Best Hikes and Walks in Australia
Autumn is the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather that nature has so graciously graced us with. Australia may have blazing hot weather up north and cool winters near the south but autumn spreads throughout the whole country and gives us a breath a fresh air. It’s an ideal time to get out and take those adventurous hikes through remote terrain or leisurely strolls along the less-crowded beaches. Take this weather as a gift and take advantage of it by getting outdoors or getting away. We’ve done our research and here are our top picks for walks throughout Australia in Autumn.
Do keep in mind that some of these hikes are multi-day and include camping so we recommend that you’re prepared. Each trail that we recommend does have the option to book with a tour company if you’d like an educational guided tour. We do recommend bringing sunscreen, wear appropriate shoes, pack light and drink lots of water throughout your adventure. As always, please be respectful to the land and traditional owners.
Do keep in mind that some of these hikes are multi-day and include camping so we recommend that you’re prepared. Each trail that we recommend does have the option to book with a tour company if you’d like an educational guided tour. We do recommend bringing sunscreen, wear appropriate shoes, pack light and drink lots of water throughout your adventure. As always, please be respectful to the land and traditional land owners.
Victoria – Great Ocean Walk
Step right outside the city and explore the Great Ocean Walk. This scenic trail hugs the rugged coastline of Victoria from Castle Cove to the Twelve Apostles. Lace up your boots because if you’re feeling super adventurous you’ll trek 100km through lush rainforests, untouched beaches and explore new heights on coastal clifftops. If you’re still breaking in your hiking shoes you can choose to do shorter walks throughout the Great Ocean Walk, as there are “walk in walk out” points, your choices are endless! You also have the option to find one of the many tours that are available. You can find out more and this rewarding walk here.
NSW – Blue Mountains: Six Foot Walking Track & Red Hands Cave
Need a break from all that relaxing on NSW’s pristine beaches? Why not take a walk on the wild side and check out the many trails of the Blue Mountains. Our pick is not for the faint of heart; the three-day, 88km, Six Foot Walking Track will have you breaking a sweat while taking you through heritage sites, incredible bushlands and beautiful rainforests filled with wildlife and waterfalls. Up for an underground detour? Why not head across the unique swing bridge to arrive at Jenolan Caves and explore some of nature’s greatest undergorund works. This is a great opportunity to burn off the chocolate bunnies you snuck in and trim the waistline. If you’re looking for a leisurely walk with an added bonus of Indigenous art, take a stroll along the Red Hands Cave Walking Track and keep an eye out for Indigenous stencil art. Top tip, pack a picnic lunch to relax near Glenbrook.
Tasmania – Freycinet Experience Walk
Put your phone down and go off the grid at Freycinet National Park. This 4-day, 33km hike explores all corners of Freycinet Peninsula. Here you can unwind and reinvigorate yourself taking in some of the beautiful scenes Tasmania has on offer. You can explore the beautiful pink granite Hazard Mountains and immerse yourself in Wineglass Bay, maybe even pack a cheeky wine to celebrate the ending to this incredible hiking experience. If you don’t want to go off the grid for four days, take the more leisurely 1.5 hour trek to the pristine Wineglass Bay and experience some of the fantastic flora and fauna this country has on offer. Don’t forget to bring a camera (and the corkscrew)!
Western Australia – Coastal Trail, Cape Le Grande National Park
For the eager and adventurous hiker, take the 17km Coastal Trail in Cape Le Grande National Park. This hike from Rossiter Bay to Lucky Bay has you crossing some of the whitest sand you’ll ever see. You find find too much peace and quite here though as the sand actually squeaks when you walk. Even in Autumn you can still enjoy the most renowned beaches that WA has to offer. Although this walk is best enjoyed in two days, our more ambitious hikers can complete this in 8 hours. Get outside and experience some natural beauty and fresh air – and just think about how jealous your Instagram followers will be when they see where you’ve been!
Northern Territory – Kings Canyon Rim Walk
One of Australia’s hidden gems, King’s Canyon Rim Walk reaches heights of 300 meters and descends down to the Garden of Eden with King’ Creek below. Step up your game with this hike, literally, because it begins with 500 step-climb. We recommend completing this hike in Autumn during sunrise or sunset hours because the colours of the mountains are ever-changing and you avoid the heat of the day. A bonus is this walk can be competed in 3.5 hours for those of you who are avid walkers in good health. So what are you waiting for – pick a weekend, lock in some mates and go create yourself some memories – and probably sore legs.
South Australia – Murray River Walk
Take a walk on the wild side and see some of Australia’s most diverse wildlife and scenery with this bush walk. This steady 40km walk goes through the recognizable Riverland Ramsar Wetlands. The Murray River Walk is best enjoyed from April and October when the temperatures are cooler. The perfect Autumn walk that lets you explore the 1,000-year-old gum trees in the red gum forests and stroll through the groves of Emu Bush (don’t stress, it’s a plant – not a bush full of angry emus). Pack your binoculars as you’ll get to experience diverse wildlife with the many water birds living around the river, creeks and lagoons. The daily walking routes are on private property, so you’ll be needing to complete this walk with Luxury River Trails. You’ll have the luxury of staying in a houseboat with deck spa and indulge in gourmet wine and food of the Riverlands. Sounds like a winner to us!
ACT – Centenary Trail
Looking for a week long challenge? Then the Centenary Trail in Australia’s ACT is perfect for you. It stretches 145km long with no loops. This trail takes you through Canberra’s most iconic and historic urban and rural sites. Not only can you brush up on some history, you’ll get in heaps of exercise as well. Stop at One Tree Hill Lookout and you’ll be greeted with views of the vast Black Mountain ranges, pass through the 250- hectare National Arboretum or take on the 5km walk to the central basin and enjoy Mirror Lake and encounter countless gems along the way. This hike can be done in three days as an alternate mountain biking adventure – but we prefer the more leisurely walk. So pack your boots and skip that cabinet meeting this week.
Queensland – Mackay Highlands
Don’t let recent weather deter you from the magical Mackay Highlands in Queensland. Enjoy this 56km walk between April and September to avoid the extreme weather. On the Mackay Highlands Trail you can delve into sparkling rock pools, wander through lush rainforests and explore Australia’s longest remaining stretch of subtropical rainforest. You have the option to take on the 56km trail or you can still indulge in nature by walking any of the four shorter trails available. Definitely a must do if you’re in the area and have some time! You can review all of the options and find out more here.