The Best Day Hikes in Australia
Australia boasts of a vast landscape that alternates from deserts to rainforests, mountains to coastlines. Whether it’s the tip of the Top End and all the way down to Tasmania’s south, there is no better way to experience the best of nature and sprawling landscapes that Australia has to offer than through hiking. Exploring Australia on foot is one of the most immersive ways to connect with the diverse and dramatic landscapes you can only dream about.
Image from: TravelTriangle
But when it comes down to it, some people may not have the energy or the time to go on an epic multi-day hike through the great Australian bush. But that’s the best part about hiking in Australia; there’s a trail to suit everyone of all trekking levels. That’s why we’re looking at some of the best day hike trails in Australia, for those who are seeking an adventure and working up a good sweat, all in time to head home for a good night’s rest.
Before we start, remember to check out our store for the best camping and hiking gear and accessories for your next trip! Also, check out some of our tips on surviving the Aussie outback or have a gander at our 6 epic hiking trails in Australia.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
1. Cradle Mountain, TAS
Image from: The Senior
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Distance: 1 kilometre to 14.9 kilometres (entire Cradle Mountain trail)
Hiking time: TBD
The southernmost state in Australia is also a haven for hikers. Among them, Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain trail gives you many walking options, with almost all of them serving up a good dose of Cradle Valley beauty. This is a must visit if you’re looking for a gorgeous view of lakes and rugged mountaintops.
We recommend Marion’s Lookout, which is an easy enough walk, and offers up breathtaking views to Cradle Mountain and over Dove Lake and Crater Lake. One thing to note is that you should expect a lot of wilderness.
2. Grampians National Park, VIC
Image from: The Stawell Times
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 5 kilometres
Hiking time: 4 hours
The Grampians is an impressive national park located only 3 hours west of Melbourne. The Grampians is where you should go if you’re looking to relax in peaceful nature, and get up close and personal to some of Victoria’s stunning flora and fauna. Here, hikers are treated to a great base for day-trips to waterfalls or challenging hikes to renowned rocky escarpments.
A couple of must visits are the Pinnacles Lookout for an incredible panoramic view across the landscape, and Mackenzies Falls for an amazing waterfall.
3. Litchfield National Park, NT
Image from: Tourism Australia
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 1 kilometre to 4 kilometres
Hiking time: 30 minutes to 2 hours
If you’re at the Top End, Litchfield National Park is a must-go for day hikes. One of the Northern Territory’s most beautiful secrets, the hiking here is more of a relaxed walk through tropical rainforest groves to crystal-clear swimming pools.
There are several short walks in Litchfield National Park that pass through a range of landscapes that are typical of the Top End. Opt for the Florence Falls and Shady Creek to see the entrancing monsoon forest and open woodland, while the Wangi Walk is also another easy trek that takes you to a viewing platform at the base of the falls, through a monsoon forest and up stairs to the escarpment.picnic area or the plunge pool.
4. Kings Canyon National Park, NT
Image from: Matador Network
Distance: 6 kilometres
Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours
The Kings Canyon National Park has one of the most epic vista views from its rim, featuring 300 metre high sandstone walls and views that stretch across the desert.The most popular walk is one that takes visitors to the top of the Canyon, before following its rim around and coming back down to the car park. The walk will take you through a spectacular sight of red earth, with a natural amphitheatre and the iconic Priscilla’s Crack.
The walk may be a little bit tough as it starts off with a fairly steep vertical slant, but after that it’s simply smooth sailing all the way.
5. Karijini National Park, WA
Image from: Australia’s North West
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate/Difficult
Distance: 1 kilometre to 9 kilometres
Hiking time: 1 to 5 hours
A gem down under, Karijini is one of the most beautiful sights you will see in all of Western Australia. Karijini is home to a multitude of red earth gorges, fresh water holes and some of the most unusual landforms on Earth.
But in particular, the hiking trail out to Hancock Gorge is a great and fun one, which gives you that bit of additional time to appreciate the beauty all around you. There is a little bit of rock scrambling, and you may need to swim a little, but you’ll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful natural swimming holes anywhere around.
Tips: Make sure you bring a lot of water when hiking around this area. Since it will get wet, you’re also advised to bring along a dry bag to protect your valuables.
When it comes down to it, some people may not have the energy or the time to go on an epic multi-day hike through the great Australian bush. Still, there are tens of thousands of well-maintained hiking trails in Australia, so choosing one shouldn’t be an issue for you. So lace up your boots, strap on your pack and take to the trails and explore Australia on foot for yourself.
Image from: Backpackers World Travel
What did you think about our article? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section below! Itching to go on a camping trip? Check out our tips for surviving the Aussie outback, or read up on our take on fastpacking for an even faster hiking experience. You can also check out our store for more camping gear!