We set Laura Waters the formidable task of selecting the top 5 from her list of Ultimate Walks & Hikes: Australia – and she has delivered!
These must-do walks have one thing in common – the stunningly diverse and unique terrain that Australia offers, and how fortunate we are to walk on truly world class trails. And the good news is, once you’ve completed these 5, there are 35 more to tackle!
Taking over a year to meticulously research and write, Laura’s passion for walking and the outdoors is palpable. As she says: “Nature is a great healer and teacher, and the more time we spend in it the greater the benefits for all.”
So whether it’s glacial lakes, coastal rock scrambling, arid desert, vast rainforest or wildflower wilderness, it’s time to get walking… Here’s Laura’s summary of her top 5 trails around Australia:
Larapinta Trail (NT)
There’s a tangible spiritual energy in Australia’s heart and that sense of space and peace makes this one of my favourite walks in Australia. Even though it takes a few weeks, the scenery on the Larapinta Trail is ever changing, taking in steep mountain scrambles, loads of red gorges and vast open valleys.
Main Range Walk (NSW)
This day hike around the roof of Australia is entirely above the tree line, providing a constant stream of dazzling mountain views. You pass a few glacial lakes, the crystal clear Snowy River and get to stand on top of Mt Kosciuszko, the country’s highest peak.
Hartz Peak (TAS)
Just 90 mins drive from Hobart, this half-day walk provides a great snapshot of what Tassie hiking is all about. There are glacial tarns, wildflowers and epic views over the Southwest Wilderness Area.
Toolona Creek Circuit (QLD)
You feel like you’re in the Land of the Giants on this day hike. It passes through supersized Gondwanan rainforest littered with waterfalls, and then around the rim of an ancient volcano lined with gnarled and moss-covered Antarctic beech trees. Just stunning.
Bibbulmun Track (WA)
I am a fan of long distance trails and this has to be Australia’s best. It’s also a great choice if you’re new to through hiking because logistics are easy with campsites and shelters spaced a day apart. Over two months you can really escape the wider world and see some really unique landscapes and flora that only grows in these parts. The wildflowers (including abundant orchids) in spring are astounding.
Ultimate Walks & Hikes: Australia is available at most good bookstores. More information here.
You might also like to read Laura’s book BeWILDered, which chronicles her five month, 3,000 km hike the length of New Zealand, where she discovered “how much bliss can be found living simply with one bag of belongings on your back”.