20 Best Day Hikes in Australia

20 Best Day Hikes in Australia

20 March 2017

Australia has some amazing sights. From pristine beaches to lush bushland to stunning summit sights. There’s loads of national parks and conservation areas that have trails available to enjoy this amazing scenery at your own pace. The best bit, it’s normally free! Whether you prefer coastal views or rainforests, there’s sure to be a view for you.

 

New South Wales

Three Sisters Walk – Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

Three Sisters Walk - Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

Image thanks to NSW National Parks

Three Sisters Walk, in Katoomba, offers some of the most iconic views in the Blue Mountains National Park, and takes you up close to the famous Three Sisters. The Three Sisters actually have names and the site itself is named after an Aborignal dream-time legend from the Katoomba tribe. In the legend the sisters, ‘Meehni’,’Wimlah’ and ‘Gunnedoo’ were transformed into rock by a witch doctor to protect them from harm during a war. The witch doctor intended to reverse the spell but died during the battle leaving the sisters to remain as these beautiful rocks for eternity.

Distance: 1 km return

Duration: 30 min 

 

Mount Warning Summit, NSW

Mount Warning Summit, NSW

Image thanks to NSW National Parks

The walk runs through the rainforest, culminates in breathtaking 360 degree views around the ancient caldera with coastal views stretching from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay. The climb ends with a challenging rock scramble before reaching the summit, the perfect place to picnic before heading back down again. If you’re wondering why such a stunning place is called Mount Warning, it was named by Captain Cook to warn future sailors of offshore reefs he encountered in 1770.

Distance: 8.8 km return

Duration: 5 hours

 

Cape Byron Walking Track – Cape Byron State Conservation Area, NSW

Cape Byron Walking Track - Cape Byron State Conservation Area, NSW

Image thanks to NSW National Parks

The Cape Byron walking track offers up spectacular coastal views and takes you on a hike through rainforest, beaches, grassland and clifftops to the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse. The lighthouse sits on Australia’s most eastern point and is a great place to climb up for awesome ocean views.

Distance: 3.7 km loop

Duration: 1-3 hours

 

Furber Steps – Scenic Railway, NSW

Furber Steps - Scenic Railway, NSW

Image thanks to NSW National Parks

Located in Blue Mountains National Park, this walking track offers scenic views, waterfalls, birdwatching, a visit to Katoomba Falls, and the chance to visit Scenic World which features the Scenic Railway, the steeped passenger railway in the world with  52°incline.

Distance: 2.4 km return

Duration: 1-2 hours

 

Northern Territory

 

Uluru Base walk – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT

 

Uluru Base walk - Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT

Image thanks to Last Minute Day Tours

This is a very popular Uluru walk attracting people from all around the world. Although this means it can get a bit busy it’s definitely worth getting up close and personal with this stunning Aussie wonder. What’s even better is that it goes around the entire base of Ayers Rock and doesn’t get closed like some of the other walks on this list.

Distance: 10.6 km loop

Duration: 3.5 hours

 

The Valley of the Winds Walks – Karu Lookout, NT

The Valley of the Winds Walks - Karu Lookout, NT

Image thanks to Renee Baribeau

While in Kata Tjuta, get away from everyone and everything at Valley of the Winds. It’s a little bit of a challenging walk, but the views are breathtaking and worth the effort. If you want to do this walk we recommend you start early in the morning so you can beat the heat.

Distance: 2.2 km return

Duration: 1 hour

 

Ubirr Rock Lookout – Kakadu National Park, NT

Ubirr Rock Lookout - Kakadu National Park, NT

Image thanks to Journey Era

Past the art walk in Kakadu National Park is a moderately steep climb to the top of a rocky lookout of Ubirr rock. Here you will be able to gaze over the wilderness landscape that surrounds the Nadab floodplain. We also recommend checking out the bottom of Ubirr rock which is famous for it’s Aboriginal art.

Distance: 250 meter climb

Duration: 1 hour

 

Barrawei Walk - Katherine Gorge National Park, NT

Barrawei Walk - Katherine Gorge National Park, NT

The shortest track in Katherine Gorge National Park, a steep climb near the boat ramp takes you to a magnificent spot overlooking the start of the gorge. If you need to wait for the next boat cruise this is a great way to make use of the time.

Distance: 400 m loop or return

Duration: 2 hours

 

Kings Canyon Rim Walk - Watarrka National Park, NT

Kings Canyon Rim Walk - Watarrka National Park, NT

Image thanks to Swiss Nomads

The rim walk begins with a challenging 500-step climb to a summit, where you will marvel at the breathtaking views of Watarrka National Park and into the canyon itself; before descending in the green oasis of the “Garden of Eden”.

Distance: 6 km

Duration: 3.5 hours

 

Queensland

 

Noosa National Park – Coastal Walk, Qld

Noosa National Park - Coastal Walk, Qld

Image thanks to Noosa Crest Resort

Following the shoreline from the main park entrance to northern Sunshine beach, the coastal track passes over several headlands and provides many spectacular coastal views. You can even spot plenty of unique wildlife including dolphins and koalas.

Distance: 5.4 km

Duration: 3 hours

 

Mount Sorrow Ridge - Cape Tribulation, Qld

 

Mount Sorrow Ridge - Cape Tribulation, Qld

Image thanks to Cairns to Cape

There are a large range of walk options in the Cape Tribulation - Daintree National Park area, from beach walks to rainforest walks. The most extreme is Mt. Sorrow, which gives bush walkers spectacular views of the upland rainforest. This was another place named by Captain Cook who seemed to have a penchant for depressing names (Cape Tribulation, Mount Sorrow, etc) after he almost sunk by hitting a reef and putting a big hole in his boat.

Distance: 7 km return

Duration: 6 hours

 

Coomera Circuit – Lamington National Park, Qld

 

Coomera Circuit - Lamington National Park, Qld

Image thanks to We Are Explorers

This track shows off some of Binna Burras best assets and is one of the prettiest walks in this section of the park. If you go after rain, the waterfalls are sure to be at their best.

Distance: 17.4 km return

Duration: 7 hours

 

Mount Rooper Track – Conway National Park, Qld

 

Mount Rooper Track- Conway National Park, Qld

Conway National Park boasts a number of walking tracks, which take you through a variety of vegetation types including lowland rainforest, mangroves and open forest. Take the Mount Rooper track for spectacular Whitsunday Passage and island views.

Distance: 5.4 loop

Duration: 2.5 hours

 

Western Australia

 

Nature’s Window- Kalbarri National Park, WA

Natures Window- Kalbarri National Park, WA

Image thanks to Rob Dose

The challenging loop walk in Kalbarri National Park highlights the erosive power of the Murchison River which has carved magnificent gorges to reveal the red and white banded rock. Highlights include the iconic ‘Nature’s Window’, a natural rock formation which frames the Murchison valley.

Distance: 8 km loop

Duration: 3-4 hours

 

Pinnacles Desert View Trail – Nambung National Park, WA

Pinnacles Desert View Trail - Nambung National Park, WA

Image thanks to Tourism Western Australia

Discover the ancient desert sculptures of the Pinnacles, which sit in Nambung National Park, along an idyllic stretch of coastline north of Perth. The Pinnacles themselves are actually made from limestone that came from an earlier era which was rich with marine life.

Distance: 1.5 km return

Duration: 45 mins

 

Bluff Knoll – Stirling Range National Park, WA

Bluff Knoll - Stirling Range National Park, WA

Image thanks to Australian Traveller

Bluff Knoll is the third highest peak in WA and as a result is one of the most popular walking trails in the state. Located in Stirling Range National Park, the trail offers some of the most spectacular and impressive vantage points from which to admire the beauty of the surrounding region.

Distance: 6 km

Duration: 1-3 hours 

 

Victoria

 

Darby River to Tongue Point – Wilsons Prom National Park, VIC

Darby River to Tongue Point - Wilsons Prom National Park, VIC

Image thanks to AdventureMe

Offering magnificent views of Darby Swamp, Vereker Range and Darby and Cotters Beach, this walk climbs gently through windswept coastal vegetation before following the headland towards Tongue Point, a coastal headland jewelled with stacks of weathered granite. The track ends prior to the semi-attached island. 

Distance: 3.8 km

Duration: 2 hours

 

South Australia

 

St. Mary Peak, SA

St. Mary Peak, SA

Image thanks to Snowys

St Mary Peak is a challenging circuit hike to the summit of the Flinders Ranges highest mountain – 1171m. This hike rewards panoramic views of the Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley, and the salt plains to the west.

Distance: 19 km loop

Duration: 9 hours

 

Tasmania

 

Wineglass Bay Walk – Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay Walk - Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Image thanks to East Coast Tasmania

This walk will give you one of Tasmania’s most celebrated views over the beautiful white sands of Wineglass Bay. This is a steep uphill walk on a rocky, well-constructed track within Freycinet National Park.

Distance: 3 km return

Duration: 1 1/2-2 hours 

 

Dove Lake Circuit - Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania

Dove Lake Circuit - Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania

Image thanks to Let's Go Caravan And Camping

Located in Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, this track is one of Tasmania’s premier walks. It will take you right around Dove Lake and beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain. 

Distance: 6 km return

Duration: 2 hours 

 

The View from the Top

 

While we’ve covered more day treks than you could poke a hiking stick at, there’s plenty more out there. Probably more than anyone could do in a lifetime. Australia is an absolutely beautiful place and when it comes to scenery there is really something for everyone, especially when it comes to hikes like these. The only downside is that sometimes you have to work for it. 

 

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