Tick These 5 Australia’s Most Audacious Hikes Off Your List!
Whether you're interested in hiking through the rainforest, tundra, the desert or along some of the worlds longest beaches, Australia has you covered. Our country boasts some of the most diverse biomes in the world, which means taking a break to wander through nature is undoubtedly best done right here at home.
If you're looking for some of the most audacious hiking trails in Australia and wanting to learn some more about them, we have a fantastic list for you below.
The Overland in Tasmania
We begin our list in the cold country with The Overland Track in Tasmania. The Overland is the ultimate trek for those who want to take in snow-capped mountains, rolling prairies, countless rivers and temperate eucalyptus forests. It offers a unique experience that you're unlikely to find anywhere else in Australia.
The Overland Track spans 65 kilometers and takes roughly a week or so to complete, depending on your skill level.
You’ll even have the chance to stop over in fully serviced lodges and other accommodation if you’re inclined to take a break from the track, so getting some much-needed rest and time to take a load off is more than doable on the Overland.
A few highlights of Tasmania’s world-class Overland Track include views of Cradle Mountain, the tranquil Ferguson Falls that often freeze mid-fall and views of 620m tall Barn Bluff mountain.
- An array of distinct environments including sub-alpine and open plains.
- Often mild and comfortable weather.
- Views of the ranges and hikes up mountains.
- Accommodation is available throughout the trail.
The Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail
Arguably one of Australia’s harshest hikes, the Larapinta Trail stretches over 220 kilometres through the MacDonnell Ranges in central Australia.
You’ll begin this hike just outside of Alice Springs at the Euro Ridge and head off through the orange sands and spinifex grasses. The hiking trail snakes through the desert and in and out ofMacDonnell Ranges where you’ll encounter Simpson’s Gap, Ormiston Gorge and Standley Chasm.
This trail is best tackled as a group, or with a guide as it’s one of the more difficult and potentially deadly hikes in the world. Though, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming World Expedition Travel Group’s most popular hike.
Expect to spend around 20 days completing the entire hike, and be sure to pack plenty of goods. Keep in mind some sections of the walk can be assisted by vehicle if you’re travelling with a guide.
- A look into the 150 year old ‘Old Telegraph Station.’
- Views from the 790m high Euro Ridge.
- A walk through Simpson’s Gap.
- The monolithic Standley Chasm.
The Kosciuszko Walk in New South Wales
A comparatively short, but incredibly scenic hike is the 14 kilometre Kosciuszko Walk that stretches its way up to the peak of Australia’s highest point, Mount Kosciuszko.
An unexpected feature of this hike is the flora and fauna you can expect to come across. There’s a distinct lack of trees, and you’ll be surrounded by thousands of small wildflowers on your way up to the summit. As you make your way through the wildflower meadows, you’ll also come across some foreign looking granite and limestone formations on the ground which seem oddly volcanic, but make for a great photo.
After a day of hiking, you’ll come across the Cootapatamba lake just mere feet below the summit, which formed on the mountain millions of years ago while the areas were still perched below glaciers.
The hike is relatively simple and can be completed without a guide. Just expect a full day of hiking to complete the trail and be prepared to say hello to the countless other hikers you’ll be sure to meet on the way up and down the mountain.
- Lake Cootapatamba’s eerie isolation.
- The historical and nationally famous Snowy River.
- An incredible view of the snowy mountains.
- The unique alpine and windswept landscape.
The Cape to Cape Walk in Western Australia
Stretching just over 120 kilometres, the Cape to Cape walk lies on Western Australia’s far southwest corner and leads you through a number of the states best forests, beaches and open plains.
Throughout the Cape to Cape you’ll wander through Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and pass by some of Australia’s oldest buildings such as the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, built way back in 1895. Continuing through the national park, you’ll have views of the deep blue waters off the coast of WA for almost your entire hike, plus you'll also have a direct look into all of the native fauna and flora right by the hiking trail.
Aside from the hundred-year-old lighthouses, you’ll find yourself journeying across cliffs, sandstone caves and even beaches if you so choose to head down. The one of a kind Boranup Karri Forest will also be a feature of this walk, Australia’s only open tall eucalyptus forest.
You’ll spend at least a week walking this trail and come across plenty of natural and humanmade historical sites. With a medium difficulty level, walking this hike alone or without a guide shouldn’t be a problem. There are, however, accommodation options available if you choose to walk a guided tour or head off the trail into one of the small villages.
- A continuous view of the Indian Ocean.
- Partial walks along the white sands of Yallingup Beach.
- The unique Boranup Forest.
- Famous historical architecture.
The Thorsborne Trail in North Queensland
At a length of 32 kilometres and requiring boat transport from both starting and finishing points, the Thorsborne Trail is a truly unique Australian hiking trail.
You’ll need to book this walk in advance, however, once out on the Thorsborne trail; you’ll be sure to see plenty of entirely untouched natural environments. The path will guide you through the lush rainforest and vegetation and toward countless waterfalls, streams and rock escarpments. You may also find yourself walking along beaches, in thick vine forests and undoubtedly taking a dip in a few of the waterholes.
One of the best perks of the Thorsborne Trail is its lack of development. It’s almost entirely as it was thousands of years ago, which means a dive into Australia’s environmental history is definitely possible here.
Plan for around five days on this walk and you’ll be all good to go. With a moderately difficult 32 kilometres to cover, it’s best to take your time and travel with a friend or two, or possibly even a guide if you’re a newbie to hiking.
- Untouched natural wonders.
- A unique island walk experience.
- Lakes, waterfalls and streams galore.
- Mountain-top views on most days.
The Australian Alps Walking Trail in Victoria, NSW and the ACT
Without a doubt the most audacious hiking trail in the country is the 655 kilometre Australian Alps Walking Trail which extends through three states and should only be taken on by the most experienced hikers.
On this hike you’ll be led through some of Australia’s oldest ranches and bypass some of the most famous historical buildings and lodges that the country has. This includes O’keefe’s Hut in the Snowy Mountains. The hike will guide you through open farmlands, mountain ranges, five national parks and views of some of the country’s last standing untouched forests.
The hike also guides you through to some of the other famous trails on our list, including the Kosciuszko Walk! That means views from the top of Australia’s highest point are a feature on this hike as well.
You will begin the hike in Walhalla, Victoriaand after an incredible 600 kilometre one-way journey, you’ll end up in the small town of Tharwa in the ACT.
A few important things to remember on this lengthy hike are that you’ll need to have frequent food and water drops. This is down to the fact that the walk doesn’t pass through any towns and some sections don’t even feature a path - so you’ll also need a GPS.
- You’ll pass through five national parks.
- The hike scales Mount Kosciuszko.
- A variety of unique environments.
- A first-hand look into some of Australia’s oldest properties and huts.