalypt forests. The full walk takes three to four days, and walkers stay in sustainable lodges along the way.
7. Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, South Australia
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a 61 km (38 mi) trek through the wilderness of Kangaroo Island. This trail is known for its diverse wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas, as well as pristine beaches and towering cliffs. The trek can be completed in five days, with campsites and lodges available.
8. Heysen Trail, South Australia
The Heysen Trail spans 1,200 km (745 mi) across South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges. This trail is one of Australia’s longest, showcasing stunning landscapes, including rolling hills, vineyards, and indigenous cultural sites. The trail can be completed in around two months, with plenty of campsites and accommodations available.
9. Thorsborne Trail, Queensland
The Thorsborne Trail is a 32 km (20 mi) trek through Queensland’s Hinchinbrook Island National Park. This trail is known for its iconic landscapes, including mangroves, rainforests, and crystal-clear streams. The walk takes around four days, and hikers camp in designated campsites along the way.
10. Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia
The Bibbulmun Track is a 1,000 km (621 mi) trail through Western Australia’s Southwest. This trail showcases some of the state’s most diverse landscapes, from towering karri forests to rocky outcrops and white-sand beaches. The trail can be completed in around six to eight weeks, depending on the pace.
1. What is the best time of year to go bushwalking?
The best time to go bushwalking depends on the trail you choose. In general, the cooler months from April to October are the most comfortable for hiking, with lower temperatures and fewer insects.
2. Do I need a permit to hike these trails?
Some trails require permits, while others do not. It’s important to research the trail before you go to ensure you have all the necessary permits and permissions.
3. Are there accommodations along the trails?
Most trails have accommodations available, including camping areas, lodges, and huts. It’s important to research the trail before you go to ensure you have a place to stay.
4. Do I need to be an experienced hiker to complete these trails?
Some of these trails are more challenging than others, and it’s important to be prepared before embarking on any hiking adventure. It’s recommended that hikers have experience with multi-day treks and are physically fit to complete the trail.
5. What should I bring with me on a bushwalking trip?
It’s important to bring appropriate clothing, footwear, and equipment for the trail. This may include hiking boots, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and adequate water and food supplies. It’s always best to be over-prepared, rather than under-prepared, for any hiking adventure.