The walks and adventures here showcase Australia’s diverse landscapes, which range from high mountain peaks to red deserts and rainforests. If you only do half of what’s on this list, you’ll have seen some of the most isolated, spectacular, and wild regions on the planet and numerous World Heritage sites. There’s something for everyone, from spectacular wilderness trips to easily accessible day-long hikes.
Bridle Gap walking, Wilpena Pound, South Australia
While other hikes can be taken in and around Wilpena Pound, this one will take you over its floor from top to bottom. It’s a six-hour, 19-kilometer roundtrip hike on the famed 1200-kilometer Heysen Trail. Pound’s floor is a bird lover’s paradise, with hawks and parrots, corpses and robins living among native pines, eucalyptus, and cypress trees. The best walks and adventures in Australia
The view of the amphitheater organically encircling the mountain from the bride’s void is a hiking highlight.
A wild trip from Cairns to the Cape York Peninsula.
Do you have a bicycle license? Then it would help if you embarked on this quest. An eight-day guided bike trail journey takes you from Cairns to Cape York, through the picturesque Daintree Rainforest, to Cooktown, and up to the northernmost town of Seisa. You may reach Australia’s southernmost point from here on sandy pathways and expansive beaches. It’s a bucket-list experience and the greatest way to see this corner of the world, much of which is only accessible by motorcycle. Rides such as the Cape York Motorcycle Adventure and the Fair Dinkum Bike Tour are recommended.
Highlights of the Adventure: Eliot Falls is like a mirage after a day in the saddle; a wonderful wild swimming spot.
Fraser Island, Queensland, Island of Wonders – Great Walk
The world’s largest sand island should be a pilgrimage site for Australians. Fraser Island is a World Heritage-listed paradise of white beaches and over 100 freshwater lakes, including the beautiful Lake McKenzie, mangroves, and rainforest creeks. The Great Walk lasts six to eight days and covers 90 kilometers, allowing you to see the best of the island, from the towering woodland known as the Valley of the Giants to the well-known bathing hole known as Lake Wabby.
Hiking Highlight: Keep an eye out for the dingo, as this is one of the greatest spots to see this iconic species.
Australia’s Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon Raceway, Blue Mountains, NSW
Blue Mountains National Park is a green oasis encircled by massive sandstone rocks. The Grand Canyon Trail is a six-kilometer detour that begins near the charming community of Blackheath at Evans Lookout and gives spectacular views of the Grose Valley. The walk will take you around the Blue Mountains’ clifftops, plunging into subtropical vegetation, stunning Beauchamp Falls, and prehistoric seagulls filled with ferns. The Grand Canyon is a 180-meter-deep sandstone gorge that requires an amazing elevation to accomplish this short but thrilling four-hour excursion. This is The best walks and adventures in Australia
Hiking Highlight: Regular bush breaks along the valley top provide vistas of the lush, wooded Grose Valley, demonstrating why this is a World Heritage Area.
Hiking – Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory
This path soon becomes a must-do hike in the country, bringing you from Alice Springs to Mt Sonder through the isolated desert. You’ll walk across extensive floodplains, along the West MacDonnell Ranges’ stunning ridges, and through breathtaking gorges. You can walk the entire 223 kilometers of Larapinta in 15 to 16 days, or you can undertake a segment of the day, such as Mount Sonder Return or Counts Point Return. You’ll see unusual desert vegetation and black-footed rocks along the route.
Hiking Highlight: Simpsons Gap is a stunning redstone walkway that protects a refreshing waterhole.
Mt Bogong, Victoria Alpine Ascent
To see possibly Australia’s most unusual terrain, alpine wildness, you must travel to the mountains. You can now hike the full 650km Australian Alps Hiking Trail to do this, or you can cheat and complete a fairly difficult hike in one day. The day’s itinerary takes you to the upper plains and the summit of Mt Bogong (‘Big -fella’ in Aboriginal language), Victoria’s highest peak at 1986 meters. The trail begins at the Mountain Creek picnic spot and follows the Staircase Spur, a 16-kilometer mountainous climb. Before reaching the top of Mt Bogong and the breathtaking vistas of Alpine National Park, you’ll walk through lovely snow mints and gum trees.
Hiking Highlights: Because the hike is difficult, you’ll love seeing the quaint Bivouac Hut, which is a nice site to spend lunch.
Tasmania’s Rock the Cradle Overland Track
The wilderness of Tasmania is a World Heritage Site, and there’s no better way to see it than on this 65-kilometer, six-day journey. During the hiking season, which runs from October to May, you’ll go from the base of Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair via ancient rainforests, ice valleys, meadows, and trails. This is a popular hike; reservations are required for hikes during summer (recommended!) at the campsites and huts along the route. This is The best walks and adventures in Australia
- Take your time.
- Get off the usual path.
- Climb Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s highest point at 1617 meters.
Simpson Desert Road, South Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland
Some of the world’s most beautiful locales are special because they are famously difficult to reach. And we have one smack in the middle of the country: the Simpson Desert. The only way to see this stunning terrain, home to 1100 red sand dunes, rolling in your views is to drive across it in a highly designed 4WD. Even then, you must become a terrain specialist. It’s a four-day trip, and you’ll need to be self-sufficient in fuel, water, and food for the entire seven days, as well as have a healthy dose to boot. We advocate taking a tour and letting the pros take the wheel unless you’re the 4WD equivalent of Mick Dundee; for example, Tagalong Tours offers a 12-day excursion into Simpson.
Adventure Highlight: Climb the slopes of Big Red, or Nappanerica, Simpson’s largest sand dune at 40 meters.
Ningaloo, WA – Swim with the Giants
When one of the world’s largest mammals makes its annual journey to our waters, it’s an honor. From April to July, swarms of whale sharks assemble on Ningaloo Reef, a World Heritage Site, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel with the world’s largest fish. A boat will keep you hydrated and fed on the reef, while detection planes will spot harmless sharks flying overhead. Then you’ll be dropped off to swim among the gentle giants.
The adrenaline rush at the sight of the approaching shark’s massive form was the adventure’s high point.
Franklin River, Tasmania – Into the Wild
Join a rafting trip down the Franklin River and you’ll spend more than a week navigating its untouched rapids, tranquil swimming holes, and channels that lead you through ancient woodland that you can’t reach otherwise. Franklin River Rafting offers eight-day expeditions that include camping in stunning canyons along the way.