Some parts of Australia are currently under hard lockdown, over a year since the pandemic blew up the world. Hopefully, things will get better soon, and the country will welcome tourists again. In the meantime, here’s an article on the best treks in Australia from fellow blogger, Louis from Outdoor Explorer. If you’re an avid hiker or just a nature enthusiast, Australia has some of the best trails (and the best extreme adventures) you can take!
Australia is known around the world for being a continent full of natural beauty and wonder, and one of the best ways to experience this is by hiking some of the fantastic trails that the country has to offer. Whether you’re a new hiker, new to hiking in Australia, or a veteran with several mountains in your belt, you will find a route for you down under.
Here are some of the best hiking trails in Australia.
Pronounced noo-noo in the local Aboriginal language, this is a small mountain that makes up part of the Glasshouse Mountains range on the Sunshine Coast. This is a shorter walk, perfect for beginner hikers or those who haven’t hiked elsewhere in Australia.
It’s only about 3 kilometers, return, yet it offers those who make it to the top outstanding views of the surrounding area, thanks to its 250m elevation.
The walk can be steep in places, so take your time and go at your own pace. The top of the mountain is open to the sun, so make sure that you bring plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration.
It’s also home to a variety of rare native plants that aren’t found in many other parts of Australia.
On the other extreme, there’s the Overland Track, a 6-day, 65-km trek through outback Tasmania (an island off the south coast of mainland Australia).
There’s a huge variety of landscapes and ecosystems that you can expect to experience as you progress along this hike. There are deep glacial valleys, open plains, towering eucalyptus jungles, and much, much more.
Public huts are spread along the hike, which you can use as accommodation if you wish. It’s also advisable to bring a lightweight hiking tent with you in case you don’t make it to the huts before nightfall.
You’ll need to purchase a $200 pass from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service to be able to do this walk.
Located in Springbrook National Park, just west of the Gold Coast, this circuit walk is a nice day walk suitable for all ages.
Despite being only 4 kilometers long, it is packed with interesting sights. There are narrow caves nestled among huge boulders, vantage points where you can look out over the Gold Coast and the ocean beyond, plus two large waterfalls.
One of the waterfalls plunges into a large pool, which is a popular swimming spot. It’s a nice place to cool off at the end of your walk.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the distinctive call of the native catbird at certain points. As the name suggests, this bird really does sound like a cat!
There are also a few nice spots where you can have a picnic, so feel free to bring along some food.
The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island covers an area of 1,840 square kilometers and is located just off the eastern coast of Australia.
It also contains one of Australia’s most famous walks, the Fraser Island Great Walk.
At 90 kilometers in length, and taking on average 6 to 8 days to complete, this is certainly a hike for experienced trekkers only. With a mix of both tropical rainforests and flora found only in sand environments, this is a very unique hike.
The hike can be broken up into smaller sections if you don’t feel like tackling the whole thing in one go. This is a fairly remote trek, so make sure that you bring plenty of water and gear with you.
Being a multi-day hike, it’s also very important that you pack your backpack appropriately to keep the weight evenly distributed and avoid putting unnecessary stress on your body. Check out this guide on how to pack your backpack properly.
Another hike in the Glasshouse Mountains range, this one is actually part hike, part mountain climb due to the incredible steepness in parts.
This mountain is actually the plug of a volcano that existed around 27 million years ago.
Today, you can hike/climb to the top of the 360-meter high mountain and enjoy stunning views of the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the other Glasshouse Mountains.
Be aware that this climb is very steep and only recommended for those with decent footwear and plenty of hiking experience.
Australia is a vast country, with a climate that varies from place to place. Generally speaking, winter is quite mild in most of the country, so autumn, winter, and spring is the best time of the year for hiking.
The heat is brutal in summer, and you greatly increase your risk of sunstroke or dehydration if you choose to hike for extended periods at this time. If you go hiking in summer, bring plenty of water (a lot more than you think that you will need) as well as a hat and appropriate clothing.
Many of Australia’s venomous snakes tend to be more active in summer too, which makes the cooler months a better time to hit the trails.
When going on hiking treks in Australia, like in any country, it pays to observe safety precautions. Here are some tips on how to maximize your trip.
The Australian summer is hotter and more dangerous than in many other countries. In the northern parts of the country, summer is hot and humid, while in the southern parts, it is hot and dry.
Regardless, the sun is very strong in Australia and you can get sunburnt, dehydrated, or sunstroke after even moderate exercise in direct sunlight.
Avoid hiking in the hottest part of the day, wear a hat and sunscreen and make sure that you always take water with you.
Australia has a reputation for being home to many dangerous animals, and this is true to a degree.
When hiking, snakes are your greatest threat in terms of wildlife. There are a number of venomous snakes in Australia, although the Eastern Brown snake is probably the one you need to be the most careful of (being the second most venomous land snake in the world).
When hiking, step heavily and don’t be afraid to make some noise. This gives any snakes advance warning of your presence and time for them to scatter. They are fearful of humans and will generally only attack if provoked.
If you are bitten, use the Pressure Immobilization Technique (PIT) to bandage the wound and get a companion to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Avoid moving your body as this can spread around the venom.
In saying this, snakebite fatalities are very rare in Australia (usually around one per year). Driving from home to the car park at the trailhead is probably more risky than being bitten by a snake.
Australia is a beautiful country with a variety of different hikes (and other adventures) that each show off a different aspect of this natural beauty.
Hiking really is the best way to experience the different landscapes, climates, and ecosystems that the country has to offer. When the world is open again, feel free to drop by for a visit and go on one (or several) hiking treks in Australia!