Some of Australia’s wildest terrain can only be appreciated fully on foot. Multi-day hikes allow you to become immersed in the scenery, from the rugged beauty of the desert to serene, sunny beaches. The following hikes are well marked and safe, with plenty of campsites and accommodation along the way.
Larapinta Trail – Northern Territory
The Larapinta trail stretches more than 200 kilometres from near Alice Springs to Mount Sonder in the Northern Territory. It’s split into 12 individual sections, with 41 campsites along the way so hikers can decide how long they want to trek each day.
The trail passes through high mountains and across multiple gorges and dry creek beds. It’s a chance to discover the beauty of the country’s north and visit many historical and sacred Indigenous sites.
The medium difficulty rating means it’s not for beginners, and it passes across some very rugged and hard surfaces. Highlights along the way include the Finke river and abundant wildlife in Simpson’s Gap.
It’s best to undertake the journey in winter, unless you want to contend with temperatures above 45C. Water is available along the whole trail, and no booking fees for campsites or permits are required.
Thorsborne Trail – Queensland
Running across Hinchinbrook Island, eight kilometres off Cardwell on the Cassowary Coast, this trail is isolated and serene – hiker numbers are limited to just 40 a day.
There is a wide range of terrain and unique wildlife, including endangered butterflies and orchids. It has been a protected area since 1932 as part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area and is one of Australia’s largest island national parks.
The Thorsborne trail is 32 kilometres long from Nina Bay in the north to George Point in the south, and can be completed in either direction. There are some challenging areas, but it can be completed by casual hikers. The highlights include stunning beaches, soaring waterfalls and lush rainforests.
There are seven campsites on the trail, which is a 40-minute boat ride from Cardwell, halfway between Cairns and Townsville. It’s for those looking for an exclusive, isolated island getaway with spectacular views.
Hinchinbrook Wilderness Safaris operates boat transfers from Cardwell to the trek daily for $70 return, and permits for the trail cost $5.15 per day. Hikers need to be self-sufficient but water can obtained on the trail.
Bay of Fires – Tasmania
This is for those looking for a more luxurious, laid-back hike along the southern state’s picturesque beaches. The four-day trek is split into stretches of about 10 kilometres each day.
It travels across the bay on the north-east coast of Tasmania from Mount William national park to Launceston. It’s a fully guided walk, graded low difficulty – meant for beginners.
Beaches and isolated coves dot the trail, plus there is decent accommodation and the option of kayaking part of the way. It’s a posh hike – there are no tents in sight and meals are sourced from local produce.
The Bay of Fires hike is not cheap, though, with four-day walks starting from $2,300 for two sharing, including transfers from the city, accommodation, food and drinks.
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Wilderness Coast Walk – Victoria
The 100-kilometre Wilderness Coast Walk through the Croajingolong National Park in Gippsland has been largely unaltered by humans, and there is no well-defined track. Walkers should be experienced and well-equipped to navigate the way, and need to book campsites well in advance.
The hike is divided into three sections, and a $10 booking is required for camping in each separate section. The walk runs along the coast, with remote beaches and views of the ocean along the way.
Wildlife is a major attraction of the walk. The national park is home to a huge range of plants, mammals, reptiles and birds, including many threatened species.
Hikers can attempt the walk any time of the year, but should be well prepared. Sights along the way include a lighthouse where guests can stay the night and what’s known as the Sandpatch Zone – a section of coastline from Wingan Inlet to Shipwreck Creek that has been virtually undisturbed and includes high coastal cliffs and vegetated dunes.
Bibbulmun Track – Western Australia
The Bibbulmun track is a world-renowned walking trail that begins at Kalamunda in the Perth Hills and runs 1,000 kilometres to Albany on the south coast. It winds through Australia’s south-west, traversing forests, valleys, and national parks.
With 49 campsites peppered along the track, it can be a gentle walk for a couple of days if you only want to do some of it, or an epic six to eight-week adventure if you want to go the whole way. Only serious hikers should attempt the full distance, and those who do it successfully earn the title of an 'end-to-ender'.
If tents aren’t your thing, there are also towns that offer accommodation along the way. The only season you should avoid is summer because of very high temperatures along the track and the danger of bushfires. It’s an entirely free track and no bookings are needed for the campsites, which are also free.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
This article was written by Denham Sadler from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.