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Lace up your hiking boots and strap on your pack – exploring Australia is more fun when it’s on foot. These epic hikes will take your breath away, and not just when you’re going uphill. Which one will you choose for your next outdoorsy adventure?
This iconic 80km walk meanders along well-maintained harbourside tracks between Sydney’s best-known surf beaches. If you’re up for the challenge, the walk can be done in two days (one way), but to really take in the scenery and points of interest along the way, break up the walk into chunks of 10 to 20km. Download the map to plan your itinerary, and the app to track your route as you walk. You’ll meander past harbourside mansions, through bushland and up onto headlands overlooking the ocean; you’ll stroll past the Opera House through the Botanic Gardens and across the Harbour Bridge. Don’t miss the tearoom and shop at Nutcote House, where author May Gibbs once lived, the Aboriginal engravings at Grotto Point, and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair – a bench seat carved into the sandstone by convicts in 1810.
Anyone who tackles this rugged 223km trek will talk about it for years to come as much for the stunning scenery as for the satisfaction of completing it. Beginning at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Larapinta Trail runs along the spine of Central Australia’s West MacDonnell Ranges and ends at the summit of Mt Sonder. Planning is the secret to success on this walk, which is graded moderate to difficult. Whether you’re going it alone or joining a guided tour, you’ll be camping along the way and your boots will take a beating as you take on challenging climbs and steep descents and hike along red, rocky trails. The trek is broken into 12 sections, each taking one or two days.
This 12.8km walk can be done in 2.5 hours, but the sight of Wineglass Bay is likely to convince you to stay a while – it’s the most photographed spot in Tasmania. The arc of pristine white sand hugs a bay of crystal-clear water and backs onto the rugged coastal bushland of Freycinet National Park – and is just as spectacular from the lookout above as it is from the beach itself. Luckily, this walk allows you to do both. A steep 1.3km climb from the carpark takes you to the lookout for that breathtaking view, before leading you downhill along a bush track through the gum trees to the beach. The walk begins near the entrance to Freycinet National Park, located halfway between Hobart and Launceston on Tassie’s east coast.
These rainforest walks are just 10 minutes from Cairns CBD, but the towering trees and views out over the ocean will have you feeling miles from anywhere. As popular with local fitness fanatics as they are with visitors from out of town, the Red, Blue, Green and Yellow Arrow walks wind through Mt Whitfield Conservation Park. Yellow Arrow is the easiest track, taking you past waterfalls and up to lookout points. With its steep climbs and uneven ground, the 6km Blue Arow is the hardest, but you’ll be rewarded at the end with sweeping views inland to Red Peak Mountain and out to Green Island. Don’t be fooled by Yellow Arrow – the 1.5km circuit may be short but your legs will surely feel the 250 steps they have to climb.
Conquer this walk and you can say you’ve climbed the highest peak in Australia. Ok, so it’s only 2228m (Mt Everest is 8849m) but still – the epic views over the Snowy Mountains, Lake Cootapatamba and the Victorian High Country make it well worth doing. From Thredbo, you’ll ride the chairlift to the top before hiking 2km to the Kosciuszko lookout for views of the summit. Thankfully, it’s a gradual climb and the 13km (return) walk should take a total of four or five hours. The best time to go is December to March, when the Alpine wildflowers are out in full bloom.
TID customers love hiking with their pack on their back which is why we include coverage for when you’re hiking, trekking or bushwalking.
There’s a whole bunch of things that can wrong if you go too far, too high or too remote. Find out more about what is and isn’t covered here. For full details of coverage, including any sub-limits, always read the PDS for the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions that may apply and if you have any questions please contact us.