Australia’s Iconic Hiking Trails

If you have been looking through the various outdoor magazines or reading any number of hiking blogs then you will have come across a number of Australian hiking trails that are constantly being referred to, over and over, and over again. These trails vary in length, but each has something unique and special that makes people want to walk them, so much so that you will often see images from these trails promoting tourism at both a national and international level. Whether it’s the desert, mountains, lush foliage, or views there’s just something about them that sets them apart, giving them an Iconic status that is recognised world wide. The following is a list of trails under 150km that due to their Iconic nature are known worldwide and while not exhaustive, no-one can argue that they don’t deserve a place on this list. In alphabetical order these trails are:

Alternatively listen to this article as a podcast here

Cape to Cape Track

  • Distance: 135Km
  • State: Western Australia
  • Start Point: Cape Naturaliste / Cape Leeuwin
  • End Point: Cape Naturaliste / Cape Leeuwin
  • Open: Year round however keep an eye on the fire risk during the hotter months.
  • Walking time: 5-8 days

One of Western Australia’s best known hiking trails located in the Southwest of the State in the Margaret River Region (one of Australia’s best known wine regions). This trail hugs the coast between Cape Leeuwin in the south and Cape Naturaliste in the north covering a distance of around 135km

In addition to spending much of the time walking coastal sections the track provides plenty of variety as its cuts inland but never straying to far from the ocean.

This track is considered challenging.

Cape to Cape Track website

Cape to Cape location and diversion map

K'gari (Fraser Island) Great walk

  • Distance: 90Km
  • State: Queensland
  • Start Point: Dilli Village
  • End Point: Happy Valley Village
  • Open: The permitted walk is open year round however advanced booking aren’t taken in December and January due to the risk of fire. If you want to hike during the Christmas period so will need to check with the park staff first as you get close to the time.
  • Walking time: 6-8 days

K’gari, also known as Fraser island is the worlds largest sand island and is located of the coast of southern Queensland. This walk takes advantage of the spectacular beach and rainforests areas of this world heritage listed place and provides stunning views. There are also a number of short walks and options on this trail. The campsites need to be booked at minimal cost in advance on this trip.

This trail is rated easy

K’gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk Website

Jatbula Trail

  • Distance: 62Km
  • State: Northern Territory
  • Start Point: Nitmiluk Gorge Visitor Centre
  • End Point: Leilyn (Edith Falls)
  • Open: This track is permitted track that only allows 15 people/day to seat. The popularity of this track is astounding and at the time of writing this article (November) there were no spots available until September the following year
  • Walking time: 5-6 days

This trail traverses the western edge of the Arnhem Land in the Northern territory and traverses sandstone plateau scrub, woodlands, monsoon forests and riverine landscapes finishing at Leliyn (Edith Falls). While costing under $15 /person to book this trail the sheer popularity of this walk often means that you need to book months in advance to secure a spot.

This trail is rated medium to Hard.

Jatbula Trail Website

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

  • Distance: 61Km
  • States: South Australia
  • Start Point: Flinders Chase National Park Visitors Centre
  • End Point: Kelly Hill Caves
  • Open: Year round. This trail requires a booking
  • Walking time: 5 days

Without a doubt this trip is the one to pick if you are doing your first multi-day hike. It has a  range of great scenery, lots of wildlife with Koala and Goanna sitings common, on an easy to follow path that doesn’t require you to be super fit to undertake.

The most difficult part of this trail are the logistics of getting to the trail itself which is located on Kangaroo Island of the South Australian Coast. The campsite facilities are just spectacular and as someone with an interest in trail design this trail has ben well thought out.

For a write up of our trip on this trail go to this link

If you want to listen to our podcasts on this trail go to the following links:

049-Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail here we come! Our expectations

051-Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail-A day on the trail

052-Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail; Interviews from the trail

053-Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail; Expectations vs reality

 

Kangaroo Island Trail Website

Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo island is one of those images that many people have seen but may not realise where its located

Overland Track

  • Distance: 65Km
  • States: Tasmania
  • Start Point: Cradle Mountain
  • End Point: Lake St Clair Visitor Centre
  • Open: Year round however only experienced hikers should attempt this walk in the colder months as the snow can be quite heavy. Permits are require for most of the year
  • Walking time: 6-8 days

This is without a doubt Australia’s best known hiking trail. Talk to most keen hikers and this trail is on their bucket list if they haven’t already done it. Talk to most non hikers who want to do a trail and this is the one that they will name. This rail provides relatively easy access to the Tasmanian wilderness giving you spectacular views and is definitely one to add to the bucket list.

This trail is rated hard

For a write up of our trip on this trail go to this link

If you want to listen to our podcasts on this trail go to the following links:

018 – The Overland Track – Expectations v Reality

020 – The Overland Track – A Day on the Trail

022 – The Overland Track – Interviews from the Trail

 

Overland Track Website

Mount Oakleigh on the Overland Track

South Coast Track

  • Distance: 84Km
  • States: Northern Territory
  • Start Point: Melaleuca
  • End Point: Cockle Creek
  • Open: Year round however the recommended walking times are December-March
  • Walking time: 6-8 days

One of Australia’s premier hiking trails and well known internationally. This track, which is part of Tasmania’s world heritage area follows the southern Tasmania coastline. In addition to coastal sections this track also heads inland with sections of open plains. This Track is more remote than the better known Overland Track  and as such is not recommend for inexperienced hikers.

This trail used to be only traveled my keen hikers but over the past few years usage has increased dramatically to the point where they are looking at putting in infrastructure similar to that found on the overland track to minimise the impact of all the hikers.

This trail is rated hard

 

South Coast Track Website

Three Capes Track

  • Distance: 48Km
  • States: Tasmania
  • Start Point:Port Arthur
  • End Point: Port Arthur
  • Open: Year round however only experienced hikers should attempt this during the summertime due to the excessive heat and lack of water.
  • Walking time: 4 days

This trail is one of Australia’s newest iconic hiking Trails and also on of Australia most expensive permitted tracks costing just on $500/hiker to undertake. This high fee goes to paying for all the extensive infrastructure that make this trail a joy to complete. Spectacular views are what you are after with this trail and this track has now become so popular that advanced bookings, often months in advance are necessary to get a spot on this trail.

This Track is rated easy

Three Capes Track Website

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