The 12 best hikes in Australia

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Bushwalking (Australian for hiking) is supremely popular in Australia, with thousands of kilometers of trails lacing its national parks and wilderness areas from the coast to the outback. Great for spotting native wildlife, many trails also traverse culturally and historically significant landscapes, with relics and interpretative trail markers offering fascinating insights into Australia’s unique ecology and 65,000 years of human history.   

The best time to lace your boots in Australia varies between regions, with outback hikes best suited to the cooler winter months (April–October), while hiking in Tasmania and the Australian Alps is a more popular summertime activity (November–March). The further north you go, the steamier the climate becomes, with hiking in northern Australia recommended during the May–October dry season.

From scenic day walks to multi-week epics, these are some of the best hikes in Australia.

Squeeze every moment out of your next vacation with tips and tricks from Lonely Planet in our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox. Family with child backpack hiking on the beginning section of Overland Track from Ronnie Creek in Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania, AustraliaThe beginning section of Tasmania’s Overland Track at Cradle Mountain is also popular with day walkers

1. Overland Track

Best multi-day wilderness hike
65km (40 miles), 5-7 days, moderate

A five- to seven-day odyssey through the incredible World Heritage–listed mountainscapes of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania’s alpine Overland Track is Australia’s most famous multi-day wilderness tramp.

The well-marked track threads between mountains rather than grinding over them, making the Overland an achievable independent adventure for experienced multi-day hikers with a decent level of fitness. A limited number of dormitory beds at seven hiking huts en route are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with independent hikers…

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