Outdoor

Australian Alps walking track (Photo: David Overton)

Top 10 Australian multi-day walks

  • BY Megan Holbeck |
  • April 14, 2010

From mountain traverses to sand islands and outback tracks, these are the best long Aussie bushwalks.

SCATTERED ACROSS OUR continent are diverse wild areas ranging from picturesque, pocket-sized parks to whole regions, vast swathes of land encompassing islands, deserts, plateaus and ranges. Some are refuges of wilderness, seeming unchanged from the days of Dreamtime, while others are closer to our urban habitat. No matter the shade of wild, the Australian bush has a common trait; it’s still a place you can feel as if you’re discovering for the first time, even when following a well-worn track. It’s somewhere to get lost in, both figuratively and literally, where the harsh conditions dictate your pace as you weave your way around roots, rocks and branches, discovering a beauty that ranges from the overwhelming to a discreet serenity; where wildlife is still common enough to make rustling undergrowth a paranoid preoccupation for overseas walkers. It may be rough and rugged but it’s real, offering an escape from your other world, a chance to slip into the slower pace of nature, to accept the rhythm, feel the flavour and digest it for yourself. All of this culminates in making Australia a great place to take a long walk – sometimes a really long walk.

See the full GALLERY: The top 10 Australian walks

A ‘best of’ list is always subjective, leaving out as much as it includes. Add to this the fact that completing the walks on this list alone would take almost four months, and it gets a lot more complicated! To whittle down the choices, we enlisted the help of the Australian bushwalking knowledge base, a gang of five guidebook authors; John Chapman, John and Lyn Daly, Glenn Tempest and John Siseman, and outback bard Quentin Chester.

So strap on your pack, because the results are in!

THE LARAPINTA TRAIL
Northern Territory
Photo and more info
» Walk: The Larapinta Trail.
» Location: West MacDonnell Range, Northern Territory.
» Length: 16–20 days (including rest days).
» Distance: 223 km.
» Difficulty: Hard.
» Access: One-way walk; good road access along track, including at ends.
» Info: Walking during the cooler months, from April–September, is recommended. Food drops required.
» Map

THORSBORNE TRAIL
Eastern Arthur Range, Tas.

Eastern Arthur Range, Tas. View Gallery


Queensland
Photo and more info
» Walk: Thorsborne Trail.
» Location: Hinchinbrook Island, North Queensland.
» Length: 4–5 days.
» Distance: 32 km.
» Difficulty: Easy–medium.
» Access: One-way; boat transport required at both ends.
» Info: Walking during the cooler months, from April–September, recommended. Permits required; need to be booked well in advance.
» Map

AUSTRALIAN ALPS WALKING TRACK
ACT, New South Wales and Victoria
Photo and more info
» Walk: Australian Alps Walking Track.
» Location: High Country of ACT, NSW and Victoria.
» Length: 45–60 days (including rest days).
» Distance: 655 km.
» Difficulty: Hard.
» Access: One-way; road access at both ends.
» Info: Best done in the warmer months. Food drops required.
» Map

FRASER ISLAND GREAT WALK
Queensland
Photo and more info
» Walk: Fraser Island Great Walk.
» Location: Queensland.
» Length: 5–7 days.
» Distance: 84 km.
» Difficulty: Easy.
» Access: One-way; boat transport required to island; both ends of the walk accessible by vehicle.
» Info: Walking during the cooler months, from April–September is recommended. Campsite bookings and permits required.
» Map

WILDERNESS COAST WALK
Victoria and New South Wales
Photo and more info
» Walk: Wilderness Coast Walk.
» Location: South coast of NSW and Victoria.
» Length: 4–5 days.
» Distance: 61 km.
» Difficulty: Medium.
» Access: One-way; boat transport required at one end, road access at other.
» Info: Permit required, book in advance.
» Map

OVERLAND TRACK
Tasmania
Photo and more info
» Walk: Overland Track.
» Location: Tasmanian highlands.
» Length: 5–8 days.
» Distance: 74 km, plus many side trips.
» Difficulty: Medium.
» Access: One-way; road access and public transport links at both ends.
» Info: Permits required from November to May; walk must be completed north to south during this time.
» Map

EASTERN ARTHUR RANGE
Tasmania
Photo and more info
» Walk: Eastern Arthur Range.
» Location: Southwest Tasmania.
» Length: 7–9 days.
» Distance: 89 km.
» Difficulty: Hard.
» Access: Return walk. Trackhead accessible by road, with public transport links in summer.
» Info: Steep and dangerous climbing required; summer walking recommended.
» Map

WESTERN ARTHUR RANGE TRAVERSE
Tasmania
Photo and more info
» Walk: Western Arthur Range Traverse.
» Location: Southwest Tasmania.
» Length: 8–11 days.
» Distance: 75 km.
» Difficulty: Hard.
» Access: Circuit walk; road access and public transport links in summer.
» Info: Follows a steep and tricky skyline traverse; summer walking recommended.
» Map

CAPE TO CAPE TRACK
Western Australia
Photo and more info
» Walk: Cape to Cape Track.
» Location: Southwest Western Australia.
» Length: 6–8 days.
» Distance: 135 km.
» Difficulty: Easy.
» Access: One-way; road access at both ends.
» Info: Spring wildflowers are a highlight; water may be hard to find.
» Map

SOUTH COAST TRACK
Tasmania
Photo and more info
» Walk: South Coast Track
» Location: Southwest Tasmania
» Length: 6–9 days
» Distance: 85 km
» Difficulty: Medium
» Access: One-way; charter flight or extra 70 km walk to one end, road access with public transport links at other.
» Info: Walking in the warmer months is recommended.
» Map

Not enough for you? Here are five Australian walks that NEARLY made it...

LINKS
GALLERY: Top 10 Australian walks
Top five great Australian drives
Top 18 Australian camping spots
18 Best day walks in Australia

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