I’m sure you will agree with me that Australia is blessed with some of the most amazing hiking trails in the world.
Looking for all the Best Hiking Australia has to offer?
I’ve compiled a Best Australian Hiking Trails in 2023. It includes a sprinkling of the best shorter hikes, the best multi-day hiking trails in Australia, and the Best Australian Thru-Hiking Trails.
From the Best Australian Hiking Trails for Beginners to epic long-distance trails to some of the best desert hiking trails and multi-day hikes in Australia. Here is the list.
What are the Best Australian Hiking Trails?
The Best Hiking Trails in Australia are:
- Overland Track
- Larapinta Trail
- Australian Alps Walking Trail
- Bibbulman Track
- Cape to Cape Track
- Eastern and Western Arthurs Traverse
- South Coast Track
- Walls of Jerusalem
- 3 Capes Trail
- Thornstone Trail
- Fraser Island Trail
- 12 Apostles Trail – Great Ocean Road
- Royal National Park Coastal Trail
- Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
- Heyson Trail
- Great South West Walk
Rated by many as the best bushwalking trail in Australia and one of the best hiking trails in the world. There is a reason this trail is very popular. A combination of awesome mountain scenery, ample opportunities to view wildlife, and great huts make this a world-class trail.
Length and Time: 65km. 4-8 Days
When to hike: November to March
Start and Finish: Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clare
The Larapinta Trail is not just one of the best hiking trails in Australia, it is one of the best desert hiking trails in the world. Despite walking through an arid desert there are both natural water sources and water tanks along the trail. The Larapinta Trail is well-marked in well-maintained and should be on everyone’s list.
Length and Time: 223km. 8-16 days.
When to hike: May till September
Start and finish: The nearest town is Alice Springs, with good airport connections to the rest of Australia. Transport is needed to get to the start of the trail at Redbank Gorge. The trail finishes a short walk out outside the center of Alice Springs.
Link to Guide: https://www.larapintatrail.com.au/
Australian Alps Walking Trail
The Australian Alps Walking Track is a 655km trail that follows Australia’s longest mountain range, the Great Dividing Range. Rugged mountain ranges, high alpine plains, and the highest mountains in Australia. The trails passes several ski resorts so the hiking season is generally from November to April, even then snow is possible at any time of year.
Length and Time: 655km. 4-8 weeks to complete the whole trail.
When to hike: November till April
Start and Finish: Starts in Walhalla Victoria and finishes near the Australian Capital City of Canberra.
Link to guide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Alps_Walking_Track
Bibbulman Track Thru HikingTrail
The Bibbulman Trail is located in the far southwest of the state of Western Australia. It is a well-marked and relatedly easy 1000km trail. People from all over the world travel to this part of Australia to see some of the most unique and impressive wildflowers anywhere on the planet. Even people not interested in flowers are blown away by what they see on the trail.
There are 49 campsites on the trail set between 10-25km apart. Each has toilets, water tanks, picnic tables, and a basic three-sided shelter. All the shelters were built in the local prisons and transported to the trail. Rated as the best thru-hike in Australia.
Length and Time: 1000km. 35-60 days
When to hike: April to November (September/October are best for wildflowers, in fact, they are the best months period)
Start and Finish: Kalamunda is a 24km train ride from the capital city of Perth. The trail finishes in Albany with good bus transport options back to Perth, or take a flight.
Link to guide: https://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/
Cape to Cape Track
The Cape to Cape Track stretches from Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin south of Perth, Western Australia. The trails follow the coastline for most of the route. Spring is the best time to visit to take advantage of the world-class display of wildflowers.
Length and Time: 135km, 5–8 days
When to hike: April to November with the best wildflowers in September/October
Start and Finish: Start near Dunsborough south of Perth and finish near Augusta.
Link to guide: https://edgewalkers.com.au/cape-to-cape-experience
Eastern and Western Arthurs Traverse
Arguably this is the most scenic trail in Australia. The scenic beauty comes at a cost of a very difficult trail. The Eastern and Western Arthurs are a combination of the sheer rugged beauty of the steep mountains and constant battle with the weather.
This trail is the most difficult of all the trails mentioned on this list and is only suitable for very experienced hikers.
Length and Time: 77km 10-14 days
When to hike: December to March
Start and Finish: Start at Scotts Peak Dam and finish at Farmhouse Creek
South Coast Track
Another great coastal walk that follows the rugged coastline of southern Tasmania. Often called the second-best hiking trail in Tasmania this trail is a combination of challenging muddy trails, rugged mountains, and great campsites.
Length and Time: 85km. 5-8 days
When to hike: November to April
Start and Finish: Melaleuca Airstrip to Cockle Creek.
Link to guide: https://bikehikesafari.com/hiking-the-south-coast-track/
6 Foot Track
One of the easiest hiking trails in Australia for beginners who want to take on their first multi-day hike. Take a train from Sydney to the tourist town of Katoomba and follow this historic trail to Jenolan Caves. Quite easy navigation, nice camping, and easy access to public transport make this a great option for first-time hikers. Rated as one of the best beginner hiking trails in Australia.
Length and Time: 42km. 2-3 days
When to hike: Anytime of the year but beware of the heat in the middle of summer or freezing temperatures in the middle of winter.
Start and Finish: Katoomba to Jenolan Caves
Link to guide: https://bikehikesafari.com/hiking-the-six-foot-track/
The Coast Track – Royal National Park
The Coast Track is a great coastal hike close to Sydney, New South Wales. It is 26km long and runs between Bundeena in the north and Otford in the south of the Royal National Park.
From beaches to well-maintained coastal trails and easy access to public transport from Sydney, this is another easy overnight hike for first-time hikers.
Length and Time: 26km. 2 days
When to hike: All year
Start and Finish: Train to Cronulla, ferry to Bundeena (Note: Cronulla Ferries is cash only and does not utilise the Opal system at the time of writing), hike to Otford Station, and train back home.
Walls of Jerusalem
The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is a popular area with locals in Tasmania but little visited by others. A combination of great mountain scenery, lakes and scenic campsites this trail is worth the effort to get to. You will need to organise your own transport to this out of the way National Park.
Length and Time: 35km. 2-3 days
When to hike: November to April
Start and Finish: Carpark access road in Walls of Jerusalem National Park
3 Capes Trail
The 3 Capes Track passes Australia’s tallest sea cliffs overlooking the Southern Ocean. This trail also offers some stunning huts that were only opened a couple of years ago. It is a perfect introduction of overnight hikes in Tasmania is is considered one of the easiest overnight trails in Australia.
Camping sites must be booked in advance and includes a bed in a cabin each night, a boat cruise to the trailhead, and a bus back to the start.
Length and Time: 46km. 4 days
When to hike: November to April
Start and Finish: Port Arthur to Fortesque Bay
Link to guide: https://www.threecapestrack.com.au/
The Thorsborne Trail hikes through rainforests, remote beaches, and past streams and waterfalls on the remote Hinchinbrook Island. This is a challenging trail in the warm tropics of North Queensland.
Length and Time: 32km. 4–5 days
When to hike: May to September
Start and Finish: Ramsay Bay to George Point, Hinchinbrook Island
Link to guide: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/hinchinbrook-thorsborne
Great Ocean Walk
The Great Ocean Walk follows the rugged coastline of southern Victoria. With a chance to Koalas, kangaroos, or penguins this trail is not all about the coastal scenery. It can be hiked year-round and the trail does a great job of avoiding the world-famous Great Ocean Road.
Length and Time: 100km, 5–8 days
When to hike: All year
Start and Finish: Apollo Bay to 12 Apostles.
Link to guide: https://www.thegreatoceanwalk.com/
Fraser Island Great Walk
The Fraser Island Great Walk takes in 90km of beaches, lakes, and headlands on Fraser Island.
Length and Time: 90km. 6-8 days
When to hike: All year but summer can be a bit too warm and humid
Start and Finish: Dili Village to Happy Valley
Link to guide: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-kgari-fraser
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
Following the South Coast of Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. The trail passes through highlights such as Admirals Arch, Remarkable Rocks, and Kelly Hill Caves. With ample opportunities to view wildlife this is one best coastal walks in Australia to view wildlife.
Length and Time: 61km. 5 days
When to hike: March to November
Start and Finish: Rocky River to Kelly Hill Caves
Link to guide: https://www.kangarooislandwildernesstrail.sa.gov.au/home
The Heysen Trail is one of the best Australian Thru-Hiking Trails. The 1200 km long trail traverses some of the best desert scenery in South Australia. It starts south of Adelaide and follows the rugged coastline before heading through the wine districts then north through the Flinders Ranges before finishing in Parachilna Gorge.
Length and Time: 1200km. 50-60 days
When to hike: April to October
Start and Finish: Cape Jervis to Parachilna Gorge
Link to guide: https://heysentrail.asn.au/heysen-trail/
Great South West Walk
The Great South West Walk is one of the easier Australian Thru-Hiking Trails. At 250 km long trail traverses rugged coastal beaches, rivers, and a couple of National Parks and forests. It starts and finishes in Portland, Victoria near the South Australian border. There are campsites every 10-20km and several resupply options alone the trail.
Length and Time: 250km. 10-14 days
When to hike: All year, best in April to October
Start and Finish: Portland, Victoria
Link to guide: https://greatsouthwestwalk.com/