Searching for ‘Daylight Savings dates’ more than once this winter does not make you a bad person.
However, it does suggest a decent walk in the sun might be in order.
Prepare to feel positively paralysed with choice, because hiking in Australia cannot be summed up in one word. Choose between sandy beaches, humid rainforests, rocky desert landscapes or lofty mountain tops. Or, knock off the majority of these in one go just by hiking through Tasmania.
Whatever you decide (near or far), take a hat, sunglasses and some extra toilet paper, you just never know.
The Great Ocean Walk
A hidden gem, 3 hours drive from Melbourne, not many people know that there is a well-established trail that traverses the coast from Apollo Bay all the way to the Twelve Apostles. Choose to do the whole thing (5-8 days depending on speed) or pick and choose a stretch. Walk, swim, sunbathe. Repeat.
Beach at the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Cathedral Range State Park
After some altitude but don’t have the time? Head just 2 hours from Melbourne for either a one-day or two-day hike in the Cathedral Range. Do as most hikers do and soak your feet after the walk in the frost-bite inducing Little River, which weaves its way through the park. Note: the Southern Circuit (11km) is by far the most rewarding, the highest, and the most dangerous. Enjoy!
Grampians Peak Trail
A relative newbee for hikers, a 33km, 3 day hike has opened in the Grampians, with completion of the full 13 day hike to be completed by the end of 2019. This is a stunning circuit walk, so no hitchhiking required, and being relatively new it is still relatively secret!
New South Wales
The Great Northern Walk
One of the large walks on this list, set aside 15-16 days for this one, or take a day trip or more from Sydney or Newcastle to complete any given section of the trail. The appeal of this walk? Exploring the haunting beauty of the Hawkesbury River, various national parks such as the Brisbane Water National Park and strolling into Newcastle to jump into the ocean at the end of it all.
Kosciuszko National Park
While there are all sorts of walks, short and long, available within this park, the Main Range Walk is one of the most famous. Pack some thermals as it’s bound to get crisp up on the wild Snowy Mountains, and don’t be surprised to see a pack of wild brumbies on the horizon.
Blue Mountain, New South Wales, Australia
The Blue Mountains
There are tonnes of day walks out of Sydney in the Blue Mountains. Try the famous, 7.9km return Ruined Castle Walk for some of the area’s most iconic imagery or spend 3 days hiking the 42km Six Foot Track for a bigger challenge.
The Daintree Forest - Mt Sorrow Ridge Walk
A six hour return walk in the heart of this humid forest comes with one warning, or one enticement depending on your outlook: leeches. Just be sure to check your socks and jocks once in awhile and then enjoy exploring Australia’s oldest tropical rainforest.
If you want sun and a life-changing experience, then hike the well-established Larapinta Trail, which runs along the West MacDonnell to the west of Alice Springs. Set aside 14-15 days to do this comfortably, as it is one of Australia’s more challenging walks, but certainly achievable for people of all fitness levels. With views that will melt your Instagram account and waterholes that will wash away that red desert dirt, this is definitely one for the bucket list. Tip: start at the western point of the trail and walk east back into Alice Springs.
Freycinet National Park
You know that picture everyone takes when they go to Tassie, with that impossibly, anger-inducing picture of a wineglass-shaped bay? That’s Wineglass Bay and it’s incredible. Spend a few days or the rest of your life there hiking between the various bays in Tassie’s equivalent to Wilsons Prom. While there are too many hikes in Tasmania to count, this is definitely one of the most accessible and beautiful.
Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
Like the Larapinta Trail and Great North Walk, this is a big one. In fact, it’s giant. Stretching over 1000 km from Perth to Albany, you definitely don’t need to do this one all at once. With 49 campsites stretched along the track, all servicing hikers, this is a great opportunity to challenge yourself as a hiker.
Deep Creek Circuit
A 12km return track, this is a hidden secret in SA. Waterfalls, bushwalking and beach trails all come included in this easily accessible walk, with campgrounds available as part of the famous Heysen Trail (a 1200km hike, the largest in Australia, and one that is best left for next time…)