These awesome Aussie day walks are at the top of our to-do list.
New South Wales
The Coast Track, Royal National Park
Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
Starting at Bundeena, the Coast Track hike takes you from rugged bush trails to breathtaking clifftops, along deserted beaches, challenging rock scrambles and tropical palm forests. It’s well signposted and finishes near Otford. It’s a challenging and lengthy hike, so you’ll need to be fit and experienced to walk this trail in a day.
Balmoral to Taronga
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
This Balmoral to Taronga bushwalk on Sydney’s North Shore will treat you to natural and historical treasures. You’ll experience expansive views of the sparkling Sydney Harbour and enjoy stunning bays.
Cascades Trail, Gadigal National Park
Distance: 3.2km (one-way)
The peaceful Gadigal National Park isn’t far from Sydney’s CBD and it hosts some truly beautiful, pratically deserted, trails. One of them is the Cascades Trail. You’ll walk under towering gums, past bubbling creeks, and over rock formations. The trail can get steep at times so it’s graded as moderate.
Palm Beach to Manly
If our Chief Adventure Chick Di Westaway was to pick a 30km walk in Sydney, she’d choose this fabulous hike on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. This walk starts at Palm Beach and winds its way along Sydney’s sparkling coastline to the iconic Manly Beach. You’ll be treated to spectacular, sweeping views as you walk along rocky headlands and golden beaches. To make this hike a little more challenging, you can walk along the soft sand.
Fairyland Loop, Lane Cove National Park
Distance: 5.3km (return)
This Fairyland Loop walk in the Lane Cove National Park is full of natural treasures and wonders. Part of the Great North Walk, this bushland has everything… from river crossings, to ancient rainforest, natural rock platforms and abundant wildlife. There are so many scenic spots along the way you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re in urban Sydney.
1,000 Steps Walk, Dandenong Ranges
There are so many gorgeous walks in the Dandenong Ranges. One of the best walks is the Kokoda Memorial Track, also known as the 1,000 Steps Walk. This winding trail will immerse you in nature while you puff your way to strength and fitness. We recommend popping on your backpack and doing sets if you want to get really strong. Just 40km from Melbourne’s CBD, the Dandenong Ranges is a hiker’s dream
Cape Schanck to Fort Nepean, Mornington Peninsula
Distance: 30km (one-way)
Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
This Cape Schanck to Fort Nepean trail (see Coastrek!) is just over an hour outside of Melbourne’s CBD, but you won’t regret making the drive. The southern part of Victoria is serene, exhilarating and truly breathtaking.
From Cape Schanck to Fort Nepean, you’ll hike through rich Australian bushland against the backdrop of rocky, rugged cliffs.
You Yangs Northern Range Circuit
Nestled between Melbourne and Geelong are the rugged ridges of the You Yangs. There are plenty of fabulous walks in the You Yangs, but the Northern Range Circuit is a great day hike. Starting and finishing at Turntable car park, this trail includes some natural challenges, including rock hopping and a steep climb.
Mt Donna Buang (via Mt Victoria), Warburton
Distance: 18km return
Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
Mount Donna Buang is in the iconic and stunning Yarra Valley. The trail to the summit of Mount Donna Buang is challenging, with the climb reaching an elevation of 1,100 metres. Home to forests of lush ferns, mossy boulders, and bubbling creeks, this trek is full of natural beauty and bursting with life.
Mount Coot-tha Summit and Mahogany Trail
Distance: 5km return
This trail is just a stone’s throw outside of Brisbane’s CBD and is an easy, picturesque walk. This trail features majestic trees, ancient rocks and shrubby bush until it comes out at a clearing of Mount Coot-tha.
You’ll return via the Mahogany Trail, passing through the JC Slaughter Falls.
Maiala Westside Track, D’Aguilar National Park
This peaceful Maiala Westside Track trail will see you explore the magic of the subtropical rainforest. Hiking under vast green canopies, you’ll experience a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Noosa to Sunshine Beach (via Hells Gates)
If you’re local to the Sunshine Coast, we envy you! This part of the world is truly spectacular and is home to some of Australia’s most incredible coastline.
There are so many trails to explore on the Sunshine Coast, but this 6km Noosa to Sunshine Beach walk 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. This trail is varied, as it involves stairs, boardwalks and bush trails.
Wine Shanty Hike, Cleland Conservation Park
Distance: 10km loop
Just 20 minutes out of Adelaide’s CBD, this hike in the Adelaide Hills is the perfect day walk. The 10km Wine Shanty circuit is more peaceful than the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty hike and the bushland is spectacular. It’s graded as challenging because it features some steeper sections. But if you’re looking for more moderate walks, Cleland Conservation Park is packed with other options.
Waitpinga Cliffs to Kings Beach, Heysen Trail
The spectacular Heysen Trail runs along the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula and a highlight of this iconic, long-distance trek is the Waitpinga to Kings Beach section. Starting at the Waitpinga Campground, following the coast above the Waitpinga cliffs, the trail climbs on fire trails before hitting the coast with clifftop views. You’ll see white-bellied sea eagles and experience the best that coastal hiking has to offer
Hallett Cove Boardwalk
Distance: 10km return
If you love rugged cliffs, iconic Aussie scrubland and views of a sparkling ocean – this hike is for you. The Hallett Cove Boardwalk is just 25 minutes south of Adelaide and it’s a great 10km hike that features inclines, stairs, bush and stunning coasline.
Scarborough to Trigg Heritage Trail
The coastline of Western Australia is breathtakingly beautiful. The sand is pristine and the ocean is a crystal, turquoise blue. This walk begins at the popular and picturesque Scarborough Beach and winds its way along the coastline to Trigg Beach.
The scenery is simply stunning, but at times the trail will take you to the main road. You can avoid this by walking on the sand which adds an extra challenge to the hike. There are some beautiful spots to eat lunch and have a coffee along the route.
Kings Park is an extensive area linking the Botanical Gardens with native bushland, beautiful views and options to extend your hike onto footpaths and linking soft trails. Take a wander through the gardens with a picnic blanket and enjoy the stunning views over the river.
Bibbulmun Track Day Walk
Distance: 12.4km (return)
For the uber hiker, the 1000km Bibbulmun track is a serious bucket lister which takes six to eight weeks to complete. However, there are day walks along the track if you’re not up for that ultimate hiking adventure. One of these walks is the 12.4km Bibbulum Track Day Walk, through the Beelu National Park. You’ll start at the Perth Hills National Park Centre and make your way to the Golden View Lookout (which is as stunning as it sounds)!
Mount Wellington Organ Pipes
Distance: 9km loop
Mount Wellington towers above Hobart and is a bushwalker’s paradise. The mountain and its surrounding National Park is home to hundreds of spectacular hikes through forests, native bushland and cliffs. One of the most iconic is the Organ Pipes circuit, which has a mix of gentle walking, steep descents and ascents. The trail is well marked and starts from the Springs which is clearly marked on the road up the mountain. This hike is a must-do.
Distance: 16km – 25km return
Located on the south face of Mount Wellington, the impressive Wellington Falls cascade down to the North West Bay River and make for a fabulous hiking adventure. You can start on the Pipeline Track at the Neika Trail head, or from Fern Tree. The trail is easygoing with a short climb up the waterfall.
Australian Capital Territory
Black Mountain Trails
Distance: 2km – 10km
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
The iconic Black Mountain Nature Reserve is one of the largest and most prominent reserves in Canberra Nature Park. The native vegetation includes a variety of orchids, eucalyptus species, birds, mammals and reptiles. The views from the summit, which is easily reached via The Summit Trail, looks out over Lake Burley Griffin and the Botanical Gardens. There are many easy to find trails for you to explore
We haven’t forgotten about you Darwin! But we haven’t actually hiked in our Northern capital yet so we can’t recommend trails! If you are a Darwin local and have some great suggestions, pop into our Wild Women Community and let us know.