Author Bio: Sam Ross runs the blog thehammockhombre.com - a travel blog focused around the digital nomad lifestyle. Over the past 3 years, he's travelled to every continent, so writes on a broad range of countries, cities and destinations.
Anyone who has hiked in Australia can testify that this land is beautiful beyond words. Lovers of the great outdoors are very much at home here, and they have an unfathomable amount of land to explore, from rainforests and mountain ridges, to vast open plains, oceans and lakes.
There is so much choice that it can be quite mind-boggling for a hiker who doesn’t know the country well. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the most adventurous hikes this magnificent country has to offer.
The Overland Track, TasmaniaYou’ll need to allocate a week for this epic hike. It can take you around six days to hike over 65 km through the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. One look at this terrain will tell you why it’s listed as a World Heritage site.
During this hike you’ll get to see awesome views of Cradle Mountain from Marion’s Lookout, and the two rocky towers known as The Gates of Mordor, a name you may recognise if you’ve seen Lord of the Rings. Don’t forget to check out the D'Alton and Ferguson Falls, and to stop for lunch at lunch at Plateau Creek before embarking on a four-hour walk across exposed alpine plateau and on to the stunning rock formation, Barn Bluff.
If the weather is good, you’ll be able to take a five-hour hike up Mount Ossa too. You can do hike the whole area alone or hire a guide, but it’s necessary to book in with the Parks and Wildlife Service either way.
Scenic Rim Trail, QueenslandAnother surreal hike you’ll never forget is the Scenic Rim Trail in Main Range National Park, Queensland. To make the most of this hike you’ll need at least four days. During this time you’re likely to see some of the most stunning and unusual flora and fauna in Australia.
Hike through the ancient volcanic plateaus, mountains, ridges, escarpments and fragrant eucalyptus forests, and when you’re done, why not relax in a hot tub at Spicers Canopy? Sitting around their fire pit is another popular downtime activity that will help to make your experience a memorable one.
Take a guide and you’ll be regaled with stories and traditions of the indigenous people, and the fascinating history of this magical land. Many people consider this hike to be a spiritual experience, and it makes sense; the land educates as it etches itself permanently upon your memory.
The Arkaba Walk, South Australia
Another adventurous hike you won’t want to miss out on is Southern Australia’s Arkaba Walk. For this you’ll need four days free; the land is a perfect choice for lovers of both nature and wildlife – you’re likely to see creatures such as kangaroos, wallaroos and emus, all kinds of birds and perhaps even the rare Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby.
It’s also the right place for those who want to experience Australia’s outback at its finest; the terrain may not be easy to hike, but it’s definitely rewarding to do so. Here you can immerse yourself in 600 million years of history, explore the stunning Flinders Ranges and the private Arkaba Conservancy; drink in panoramic views of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range, and camp out under the star-studded skies at night. This is another hike you’ll never forget.
Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk, Victoria
Hike the Twelve Apostles trail if you are a fan diverse, scenic landscapes. The hike can take several days, during which you’ll hike over 40 km through Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks. Experience wetlands, wild beaches, rocky headlands and deep, forested valleys.
The landscapes stretch out along the coastline of Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles and you can find unbelievably beautiful native bush land and wildlife such as koalas, wallabies and fur seals. Some of the wildlife in this region is native to the land and you won’t see it anywhere else on Earth.
This land truly has it all; look out over the land from the coastal cliff tops, explore the cool rainforests and come across deserted beaches that seem to have stood still in time. Book with an eco-guide and you’ll come to know about the local flora, some of the shipwrecks in the ocean, and the rock shelf that was once home to dinosaurs.
Six Foot Track, New South WalesWelcome to the Blue Mountains, a land so beautiful that it attracts visitors from all around the world, all year around. Back in 1884, the Six Foot Track was a trail mainly used by those transporting goods via loaded horses between Katoomba and the iconic Jenolan Caves. The track needed to be wide enough for the horses to pass each other, hence it was marked out at six-feet-wide.
To hike this trail you’ll need three days and two nights free in your schedule. You’ll make your way along 44 km of trail starting at the Explorers’ Tree, and along the way you’ll pass through the Megalong Valley; you’ll also cross over the Coxs River next to the famous Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge.
If you are up for braving a challenging climb, you’ll be rewarded with an experience of the awesome Black Range ridge. Your hike will come to an end at the Jenolan Caves, which must be seen to be believed; they are among the most spectacular cave formations in the world.
Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Northern Territory
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a shorter hike at six km; it will take around four hours to complete, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Affectionately nicknamed ‘the spellbinding Rim Walk’, this hike is a great choice for those with a reasonable level of fitness. Although there is a 500 step climb involved, once you reach the top, the land is relatively flat, so it shouldn’t be too taxing overall.
Along the scenic trail you’ll follow the rim of Kings Canyon, which is shaped like a horseshoe. The land is rich with history; here you will find sheer cliffs of around 100 metres in height. Then there is the ‘Lost City’, which constitutes dome-like structures that have been weathered over time. Look out for the waterholes of the Garden of Eden too. Note that most people opt to arrive the evening before, as the heat can get quite intense by lunchtime.
Useful Travel Resources for Australia
Australia Map – Plan your trip around Australia with this handy map
RentalCars.com – Great site for comparing rental car prices
Skyscanner.net – Our favorite place to book cheap airline flights
Expedia.com – Book affordable accommodation or bundle flights and hotels in Australia.
Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Australia
Suggested Reading: In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson