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Get outdoors: The top walks in Australia

Get outdoors: The top walks in Australia

From treks through World Heritage-listed national parks to glorious oceanside strolls, lace up your hiking boots and head outdoors to discover the top walks in Australia.

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

Starting at Apollo Bay and stretching all the way to the 12 Apostles, passing the Great Otway National Park and Cape Otway Lighthouse along the way, the superb views from this walk are a great option if you have already tackled the iconic Great Ocean Road. Keep an eye out for koalas, wallabies and wedge-tailed eagles while hiking along dramatic clifftops, deserted beaches and lush eucalypt forests.

Time: 8 days
Length: 104 kilometres
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
Great Ocean Walk © Visit Victoria

Three Falls Grand Hike, Morialta, South Australia

Passing all three waterfalls in Morialta Conservation Park and lined with crystal-clear creeks, this great half-day trip from Adelaide is one of the best places nearby the capital city to spot koalas in the wild. The circuit leaves and arrives from the car park, so walkers don’t need to worry about backtracking, and is brimming with deep gorges and sheer rock faces.

Time: 3 to 4 hours
Length: 7.3 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Morialta Conservation Park
Morialta Conservation Park © Joel Durbridge/Tourism South Australia

Blue Mountains Grand Traverse, New South Wales

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this World Heritage-listed national park, studded with hidden waterfalls, creeks and swimming holes, while staying in luxurious accommodations. The Blue Mountains Grand Traverse takes in a roll call of major attractions, including the Three Sisters, Grand Canyon, Govetts Leap and Valley of the Waters.

Time: 3 days/2 nights
Length: 10 to 17 kilometres per day
Difficulty: Moderate

Three Sisters, Katoomba, Blue Mountains Grand Traverse
Three Sisters, Katoomba © Destination NSW

Fraser Island Great Walk, Queensland

You’ll follow the trail of Australia’s original inhabitants on this long but rewarding back-to-nature walk through forests and across sand dunes, with lookouts and dips in freshwater lakes breaking up the journey. If you don’t have much time on your hands, the Fraser Island Great Walk can be tackled in smaller sections, with Lake Wabby, Valley of the Giants and Lake McKenzie being particular highlights.

Time: 8 days
Length: 90 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools © Tourism and Events Queensland

Wineglass Bay Circuit, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay is the prime attraction of Freycinet National Park, boasting fine quartz sand and fabulously blue ocean views. The popular Wineglass Bay Circuit offers incredible views of this famous landmark while snaking through pretty bushland and past small coves and beaches, which make for refreshing swimming breaks.

Time: 5 hours
Length: 12.8 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Wineglass Bay from Wineglass Bay Walking Track
Wineglass Bay from Wineglass Bay Walking Track © Tourism Tasmania and Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, New South Wales

This cliffside walk starts one of Australia’s most famous destinations, the postcard-perfect Bondi Beach, and passes a hit list of Sydney’s other most popular stretches of sand, including Bronte, Tamarama and Clovelly. Make a pit stop along the way to admire the surfers out on the water, go for a snorkel in Gordon’s Bay or check out the artworks dotting the trail during the annual ‘Sculpture by the Sea‘ exhibition.

Time: 2 hours
Length: 6 kilometres
Difficulty: Easy

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk © Destination NSW

Bluff Knoll, Western Australia

What could be more incredible than climbing one of the most spectacular peaks in Western Australia? After passing a small waterfall on the wildflower-lined walking trail, hikers will be rewarded with stunning views of the Stirling Ranges from Bluff Knoll at the summit, 1,095 metres above sea level.

Time: 1 to 3 hours
Length: 6 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

View from Bluff Knoll, located in the Stirling Range National Park
View from Bluff Knoll, located in the Stirling Range National Park © Tourism Western Australia

Valley of the Winds, Northern Territory

Experience the true heart of the Australian desert and the impressive towering red rock formations of Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, on this rewarding bushwalk through the park. Interesting fact: the Anangu people believed the great snake Wanambi once lived on the summit. Be sure to head out early to beat the day’s heat and to enjoy a bit of solitude – which is needed to really appreciate the sound of the wind and bird calls carrying up the valley.

Time: 3 hours
Length: 7.4 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Walking at Kata Tjuta
Walking at Kata Tjuta © Tourism NT/Jason Van Miert

The Centenary Trail, Australian Capital Territory

This extensive all-of-Canberra loop touches the New South Wales border to the north and ducks down to the Murrumbidgee to the south, weaving past several urban highlights such as Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin along the way. For those just wishing to get a glimpse, the hike can be done in 16 daily sections.

Time: 7 days
Length: 145 kilometres
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Namadgi National Park Yankee Hat Rock Site
Namadgi National Park Yankee Hat Rock Site © Tourism Australia

Two Bays Trail, Victoria

Take your time walking along beautiful beaches and clifftops of the lovely Mornington Peninsula; the views are spectacular. This trail connects Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, taking in the encompassing vistas at Arthurs Seat and Cape Schanck along the journey. Take a picnic and stop to take in the beauty of popular Seawinds Gardens to break up the day.

Time: 1 to 2 days
Length: 26.5 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Cape Schanck Boardwalk, Two Bays Trail
Cape Schanck Boardwalk © Visit Victoria

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Lead image: Sunrise at Wineglass Bay Circuit © Daniel Tran/Tourism Tasmania

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