5 of the Most Beautiful Hikes In Australia
by Louis from Outdoor Explorer
Australia is widely known as being a place with incredible natural beauty and wonder, and nowhere is that more obvious than when experiencing the environment first-hand on a hike. Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful hikes Australia has to offer.
#1 – Fraser Island Great Walk
Fraser Island is a World Heritage site off the coast of Queensland, and it is a great place to visit if you really want to immerse yourself in nature. It has one of the last surviving purebred dingo populations in the world, but more importantly, it boasts the Fraser Island Great Walk.
The walk is around 90km in length and takes around 8 days on average. It passes through many of the breathtaking sites that are a highlight of Fraser Island, including Lake Boomanjin, Wanggoolba Creek, Lake McKenzie, the Valley of the Giants, and the Maheno Shipwreck.
One of the best parts of the walk is the huge variation in the environment. You will experience stunning rainforests one day and a desert environment the next (Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world) as well as the unique flora and fauna that go along with it.
The walk can be broken up into a series of smaller walks if you don’t want to walk the full 90km, and there are plenty of places to camp along the way. This is a tough hike, so be sure to pack your ultralight trekking tent to avoid weighing down your pack.
Fraser Island is accessible via a ferry from Inskip Point, which is just north of Rainbow Beach on the mainland.
#2 – Larapinta Trail
Located outside Alice Springs, deep in outback Australia, the Larapinta Trail is a 231m hike that takes around 15 days to complete. It follows the mountain ranges in the West MacDonell National Park and you can expect to experience a wide range of awe-inspiring sights as you traverse the landscape.
You will at times find yourself trekking along rocky ridges, and at other times in dry creek beds or plains as far as the eye can see. Along the way, you can visit a series of Indigenous Australian sacred sites that visitors have been granted permission to enter.
There are also a variety of side trails that you can go on to extend the hike even further and to give you the opportunity to explore some of the areas in more depth.
#3 – The Overland Track
If you have substantial hiking and bushwalking experience, then the Overland Track can be a good option for you. It is a very difficult hike in an extremely rural part of Tasmania (an island off the southeastern coast of Australia). It is 65km in length and will take you around 6 days.
As with many of the other hikes you can enjoy in Australia, you can expect to see variety in terms of landscapes as you progress. On the Overland Track, you can spend time in ancient rainforests, glacial valleys, moorlands, alpine meadows, and eucalyptus forests.
The walk runs from the Alpine Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. There are public huts along the way but it is recommended that you bring along your own tent in case you can’t reach them or they are full.
You can hike the track independently or you can go on a guided walk. Because of the difficulty and danger, it isn’t recommended for children under 8 to accompany you.
There are several side trips that you can take to explore the different areas in more depth and extend your hike.
You will need to purchase a pass from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service to be able to do the Overland Track. For adults, these passes cost $200, and this money is used to maintain the walk and the public huts.
One thing to be aware of is that there are plenty of leeches on this hike. While they aren’t pleasant, they pose no real threat to trekkers, so learn how to remove them quickly and safely and you’ll be fine.
#4 – Kings Canyon Rim Walk
If you’re looking for a shorter walk that will still allow you to take in some of Australia’s beauty, then the Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a great option. It is 6km in length and runs in a circuit, which you have to take clockwise, and which takes you right back to the car park at the end.
This walk is truly magical. You can see some 360° views from the top of Kings Canyon, Priscilla’s Crack (of Priscilla Queen of the Desert fame), the Lost City, and then finally walk into the incredible Garden of Eden. In the garden, you can cross a bridge that goes right over the ancient and sacred waterhole.
Although the walk is short, you still need to be relatively fit to complete it. To get to the start of the walk, you will need to climb around 1000 steep steps. With that being said, there are plenty of places to stop and rest (and take in the amazing views).
It is usually a good idea to attempt this walk only during the cooler months. If the temperature is above 36 degrees, you will only be permitted to start the walk before 9 am.
Even though this is a short walk, bring plenty of water, even more than you think you will need. Running out of water midway through a hike in Australia is very dangerous, as the sun and heat are brutal here. Dehydration and sunstroke can happen even to experienced hikers if they aren’t careful.
#5 – Scenic Rim Walk
This walk is a little different from the others because it is practically brand new. It was only launched in 2020 and is designed to provide visitors with a unique way of experiencing the beauty of South East Queensland’s Main Range National Park.
It is a guided walk only and lasts 5 days and 5 nights, covering around 50km in total. The walk highlights areas of the national park that are virtually untouched and were likely last visited by Indigenous Australians or some of the early pioneers.
The area is a nature reserve and on this walk, you can experience some truly unique animal and plant life that has been left to develop without human interference. There are also volcanic plateaus, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and lush forests.
On each night of the walk, you will stay at a different eco-luxury retreat so that you can relax in comfort and style after a hard day’s hike.
This walk is a great option for those who are visiting nearby Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to beauty in Australia, but the 5 stand-out walks that we have mentioned here are those that offer the most variety and uniqueness.
On each of these walks, you will find yourself experiencing a new side of Australia around practically every corner and the variety in the environment, vegetation, and views means that you will be able to fully enjoy the beauty that Australia has to offer.