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Our favourite Australian hiking tracks

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From tropical rainforests an rugged mountains to golden beaches and red-dirt deserts, Australia has an incredibly diverse natural landscape just waiting to be explored. Stretch your legs and feed you soul on one of Australia's best hiking trails.

1. Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

This 223km long trail is one of Australia's most spectacular bushwalking and trekking experiences. This exciting long distance walking track is divided into 12 sections, each a 1-2 day walk. The trail meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges, climbs steeply over the rugged ranges, and has numerous stunning views and opportunities to photograph or admire the spectacular landscape.

2. The Overland Track, Tasmania

Travel through the heart of Tasmania's World Heritage-listed wilderness on this famous 65-kilometre trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Walk the entire Overland Track in six days or do short day walks from the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake. As well as physical challenge, this walk is a true communion with nature. You'll see lakes, forests and gorges, mountains and moons, spectacular waterfalls and steep, stony peaks.

3. Wilsons Promontory, Victoria

This walk embraces 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on mainland Australia's southernmost tip. The many well-marked trails traverse empty beaches and eucalypt forest, heath and swamp, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountain tops. Stay at campsites throughout the park and get up close to the park's incredible array of native plants, birds and animals.

4. Six Foot Track, New South Wales

Take in breathtaking Blue Mountains scenery and 200 years of history on this original 1884 horse track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Walking is the best way to absorb the scenery. Wind through fragrant bushland, past cliffs, caves and waterfalls. Spot kangaroos, wallaroos, echidnas, wombats, butterflies and many of the 150 bird species that live along the track. Camp along the way at three campgrounds, two with basic facilities, or pitch your tent in the tranquil bushland.

5. The Thorsborne Trail - Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland

Trek the 32km Thorsborne Trail along the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island - an untouched tropical paradise on the coast between Townsville and Cairns. Over four days you'll traverse cloud-cloaked mountains, jungle-like rainforest, melaleuca swamps and pristine white beaches. See a panorama of wildlife, from bright butterflies and birds to crocodiles, sea turtles, dugongs and dolphins. This is a true wilderness walk for the experienced walker - the path isn't graded or hardened so can be difficult to traverse in places.

6. The Heysen Trail, South Australia

This trail offers the best of South Australia's wildly assorted scenic beauty. Walk next to waterfalls in Deep Creek Conservation Park and visit the historic German village of Hahndorf. Taste wine in the world-famous Barossa Valley and see settler-relics in the grazing country beyond. Head into the Flinders Ranges, where fossils date back millennia and Aboriginal rock art is as old as the Dreaming. Walk over Mt Remarkable and to the rim of the ancient, awe-inspiring crater of Wilpena Pound. Sleep in campsites, huts and shelters or in any of the towns dotting the trail.

7. Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Queensland

Walk though lush Gondwanan rainforest and along the rim of an ancient, eroded volcano on this spectacular series of day walks. The trail traverses a landscape as old as the dinosaurs, linking World Heritage-listed Lamington and Springbrook plateaux with Egg Rock and Turtle Rock in the scenic Numinbah Valley. See the Tweed Volcano which erupted around 25 million years ago and the powerful, crystal-clear streams and waterfalls that continue to erode it today. Explore Woonoongoora, known to the local Yugambeh people as 'Queen of the Mountains'. Learn their ancient ancestral legends of how the rivers and valleys were formed. Camp in the rainforest at Green Mountains, Woonoongoora and The Settlement or in the private camping area at Binna Burra.

8. The Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia

Discover towering forests, tranquil farmland and wild beaches on this award-winning walk through Western Australia's south-west. Visit vineyards, walk next to waterfalls and wildflowers, clamber over granite boulders and walk through sky-scraping karri trees. Do the walk in sections or mix and match day and multi-day treks according to your time, the scenery you want to see, and your energy. The track is well-equipped, with hikers' huts or camping sites situated a day's walk apart.

9. Sydney's Great Coastal Walk, New South Wales

Traverse Sydney's entire, spectacular coastline - from Barrenjoey in the north to Cronulla in the south - on this unique week-long adventure. Do day walks, short scenic sections or any of the many walks looping off the main trail. Break up the walking with public transport or hike the entire journey end-to-end. The walk features dramatic headlands, sandstone cliffs, golden beaches, secluded coves, lush lagoons and dense native bushland, fringed by Sydney's beachside suburbs.


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