These Wild Walks Will Put The Spring In Your Step

By The Wild Women On Top Team

Spring has definitely sprung, and we couldn't be more excitied about it.

Springtime is truly a hiker's dream. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the days are longer, and the wildflowers are in full bloom. You don't need to pack on the layers like you do in the winter months, but you're also not sweating through your shirt like you would in summer.

To celebrate the start of spring, we're sharing some of our favourite local walks that are bursting with life and are perfect for this season.

New South Wales 

Dee Why To Long Reef

Distance: Approx 2km

Difficulty: Easy

Head away from the crowded coastline and explore this quiet and beautiful trail which meanders along Dee Why lagoon, on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The trail boasts rugged vegetation and delightful displays of wildflowers, including bright puple daisies, golden wattle and goodenias. This walk is relatively easy and no bushwalking experience is required. 

You might enjoy a quick dip at Long Reef Beach or a play in the rockpools when you've finished your walk.

Otford To Bundeena (The Coast Track)

Distance: 26km

Difficulty: Challenging

Yes, we know we go on about this walk a lot. But that's because this hike in Sydney's south is truly spectacular and is one of our ultimate favourites. In winter, you can watch whales breach the water. In spring, you can marvel at the blossoming wildflowers - especially the iconic red waratahs and unusual Gymea lily which only grow between Newcastle and Wollongong.

This walk is 26km one-way, and bushwalking experience is required because there are some challenging sections and undulating terrain. 

Taronga to Manly

Distance: 19km

Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging

This walk is a treat in the springtime as it hugs the sparkling Sydney Harbour and is a treat of native wildflowers. Starting at Taronga Zoo, you'll experience the beauty of Sydney's city while immersed in iconic Aussie bushland.

North Head is brimming with flannel flowers this season and Middle Head is full of wattle. While this is a long day hike, you can reduce the distance to suit your needs by walking a small section.  

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Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop

Distance: 10km loop

Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging 

There are tonnes of stunning walks in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, including this 10km loop on Sydney's Upper North Shore. The National Park is alive with stunning flora at this time of year, especially bright purple, yellow and white wildflowers. Another fabulous walk is the Wildflower Garden loop, which is an easier walk and features trickling waterfalls.

Mount Solitary (Blue Mountains)

Distance: 34km loop

Difficulty: Challenging

The Blue Mountains is absolutely bursting with wildlife at this time of year. You can pick pretty much any trail in the Mountains and you'll be exposed to rich, diverse wildflowers and flowing creeks. The state's flower, the waratah, is particularly prevalent at this time of year. We love the Mount Solitary hike for a bit of a challenge.

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Queensland

Coastrek Ambassador and travel writer Laura Waters is currently in Queensland and she's loving the local trails in the rainforest and by the coast. Here are her recommendations.

Yul-yan-man Track (Glass House Mountains)

Distance: 7km (return)

Difficulty: Challenging 

This walk is graded as difficult, but if you're up for some rock-scrambling and a touch of climbing, you'll be rewarded by sweeping views of the Glass House Mountains. What a treat! This trail is rich with diverse plant life and you'll be mesmerised by the open eucalyptus forest.

Noosa to Sunshine Beach (via Hells Gates)

Distance: 6.4km

Difficulty: Easy

The coast is simply sparkling in springtime, and as the weather starts getting warmer - you'll be desperate for a dip before you finish your hike. This 6km walk on the Sunshine Coast is relatively easy and totally picturesque. Starting at Noosa Main Beach, you will head past Tea Tree Bay and Alexandria Bay, before reaching Sunshine Beach.

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Taloona Creek Circuit

Distance: 17.5km return

Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging 

The Taloona Creek Circuit is located in Lamington National Park - just outside of Brisbane. Bushwalking experience is recommended for this hike as there are some steeper and stickier sections along the route. But this walk is a natural smorgasbord, with deep valleys, trickling waterfalls, and towering Antarctic Beech trees.

Warrie Circuit (Springbook National Park)

Distance: 17.5km return

Difficulty: Moderate

This circuit is another one of Laura's recommended walks in Queensland, primarily due to its lush flora and waterfalls. Nestled in rainforest, this walk will expose you to the wonders of the Queensland wilderness. You'll walk through lush green forest, past steady creeks, and by free-flowing waterfalls. You'll also be treated to sweeping views out to the ocean from the canyon lookout.

Victoria

Our thoughts are with all Victorians right now, who are still in lockdown. We understand you are still facing tight restrictions in terms of exercising and moving outdoors. We hope you are still moving when you can, and that you are looking forward to experiencing the joy and the beauty of nature in the coming weeks.

We have chosen to profile a few walks that are closer to the CBD, so as restrictions lift and you can venture further from your homes, you can enjoy these stunning walks that truly blossom in spring.

Royal Botanic Gardens Walk

Distance: 4km

Difficulty: Easy

Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens is a major attraction at this time of year. From lillies to wattles to arid plant species - the Gardens have it all. A loop of the Gardens is approximately 4km, but you can do the Australian Forest Walk, explore the Arid Garden, or check out Guifoyle's Volcano if you can't do the full distance.

Fitzroy Gardens

While Fitzroy Gardens is manicured, paved, and not a bush trail, it will expose you to some truly beautiful and blossoming flowers. The floral displays are carefully looked after and are coupled with magestic elm trees. 

Depending on where you live, you may also enjoy exploring Carlton Gardens which is World Heritage listed. 

Foster's Gully Nature Walk

Distance: 2.3km return

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

When restrictions lift, Foster's Gully in Gippsland is a stunning location to hike in spring. This nature walk is just over 2km and you'll be wowed by the orchids, which shine here during spring.

Mornington Peninsula

You can't go past the Mornington Peninsula, which is truly stunning and sparkling in the springtime. There are plenty of long and short walks along the peninsular.  We highly recommend hiking Cape Schanck to Fort Nepean, a 30km hike along the coastline which teases your senses with the fresh spray of the ocean and the rich array of native flowers.

If restrictions don't permit this, you could do a shorter walk such as Sorrento Beach to Portsea Beach

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South Australia

Alligator Gorge Circuit

Distance: 3.3km (return)

Difficulty: Moderate 

Stayin' Wild Ambassador Georgina Mollison has tried and tested many hikes in her home state of South Australia. She is a huge fan of the Alligator Gorge in the Flinders Ranges in spring. This circuit has some undulating sections but is rich in flora and stunning gorge scenery. You will also spot some stunning native plants, the Sturt Desert Peas, on the flats.

The Spring Wildflower Walk (Fleurieu Peninsula)

Distance: 4.7km circuit

Difficulty: Easy

There's a reason we hold Adelaide Coastrek on the Fleurieu Peninsula - this coastline is absolutely epic and is a hiker's dream. Every hike is gorgeous on this peninuslar, but the Spring Wildflower Walk is especially stunning in the springtime (hence the name!) If you're looking for more of a challenge, the Deep Creek Circuit is a stunning six hours of hard hiking.

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Orchid Hike (Scott Creek Conservation Park)

Distance: 7.3km

Difficulty: Moderate

Not even an hour outside of the Adelaide CBD, this walk is a springtime delight. It should take about two hours to complete and features undulating terrain so bushwalking experience is recommended.

This walk is especially well known for its display of native orchids - including the mosquito orchid and the dwarf green-hood orchid.

Canberra

Our nation's capital is stunning at this time of year. Our Coastrek Ambassador Cath Wallis suggests you give these walks a try if you're after some springtime magic.

Floriade Reimagined

Distance: That's up to you, but Cath recommends the classic 5km Bridge to Bridge around the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin.

Difficulty: Easy

Canberra's annual spring flower festival couldn't go ahead this year because of COVID, but our clever Canberrans had a trick up their sleeve...

Instead of the festival, a tulip trail has been planted through the territory's suburbs and into the city. Canberrans can plan their own local walk to explore the trail. How epic is that! Find out more here.

Wildflowers of the Temperate Grasslands

Distance: 1 - 5km

Difficulty: Easy

Cath says, "late October and early November is the perfect time to take a walk among the wildflowers of the lowland native grasslands. The best options for wildflower spotting are the Mulanggari grasslands in Gungahlin, the Kama Nature Reserve in Cook and Jerrabomberra West Nature Reserve."

Some of the wildflowers you'll see in full force include Scaly Buttons, Bulbine Lily, Blue Bells, Early Nacy and Convolvulus erubescens (Australian bindweed). 

Western Australia

Kalamunda to Mundaring 

Distance: 22km

Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging

The Bibbulmun Track is a must-do adventure in Western Australia. The trail stretches over 1000km but there are magical sections that you can pick and choose to do.

The Perth Hills sections are particularly special in spring because the wattle and orchids are in full bloom. The orange earth perfectly juxtaposes the towering green gums. There's nothing like the landscape in Western Australia - especially this hike nestled in the Perth Hills.

We haven't forgotten about you Tasmania and the Northern Territory! But we haven't got any hike heroines on the ground who can share their favourite spring hiking spots with us. If you know some winners, let us know in the Wild Women Community - we'd love to hear your suggestions.

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